Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wa Wa Waaaaaaaaaaah!

Big Baby Bush Refuses to Speak Chavez's Name

As we all know, pResident George W. Bush and Hugo Chavez of Venezuela are both on speaking tours of Latin America right now. For his part Chavez is blaming US policy for the poverty and inequality in Latin America, and he is being well received.

From the Houston Chronicle:
On Friday night, Chavez led a two-hour anti-Bush rally attended by nearly 20,000 people at a soccer stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He called Bush a "political cadaver" and said he was on his way to becoming "cosmic dust." "I believe the chief objective of the Bush trip is to try to scrub clean the face of the empire in Latin America. But it's too late," Chavez said on Argentine state television before the rally.
Bush is delivering quite the opposite message.
"I would call our diplomacy quiet and effective diplomacy," Bush said.

Ignoring Chavez in favor of a focus on U.S. compassion for the region is Bush's persistent tack on his five-nation tour, which also includes visits to Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil.

"My message to the people in our neighborhood is that we care about the human condition and that we believe the human condition can be improved in a variety of ways," the president said.
The thing is, the people of Latin America aren't buying it. Chavez is being greeted enthusiastically and hosting large and popular anti-Bush rallies. Bush is being greeted with, well, popular anti-Bush rallies. I can only imagine the expensive security necessary to keep his worthless skin intact.

Why do you suppose the people of Latin America are so skeptical about Bush's pronouncements about compassion and regard for the human condition? Perhaps they're all reading Rolling Stone, particularly this must-read piece by Paul Krugman;
In a recent poll, only a minority of Americans rated the economy as "excellent" or "good," while most consider it no better than "fair" or "poor."

Are people just ungrateful? Is the administration failing to get its message out? Are the news media, as conservatives darkly suggest, deliberately failing to report the good news?

None of the above. The reason most Americans think the economy is fair to poor is simple: For most Americans, it really is fair to poor. Wages have failed to keep up with rising prices. Even in 2005, a year in which the economy grew quite fast, the income of most non-elderly families lagged behind inflation. The number of Americans in poverty has risen even in the face of an official economic recovery, as has the number of Americans without health insurance. Most Americans are little, if any, better off than they were last year and definitely worse off than they were in 2000.
So, what is Bush's response to this apparently quite successful attack on his credibility? Does he come up with facts and figures to prove his point? Does he rally support for his position with lofty Churchillian rhetoric? Not quite.
Following his usual practice, Bush refused to utter Chavez' name during a news conference with the president of Uruguay — or even explain why he wouldn't.. ..Bush said he favors a more tranquil form of engagement with his neighbors to the south.

"I would call our diplomacy quiet and effective diplomacy," Bush said.
White House press secretary Tony Snow said Thursday that while it is tough to ignore Chavez' verbal jousts, Bush was concentrating on his meetings with more like-minded counterparts.

"I know you want to make this trip about Chavez," Snow told reporters aboard Air Force One as it flew to Uruguay. "It's not."
Yeah, right Tony. Ignoring your detractors instead of responding to them is a really mature way of governing. Not to mention that Bush's 'more tranquil form of engagement' has already included attempted coups against Chavez of the type that replaced Chile's Salvador Allende with the brutal Augusto Pinochet during the Nixon administration.

I say it's time to change Chimpy's diapers, give him a pacifier, put him down for a nap, and put the adults in charge.

Crossposted to: Ice Station Tango
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