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When Idiots Cry

The Miami Cubans Hit Bottom and Keep Going

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, April 26, 2000.

It is difficult to say if the Miami Cuban community hired consultants so that they could appear more ludicrous, but all indications suggest they have, probably provided by the same firm the Republicans hired to handle the impeachment hearing of Clinton. The raid by INS, for which much warning had been given, was an embarrassing exercise brought about by the community taking on all the macho postures of a bunch of kidnappers. Legally, they were. Far worse, nobody could find worse acting on a South American soap opera than provided by the very distant relatives of the resilient Elian Gonzales, who deserves better relatives, however distant.

With one exception. Elian's father has radiated authenticity and actual concern for the boy from day one. His bursts of temper seemed genuine, justified, and devoid of any concern about Fidel, his supposed puppeteer. In contrast, the blubbering idiots in Miami seem like a bigoted Central Casting's idea of overemotional Hispanic morons. The Miami Cubans will never recover from this fiasco, and I, for one, am glad.

Janet Reno, who despite all the condemnation is probably the only entirely independent thinker involved, was absolutely correct in the way she handled this. She knew that the Cuban community had no interest in giving up the boy. They are starved for attention, and he was their ticket. She also knew them for the mealy-mouthed macho frauds they are. When Elian's second or third cousin implied that if agents came, there were guns in the house, and when various members of the Miami peasantry threatened the lives of Clinton and Reno, and all the heroic threats of laying old women under the tires of agents' cars and a hand holding ring of freedom loving housewives preventing entrance to the house, she knew that they had to be confronted and she did so both quickly and efficiently.

As predicted, absolutely nobody fought for the boy or risked any harm to themselves outside of media range or for any more than camera time. Posturing frauds, and by their proclaimed but nonexistent standards, cowards. Never a group to let a chance for stupid remarks and outright lies to pass them by, the national Republican machine coughed, turned over and wheeled out, of all people, Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire, the tall, pudgy comb-over specialist known for both his stupidity and inability to attract even a double digit number of Republicans to support his recent Presidential bid in his home state. Smith emoted significant misinformation but was immediately challenged for the Idiot Cup by Tom DeLay. Delay, either lying outright or an actual idiot, said the raid was illegal because the warrant on which it was based only allowed a search for evidence, not the retrieval of Elian. The warrant, now on the Internet, clearly and specifically allows just that. This is the quality the Republicans bring to the debate.

Congressman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Republican who continues to say that Reno is an embarrassment, along with unusually obsequious Trent Lott in the Senate, are promising Congressional hearings. This is wonderful. Graham, one of the House Managers during the Impeachment, is such a lightweight none of the Republican Senators bothered to learn his name and referred to him as Congressman Lindsey during the hearings.  Lott two years ago condemned the legal attempts to have a Florida twelve year old removed from both of his parents because they were violent felons, abusive, and drug-users. Social workers, for the good of the child, were trying to make the child a ward of the court and save the kid. That was a threat to the family, said the alert Lott. But perhaps if the people involved had not been black and were likely to vote Republican, as the Miami Cubans slavishly do since the Bay of Pigs, Lott, that hero of the family, would not have fought to return a child to those circumstances. Clearly, Lott takes the opposite point of view when a child is threatened by the horrible prospect of being returned to a loving and sharp blood father with a family. This is the Republican Party today. It is a morass of hypocrisy.

Cuba celebrated, of course, when Castro read them the news. So what? The facts are these: Cuba is a nation of overpowering unimportance, even symbolically these days. Castro is verging on irrelevance. When he dies, god knows what will happen. If the Miami Cubans think they can return unhampered, they are delusional. If anyone thinks Cuba will continue communist, they are delusional. If anyone thinks there will not be much violence in that lovely island, they are insane. Cuba is going to have a violent future, and Elian may pay the price for that if he is of age then. But at least he will be playing a role in his country's future, not pretending to on the streets of Miami.