Rangel Rasps at Chavez; Pelosi's Demeaning What's She Saying

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Here's a great fake story from "America's Newspaper," a.k.a. The Washington Times: Top Dems are spitting mad that Hugo Chavez dissed President Bush on U.S. soil at the United Nations a couple of days ago. The Times' Betsy Pisik reports such an open display of patriotism "stunned" reporters like a Gitmo-style spa treatment.

"You don't come into my country, you don't come into my congressional district and criticize my president," said Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) whose whiskey voice makes him nothing less than the Brenda Vaccaro of Congress. Rangel's rasped revelation literally "stunned reporters on Capitol Hill," chronicles Pisik. (Rangel, fwiw, is a Purple Heart and Bronze Star winner who served in Korea.)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) got a couple of licks in at Hugo the Horrible too:

"Hugo Chavez fancies himself a modern-day Simon Bolivar, but all he is an everyday thug," Mrs. Pelosi said.

She added that Mr. Chavez had "demeaned himself, and he demeaned Venezuela."

Not all Dems were pissed at Chavez:

Though the remarks were "incendiary," [Iowa Sen. Tom] Harkin said, "I can understand the frustration, and the anger of certain people around the world because of George Bush's policies."

What was it that Chavez said? Nothing much–just calling Bush "the genocide president" and an agent of the devil.

More here.

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  1. This does illustrate one difference between Dems and Pubs: had Chavez come to the UN in the 1990’s and blasted Clinton, does anybody think any Congressional Republicans would have come to his defense?

  2. I heard Rush actually complaining about Rangel’s rough-and-tumble speech…I didn’t understand what Rush was mad about. I liked it, it’s a “I can talk crap about my family but you better shut your mouth” kind of argument.

    Yay for patriotism.

  3. Yes, Dan, I do…especially since Hugo’s a Commie.

  4. I don’t know Dan, I want to agree with Ayn at least he’s right for 1992-1997, but after that they might have tried get Chavez to testify against Clinton about Whitewater.

    Yeah, I know Chavez had nothing to do with Whitewater, but neither did Monica.

    The press is giving this Chavez guy WAY too much coverage.

  5. It think the split would have been about the same. There would have been some clowns on the ideotarian right, Pat Buchanan and Pat Robertson come to mind, who would have made just as big of asses of themselves as Harkin did. The majority would have said the right things. Whether Republican or Democrat, the survival instinct among all politicians is very strong.

  6. “You don’t come into my country, you don’t come into my congressional district and criticize my president,” said Rep. Charles Rangel . . . .

    I hate to be the one to tell Congressman Rangel, but U.S. citizens do this all the time. Sometimes they even compare Bush to Hitler, or accuse him of genocide. Why do Chavez’s comments deserve special outrage?

  7. Here’s a better question about Chavez: Who cares?

    This is merely the initial stages of the kind of posturing we can expect leading up to next November. This parade has been done to death and it’s not even interesting at this point.

    Any bets on how soon we’ll be hearing Rush, et. al. talk about justifications for the War on Terror invading Venezuala? You just know they’re gonna drag that dog out too…

  8. This name calling is getting rather old. And Chavez, despite the press coverage he gets, never seems to see the damage it causes to both him and his fellow travelers – especially here in Latin America. Just witness, Mexico, where instead of thrusting anti-American jabs during the recent election campaign, tricky politicos bashed Chavez instead. The more Chavez meddles and indulges in name-calling, the less popular Latin America’s left-wing parties become.

    It was also the same in Peru and Colombia as in Mexico.

  9. In the case of Colombia, I think it was more a case of Uribe actually doing a good job and being liked by his people, not Chavez hurting the ultra leftists of Colombia with his clowning. In the case of Peru I believe it as a case of the leftist candidate being completely f***ing bonkers; he once even insulted half the population of his own country (He said the Peruvians who live in the coast were lazy and that he hated them), which would be career suicide like some candidate in the US suddenly insulting everyone who lives in the East Coast, or the midwest or something like that.

    But Chavez does enjoy a lot of popularity in certain countries of South America. One of the candidates of the extreme left in my country (Ecuador) is a friend of Chavez, and his popularity has not suffered at all… sadly.

  10. Hugo Chavez dissed President Bush on U.S. soil at the United Nations…

    “You don’t come into my country, you don’t come into my congressional district and criticize my president,” said Rep. Charles Rangel…

    Isn’t the U.N. on international ground?

