Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Robertson's Remarks and Fallout

Pat Robertson might do well to keep in mind that a lifetime's work of building credibility can be undone in a day. Just ask Connie Chung, Dan Rather, and Howell Raines. So after Pat's comments about the assassination of Hugo Chavez, and this less than helpful revision.

First, let nothing in this post be understood to in any way convey the impression that assassinations of heads of state or their advocacy is a good thing. What Pat Robertson said was stupid, and probably little more will come of it, despite reports that Jesse Jackson is asking that the FCC do something to squelch this bit of free (and dumb) speech with which he disagrees. It's Pat Robertson's right to say anything he wants, notwithstanding its stupidity. Just ask Howard Dean. Similarly, it is ours to be critical of it. And to avoid the argument I have heard, that his remarks were akin to crying fire in a crowded theater, endorsing assassination does not mean that the United States Government will, in a reflex action, send a sniper team to take Chavez out in response. It is neither analogous nor thoughtful a comparison. Pat Robertson's comments and the above revision, (courtesy of Drudge), will have whatever effect for him that they will. He wrote a very big check against his reputation.

But then we have Robertson's target, Hugo Chavez. Without going into a exhaustive description of his political philosophies, suffice it to say that Hugo Chavez is Fidel Castro with oil. He won an election this time last year by stealing it, while Jimmy Carter endorsed the election as valid, despite exit polls by a reputable firm that showed an exactly opposite result. But this should surprise nobody as Jimmy Carter is a leftist dictator's best friend. Chavez matters because his nation sits on huge oil reserves. Which is why Castro is largely ignored. Cigars only make a difference in people's humidors.

But the upside to this is that Chavez--like Fidel--along with being a leftist jackboot dictator, is also a conspiracy wingnut. He is certain that the U.S. is planning to assassinate him. Hearing word from a major conservative religious figure in the U.S. who is a Bush supporter, that his days may be numbered has not comforted Chavez. Rather, it just confirms his suspicions. Chavez cannot really get any more anti-U.S. than he is, so things likely won't get worse. But it may tone the guy down some, if it has any effect at all. All with a likely zero net effect.

Chavez is more of a dolt who likes money and power. And if the U.S., which purchases the majority of Venezuelan oil stops sending its dollars south, Chavez's will sink.

The whole thing will come to nothing.

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