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Rethinking things from Tuesday, Part II

Last Tuesday, I condemned Pat Robertson for his calling for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. A lot of other people started talking, too.

It looks like Ol' Pat (what IS it about that name? Him AND Pat Buchanan, both assholes) got himself in a bit of hot water, but on the other hand, it looks like he might have done some good, after all.

A lot of people are starting to talk about Hugo Chavez, and I've learned (or re-learned) quite a bit about the President For Life Wannabe. He has pretty much been re-writing the laws and the Constitution to suit himself, packed the Supreme Court with compliant cronies, and is cozying up to Fidel Castro while talking about the Latin American Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere. And he's been rallying support by villianizing the United States, even (as Robertson noted) accusing the US of trying to assassinate him.

Hell, you know he's bad when even Human Rights Watch has two full pages on Venezuela.

So, I'm having to modify my opinion of Pat Robertson. While I still think he's an asshole, under the "even a broken clock is right twice a day" theory, I think he's done a service by drawing attention to the issue. I think we might have a candidate for a useful idiot on the right.

Regardless, I still think his medications need adjusting. Or just finally put out to pasture.


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Comments (17)

Yeah, and Castro sent milit... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Yeah, and Castro sent militia to Venezuela under guise of being "healthcare workers" who are 'permanently onloan' to Chavez while otherwise further ensuring militant marxism in the place with Chavez's blessing (in return, Chavez sent Castro food and oil). The people of Cuba have pretty scathingly horrible "healthecare" available, among other deplorables, and yet they are at the ready and fully charged for Chavez.

Go read:
therealcuba.com

Chavez and the drug cartels are Venezuela today. No wonder the guy's so full of himself, or, at least, something.

Don't forget about Jerry Fa... (Below threshold)

Don't forget about Jerry Falwell!!!! He's an asshole as well!

First <a href="http://www.c... (Below threshold)
-S-:

First they offer you cheap gasoline, then they offer you free healthcare, then they steal your house and businesses, steal your chldren and eat you fer supper.

It all depends from which s... (Below threshold)

It all depends from which side of the political spectrum Pres. Chavez is viewed from!
You state that he has been re-writing the Constitution, you also might like to add that he has also won seven national ballots, including the approval of a new Constitution, an overhaul of the notoriously corrupt judiciary, two national legislative elections, two presidential elections and one attempted presidential recall.
As for cosying up to Castro, I would ask what is wrong with importing some of Castro's ideas, such as an almost 100% literacy, and neighbourhood doctors into his country! I do not hold with much of Castro's ideology, but in certain areas, the man has his points!
The fact that his political enemies include most of the people who benefited under the years of the previously corrupt administrations is undoubted, and also understandable! They have lost out, and they want it back.
Chavez, strangely enough, has the support of many who believe that social betterment is possible through a quiet revolution!

I knew Chavez had his propo... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

I knew Chavez had his proponents. He must be seen as the new Red Hope. So who cares if theres a few human rights abuses here or there.

If Chavez was to stay in his own little corrupt world, You could sell me that he is the Venezuelans problem. But he's expressed the interest in expanding his borders.

He's also not only not co-operating against terrorism, but probably helping it in this hemisphere if this story is correct:
http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20030901-023555-6981r

Mike, I hear what you say b... (Below threshold)
Ed:

Mike, I hear what you say but I don't see results, just the squandering of US$300 billion is six years. You are falling for the chavista propaganda and disinformation machine. Oil money buys a lot of things these days, including the conciousness of activists, leftists, journalists, opportunists, bankers, lawyers, politicians, academics and lobbyists to name important ones. I am an enemy of the regime yet I defy your description of one. Do your homework: www.venezuelatoday.net

The Venezuelan government h... (Below threshold)
Petunia:

The Venezuelan government has a propaganda office in Washington called The Venezuela Information Office (VIO) with the sole purpose of trolling the media and blogs to defend Chavez. Activists have uncovered attempts to dissuage major newspapers from publishing editorials unfavorable to Chavez, with so-called "Action Alerts" initiated in this office in Washington. Newspapers are flooded with emails which resemble reader feedback, though they originate from the VIO. Any and all defenses posted on any of these sites should be taken with a grain of salt, as many are probably directly funded by the so-called Bolivarian Revolution. Or as Venezuelans like to call it, "Robo-lution", which means, "Thievery-Lution".

So what are the standards t... (Below threshold)

So what are the standards that must be met to be labeled an "asshole" by the Robertson/Falwell model? Standing by one's beliefs and convictions when they're in opposition to a majority of society? Calling actions "wrong" based upon those beliefs and convictions? Being unwilling to compromise those deep-rooted beliefs to suit changing social trends?

I'm not defending their every action, mind you, I am just trying to stimulate some thought on the matter. Anyone is prone to make a boneheaded statement from time to time, and while these guys get much press when they say something perceived as such, considering their long careers in the spotlight and the intense scrutiny their position carries from society, haven't they managed a better-than-average track record than would have most people? Even in their fields as televangelists, they have remained while the likes of Orel Roberts, James Robinson, Jimmy Swaggert, and others have faded into oblivion as a result of much-publicized stumbles.