  11. Erid H.,

    “I hate to be the one to tell Congressman Rangel, but U.S. citizens do this all the time. Sometimes they even compare Bush to Hitler, or accuse him of genocide. Why do Chavez’s comments deserve special outrage?”

    For the same reason that boys who pick on their little brothers don’t let anyone else pick on their little brothers.

    For the same reason that Iraqi factions who hate each other are teaming up on American soldiers.

    Son of a!,

    Chavez didn’t just say these things at the UN HQ, but gave a speech in Harlem, Rangel’s district.

  12. A sideline comment:

    Pelosi was on the News Hour last night flogging the upsides of a Democratic house and senate, trying to frame the message about how the country needs a “new direction”.

    The dems even put out a booklet, promoting what they call their “new direction”.

    During the brief interview, Pelosi said, “new direction” at least 10 times (my count).

    My absolute favorite though, is the below was when Pelosi decided to throw the phrase out JUST ONE MORE TIME at the end of the interview, as a total non-sequitur.

    e.g.

    “JIM LEHRER: All right. Leader Pelosi, thank you very much.
    REP. NANCY PELOSI: Thank you very much. New direction.

    JIM LEHRER: Got it.”

    It was something you kind of had to see/hear to appreciate the professional zinger-ness of the “got it” line.

    Like, “i’m definitely not letting you use the dead space between segments to repeat your dumb catchphrase, so put a cork in it”

    I personally think Leher is the best guy in the news business.

    JG

  13. Eric Hannekan,

    If a foreign country with a libertarian government landed a million-man army on our shores, with the goal of effected “regime change” and installing a libertarian govenrment here, would you support the US Army, or the occupiers?

    Is this even a hard question?

  14. I think John Bolton said it best: Chavez can say what he wants in the US because the US respects free speech, and it’s too bad Chavez doesn’t allow the same freedom in Venezuela.

  15. New direction

    Heh heh. Well, there’s left, and there’s right.
    Both are directions. Neither is new.
    But Pelosi is still an idiot.

  16. thoreau,

    Exactly. All Hugo’s speech deserved was a roll of the eyes and on to the next topic, just like the Bush=Hitler screeds launched by red-blooded Americans.

    If we react this way to criticism of a president whom most of us don’t even like, what right have we to criticize Muslims for freaking out over the Pope’s supposed disrespect of Mohammed?

  17. Most of us aren’t criticizing Muslims for being offended by the Pope’s words. Most of us are criticizing certain Muslims for using that offense to commit acts of violence.

    Let me know when Charles Rangel firebombs something Venezuelan.

  18. joe,

    I guess I would support the occupiers. I have no cultish loyalty to “my President,” nor any nationalistic preference to be governed by native-born Americans, regardless of whether they govern better or worse than foreign usurpers.

    Some people might argue that the U.S. government’s democratic provenance grants it a legitimacy that the occupiers wouldn’t possess, but I don’t agree.

    For the record, however, I do not favor any invasions of the United States in real life. The bloodshed and loss of wealth would be tremendous, and actual governments are incapable of adherence to libertarian ideals, anyway.

  19. This caused some highly entertaining flame-wars on Democratic Underground yesterday.

  20. If a foreign country with a libertarian government landed a million-man army on our shores, with the goal of effected “regime change” and installing a libertarian govenrment here, would you support the US Army, or the occupiers?

    If they were here to throw out a genocidal maniac who had ruled the country for decades, invaded both our neighbors, and used poison gas and ecological catastrophe to wipe out his enemies, I would probably support the “invaders”.

    Especially if they threw some sweet reconstruction contracts my way.

  21. I might, too, RC, if I had any confidence that the invaders weren’t just going to make things worse.

    But Chavez wasn’t criticizing a genocidal maniac. Just a dishonest, dimwitted Republican.

    Back off, fat boy. That’s OUR dishonest, dimwitted Republican!

  22. I remember back in the Clinton days, Pat Buchanan was in England, and someone in the English audience wanted to hear some of his usaual witty barbs at the president.

    Pat sort of declined. He said he would not criticize a US president while in a foreign country. Specially if that president is on active duty in the military.

    Funny, and he stepped to the line, but he didn’t cross it.

  23. Kwais,

    Good for Pat. I am surprised he had that in him.

