Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rangel Finds His Voice

It's not often that I can applaud the statements made by Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY), but this is one such opportunity.
I want to express my extreme displeasure with statements by the President of Venezuela attacking U.S. President George Bush in such a personal and disparaging way during his remarks at the United Nations General Assembly.

It should be clear to all heads of government that criticism of Bush Administration policies, either domestic or foreign, does not entitle them to attack the President personally.

George Bush is the President of the United States and represents the entire country. Any demeaning public attack against him is viewed by Republicans and Democrats, and all Americans, as an attack on all of us.
I'll let the whole last paragraph of his letter to Chavez slide since Democrats generally have trouble recognizing evil regimes as they exist. Also, it's interesting that Rangel now recognizes that attacks on the President personally are not a good thing. Will he now stand up and call out those members and supporters of his own Party to cease the personal attacks?

Seems that we're seeing a bit of a bandwagon effect. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is also slamming Chavez's statements.
"Hugo Chavez fancies himself a modern day Simon Bolivar but all he is an everyday thug," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference, referring to Chavez' comments in a U.N. General Assembly speech on Wednesday.

"Hugo Chavez abused the privilege that he had, speaking at the United Nations," said Pelosi, a frequent Bush critic. "He demeaned himself and he demeaned Venezuela."
Here's video of Rangel's statements.

And yet, Chavez isn't quite done with his insults. He doesn't quite know when to sit down and shut up, does he? Chavez had been garnering quite a bit of support for his country obtaining one of the coveted seats on the Security Council, but after his outburst, will his country have sufficient backing for a seat? I'm sure that some may reconsider their position on Chavez, and that his over-the-top rhetoric is too much even for the run-of-the-mill dictators that comprise a significant number of seats at the UN. They'll want someone who can do more than insult the US President and appear to be auditioning for a slot on Air America's drive-time lineup.

Sen. Tom Harkin comes out in support of Chavez's statements. Guess he doesn't want to disappoint the Democrat party loyalists, who are already swarming over Rangel and Pelosi.

As others have pointed out, Pelosi and Rangel have made names for themselves by attacking the President using all sorts of colorful language and claims that are without substantiation. Let's see if they can go an entire newscycle before walking back their earlier statements to soothe the feelings of their base.

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