Chatter among the pundits on today's McLaughlin Group centered around President Obama meeting with Cuban dictator Raul Castro during the Summit of the Americas, the first time in nearly 60 years that leaders of the two countries have met in person.
Unfailingly predictable paleo-lib Eleanor Clift depicted Cuba as a magnet for foreign investors, a claim that led to a devastating retort from Tom Rogan, columnist for National Review and The Daily Telegraph.
Liberals may eventually learn, though don't hold your breath, that they're always on the losing end of an argument with conservatives when attempting to draw parallels between Cuba and the United States --
ROGAN: The thing is here, Cuba needs the United States, right? There is a collapse really of foreign investment in Cuba. The health system, which has so long held up as this kind of, you know, archetype of socialist utopia, has real problems in and of itself. I mean, the people, you look at the cars there, the absence of toilet paper, basic commodities, those pressures, and I agree with Eleanor to some degree that, yes, if you can try and build a stimulated business middle class there with American investment ...
CLIFT (offended that anyone dare criticize Cuba): The collapse of foreign investment? The Chinese are rushing in there, the Europeans are building resorts. I mean, I think we're the ones that are being left behind.
PAT BUCHANAN: Eleanor, they got nothing but sugar in that whole place down there. I mean, 53 percent in a recent poll of Cubans would like to leave their country. Fifty-three percent would like to get out, after 50 years of the revolution!
CLIFT (again rushing to defend honor of Cuba): And 53 percent of Americans would like to visit Cuba and experience the island nation!
ROGAN: Right, but the difference is, we fly over in planes and they brave shark-infested waters to come over, so there's a slight difference in parallel in terms of ...
BUCHANAN: It's a prison. They won't let their people out.
Earlier in the program, Buchanan said Obama sees himself as a "Nixon goes to China president" who has sought to repair relations with Russia, Myanmar, Iran and Cuba. But the reason Nixon could plausibly seek to re-establish ties with Red China was because of his indisputable, decades-old cred as an anti-communist. When it comes to Obama and Cuba, this isn't Nixon goes to China -- it's Nixon goes to Whittier. Cuba is what the United States would resemble after a half-century of Obamaesque rule.