  24. And yet the world clamors for the U.S. to “do something” about African genocide.

    Murder in Darfur: America must intercede!
    Murder in Kurdistan: Get out, Yankee Imperialists!

  25. “I hate to be the one to tell Congressman Rangel, but U.S. citizens do this all the time. Sometimes they even compare Bush to Hitler, or accuse him of genocide. Why do Chavez’s comments deserve special outrage?”

    and then;

    “For the same reason that boys who pick on their little brothers don’t let anyone else pick on their little brothers.”

    This might fly for adolescents. Look, if you can’t stand to give your own at least the same respect a stranger would you are a fucking tool. Chavez’ performance was no more or less ridiculous than all the bu$hitler fools. I don’t see mush reason for all the outrage. On the other hand, it does get a bit tiresome funding an organization that gives voice to third world toughs.

    Gilmore-

    Jim Lehrer is *the* man. Getting a bit old, though.

  26. “If a foreign country with a libertarian government landed a million-man army on our shores, with the goal of effected “regime change” and installing a libertarian govenrment here, would you support the US Army, or the occupiers?

    “Is this even a hard question?”

    Ultimatum sent to President Bush from the President of Ayn Randistan:

    “Unless you immediately have all charges dropped against Willie Nelson for his voluntary drug use, we shall invade your country, raze your cities to the ground, and force you to be autonomous individuals, under the superintendence of Re-Education Commissars who will test you on your knowledge of *Atlas Shrugged.* Tremble, moochers an altruists . . .”

    [Ultimatum continues for 20 more single-spaced pages]

  27. I remember back in the Clinton days, Pat Buchanan was in England, and someone in the English audience wanted to hear some of his usaual witty barbs at the president.

    Not to wax patriotic or anything, but I think this is what did the Dixie Chicks in. It’s one thing to mock the president at home, but to do it at a distance, in front of an English crowd, just seems cheap and disloyal.

  28. Damn you Mad Max! You uncovered our secret plan. Curses!

  29. Conservatives are now furious with Chavez. Perhaps, rightly so.

    Chavez, you may recall, is the South American leader that publicly chastized Bush for his International Policies, calling him “the Devil” at the United Nations General Assembly. (see my post below)

    While I think those comments are a bit out of line on Chavez’s part, I don’t think that their words that should surprise us. It is reasonable, that when a country pursues an aggressive international defense policy like the United States has, that some countries are going to protest; especially when that policy has included unpopular wars. History tells us, that this is always so. If you would like to live in a world of complete uniformity on international issues, I suggest moving to Fantasyland. It’s not going to happen. I suggest boycotting oil from countries that are serious threats to us, not the ones that simply bitch about our policies.

    I’m not going to debate Bush’s Iraq War to death, but what I’m saying is… is that you can’t be surprised that their is dissent. We have a big movement abroad (some say a majority of people) for Bush to set an agenda, and get out of Iraq. It’s logical to that that that contempt would extend beyond our borders.

    Chavez was excercising his right to free speech, which is something I respect. I believe that when people don’t like free speech, it’s because they can’t prove their points well enough. A person has absolutely NOTHING to fear from free speech, if they can prove their opposition wrong; it’s just rhetoric, afterall.

    That being said, why is their a push to all of a sudden boycott Venezuela’s Oil over just their hateful silly rhetoric. Are those people INSANE?

    – Did we stop buying oil from Saudi Arabia when 9 of the 11 hijackers on 9/11 came from there? No.

    – Did we stop purchasing oil from Iran when it started producing weapons of Mass Destruction and threatened to obliterate Israel? No.

    We’re more than willing to overlook Terrorist supporting governments, and Weapons of Mass Destruction producing nations and focus on boybotting people for their rhetoric. That’s absurd! Gobbling up Oil is the American Standard. It’s the norm. So, if the Right wants to start talking about reducing oil consumption, perhaps it should start with the Middle Eastern countries that house all the regimes that seek to destroy us with weapons, rather than rhetoric.

    I think, like all things Conservative lately, it’s spin. If you have to attack those who simply speak against you, then your policy isn’t proving itself right. Let’s make Iraq work, and prove Chavez wrong in the process!

    Making the focus on Chavez, rather than about the need to get this war HANDLED, is a mistep. It’s a loss of focus. A loss of focus on the part of the Conservatives, that we CANNOT afford.

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