Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, speaks as he is joined by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, left, and other House Democrats calling for passage of the Keep Families Together Act, legislation to end the Trump Administration’s policy of separating families at the US-Mexico border, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. It is the House companion to the legislation already introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Now, one would think that it’s an easy and simple thing to be able to condemn the horrors of Communist Cuba.
Cuba represses their people, they’ve killed thousands, they caused further thousands to have to flee to the U.S. for freedom. It shouldn’t be hard.
Of course, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), the socialist who is right now at the top of the Democratic pile, maybe he’s defended them and praised Communist dictatorships in the past. But surely, even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have indicated they would be comfortable with the socialist at the top of the ticket, surely most Democrats don’t think that way, do they?
But apparently they do.
After Sanders made his remarks defending Cuba, saying it wasn’t all bad and that they had created a “massive literacy program” on Sunday, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) introduced a resolution to condemn Sanders’ remarks. Diaz-Balart explained that the resolution declares “solidarity with the people of Cuba as they struggle against totalitarianism while demanding human rights, democracy, and freedom.”
What did the Democrats do?
Every Democrat there voted to block it. Not one condemned the remarks.
Even the Florida Democrats who had publicly criticized Sanders’ comments refused to stand by their principles for their constituents — Rep. Donna Shalala and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel skipped out of the vote in a cowardly move.
As the Free Beacon notes, they both were there for the next vote.
Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D., Fla.) and Donna Shalala (D., Fla.) did not vote on the resolution, though both voted on the item immediately following it and Shalala spoke on the House floor just minutes before missing the vote. Both Democrats slammed Sanders following his defense of Castro. Mucarsel-Powell called the comments “absolutely unacceptable” and Shalala asked Sanders to “speak to some of my constituents before [deciding] to sing the praises of a murderous tyrant.”
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D., Fla.) also criticized Sanders’s comments, calling them “ill-informed and insulting.” However, she voted to block Diaz-Balart’s resolution.
“You cannot condemn Israel and compliment Castro and win in Florida,” Murphy told Bloomberg News.
She’s right and hopefully, the GOP is pointing out how the Democrats failed to put their votes in the right place.
Diaz-Balart’s resolution condemned Castro’s “use of firing squads, imprisonment, torture, and acts of repudiation to suppress dissent in totalitarian Cuba.” The Florida Republican admonished his Democratic colleagues Thursday for voting to block the resolution.
“It’s shameful that House Democratic Leadership refused the opportunity to condemn Senator Bernie Sanders’s inaccurate, hurtful, and irresponsible comments on the racist, terrorist Castro regime,” Diaz-Balart said. “Unlike Sen. Sanders and House Democratic Leadership, I’m proud to, once again, stand with my Republican colleagues in solidarity with the Cuban people and not with the regime that oppresses them.”
Democrats are digging themselves a big hole with Sanders at the top of the ticket. Not only are they likely to lose the presidency, but by embracing him and defending the indefensible, they are embracing all the negatives up and down the line, and they are likely to lose big in down-ballot races as well.