Pat Robertson, TV evangelist, failed Republican Presidential candidate, University founder, bon vivant and Man About Town, has managed to add yet another title to his list of stellar accomplishments: rank idiot. On his 700 Club show last night, apparently during his nightly "taking softballs--oops, hard-hitting questions--from the audience" segment, Robertson said that the U.S. should send down a "covert squad" to "take out" Hugo Chavez, the erstwhile President/El Dictator of Venezuela, since he's spreading "Communism" and "Muslim extremeism" throughout the Americas. According to Robertson, it would be just a lot cheaper to assassinate him NOW rather than have to spend billions later in fabricating intelligence about "weapons of mass destruction" and sending in our troops to conquer and occupy Venezuela for years, fighting an insurgent war while we wait for them to develop a Constitution that will insure the uninterrupted flow of their oil to the U.S. for decades to come.
Well, that last part was really just me putting words into the Right Rev. Pat's mouth, but you get the general idea. The man is a moron, albeit a rich and influential moron. He's also a fascist and obviously very interested in the U.S. becoming a religious theocracy with guys like him (unless all the other TV evangelists BUT him get "taken out" by his covert 700 Club hit squad) running things because God speaks directly to them each and every day. Who needs democracy when the Big Guy is telling the Patster what to do? Rip up the Constitution and replace it with the Ten Commandments; take all the judges out and shoot them at dawn (well, having been a lawyer for a couple of decades, I'm not sure that's such a bad...NO! NO! BAD lawyer!); send all those evil Democrats in the Congress home along with those liberal Big Elephant posers who think that a woman should have the right to chose whether or not to have an abortion, who aren't repeating the party line as it comes out of Karl Rove's mouth. Nope, if Monsignor Pat had his way, we'd be assassinating or invading everyone who disagreed with us. Mothers, get ready to have LOTS and LOTS of babies to act as cannon fodder for the new Christian Republic of the Americas (What? You thought Canada and Mexico would still be around after El Presidente for Life Robertson gets done undoing NAFTA and CAFTA? After Canada didn't help us in the WAR on TERRORISM? Not a chance. Besides, I'm sure Pat will be told by God after his ascention to the Holy See of the Americas that He always intended the U.S. to include all of North America when He lead all those white settlers here originally).
The arrogance of guys like Robertson never ceases to amaze me. They talk a lot about how God blessed America, how we were supposed to be the great example of godliness in an increasingly secular world, yet it is OK for us to shoot foreign leaders and invade the foreign lands we don't agree with. Don't get me wrong, Chavez is also an idiot, but he's a democratically elected idiot. The Venezuelan masses elected him fair and square (maybe; it depends on who got to the ballot boxes first) and he's managed to survive an attempted coup that the American Ambassador was, of course, terribly surprised by when it happened. No, Chavez is there because the rich elites, who've run Venezuela for decades, who've not shared the wealth or land with the formerly powerless hoi polloi, are now upset because the little guys have finally put someone in power that talks to and about them (stuff like that has historically helped thugs like Chavez, Hitler and Mao Zedong to take over countries while everyone else wonders what the heck is going on). It doesn't mean he's good for them; I suspect that eventually Chavez will either turn Venezuela into a Cuban-style dictatorship or he'll have his head blown off in a military coup as seems to be the usual standard in that part of the world. However, none of that gives Pastor Pat the right to assume that God's blessings are on a government-sanctioned murder of someone who isn't in lockstep with American policies.
Maybe I'm being too hard on our increasingly senile-sounding evangelical nutcase in blaming just him for his pronouncements. Actually, I blame W and his right-wing cabal, who by their invasion of a county that DID NOT INVADE US or, by any credible evidence, HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH 9/11, have made it fashionable for the Robertsons among us to say outrageous stuff like that on TV (while at the same time screaming that a bared breast on a TV show should be prohibited). They are the ones who broke the rules while proclaiming that they were working within the U.N.'s rules (when the U.N. wouldn't give its imprimatur to our new Holy War) because everyone else was too lily-livered to take out bad old Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction that didn't really exist. It's gotten to the point where mainstream folks in interviews, even relatives of those killed in W's adventurism, are parroting the Big Elephant line that if we weren't fighting the terrorists in Iraq now, we'd be fighting them in the streets of New York City tomorrow.
It's sad and it's wrong.