"Estefans' new collaboration hits sour note
By JACKIE BUENO SOUSASource MiamiHerald.com
"If Gloria Estefan decides to sing a tune while hosting President Barack Obama at her home Thursday, she may want to consider her 1989 hit Cuts Both Ways.
'Cause you and I are dangerous
We want too much and life ain't that wayDon't ask for more
Don't be a fool
Haven't we already broken every rule
The Estefans may have broken more than a rule when they decided to host a <snip>tail reception for the president during his visit to South Florida on Thursday. Estefan, along with husband Emilio, also broke a bond that had united them with Miami's Cuban community, whose members largely oppose the president's agenda.
The Estefans, for their part, have implied that they're simply using the opportunity to increase awareness about the Cuban people's plight. What's more, they note that they believe in supporting good candidates regardless of party.
They would have a convincing argument except for one very important detail: The event isn't merely a conversation about Cuba with the president while sipping a cortadito. Nor is it designed to raise funds for a particular cause or candidate they support.
They are hosting a $30,400-a-couple fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee, and, by extension, helping to fund the entire Democratic Party agenda. It's a proactive, partisan stance that goes well beyond, say, deciding to sing at a presidential inauguration or accepting a presidential appointment to oversee a nonpartisan cause.
Mention the Estefans and many no longer conjure up images of freedom and catchy tunes. Now -- rightly or wrongly -- many associate the name with Obamacare, abortion, powerful unions, creation of a welfare state.
The event also means the Estefans are helping to promote Democratic Party candidates, regardless of whether a particular candidate espouses ideas they would support. In other words, the decision to hold the fundraiser is the opposite of their stated belief of being nonpartisan when it comes to choosing our leaders.
Of course, the Estefans can try to assert their belief in partisan neutrality by holding a high-profile fundraiser in the future for the Republican Party. Such a move, however, likely would be viewed as little more than an attempt at damage control. That being the case, Gloria Estefan's hit Seal Our Fate may be the appropriate song for Thursday's event.
Surely, you say, it's not as bad as
You make it sound
If we make a mistake
You can always turn it back around....
Before you know it's gotten way out of hand
In ways that you had never dreamed of
Never worth the price you pay in the end
The announcement that they would host the fundraiser for the president was only hours old when I started hearing friends and relatives talk about throwing away all their Gloria Estefan CDs. Soon bloggers were labeling them as traitors. In one swoop, all the good will they had built with so many followers, all the years of supporting nonpartisan causes such as freedom and human rights, seemed to disappear. In many ways, that's not fair to the couple, who have done so many good things to help our community.
Yet the reaction also is a reminder that, like freedom, celebrity can be a two-edged sword, best wielded with careful forethought. The Estefans, like all celebrities, have the right to support a particular candidate, to support a particular cause. Just as it's their right to support a political party.
Not supporting the Estefans in their effort, well, that's everyone else's right.
It cuts both ways."