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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Attention Hungry

Hugo Chavez made a spectacle of himself at the UN a few days ago. It's nothing new. The South American Dictator has a history of the type of hyperbole and grandiose speech and behavior that characterizes brutal socialist leaders. But that didn't shock me. Chavez has been steadily ruining his country under the guise of "helping the poor" for some time now. Apparently he either didn't get the memo about socialism being a failed experiment, or more likely, he knows and is using class warfare to stay in power for just a bit longer. But, all in all, I don't think he's particularly dangerous, despite the oil he controls. He's basically another Castro. He'll hurt his people and his country, and perhaps even dig them a hole that will take a century to get back out of. But I don't think he's a danger to us.

But here's where the story takes a turn. First, Hugo the Terrible brandished a copy of a a Noam Chomskey book while making his speech. I suppose one crazy arrogant overblown jackanapes deserves another. (And by the way, if you think I put in that part just so I could use the word Jackanapes, you are a sage observor.) But today on the way in, I saw a sign that promised some humorous hijinks on AM 950, if one would only turn the dial there from 8 to 11. Little did I know that it was Air America radio. Frankly, little did anyone know, except perhaps the IRS and various creditors, who seem to be the only one interested in the slightest in Air America's operation. But I turned this on, and it was a Hugo Chavez love-fest. Some woman called in claiming that all African-Americans realized that Hugo was right and that Bush is the devil. Another woman called in, and after getting the commonplace "Bush is Hitler" routine out of the way, proceeded to praise Chavez to high heaven. She included a quote that Chavez and the peoples of the world saw Katrina and decided they didn't want "that kind of freedom". Meanwhile, the host (without a trace of humor as far as I could tell), good-naturedly concurred with all these opinions, agreeing that Chavez was the man.

I wanted to call in for a second, and ask if the world had gone mad. I know the left hates the President. I know they'd like nothing better than to impeach him. But is a little perspective TOO MUCH to ask? And again I'm fully aware that it was talk radio, and the Right's talk radio mavens annoy me almost as much with their polemics. But the fact that some Americans actually admire Hugo Chavez is unbelievable. The absolutely offensive and frankly imbecelic comparison to Hitler is one thing. I suppose it's far worse than admiring a blowhard with socialistic ambitions. But HOW can you admire Chavez? How can people who profess admiration for the expensive and absolutley worthless institution of the UN admire a man who made a mockery of the whole idea of reasoned speech bridging the gap between nations? Sure, there might be some sensual enjoyment from hearing a man (who you hate more than anything else) called the Devil. Sure. But at what point do you wake up? WAKE UP! It's time to set aside the petty Bush-bashing and Anti-American Dictator loving and advance some new ideas. Some have advanced the idea that the Democratic Party is the party of new ideas. I'm not seeing it. I'm seeing people who are so idea-less and leaderless that they express admiration for somebody's whose act is tired, but whose ideas at least SOUND interesting (to somebody with no understanding of economics). Our two-party system cannot long continue is such an environment. I'm already on record that the Republican Party is losing its way and needs to wake up and smell the coffee. But I sure don't have any hope of the Democratic Party, in the grips of the absolutly insane minority of people whose voices, insistent and loud, are pushing the party towards absolute lunacy.

(Hey, I never said polemics weren't fun to deliver. And at least I'm not running for something, or, to my knowledge, admired by any influential people in either party.)

EDIT: Apparently, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Rangel somewhat agree with me. I'm abashed.


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