Sometimes, it’s just too easy.
Yesterday, I wrote about New Hampshire’s governor looking to score some cheap oil from Venezuela’s leftist strongman, Hugo Chavez. The reason I believe it is such a bad idea:
Foreign policy is one of the places where the federal government does — and should — have supremacy. The several states have no business making individual deals with foreign governments. And in this case, it is abundantly clear what Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez is trying to do — to drive a wedge between the states and the federal government, and the people and the federal government.
Chavez apparently thinks he can entice the American people into taking a stand against Washington’s policies, and while I doubt he expects a full-blown People’s Revolution, he might be hoping to erode enough support to effect some changes in DC.
This apparently irritated jreid, one of the more rabid leftists who likes to comment around here. His comment:
I suppose it hasn’t occurred to any of you that Chavez’s arrogance in seeking to cut separate deals with U.S. cities for cheap oil (via full page ads in major papers and through the U.S. subsidiary to his country’s national oil company — ever hear of Citgo?) is testament to the utter lack of regard Latin America has for the U.S. under the current president? Mr. Bush in effect has no Latin American foreign policy, has no Venezuela policy (and no oil policy for that matter) and he has fiddled while country after country fades to the far left. Meanwhile, guess who is quickly becoming the new power on the LatAm block? Try China, which is cutting major economic deals across the continent, filling the growing chasm between the U.S. and the countries in our own back yard.
Mr. Reid actually restates my concerns, but apparently doesn’t grasp the importance of it. So I’ll spell it out for him:
The United States government is the sole voice of the nation when it comes to other nations. That supremacy of the federal government was one of the causes of the Civil War. Further, one nation attempting to subvert the central government and meddle into another nation’s internal affairs, with the sole goal of causing dissention, is almost universally condemned and — in extreme cases — an act of war.
What Chavez is trying to do is to, in essence, bribe the several states into challenging the federal government’s right to be the sole voice of American foreign policy. This is the sort of thing that usually gets people and nations greatly exercised; it’s the Abramoff scandal writ large, the Oil For Food scam without the veil of secrecy.
Mr. Reid also makes another point for me — that the pathological hatred of Bush so blinds people, that they will do, think, and believe anything and everything to express that feeling — even if it means scrapping our entire structure of government.
Oh, and yes, Mr. Reid, I am aware that Citgo is owned by the Venezuelan government. That is precisely why I have not bought gas from a Citgo station in a very, very long time.