March 23, 2004

Down the rabbit hole...

Sorry for my inability to get off this topic, pero a Wilpert se le esta pegando el Josevicentismo. As usual, I'll just pick him up on the one most nonsensical distortion in his essay. In reply to Sen. Kerry's statement, he "fires" back, in part...

"Perhaps it would have been good to mention at this point that the recall referendum was proposed by President Chavez and his party when the country's constitutional assembly wrote the new constitution. This fact directly contradicts Sen. Kerry's questioning of President Chavez' democratic credentials."

Take a second to digest this one. So now we're supposed to trip over ourselves to thank Chavez for having put an article in his constitution, which he has spent the last six months trying to subvert!

Chavez, Wilpert seems to say, has already proved he's a democrat by putting recall referenda in the constitution: only a pedant would then question him on the minor technicality that he's gone all out to prevent the citizenry from, y'know, actively exercising that right. Pish posh...menudeces.

By analogous reasoning, we have no grounds to complain of police brutality, political arrests, labor retaliation against those who signed, abuse of power, official corruption, cuban infiltration or any of Chavez's gillion other constitutional violations: after all, he specifically banned all these things in the constitution, so that must mean he's against them! Still, the opposition bitches! ¡Que mezquindad! ¿Quién nos entiende?

Honestly, we're so ungrateful. How dare we question the leader on these issues? We should be thanking him. Thank you, Comandante, thank you for your munificence in gifting us the rights you then turn around and violate! Oh most benevolent Chavez, mea culpa for daring to question you. Mea culpa for my terrorist conspiratorial leanings in daring to sign against you, challenge your all-knowing enlightenment! Fire me, sir, I beg you! Punish me! Jail me! Smear me with pica pica powder! Beat me to show me how much you love me!

We're down the rabbit hole here, people.

As plenty of people in the Comments' section noted after his obscene NYTimes interview last week, Chavez reacts to opposition complaints of human rights abuses the way a wife-beater responds to a cop. "They just don't understand me!" "They don't have patience!" "I try to be kind and broad minded to them, but they keep provoking me!" Pathological, nasty, dangerous shit.

Still, it's enormously gratifying to see the useful fool brigade freak out as they realize nobody believes them anymore. I mean, the side-by-side comparison just doesn't look very good for them anymore. By my tally, we've got Jimmy Carter, Cesar Gaviria, Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa, John Kerry, Barnie Frank, Mario Vargas Llosa, Carlos Alberto Montaner, Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, the Interamerican Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Cofavic, the Bishop's Conference, Hipólito Mejías, Lula, Kirchner, Uribe, Fox, Lagos and the European Union. Who've they got? Lets see, Ignacio Ramonet, Don King, Carlos the Jackal,, Robert Mugabe, Tirofijo, Danny Glover, Vladimiro Montesinos, Jean Bertrand Aristide, Evo Morales, Greg Palast, Fidel Castro, Aporrea, Hebe de Bonafini, Marta Harnecker and Joselo.

It's not even close.