Cuba Politics

Pat Robertson’s gaff - opinion

Posted August 25, 2005 by I-taoist in Cuba Politics.

SO IF YOU wanted to have the leader of a foreign government assassinated in the interest of truth, justice, and the American Way, or maybe just out of pure personal irritation, how would you go about arranging it? Have a quiet t�te-�-t�te with a representative of the CIA? (Aren’t assassinations its department, or have they been transferred, like everything else, to Homeland Security?)
  If you had a lot of political clout, like a certain televangelist used to have, maybe you could get some face time with the commander-in-chief hisself. Or if you could no longer swing a private audience with The Man, mainly because you’ve already said so many strange and embarrassing things in public, like how feminism encourages women to “kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians,” in ascending order of danger, we suppose, then perhaps you could send the president a written messagein code of course, considering the delicacy of the subject. Or you could just give up on the White House and try to make contact with the mob, which has considerable experience in these matters.
  But something tells us that, of all the various recourses to be had in so tricky a business, the last thing an ordained minister and alleged adult would do is use his nationally broadcast television program to tell God and everybody that this country ought to rub out Venezuela’s president, an aspiring Fidel Castro named Hugo Chavez.

  Yet that’s just what that brilliant global strategist and all-around bore, the Reverend Mr. M. G. “Pat” Robertson, has done. To quote his oh-so-diplomatic advice on how to deal with Venezuela’s tinpot Caesar: “We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.”
  Who writes this stuffóGuy Noire, Private Eye? Alas, this is the kind of wisdom the country has come to expect from the Reverend Pat, who hasn’t been much revered for years now. Naturally his modest proposal sparked some raucous talk-show debatesóis there any other kind?óbut official Washington scurried to distance itself from his brilliant idea. It’ll probably prove just a blip on the screen, something to liven up the dog days of August. In this country.
  But, ho boy, can you imagine how it must be going over in Latin America? The Rev’s comment was just what Venezuela’s wannabe despot needed to spice up his visit with Numero Uno in Cuba, and to bolster his standing at home. However much Venezuelans may loathe their leader, and understand the threat he represents to their remaining freedoms, Colonel Chavez is their caudillo and they don’t need any gringo preacher telling them how to handle their own No. 1 Problem, thank you, especially if the suggestion is, well, extra-legal.
  It was as if the Reverend Pat had deliberately set out to personify the Yanqui imperialist of the cartoons. Hugo Chavez couldn’t have bought that kind of endorsement, however unintended, even with all of Venezuela’s oil money. And here he’s been given it as a gift.
  The colonel, who runs a kind of nonstop 700 Club of his own on Venezuelan radio, had just about succeeded in putting the whole, oil-rich country to sleep with his non-stop monologues, which is something else he has in common with Comrade Fidel. But now he has a month’s new material, thanks to the Reverend Pat Robertson. Brilliant, Reverend, just brilliant.
  Do you think that, after playing so close to the edge for years, the Reverend Robertson has finally gone over it? We know there are some readers who would disagree with that diagnosis, and assert that actually the Reverend Robertson lost it years ago. They may have a point. By now he’s peddled more conspiracy theories than, well, anybody we can think of offhand. He really ought to be broadcasting out of Roswell, N.M., rather than Virginia Beach, Va.
  And this week he proposes an assassination plot, although to call this latest wild hair of his a plot would be to dignify it beyond all proportion. After a lot of unseemly wiggling and a couple of days, the Reverend finally fessed up and apologized, kind of. But the damage had been done. Especially to his own reputation. It’s hard to take the Reverend seriously any moreóif you ever could.
  HUGO CHAVEZ, on the other hand, represents a serious threat, first to Venezuela’s precarious democracy, and then to whatever neighboring states he can undermine.
  Unlike the police state Fidel Castro has set up in Cuba, Venezuela is not separated from the rest of Latin America by the Caribbean. It can readily export guerrillas as well as oil, and no one should underestimate Hugo Chavez’s ambition, which is as obvious as his demagoguery. Now, in Pat Robertson, he’s found the perfect foil.
  By now the Rev. Robertson has become the conservatives’ Michael Moore: a general embarrassment. These now familiar types seem so angry all the time that, even when their voices remain level, their minds seem to have no room for circumspection, for prudence, for thinking before speaking. Strange, isn’t it, that the fires of anger should burn so brightly yet shed so little light?
  At 75, the Reverend Pat has slowed down a little and by now is only a slowly whirling dervish. He’s become a kind of superannuated Ann Coulter without the wit and dash, but he’s just demonstrated that he’s still capable of embarrassing his government.
  What is it about the Pat Robertsons and Michael Moores, those perfectly matched icons, one each left and right? Each is personally, commercially successful, yet each robs his cause of credibility. Much like French politics, their conspiracy-mongering may be amusing, but it can’t be taken seriously. Each may win the allegiance of an increasingly small coterie of True Believers, but in the process they forfeit the real prize: American public opinion in general, which, despite all outward signs, remains obdurately sensible. Yet they go on, capable of saying anything, incapable only of shutting up.

