'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Fount of Barking Idiocy 

As long time readers of this blog are surely aware I've kind of been phoning it in all summer, last night, however, I took ten minutes and wrote a post about Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of Hugo Chavez. That post surprisingly got some play; apparently I was the only commentator who took the time to, umm, summarize the basic facts of recent Venezuelan history. Since then, the whole Robertson story turned into a big bloggy mess, John Stewart mentioned it, etc. ... which is odd given that normally Venezuela seems to exist just beyond the event horizon of Ye Olde Memory Hole-- you know, perhaps if Tom Delay was somehow involved...

Anyway, I was kind of interested and surprised by the big and not so big rightwing bloggers' take on the matter. For instance this from The Captain's Quarters, which I gather is like a low-rent Instapundit:

When conservatives want to find something juicy to fisk, we turn to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. When liberals want to do the same, they turn to Pat Robertson, who fulfills much the same role as the Strib as a fount of barking idiocy. Today, score one for the port side of the blogosphere, as Media Matters notes Robertson's latest insanity on Hugo Chavez. On today's 700 Club, Robertson endorses the assassination plot that sprang from Chavez' overactive imagination [...] Unfortunately, we have to work a little harder to make it clear that calling for the assassination of a head of state of a country with which we are not in conflict amounts to political insanity.

or this from some other righty blog called "Outside the Beltway" which links favorably to the above:

Seventeen bloggers (and counting) are on the story that Pat Robertson is insane. This is hardly breaking news. [ ... ]

The usual suspects on the Left are weighing in, of course, lumping all of the Right in with Robertson. Since many on the Right do the same with Jesse Jackson and Michael Moore, I suppose that's par for the course.

Thankfully, Robertson is getting plenty of scorn from even the non-libertarian Right.

I really don't know what to make of these sorts of statements from these sorts of sources. Seriously I'm a little bit confused; I guess pleasantly confused.

Don't the Captain's Quarters guy and the Outside the Beltway guy get that Pat Robertson's idea really wasn't that radical? These people have been comparing Chavez to Castro as long as Chavez has been in power and, lord knows, it's not insane to talk about assassinating Castro -- just ask the CIA. So where is all this rightwing outrage coming from? Robertson called for some "covert operatives" to do a "job and then get it over with" and these guys are calling that insane? -- I'm sure that Salvador Allende would have a pertinent contribution to the discussion at this point if, you know, he wasn't dead.

I'm not saying that Allende's suicide was an assassination, because, lord knows, I can't support such a claim with hyperlinks, but what's on the public record is pretty clear: the US was actively involved in overthrowing a democratically elected president, aiding, to quote CNN, "coup-plotters, false propagandists and assassins". The project was ultimately successful and the democratically elected government of Chile was replaced with a brutal military dictatorship characterized primarily by its use of torture and terror against dissidents.

Which, I suppose, had there been a blogosphere back in 1973, would have gotten "plenty of scorn" from even "the non-libertarian Right."...

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