Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, used his United Nations address to repeatedly refer to President Bush as a "devil." Immediately, and vigorously, two prominent Democrats defended Bush, and lambasted Chavez for maligning "their" president.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called Chavez "an everyday thug." "You don't come into my country, you don't come into my congressional district, and you don't condemn my president," said Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y. Yes, the same Rangel who, after the Supreme Court ruled in Bush's favor in the 2000 presidential election, pronounced the decision an "injustice." With this newfound patriotic fervor, Democrats lashed into Hugo Chavez. Why, how dare he criticize President Bush in a demeaning, brutal fashion!
Here's the question. Where were the neo-defenders of Bush when Democrats repeatedly, and viciously, said virtually the same thing as did Chavez? Let's go to the videotape . . .
Hugo Chavez: "I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's statement made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the world." [Emphasis added.]
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.: "I sometimes feel as though Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington."
Chavez: " . . . [T]he American empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination. And we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship to be consolidated.
Former President Jimmy Carter: "Regardless of the costs, there are determined efforts by top U.S. leaders to exert American imperial dominance throughout the world. These revolutionary policies have been orchestrated by those who believe that our nation's tremendous power and influence should not be internationally constrained."
Chavez: "The government of the United States doesn't want peace. It wants to exploit its system of exploitation, of pillage, of hegemony through war." [Emphasis added.]
Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.: "Week after week after week after week, we were told lie after lie after lie after lie. And now, despite the increasingly restless Iraqi population, the administration still refuses to face the truth, or to tell the truth."
Chavez: "The world parent's statement -- cynical, hypocritical, full of this imperial hypocrisy from the need they have to control everything." [Emphasis added.]
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.: "Their plan is lie and die. And that's what they're doing. They lie to America about what's happening on the ground, they lie about why we're there, they lie about what's happening."
Chavez: "I have the feeling, dear world dictator, that you are going to live the rest of your days as a nightmare because the rest of us are standing up, all those who are rising up against American imperialism, who are shouting for equality, for respect, for the sovereignty of nations.
Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa.: "Our troops [in Haditha] . . . killed innocent civilians in cold blood." (Murtha said this before there was an investigation. He later apologized.)
Chavez: "How cynical can you get? What a capacity to lie shamefacedly." [Emphasis added.] Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.: Bush is a "loser" and a "liar." (Reid later apologized for loser, not liar.)
Chavez: "The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads." [Emphasis added.]
Pelosi: "We have a situation where we have two oilmen in the White House, and we have gasoline at over $3 a barrel. Surprise, surprise." She probably meant $3 a gallon. Or maybe she hasn't pumped her own gas lately. Or, how about: "And I'm here to say that when the oilmen, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, strode into town, the showdown began between Big Oil and the consumer. Big Oil won."
Chavez: "Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.
Michael Moore, the guy the Democrats granted a seat next to former President Jimmy Carter during the Democratic National Convention, called President Bush a "deserter," said "there is no terrorist threat" and denounced the war in Iraq, arguing that America entered into it because of "the oil companies, Israel, Halliburton."
Memo to Chavez, ruler of a country increasingly impoverished due to his policies: Save some money. Fire your speechwriter and just transcribe to Spanish the sound bites from Howard Dean and company.
Sean Penn recently called the president "Beelzebub [Satan] -- and a dumb one." How long before the actor, now appearing in the movie flop "All the King's Men," sues Chavez -- for plagiarism?