The Political Center Speaks

So a whole bunch of bipartisn politicans are going to meet in Oklahoma to talk about how the next leader of our country should be a real uniter. So which of the current candidates will they pick? I’™m thinking the decision will narrow to McCain and Obama. Let’™s hope McCain’™s pandering to special interests moves that choice to Obama.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

There’™s a whole bunch of talk out there about the meeting on January 7th at the University of Oklahoma, hosted by their President, former Senator David Boren. (One of the members of our local Drinking Liberally Chapter this last year is there in Norman, and I’™d love to hear from him.) The meeting is being attended by a whole bunch of retired political folks who have real bipartisan credibility. William Cohne, for instance, a former Republican Senator, served under Bill Clinton. Others include Sam Nunn (D), Michael Bloomberg (R), Charles Robb (D), Chuck Hagel (R), Bill Brock (R), Gary Hart (D), Christy Whitman (R), etc. This is a high-powered bunch, though I’™m not hyping it here as a bunch that could possibly start a third party, as David Broder seems to be hyping. Still, I recently read Orson Scott Card’™s book Empire, which gives us a dystopic view concerning our very partisan nation. Oh, sure, I have arguments with Card, but his warning about how ugly our partisan politics have become rings true.

The point of the conference at OU is to push the current Presidential candidates to commit to a bipartisan approach to running this country, and I think what they’™re saying is that they need to see a commitment by the current presidential candidates to appointing bipartisan cabinets. I’™ll take David Boren at his word that this is not a Michael Bloomberg for President convention. As reported by the Norman Transcript:

‘œOur political system is, at the least, badly bent and many are concluding that it is broken at a time where America must lead boldly at home and abroad,’ according to the invitation letter signed by Boren and Nunn. ‘œPartisan polarization is preventing us from uniting to meet the challenges that we must face if we are to prevent further erosion of America’™s power of leadership and example.

‘œThe next president of the United States will be faced with what has been described as a gathering storm both at home and abroad. Serious near term challenges include the lack of a national strategy to deal with our fiscal challenges, our educational challenges, our energy challenges, our environmental challenges, as well as the dangerous turbulence triggered by the current financial crisis,’ the letter states.

Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a potential independent candidate for president, is among the invitees. However, Boren said the meeting was not an attempt to bring attention to a potential Bloomberg candidacy.

‘œBloomberg is just an invitee,’ Boren said Sunday afternoon. ‘œIt’™s not a Bloomberg for president meeting.’

I might just now speak with a bit of pride about my Okie background. My parents met in Oklahoma, and we lived there for a time when I was very young. I remember them campaigning for a Republican when I was young, a former football coach, the legendary Bud Wilkinson. (I’™m a big football fan, and an Oklahoma fan as a result.) I also am a collector of the art of Oklahoma artist Charles Banks Wilson (Hey, there’™s one of my pieces on this site!) And I continually tell my wife about how the Broadway play Oklahoma was all about liberal values, of folks trying to get along even with class differences in the way. Enough about my Oklahoma roots, though. This post is about how the conference where a bunch of folks in the political center want to sway this year’™s election, and about how they’™ve got a litmus test ‘” this year’™s candidates, in order to get the support of this group of bipartisan politicans, must commit to a plan for a bipartisan administration. So which of the candidates can do so? Which of these candidates among both parties might best suit the standards of this bipartian group? I’™ll go through a list of a few candidates and see. First the Republican side:

Mitt Romney: Here’™s a guy who has switched positions on almost every cause held dear by liberals. Choice, immigration, the War in Iraq, civil right for gay citizens. The list of flip flopping by Mitt Romney is long. I can find complaining about those flip flops from both the rabid conservative and the liberal sides of the aisle. No, Mitt Romney will not be the choice of the Oklahoma conference, not by a long shot.

Mike Huckabee: Can anyone really believe that Huckabee will appoint Democrats to key positions. Yeah, Romney accuses Huckabee of being liberal, in a ‘œtax and spend’ sense, but Huckabee has a history of demonizing the Clinton Administration in order to climb the political ladder, by pardoning a murderer, in this case. No, Mike Huckabee will not be the choice here.

