November 27, 2007

Hugo Chavez Questions Their Patriotism

Ah, Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s scrappy and garrulous President, is a gift that keeps on giving. Without fail, we love to return to his nefarious antics, because they—time and time again—demonstrate the rank hypocrisy of far leftists who complain about President Bush’s eroding of civil liberties.

Simply put, Hugo Chavez makes George W. Bush look like democracy itself. Hence the difficulty for our far Left pals: They pretend to support civil liberties and to loathe the quashing of dissent, and thus they must twist themselves into mental pretzels in order to cheerlead for the odious President Chavez.

Amongst the complaints of our far Left friends, surely the one most commonly heard relates to right-wing charges of insufficient patriotic fervor. The Right, claim our far Left friends, is incessantly questioning our patriotism. And this is disgusting.

Well, take a look at the latest news on Hugo Chavez, the far Left’s peerless democrat:

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - President Hugo Chavez warned his supporters on Friday that anyone voting against his proposed constitutional changes would be a "traitor," rallying his political base before a referendum that would let him seek unlimited re-election in 2012 and beyond.

Brandishing a little red book listing his desired 69 revisions to Venezuela's charter, Chavez exhorted his backers to redouble their efforts toward a victorious "yes" vote in the Dec. 2 ballot.

"He who says he supports Chavez but votes 'no' is a traitor, a true traitor," the president told an arena packed with red-clad supporters. "He's against me, against the revolution and against the people."

His speech followed the recent high-profile defection of his former Defense Minister Gen. Raul Baduel, a longtime ally who called the president's proposed reforms a "coup." Others have also broken with the Chavista movement in recent months, including politicians of the small left-leaning party Podemos.

Chavez's opponents accuse him of concentrating power and seeking to be president-for-life like his close friend Fidel Castro of Cuba. Chavez insists he will only stay on as long as Venezuelans continue to vote for him.

"If you don't approve (the referendum), maybe we'll have time for a parachute jump in five years," Chavez, a former paratrooper, told the crowd. "But if you wish—if you approve the referendum—I will stay as long as God wills! Until the last bone of my skeleton dries out!"

The proposed revisions would do away with presidential term limits, extend terms from six to seven years, let Chavez appoint regional vice presidents and eliminate Central Bank authority, among other changes.

What a delight: If you vote against his obvious power grab, you are a “traitor” to your country. Now there’s somebody who really understands the meaning of encouraging dissent. To our far Left friends, apparently, “dissent is patriotic,” provided it’s not aimed at a fledgling left-wing tyrant.

Just imagine if dumb ole’ George Bush informed voters that a failure to vote for a favored referendum made you a “traitor.” Would Katha Pollitt ever shut up about that? No. But our friends on the far Left will do their best to ignore Hugo’s shenanigans; it’s the only thing that’ll stop them from severe cognitive dissonance.

Posted at November 27, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack