Hugo Chavez: What a punk

I found myself Wednesday in the uncomfortable position of siding with the Bush administration over the speech by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to the UN General Assembly.

It isn’t the fact that Chavez, a real punk, called Bush “El Diablo.” Sometimes I harbor such thoughts myself. And in the larger sense Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad both have some legitimate gripes about Ugly American foreign policy of which Gee Dubya and company have made even more horrific.

No, what galls me is Chavez goes on stage in a place that should bring the world together through diplomacy and trashes the U.S. president and by extension its citizens.

Now you might be asking: Isn’t that what this nation is all about? Free speech? Apparently not. Even though the Bush administration says we are free to speak they would rather we not speak ill of their administration or their ill-advised war in Iraq. But Chavez didn’t speak in the U.S. per se. He spoke on international ground at the U.N. and he made the faux pas of insulting our nation’s institutions (regardless of the fact that our president may belong in some type of an institution).

I’ve said it here before by using the example of Lyndon B. Johnson. Some Texans could get mighty pissed when outsiders started insulting their fellow homeboy LBJ. The saying we had back then for LBJ applies today to Gee Dubya(less in a provincial sense though because Gee Dubya is a transplanted Yankee): He may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard.

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