Rudy Giuliani: Rudy might seem to be a good candidate for bipartisn government, but it just ain’™t going to happen. Everyone on the Democrat side has seen Rudy for what he is, a shrill spokesperson whose only message is 9/11, 9/11, 9/11. For a real Democrat to join his administration he or she would have to agree to torture, and that just ain’™t going to happen.

John McCain: Here’™s the only man among the Republican candidates who might be able to attract Democrats to serve in his Administration. After all, McCain allied with Democrats on the immigration issue, and his stances are a whole lot like Chuck Hagel’™s. Still, the most important issue on which John McCain has allied with Democrats is turning sour, that of campaign finance reform, as revealed by a Washington Post article today. No, McCain is not to be trusted in the ‘œstraight talk’ arena, not anymore.

The Democrats:

Hillary Clinton: It is possible that Hillary Clinton could appoint Republicans to her cabinet, but it just is not likely that she could garner support from the whacked out folks in this country who think she is the center of a whole bunch of really crazy conspiracy theories. Come on, folks, do you really think Hillary Clinton can garner support from the brainwashed folks who think she had Vince Foster killed. Please understand I do NOT think Hillary had any role in that incident, but there’™s enough whack jobs on the right who do. Scratch Hillary from this list for sure.

John Edwards: Mr. Edwards is the endorsed candidate of Allspinzone. That does not make him the candidate of the Oklahoma bipartisan group, that’™s for sure. John Edwards is far too liberal for the guys meeting in Norman. John Edwards is a trial lawyer. I’™ll stick by my lovely wife on this one, a centrist Republican. She’™s not about to go for a plaintiff’™s lawyer, and I’™ll go with most Republicans not going to a plaintiff’™s lawyer, certainly not those meeting in Norman, OK.

Barack Obama: Here’™s the guy on the Democratic side who fits the mold of a bipartisn uniter. At the very least, he has talked that game all along. Sure, he’™s garnered support of the woman who Rush Limbaugh sees as the epitome of liberal values, Oprah Winfrey, but Obama has shown that he’™s bipartisan, though that stance has not been tested in any real sense. We’™ll need to see him get some support of Republicans for him to be the choice of the group in Oklahoma.

Hmm. This could be exciting.

Monday, December 31st, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Huckabee, God’s Candidate, Slipping

Huckabee was leading in Iowa, and he insisted to Jerry Falwell, Jr. that his ‘œsurge’ was the result of divine providence. So, now the polls are showing a different ranking of the leaders in Iowa ‘” does this mean God is frowning on Mike Huckabee?

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Mike Huckabee has lost his edge over Mitt Romney in Iowa, and the papers are reporting that it is all due to Mitt Romney’™s attack ads (Romney 27%, Huckabee 23%, according to the Mason Dixon poll). But, wait. Didn’™t Mike Huckabee say back when Jerry Falwell, Jr. endorsed him that his surge in the polls was due to ‘œdivine providence?’ The Philadelphia Inquirer reminds us:

A month ago, when accepting the endorsement of the Rev. Jerry Falwell Jr. at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Huckabee said that the only way to explain the surge of support for him was divine providence.

So, what is this downward turn in the polls, God testing Huckabee? How is it that God is using Mitt Romney’™s attack ads for this test. Oh, it’™s all so confusing, isn’™t it?

Monday, December 31st, 2007 by Richard Blair |

One Man’s Religion is Another Man’s Mainstream Cult

One could say that all religions are, by their very nature, cults of a kind. Some cults, however, view other cults as, well, more ‘œcult-ish’. Mormons and Catholics are two examples. When the Catholic Church announces that they’™re going all-out to beat the Devil, and increase their cadre of priests who practice exorcism, that’™s just weird, and reinforces the religion-as-cult stereotype.

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Since Mitt Romney announced his presidential bid, there’™s been a lot of gnashing of teeth in the fundamentalist Christian community over Romney’™s religion (Mormon). And, ASZ has even opined previously that the Mittster is basically unelectable in the GOP, because the Republican fringe fundamentalist ‘œbase’ views the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints as little more than a polygamist cult – albeit, a hugely successful and monetized cult.

Many online opinionators (and print and broadcast pundits) have wondered aloud how the candidacy of John F. Kennedy would have gone over had there been such a fevered religious pitch back in the late 50′™s and early 60′™s. Protestations to the contrary by the fundamentalist community, many of them view Catholicism as a cult also – albeit, a hugely successful and monetized cult.

