Thursday, September 21, 2006

Democrats warn Chavez: Don't bash Bush

"Because we want to do the same thing when we get elected!"

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two of President Bush's staunchest domestic critics leapt to his defense Thursday, a day after one of his fiercest foreign foes called him "the devil" in a scorching speech before the United Nations.

"You don't come into my country; you don't come into my congressional district and you don't condemn my president," Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, scolded Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez."

Is this the kind of opposition party anyone wants as an alternative to the Bush regime? An opposition party that not only can't criticise the elected president properly, but doesn't tolerate that anyone else does? An opposition party that does the dirty work for the ruling party by picking a quote out of context and ignoring all the other valid points that Chavez made about the behaviour of the US on the international scene?

But no, if you're not an American, you can't criticise the President (and if you are, you're an insurgent):

"If there's any criticism of President Bush, it should be restricted to Americans, whether they voted for him or not," Rangel said at a Washington news conference.

"I just want to make it abundantly clear to Hugo Chavez or any other president: Don't come to the United States and think, because we have problems with our president, that any foreigner can come to our country and not think that Americans do not feel offended when you offend our chief of state," Rangel said.

Translation: we can invade and bomb Middle Eastern countries, we can topple democratic leaders and prop up puppets all over South America, steal the Mexican elections, and support a military coup against you, but how dare you come to our country to criticise us!

In any country that has a semblance of democracy, this would have been a grandiose opportunity for a real opposition party to point out how the country's image is suffering from the ruling party's imperial practices and bring new ideas to redress those grievances as part of an electoral platform.

Who needs a single-party system with opposition like that?

By the way, since the media refuses to give any real coverage of Chavez' speech, here's the full text.

UPDATE: Here's a video of Hagel's comments.

And Chavez' speech.

Oh, another thing: the Democrats conveniently ignore the part of Chavez' speech where he says he wants the UN out of the United States. Presumably, it means that he doesn't want to have to go to the US to voice his opinions about Bush So what is all the complaining about?


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