I suspect that most people's problem with Falwell and Robertson stems from the fact that they have the gall to point out perceived wrongs in society that have become "sacred cows" in the mindset of political correctness and tolerance. They have chosen to be a little more hard-edged and to address more controversial issues than Billy Graham, but remember that without hardliners like Martin Luther, there would likely be no Christian denomination other than the Catholic/Anglican, and much of society would still be directly controlled by that denomination. Sometimes people being a little "assholish" (by popular definition) brings about real change for the good.

Of course, the simple explanation is that in the public eye they represent Christianity, the only "intolerable" religion in a culture of "tolerance."

I suspect that most peop... (Below threshold)
andy:

I suspect that most people's problem with Falwell and Robertson stems from the fact that they have the gall to point out perceived wrongs in society that have become "sacred cows" in the mindset of political correctness and tolerance.

Or it could have something to do with their being, you know, assholes. But then what do I know? After all, I'm one of those secularists that caused 9/11 (or was that just the lesbians and abortion-rights folks that did that, I can't recall).

They have chosen to be a little more hard-edged and to address more controversial issues than Billy Graham, but remember that without hardliners like Martin Luther....

Of course, if Martin Luther had gotten his way, there'd be a lot fewer Jews around too. Not the best example there.

Vodkapundit pointed out tha... (Below threshold)

Vodkapundit pointed out that if Robertson is so opposed to dictators, why is he making millions of dollars off them?

See this.

Not that I care one way or another about this. Personally, I think Robertson's remarks are not all that far out of line with what other public figures have said about assassination in the past, and that the MSM is treating this as if Robertson is a GOP spokesman speaking official GOP policy.

Apparently, I screwed up th... (Below threshold)

Apparently, I screwed up the html tags on my previous post. Try this

If that doesn't work, the link is:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A5339-2001Nov9¬Found=true

And one more thing. I've h... (Below threshold)

And one more thing. I've heard somebody compare Robertson as being roughly equivalent with Michael Moore, only on the right. But this is absurd. I don't hear very many Democrats calling Moore an idiot. Also, I don't see Robertson invited to sit in a seat of honor next to an ex-president at the national party convention.

Or it could have somethi... (Below threshold)

Or it could have something to do with their being, you know, assholes. But then what do I know? After all, I'm one of those secularists that caused 9/11 (or was that just the lesbians and abortion-rights folks that did that, I can't recall).

Oh, that's original. He is one, because I say he is. At least you didn't go into pratter about how "mama says it's because he got all those teeth and no toothbrush . . ."

Like most folks, you totally missed the point of those comments about 9/11--Falwell expressed that America cannot deny God at every turn with impunity. In endorsing what he considers sinful activity, Falwell felt that the nation stood (and still stands) at risk of feeling God's wrath. I personally feel that the things Falwell mentioned were partly responsible, but not because we called down "God's wrath." Quite frankly, 9/11 didn't constitute an eyedropper in the ocean compared to the wrath of an Almighty God. The role those things played, in my opinion, was to intensify Muslims' perception of us as a nation of infidels--one that needs to be destroyed, according to their beliefs. Was it a smart statement, all things considered? No. Was it any more out of line than all the pleas to "try to understand" the terrorists? Nope.

Of course, if Martin Luther had gotten his way, there'd be a lot fewer Jews around too. Not the best example there.

Actually a very good example, one that proves my point. Thanks for bringing it out. Luther was a harsh, opinionated, individual, an individual who, regardless of the good he brought about, was still prone to err. Are you going to dismiss his accomplishments in light of his error? Further, are you going to equate a statement that suggests the assasination of tyrant with someone else's published writings calling for the torching of Synagogues?

OregonMuse, you hit the nail on the head. Republicans have been characterized as rabid Christians ever since the "United States of Canada/Jesusland" meme came out. Anything that the MSM can use to tie the GOP to the most extreme branches of Christianity, or to make Christians (and by association, the GOP) look ignorant and/or dangerous, they'll play it up for all it's worth.

How do you know Robertson d... (Below threshold)

How do you know Robertson didn't mean he wanted to "take Chavez out" to lunch, or coffee, or something, huh? Maybe a movie, dancing?

Thank you for that mental p... (Below threshold)

Thank you for that mental picture, Sean.

I think BoDiddly makes a good point. Calling somebody an "asshole" because you don't agree with what they say even though they are merely sticking to what they believe (even when it becomes unpopular) is a bit dishonest.

I'm not saying I like Robertson (I don't), but the man had the guts to say, on national television, something that was bound to garner protest and screams of outrage. And he's probably right, which makes it all the more unpopular.

You have to be an "asshole"... (Below threshold)
Dan:

You have to be an "asshole" to call someone else an "asshole". If you disagree with someone, make your point intelligently - if you can. Throwing curse words around only makes you look like the loons from DU. The only person you are belittling is yourself. What happened to civility in this country?

What happened to civilit... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What happened to civility in this country?

That's a good one, Dan.

Jay, I looked at the HRW page, and I'm not saying there aren't things to be concerned about on the "two full pages" on Venezuela, as there clearly are, but I just thought I'd note that Columbia, Venezuela's neighbor and our ally, has 7 full pages. The United States has 55. FYI.




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