The Roman Catholic Church does little to overtly dispel this notion. And, at least as long as the fundies in both the protestant and papist organizations have some common cause in U.S. politics and conservative social discourse, there’™s no reason for the protestant fundies to kick up much of a fuss. After all, whether or not they agree with the core beliefs of the Catholic church, they are allies against the abortionists and gay marriage enablers.

So, then, jump in your time machine and ask yourself what the fundie protestants would have been saying about JFK, had they had the following story on which to hang their cult hats:

ROME: The Catholic Church has vowed to ‘œfight the Devil head-on’ by training hundreds of priests as exorcists.

Father Gabriele Amorth, 82, the Exorcist in Chief, announced the initiative amid church concerns about growing worldwide interest in Satanism and the occult.

Under plans being considered, each bishop would have a group of priests in his diocese who were specially trained in exorcism and on hand to take action against ‘œextreme Godlessness’.

‘œThanks be to God that we have a Pope who has decided to fight the Devil head-on,’ Father Amorth said’¦

The Exorcist

As far as I know (and I could be wrong), the LDS do not practice exorcism as a matter of religious conviction or cult dogma. (Animation of Megan (Linda Blair) in The Exorcist courtesy of Horror House UK.)

Sunday, December 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Iowa: Edwards Surges, Huckabee Slumps

If there’™s one thing that both the Dem and GOP party faithful can take from past Iowa caucuses, it’™s that pre-caucus polls shift daily, and that until the caucuses are finished on Thursday evening, no one is a front runner. However, there are a couple of clear trends that have emerged, and are reflected in a McClatchy / MS-NBC poll released today: John Edwards is surging, and Mike Huckabee is slumping’¦

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Iowa Poll - McClatchy MS-NBCA McClatchy / MS-NBC poll released today tells the story of a volatile election dynamic that has emerged in Iowa.

According to the poll, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama are in a dead heat on the Democratic side. What this tells us is that on January 3rd, the ground organizations for each of the candidates are going to have at least some impact on the outcome.

So, how does ground game stack up for each of them?

According to Jerome Armstrong at MyDD, here’™s a breakdown of paid staffers for each of the candidates:

Edwards: 175

Obama: 300

Clinton: 400

Of course, these numbers don’™t take into account the number of volunteers who are working for each of the candidates – it would be nearly impossible to develop statistics on those who are canvassing neighborhoods and phone banking out of sheer conviction for their favorite candidate – but in terms of paid staff and local organization, it would appear that Clinton has a fairly clear advantage. It’™s hard to say how that advantage might play out on caucus night.

There is no question, though, that Edwards is finishing strong. As previously noted, second choices mean a lot in the Iowa Democratic caucuses, and the McClatchy / MS-NBC poll analysis actually provides a bit of insight in the all important category of second favorite candidate. John Edwards has very strong support as a second choice:

The second tier is particularly important in Iowa’™s Democratic caucuses, where a candidate can win delegates only if they register at least 15 percent support in each town hall-like precinct meeting. Voters whose candidates don’™t make that threshold can support someone else.

As of now, that appears to help Edwards.

If all second-tier Democratic candidates fall short and their supporters switch to other candidates, Edwards gains the most, rolling up a clear lead at 33 percent to 26 percent each for Clinton and Obama.

His trend of increased support is also reflected in All Spin Zone’™s own (admittedly unscientific) poll that’™s been running in the center menu column of ASZ since our endorsement of Edwards.

ASZ Second Choice Poll StatsWhat’™s surprising about ASZ’™s poll, though, is the strength of Dennis Kucinich as a second choice, and that Clinton and Obama both rate so weakly as second choice candidates. Does the congressman from Ohio really have that much underlying support? If so, he could be a wildcard and spoiler in the Democratic race. But, it’™s doubtful that he makes it past the first round in most caucus locations, given that he’™s polling so low.

