August 2, 2008

The Phantom Menace

Quico says: The more I think about the 26 Phantom Decree-laws Chávez "enacted" (but didn't publish) on Thursday, the angrier I get. Think about it. These people had a year and a half to publish these decrees...and they still didn't manage to turn them in on time!

It's totally nuts. And it leaves these decrees in a bizarre legal limbo. A law can't come into force until it's been published. That's Law 101 stuff, and it stands to reason, because the whole notion of a "secret law" is a contradiction in terms. How would you even know if you were breaking it?!

No matter what the government says, these 26 decrees do not have the rank and force of law right now. Publishing the title just doesn't cut it. The decrees can't be in force before the government gets around to publishing their full texts, which will presumably happen on Monday. El detalle is that Chávez's special powers to legislate by decree expired last Thursday: he simply has no legal basis to decree a law on Monday!

¿Y entonces?

Stop and think about how idiotically unnecessary this controversy is. Eighteen months. That's how long the government had to draft and publish these decrees. Five hundred and forty days utterly unencumbered by such nuisances as public scrutiny and open debate. A leisurely, uncontested, uncontestable year and a half to write whatever they damn well wanted...and they still blew the deadline!

Coño vale sometimes I get the feeling that the most objectionable aspect of chavismo isn't the authoritarianism, or the ego worship, or the sectarianism or the extremism or the sheer volume of paja-fueled utopian nonsense. It's the utter bumbling amateurishness of the whole operation: that's what'll drive you insane.