[media id=4316] [media id=4317] (h/t Heather)
Look at this! Just days after her primary win over Bush Dog Al Wynn and before she will be sworn in, Donna Edwards is already getting face time on major news shows. That's a rising star for you. Chris Matthews brings Edwards on to temper the right wing fear mongering of Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana, who apparently has still bought into the great bogeyman of the Cold War era: the Communist. Castro's despotic and tyrannical rule over Cuba was because he was a 1) despot and 2) tyrant...not because he was a communist. But don't tell that to Burton.
Notwithstanding that Cuba has represented absolutely no threat to the U.S. since Khrushchev scuttled his missiles, braying pols and official U.S. policy have continued to buttress Castro's status as a hemispheric bogeyman, oblivious to all measurable reality, much less simple reason. Sure, we've traded liberally all through the Clinton and Bush years with far more vicious authoritarian regimes, from Indonesia and China to Colombia-- which we've armed to the teeth largely to enable fascist paramility Klansmen to murder campesinos so that U.S. corporations can clear-cut their land -- but bring up Cuba, the notion of even relaxing nearly a half-century of teeth-gnashing hostility and economic strangulation, and you might as well be Neville Chamberlain in Munich. The reason, of course, is simple political triangulation: the much-contested Florida electorate and its population of right-wing Cubans. [..]
And curiously, Hardball turned to not-yet-even-elected Donna Edwards, of all the Democrats available, to counterpoint Burton. As yet unschooled on the triangulative realities of real politick, herself actually having been to Cuba, Edwards offered the simple admonishments that engaging a society and finding commonalities, versus demonizing them, versus playing global tough guy, might lead to the rudimentary markets and freedoms we'd like to encourage, especially after Helms-Burton had so plainly not worked-- and, by the way, after playing global tough guy combined with neolib trade dogma has nearly broken the damn country. "We need to re-establish relations with Cuba on issues of travel, even family travel," she told Tweety, " [to] establish dialogue on the ground so that when the transition happens, Cubans have information to make their own decision about their economic future."