On the GOP side, Iowa’™s brief flirtation with fundamentalist candidate Mike Huckabee appears to be evaporating as quickly as it developed. Perhaps that’™s a natural outfall of the general weakness of all GOP candidates; perhaps it’™s the manufactured uproar over Huck’™s fairly liberal positions on undocumented workers / illegal immigrants. Regardless, the race will certainly continue to see polling swings right up until voting time. Still, the strength of Mitt Romney’™s resurgence in Iowa has perhaps been somewhat unexpected. It would appear as if the local GOP party bosses are starting to take some direction from their national corporate controllers, and steer the party faithful away from the sectarian populist candidacy of Huckabee.

Interestingly enough, the GOP votes by secret ballot, whereas the Democratic caucuses are wide open affairs. So, polling is probably a much truer reflection of a GOP front runner than on the Democratic side.

The mad scramble for Iowa bragging rights will reach a crescendo in the coming few days. And then, the hotels will empty, the campaign offices will be downsized (or shuttered entirely), and Iowans can be left blissfully alone for the next 18 months.

Then it starts all over again.

Sunday, December 30th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

High School Hijinx

A high school student causes a local stir after ripping pages from a bible during a classroom presentation.

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Student Rips Pages From Bible During Presentation

Ah, the halcyon days of our youth.

Scenario: A high school student is given an assignment to prepare a presentation and classroom speech. As part of a larger presentation, the allegedly ‘œbrilliant‘ student starts tearing pages out of a copy of the Bible, and (according to one apparently bible-thumping student) tells his classmates:

‘œI’™m going to do this because I can. I’™m going to do something that your stupid, little minds aren’™t going to be able to comprehend’, and he took the Bible and started ripping out pages.’

The student received a ‘œB’ on the presentation – I suppose his style and lack of good, common sense in this post-9/11 world were a bit over the top – but the classmate quoted above won’™t be returning to the classroom anytime soon. In fact, Elle Jacobson (who apparently initiated the local media response to this story) said:

‘œI have never felt threatened like that in a classroom before.’

It occurs to me (and probably many of those reading this post) that it’™s more often than not the quiet students from ‘œgood, Christian homes’ who seem to have an axe to grind in a public setting. Usually, they’™re not just armed with a bible, but with something of a bit higher caliber. And, perhaps if the ill-adivsed stunt didn’™t involve ripping pages out of a bible, but rather a Q’™uran, Ms. Jacobson might have been cheering rather than jeering.

The student in question was apparently not suspended, but referred for evaluation, and cleared to return to class when it was determined that neither his slightly mangled bible or his flair for the dramatic were a particular threat to anyone.

Some local color and comments from Janesville High School students can be read here.

Saturday, December 29th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Democratic Polls are GOOD NEWS

The poll numbers have gotten closer on the Democratic side in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and that’™s a good thing. I’™d like to see a battle here right through to May or so, because it will cause the candidates to discuss real issues rather than platitudes. At least that’™s my hope.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The latest Times/Bloomberg is good news for the Democrats. Yeah, everyone is getting even in the race. Obama is in a statistical dead heat with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and all of Obama, Clinton and Edwards are in the same position in Iowa. Here’™s the poll results from the LA Times:

WASHINGTON ‘” Barack Obama has wiped out Hillary Rodham Clinton’™s once-commanding lead in New Hampshire and the two remain virtually tied with John Edwards in Iowa, as more and more voters get off the fence and decide whom to support, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll has found.

Obama drew backing from 32% of New Hampshire Democrats who intend to vote in the primary, compared with Clinton’™s 30% ‘” a statistical dead heat. That’™s a dramatic shift from September, when a similar poll found him trailing 35% to 16% in the state that will hold its presidential primary Jan. 8.

In Iowa, which opens the 2008 presidential voting with its Jan. 3 caucuses, the poll found Sen. Obama of Illinois, Sen. Clinton of New York and former Sen. Edwards of North Carolina in a statistical three-way tie.

I’™ve said all along I think the Democratic side has an abundance of good candidates. I’™m thinking this narrow race will force them into actually discussing the issues. Oh, and I think that’™s a very good thing. Some Americans can be fooled by the same old, same old, but I’™m thinking that with the plethora of liberal blogs out there speaking their minds, and not directed particularly by one campaign or another, that a whole bunch of the Democratic electorate wants to see some straight talk. Polling being so equal, maybe this will force some more straight talk.

