Actually, Obama was far better

I completely reject Mr. Milchen’s reliance on the tired canard, which the right wing always resorts to when presented with valid criticisms of Donald Trump (and succinctly used to title his letter): “But Obama was worse!” (January 4).

While Cuba’s human rights record remains wanting, it has made great strides from higher education to medical technology, in spite of a decades-long crushing U.S. embargo. Does Mr. Milchen seriously compare President Obama’s reasoned, partial rapprochement with our neighbor to the south to Trump’s poorly planned and recklessly executed summit with Kim Jong Un?

Does he seriously draw a comparison between Obama’s thoughtless offhand remark to the prior Russian president to Donald Trump’s disgraceful and uniformly criticized Helsinki press conference with Vladimir Putin in July 2018?

Mr. Milchen likely cites a 20-year-old GAO report, whose own authors clearly pointed out its limits. There are other, more recent reports that find the opposite conclusion. I don’t favor illegal immigration, but I do know that Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (that led to the I-9 form) into law in 1986 in order to criminalize the act of engaging in a “pattern or practice” of knowingly hiring an “unauthorized alien.” That’s right, Congress and the president rightly found employers partly encouraged illegal immigration.

And yes, Obama’s Justice Department overstepped its bounds regarding reporters’ right to protect their sources, but does Mr. Milchen seriously compare that to Trump and surrogates’ relentless attack on the media as a means of distortion and misdirection, blurring the lines between what is fake and what is genuine?

The fact is, Rabbi Aryeh Meir’s fear (“I am very afraid for my country,” December 28) is grounded in reality, but I too hope better times and better government are to come.

Louis Osman

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