Quico says: So Chávez has wound up his Bushwhacking Tour 2007, to the general delight of the kind of people who generally delight in that sort of thing. This time, he dissed Pol Pot, Hitler and Attila the Hun by calling the US "the cruellest, most terrible, most cynical, most murderous empire that has existed in all of history." Then he called Bush a political corpse, and later a "son of a dot-dot-dot," letting his rabid Argentine ñángara audience fill in the blank.
Like the fat, sweaty Ann Coulter of the left he increasingly resembles, Chávez has trapped himself in a never-ending contest to one-up himself. See, once you've called George W. Bush a "murderous monster", there's no point just calling him a "monster" next time: it won't get reported. If you want to make some waves, you're gonna have to call him a "child-bombing murderous monster" next time, and a "drunk, child-bombing murderous monster" the time after that. Once started, it's a cycle you can't really stop.
In vintage Coulter fashion, Chávez's rhetoric has sunk to unimaginable depths as he chases that next big, incendiary headline. His need to continually crank up the hyperbole has led him deeper and deeper into territory so absurd, so foul, so repugnant that, by now, all but the fringiest of the lefty fringe recognize him as a liability; an embarrassment to the cause.
Even The Nation recognized the guy had gone over the edge long ago, running this tongue-in-cheek bit last year:
Actually, this cuts the other way as well: failing to realize how absurd, how foul, how repugnant chavista overstatement has gotten pretty much qualifies you as a member in good standing of the fringiest of the lefty fringe by now. I mean, I hate to break it to you, but if you hear the guy saying that George W. Bush makes Adolf Hitler look like a suckling baby and you find yourself nodding in agreement, that right there is a pretty good indication that you're a crank.
And that's another parallel with Coulter: adherence to the compendia of overheated gobbledygook that Chávez mistakes for an ideology has become an excellent proxy for your overall political judgment. I mean, if you don't even have the sense to realize what a buffoon Hugo Chávez is, why should you expect anyone to take you seriously on anything else?