Now this situation could also force some negative campaigning. Still, most of these folks have been very good about avoiding the negative and talking about issues. The pressure will be on them to keep to the same, and I hope they do so.

The LA Times poll indicates that the Bhutto assasination may help Hillary, who, since she was there for her husband’™s administration, supposedly has the wherewithal to handle international issues such as terrorism. I don’™t find that as axiomatic as do the pundits. Perhaps what we need is a breath of fresh air rather than the same old policies, even if they are Clinton policies. Give this Bhutto assasination a couple days to settle down and you may find it will not hurt either Obama or Edwards.

But be reminded, I’™m celebrating parity here. I want all of my good candidates to get talking about real issues more and more. Sure, Allspinzone endorsed Edwards, but I’™d personally like to endorse real debate, and close poll numbers are what is going to nudge the candidates towards real debate.

Friday, December 28th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Charlie Crist is not a Monk

Charlie Crist claims not to be a monk, but he’™s been seen dating at least a couple women (beards) during the last year. so a paper asks him about it and he puts his love life off-limits. Heck, and even some Republicans are saying Crist’™s rumored homosexuality is not pertinent. Good for them.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

When asked about whether he has a girlfirend, following a rumored link of Charlie Crist to Carole Rome of New York, and that following a rumored link to ‘œAmerica’™s Hottest Mom contestant and Lake Clarke Shores divorc–©e Kelly Heyniger,’ Charlie Crist claimed he was not a monk. For a closeted gay man, this guy sure dates a lot of women, huh? Yeah, that’™s the rumor, that Charlie Crist is a lifelong bachelor because he can’™t get married. We originally wrote about that over a year ago. What’™s interesting here is the comments on the story about Charlie Crist’™s connection to Ms. Rome. At least half of the people commenting seem to take it for granted that Crist is gay or bisexual, and some of them, perhaps libertarian-leaning Republican, don’™t care. Check out the Buzz from the tampabay.com:

Most political candidates who are single find that a hindrance to election. Crist has not. Regardless of his orientation, he is entitled to leverage every bit of his fame he wants.

Posted by: Mike | December 27, 2007 at 01:47 PM

. . .

Actually, Charlie is AC/DC, which as a single person is his legal right to decide whom he wishes to have a relationship with. He has every right to keep his private love life just that ‘¦.. private. However as Govenor his duties to the citizens of Fla. should remain his top priority while in office. More work Charlie, less partying. Plenty of time to get your Ya-Ya’™s out after the work is done.

Posted by: Snoopy D. | December 27, 2007 at 02:07 PM

. . .

I don’™t care if he is gay or straight or bi – What consenting adults do with other consenting adults is none of my business!!!

Pay attention – my property taxes haven’™t dropped like a rock, my property insurance has more than doubled, PIP has increased and these sound bite jerks are driving me to the poor house!!!

His coat tails aren’™t long enough to make a difference – he will be a charlie one term!

Posted by: | December 27, 2007 at 05:41 PM

I suppose that’™s a good thing, that people are concentrating on Mr. Crist’™s policies rather on his rumored sexual orientation? I no longer follow politics in Florida closely enough to have an opinion on how Charlie is doing on the job, so I’™ll just marvel at how those regular citizens are treating this ‘œissue.’

Friday, December 28th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

Benazir Bhutto Assassinated

Former Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto was assasinated this morning following a rally. In a turbulent nuclear armed Pakistan, this event can only mean more difficult times ahead.

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ASZ normally doesn’™t do breaking news, but a gut feeling tells me that the assassination this morning of former Pakistan president Benazir Bhutto is going to have some serious implications in the region. There’™s not much to add at this point except that this absolutely can’™t be good for the stability of the overall political situation in Pakistan (which is unstable, on a good day’¦)

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday in a suicide attack that also killed at least 20 others at a campaign rally, aides said.

‘œThe surgeons confirmed that she has been martyred,’ Bhutto’™s lawyer Babar Awan said.

A party security adviser said Bhutto was shot in neck and chest as she got into her vehicle to leave the rally in Rawalpindi near the capital Islamabad. A gunman then blew himself up’¦

Scores of others were killed in the attack.

Bhutto returned to Pakistan a couple of months ago after years in exile, and was working behind the scenes to force strongman Pervez Musharraf to forge a coalition government.

