Lincoln Steffens (left) was the first "useful idiot," to use Lenin's pungent phrase, meaning a naïve and idealistic Westerner who swallows propaganda as if it were champagne and vomits forth effusive moral praise of the monstrous. Steffens visited the Soviet Union- which turned out to be, other than that of Communist China, by far the most murderous regime in human history- in the early days of the Revolution, and enthused, "I have seen the future, and it works!"
Eventually, even Steffens wised up about the glories of the Russian revolution. It seems that there are Americans who never will wise up about the Cuban one.
Speaking as I did in a recent post of my soon-to-be-retired-and-entirely-unlamented senator, Tom Harkin, it seems that he and similarly clueless public radio announcer Ray Suarez have recently engaged in naïve and ill-informed praise of one of the most disastrous but best-propagandized aspects of the Cuban revolution, its health care system.
Ever since Michael Moore made his silly and deceitful film Sicko, the Left has been falling all over itself in praise of the Cuban health care system- a fine system indeed, for those few who can access it. The trouble is that only party members and foreigners visiting Cuba ever had that access. The quality of health care available to the average Cuban is appalling, and compared to what poor Americans had available even before Obamacare it is nothing less than barbaric.
But facts don't matter to the Left. What matters is The Narrative. And in the effort to salvage the shipwreck that is the Affordable Care Act, the Narrative requires that intelligent men like Suarez and Harkin play the role they each have pretty much made careers of playing: naïve sycophants of monsters, and apologists for the indefensible.