Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Thursday, September 21, 2006 :::

I'm sorry if I'm naive, but I disagree with everyone right now.
New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, whom Republicans also plan to attack as a possible chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, called a special press conference to spank him after Chavez delivered similar remarks in Rangel's Harlem district. "You do not come into my country, my congressional district, and you do not condemn my president," said the 18-term incumbent and former Army captain. "If there is any criticism of President Bush, it should be restricted to Americans."
I'm certainly eager to stand up for my right to suggest, if Hugo Chavez announced that the sun would rise tomorrow, that you go stock up on candles, even though I'm not Venezuelan. Is it a matter of his being in the United States, and acting as a poor guest? I suppose that makes a little bit more sense to me — certainly I wouldn't mistake Chavez's behavior for "dignified" — but there would be dignified ways to criticize the President, and if it's at all inherently unseemly for a foreign visitor to criticize things American while visiting the country, it must only be just barely.*

Then there's the criticism of Chavez for donating heating oil to poor residents of the Bronx. I suppose that this heating oil belongs to the people of Venezuela, and it could be argued that this government-sponsored foreign aid is a violation of his fiduciary duty to his subjects, but I can't imagine he would do that much better with those resources if he put them to their next most likely use. This probably is naive of me — not to care that he's looking to buy some sort of political points — but I rather feel the same way I do when some other country subsidizes its exports to the United States: Let our consumers not look a gift horse in the mouth. That it's the gift of a tyrant with aspirations doesn't make me feel bad.
*I assume it's unnecessary here to belabor the distinction between impropriety and crime, or between criticizing behavior and attempting to criminalize it, though I don't assume it so much that I didn't include this footnote.

::: posted by dWj at 10:18 PM

Comments: Post a Comment

Comment Policy

Dollars and Jens
Steven's web-site

Kitchen Cabinet
Colby Cosh
The Volokh Conspiracy
The Corner
The Bleat from James Lileks
Tim Blair
Daily Ablution
Mickey Kaus
Dave Barry
How Appealing
Virginia Postrel
Reason's "Hit and Run"
Captain's Quarters
Roger L. Simon
Power Line
IWF's InkWell
Blogs for Bush
Chetly Zarko
Signifying Nothing
Cosmo Macero
Hub Blog
Ex Parte from Harvard Law's Federalists
Harvard CR blog
Priorities & Frivolities
Daley News
Emil Levitin
Politica Obscura
Wave Maker
Town Watch
Worcester County Repubs

Election '08
Don't Vote
Dave Barry
John McCain

Other Sites of Note
Townhall columnists Cambridge Republican City Committee
Cambridge Chronicle
Robert Winters
Boston Herald
Boston Globe
Boston Metro
Channel 5
Commonwealth Mag
Fox News
Massachusetts Republican Assembly
Robert Benchley Society

U.S. Constitution
9/11 commission report [7 Meg PDF]
Iraq Survey Group report
Fahrenheight 9/11 deceits


Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

Powered by Blogger