I belong to that endangered species, the Bushies. I confess, I like the President. I think he has been misunderestimated and misjudged. He has handled the economy well, shepherding us to a soft landing after the tech bubble. Can we say, Tax Cut? After years of promises, it was President Bush who finally helped seniors with prescriptions. It was the conservative Bush who got "No Child Left Behind" passed. And for all those who complain about "teaching to the test," ask yourselves what is on the tests? Basic skills every American child should have. And Iraq. Iraq was a huge gamble. And it is not lost. Every Al Queda in Iraq member who died is one less in the Western world, plotting. That does not mean that he and his government have not proven incompetent in many ways. That he has left in force wet foot/dry foot.
Now in the twilight of his presidency, he has used his bully pulpit to draw attention to the plight of Cubans, to the injustice with which they live. For this, I will be grateful. I also note that someone on the staff has been reading around the blogosphere. I leave you with this quote from an article about his comments after his meeting today:
The president said the global community has largely remained silent in recent months, even as dozens of young Cubans wearing "change" bracelets were arrested, as Cuban authorities raided a Catholic church to spray parishioners with tear-gas and drag them away. Last weekend, activists distributing copies of the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights were pushed and beaten.
"That same week, Cuba signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," Bush said. "The international community applauded Cuba for signing a piece of paper — but on the abuses that same week, much of the world was silent."
Bush has renewed his focus on Cuba since Fidel Castro officially stepped down last month after decades ruling the island. Fidel's brother, Raul, took over as president in the ailing leader's place. He had been provisional president since his brother, who led the nation for nearly a half a century, underwent emergency surgery in July 2006.
But Bush said any speculation that the leadership shift would affect U.S. policy toward Cuba "is exactly backward."
"So far, all Cuba has done is replace one dictator with another," the president said. "This is the same system, the same faces, and the same policies that led Cuba to its miseries in the first place."