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Informing Menendez about the Cuba Policy

March 10th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Not the first example of amazing Obama Administration political stupidity, but a particularly clear one:

Menendez knew that his hard-line approach to Cuba was a minority view within his party, and that it was at odds with Obama’s approach. But he did not expect to discover a significant policy change embedded in the text on an appropriations bill. His policy aides came across the language when the legislation was posted on a congressional Web site.

“The process by which these changes have been forced upon this body is so deeply offensive to me, and so deeply undemocratic, that it puts the omnibus appropriations package in jeopardy, in spite of all the other tremendously important funding that this bill would provide,” the enraged son of Cuban immigrants said last week on the Senate floor. Menendez even slapped a hold on a pair of Obama nominees to draw attention to the issue.

It isn’t playing by the rules to try to hide Cuba policy in a money bill from members of your own party, and isn’t smart to do it when you’re sure to be caught. Not only is it rude, but it implies that Obama doesn’t care about his own senators’ careers: he wanted Menendez to vote for the bill and only then find out his political survival was at risk.

What Obama should have done was realize that Menendez would dislike the new policy and tell him in advance that it was coming, and perhaps make a deal with him. The stupidity and rudeness is in not informing him at all.

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