There’™s no word at this point what effect this event might have on scheduled elections in January. Musharraf had declared martial law in November, but the declaration was lifted a few weeks ago after he dismissed the Supreme Court, loaded it with his own judges, and reconstituted Pakistan’™s parliament.

Juan Cole and the Global Affairs sites should be good sources of analysis as more information develops.

Update: Reports from Pakistan this evening indicate that civil order is in disarray. And, it’™s now appearing likely that that the scheduled January parliamentary elections will be postponed.

Here are some links to some excellent analysis and reporting:

Alternet’™s Joshua Holland has been following the events in Pakistan for quite some time, and weighs in with a less than flattering analysis of Bhutto’™s legacy:

‘¦The sad irony here is that because of the baggage she carried, Benazir Bhutto will probably be much more effective as a martyr to democracy than she would be as it’™s spokesperson. But that’™s not good news; reports filtering out of Pakistan suggest widespread chaos has broken out in various states, and the prospects for a lot more blood shed to follow are simply frightening.

From Phoenixwoman comes the following links to Pak blogs that are following the developments. Links may or may not work; it’™s been reported that phone, TV, and internet in Pakistan have been either taken offline or blocked.

http://lahore.metblogs.com/
http://islamabad.metblogs.com/
http://karachi.metblogs.com/

‘¦and, from the ‘œso much bullshit’ file’¦

‘œThe United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’™s democracy,’ Bush told reporters’¦

U.S. officials said they were leery of intervening in another nation’™s internal affairs, and didn’™t want to give Bhutto Washington’™s imprimatur’¦

Undermine ‘œPakistan’™s democracy’? Leery of ‘œintervening in another nation’™s internal affairs’? Since when?? What goddam rock has George W. Bush been living under for the past 7 years? Pakistan is operating under a dictator, who declared martial law, threw out the jurists he didn’™t like, and imprisoned radical elements (read: constitutional lawyers).

Yeah, that’™s Bush’™s kind of democracy. Argh.

More later’¦

Thursday, December 27th, 2007 by Richard Blair |

In Which I Eat Humble Pie

Pass the whipped cream.


Commentary By: The Xsociate

Most people don’t like being wrong, but when it comes to my belief that the filibuster of the FISA bill debated before the Senate yesterday wouldn’t matter, I’m gladly having a heaping helping of humble pie with my late night meal. Dodd’s threat of a genuine, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-style filibuster, succeeded in staving off the much expected cave.

While jubilation is warranted, the battle is not over. Even Dodd, who along with his fellow compatriots deserve praise for their efforts, recognizes this is only a temporary stay of execution. The bill has been tabled until after the first of the new year and by then the supposed deadline for passing some sort of bill will be even more immense and the Bushies will pull out all the stops to get their dictates enacted.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some pie to finish.

(X-posted at The Xsociate Files)

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 by The Xsociate |

George, Hugo, and Vladimir

Time to play find the authoritarian.


Commentary By: The Xsociate

Two votes. Two decidedly different outcomes.

Voters took to the polls overseas this weekend and the results are an illuminating look at how the US has handled its foreign policy. For in a country we ostensibly label an ally, democracy has taken even more of a backslide while in one constantly denounced as authoritarian, the voice of the people rang loud and rang true.

First up: Russia where President Vladimir Putin’s party won a landslide sweep in the parliamentary elections. Speculation is already off and running that Putin will use this win to continue to remain in power past the end of his term early next year. What form that will take remains to be seen but it is a safe bet that like his soul eyed counterpart in the US, Putin will find someway to remain influential beyond his tenure.

But such an authoritarian move is getting very little attention as compared to that of the defeat of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s referendum seeking more power. Unlike Putin, Chavez put the issue of whether he could stay past his current term to a vote and the people responded. Even more surprising is that Chavez, though chastised, vows to abide by the vote and even goes to far as claim it as proof that there is no dictatorship in his country.

So on the one hand we have a man who has been referred to as a Latin American version of Hitler praising a vote against him and on the other we have a man who seems bent subverting democracy to stay in power at all costs.

No wonder Bush sees eye to eye far more with the latter than he does with the former.

See also Cernig.

(X-posted at The Xsociate Files)

Monday, December 3rd, 2007 by The Xsociate |