Member Comments

On August 25, 2005, abh wrote:

Does anybody else have a problem with the comparison to Michael Moore?

Who wrote this?

On August 26, 2005, GregoryHavana wrote:

I would really like the author (was it you, I-Taoist?) of this article to come up with some hard and specific facts and examples to back up their (ridiculous) comparison of Pat Robertson and Micheal Moore. Give me some hard examples of how Micheal Moore is an “extremist”. Hey, in Canada or Europe, Micheal Moore’ views would be mainstream Left-of-Center, nothing more. It is only in the parochial U.S.A. that Moore’ social critique could certify him as “extremist”. A sad state of affairs.

On August 26, 2005, yumaguy wrote:

This is true to a certain extent what GregH & abh are saying.

I’ve only seen bits and pieces of Fahrenheit 911, but from what I’ve seen, it did seem heavy-handed in its style/approach and thus could be criticized as a kind of “propaganda.”

On the other hand, it is also true that the U.S. in general has swung so solidly to the right [since the Reagan years, Clinton was just an aberration wink ] that what would be considered a boring moderate opinion in other countries is vilified as “socialist” “leftist” or “liberal” here in the States.

It’ ironic that while a good chunk of the world has moved a bit to the left (certainly much of Europe and almost all the rest of the Americas), the U.S. is somewhat isolated ideologically speaking. Time will tell if the rest of the world was wrong or if it was the U.S. that was getting a bit out of touch. . .  wink

On August 26, 2005, abh wrote:

Right, but I think my main beef was that Michael Moore does not call for assasinations of anybody.

On August 27, 2005, PABLOPUEBLO wrote:

I don’t like M Moore,but it is hard to me to take seriously
the Robertson assessment,no Pastor talks like this,this is
the wrong way,of course,Robertson Have already given his
apologies about that.However Robertson didn’t apologizes himself for call Chavez a dictator,Chavez won general elections
and won a recall,Chavez could be a defaulter,but until now he
is the elected president of Venezuela and he is supported by
60% of the population,so in my view the statement of Robertson
is an outright lie.

On August 27, 2005, yumaguy wrote:

Chavez is more popular in his country than Bush is right now. . .  wink  wink

On August 30, 2005, Dana Garrett wrote:

This article is a misinformation howler.  Consider these statements:

“However much Venezuelans may loathe their leader, and understand the threat he represents to their remaining freedoms”

Venezuelans hate Chavez?  That notion is so contradicted by the evidence that one must consider it on the order of a psychiatric delusion.  Chavez won the Presidency in 1988, was reelected to the Presidency in 1990 after Venezuela adopted a new constitution and easily survived a recall vote (by twenty percentile points) in 1994.

Now this statement:

“Venezuelaís wannabe despot”

About that recall vote in which Chavez stomped on the opposition, it should be understood that the capacity to recall a president was put into the new constitution at Chavezís suggestion.  It never existed before Chavez. 

Thereís more.  After Chavez won the recall vote, the Venezuela legislature moved to remove the 2-term limit on the Presidency, but Chavez threatened to veto the bill, effectively killing it. He will run for his final term in 2006. George Bush should be the “despot” that Chavez is.

On August 30, 2005, GregoryHavana wrote:

I still want to know who wrote this article. It is not clear whether it was I-Taoist or someone else, but when people write things like this, they should have the courage to stand by their words. I guess the person is embarassed by their own obtuseness.

On August 30, 2005, abh wrote:

Yeah, it’ not that big of a deal to me, but one of the few complaints I have about this site is that often I have no idea who the author is.

On August 30, 2005, publisher wrote:

Note to readers from publisher:

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Look at the very last line of the article and you will see “Posted By: I-taoist”

That is the author.

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On August 30, 2005, abh wrote:

Good stuff publisher, thanks.

On August 31, 2005, GregoryHavana wrote:

Thanx publisher for the clarification….Although he is under no obligation to do so, it is nevertheless unfortunate that I-Taoist does not engage those of us who had critical reflections on his opinion. Sincere and frank debate is key for our elucidation.

On August 31, 2005, abh wrote:

Exactly.  Definitely wasn’t trying to gripe about the site, obviously I appreciate it immensley.  My only point is sometimes I don’t know if these pices are being copied from a legit news source or if they’re just rants by the folks who frequent the cite.

On October 30, 2005, I-taoist wrote:

For anyone still joining in this debate, please excuse the oversight.  I did not author this piece and the authorship has now alluded me.  Please forgive.

John Bomar