August 29, 2005

He Only Grows Stronger

A great story in TAP on how Pat Robertson's death threat has actually strengthens Hugo Chavez. Robertson has given Chavez a perfect foil to play against and get the attention off his own misdeeds:

The biggest benefit for Chávez is that once again, no one will hear about the erosion of civil liberties generally and freedom of the press in particular under his rule. Chávez and his compliant congress and judiciary have quietly strengthened laws barring "disrespectful" or "offensive" references to public officials or institutions. First was the Law of Social Responsibility in Radio and Television, enacted in December; in March, the legislature enacted reforms to the country's penal code that consolidated the exemption from public criticism of a special class of people: high government officials.

Bush (and anyone connected to Bush) is wildly unpopular in most of the know world. They should hug Chavez, not attack him. Bush should start embracing the most hateful dictators. They would instantly lose support. Throw in a State visit and a photo with the dictator, and Bush could trigger popular uprisings all over the place.

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