Over 50 years ago a campaigning John F. Kennedy had to defend his Catholicism against suspicions that he would have mixed allegiances and even defer to the Pope. He later presided over an intense period of conflict between Cuba and the United States, including the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Yesterday, President Obama announced the restoration of full relations with Cuba. It turns out that he made this decision in consultation with the Pope. In the Vatican.
Funny thing is, it seems like the folks who were most suspicious of Kennedy’s Catholicism then were from the same places where today people call Obama a Kenyan-Muslim-socialist-fascist. So there’s a long conspiracy in there somewhere.
More seriously, I’ll also note the deafening silence from the American left regarding Obama’s meeting with the Pope on this historical U.S. foreign relations shift. Imagine the response if it were a Republican President who consulted with a religious (more specifically, Christian) leader. I have to think that instead of cheers there would be endless tirades against this dangerous mixing of religion and government. And, of course, there would be denouncements regarding how little the president demanded of the Cuban government regarding human rights, while opening the door for U.S. corporations. The right would figure out some way to praise this shift as brave, a show of strength and enduring American compassion. And millions of Americans would have a completely different understanding of the same event, essentially swapping beliefs based on the president’s political party. That’s my opinion.
UPDATE: Corrected typos and a reader alerted me that the original had the wrong DK. Updated to reflect JFK.