Thursday, September 21, 2006

Who makes up these rules?

A few years ago, when the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines told a London audience she was ashamed that George W. Bush was from Texas, a lot of the outrage occurred because Maines had "insulted" the "president." But I also heard some people say they supported Maines' right to criticize Bush, but that she shouldn't have said what she said "over there." To these people, it was somehow improper for an American citizen to criticize the country's leader (well, you know...) while on foreign soil.

This made no sense to me at all. Bush is just as dreadful and idiotic a person, whether you happen to be in Chicago or London. It's not a secret, either: The rest of the world knows that he is an ignorant, callous, greedy philistine.

Now, enter Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan leader, loose cannon and drama queen who called Bush "the devil" while he was visiting the United States. Rep. Charles Rangel spoke harshly of Chavez, declaring he had no right to criticize Bush:

You don't come into my country, you don't come into my congressional district, and you don't condemn my president. If there's any criticism of President Bush, it should be restricted to Americans--whether we voted for him or not.

Oh? What a ridiculous notion. Bush isn't my president, and I didn't think he was Rangel's. Bush, as far as many of us are concerned, is not even the president. And, since we pride ourselves on our rapidly disappearing free speech, doesn't that apply to visitors? And why on earth should criticism of Bush be restricted to Americans? Like Reagan, Bush is an internationally meddlesome--and menacing--American leader (I use the term loosely). He has interfered with the people of every continent, bringing about death, homelessness, destruction, and fear.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi was even worse. She called Chavez an "everyday thug" for making the devil comment. It is not my intention to defend Chavez as a leader; rather, it is my intention to examine thug-like behavior. Attacking a country for no reason, poisoning the environment of your own country, declaring those who dissent to be unpatriotic, participating in tainted elections, and forcing illness and death on African women and children--that, dear readers, is what a thug does.

What Rangel and Pelosi did is what a coward does.


Uh oh. I'm in trouble. Because yesterday I was criticizing Bush to a woman from The Netherlands on a train out of London! Double whammy.

I hope no one boycotts my blog.

By Blogger KathyF, at 4:08 AM  

I wouldn't worry about it. You were already a liberal, an expat and someone who believes in thinking. UnAmurican to the core.

By Blogger Diane, at 8:57 AM  

To paraphrase Meatloaf: You took the words right outta my mind. Cowards are indeed what THEY! are. But then they're politicians, so what can you expect.? In this modern day super-charged patriotic world in which we live, it may very well take a latter day Sgt. York or Audie Murphy to tell us the truth: Free Speech means just what it says. And the antidote is, as always!, a more logically construed, sensibly presented, coherently valid argument.

By Anonymous TheArrowSplitter, at 8:48 PM  

I can understand the Democrats distancing themselves from Chavez for political reasons, but I was taken aback by Pelosi's and especially Rangel's remarks. "Don't come into my country...don't condemn my president"??? "Criticism...should be restricted to Americans"??? I agree, free speech in a democracy should not be limited to just its citizens. And the last time I checked, Bush's actions have affected the lives of citizens of other countries.

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