Friday, January 02, 2015

Krauthammered in Cuba

Charles Krauthammer weighs in on President Obama's shift in Cuba policy, but in a very curious way. He clearly isn't sure himself, which for someone as imperiously self-assured as Krauthammer is already unusual. Perhaps that's why he waited so long to give his opinion?

The other curious point is that I don't think Krauthammer really understands the embargo to begin with. Here's his key point:

If Obama insisted on giving away the store, why not at least do it item by item? We relax part of the embargo in return for, say, Internet access. And tie further normalization to serial relaxations of police-state repression.

The problem here is that Obama can't give away the store--the embargo can be lifted only by Congress. What he's doing isn't relaxing the embargo! In fact, very likely we're seeing what Krauthammer wants--Congress will keep an eye on what happens in Cuba and then decide whether to vote on greater liberalization.

It's a stretch to say Krauthammer is unintentionally agreeing with Obama, but he's moving in that direction.


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