Jan 24, 2006

McCain Riles Up The Venezuelans

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Left: Senator John McCain, courtesy of Mosnews.com

(Toledo, OH) I find John McCain intriguing as a possible 2008 presidential candidate; he is outspoken, charismatic, and projects himself seemingly above much of the partisan political fray that is Washington.

And yet, perhaps his willingness to say what is on his mind may end up being his undoing.

"We've got to get quickly on a track to energy independence from foreign oil and that means, among other things, going back to nuclear power," Senator McCain said on Fox News Sunday. "We better understand the vulnerabilities that our economy, and our very lives, have when we're dependent on Iranian mullahs and wackos in Venezuela."

"Wackos in Venezuela."

Now, Senator McCain might disagree with the leftist politics of such people of Hugo Chavez, and that is understandable. It should be noted, however, that popular elections put Mr. Chavez into power, and he has also survived a US-backed referedum to have him removed from power.

Chavez is a socialist, but he is far from a "wacko." He is a shrewd politician who has endeared himself to many of the South American nation's poor, and has figured out that gaining greater control over the nation's oil reserves is an excellent way to improve the standard of living among the country's most impoverished citizens.

Is this good economic policy? Perhaps not. Is Chavez insane for undertaking such a course of action? Definitely not.

McCain's comments only serve to worsen relations between Venezuela and the US. Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel responded in kind, telling McCain that he can "go to hell" for his remarks.

"Maybe he has got nothing to do over there in the United States," said Rangel, adding that the US has "so many problems, 40 million poor people, 30 million drug users, and an American senator is paying attention to us."

While I share McCain's enthusiasm for energy independence, I believe his words only increased the tension between the governments of Venezuela and the United States, and the Senator needs to choose his rhetoric more carefully.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyone who believes socialism works is a nutjob.

historymike said...

Wow. What astute reasoning:

"Anyone who believes socialism works is a nutjob."

Did you stay up all night to develop that retort, anonymous, or did someone help you?

Of course, being anonymous, you can feel free to spew forth snippets of stupidity like that without worry about people finding out just what a moron you are.

Look, you mental midget: if you are going to engage in debate here, try to do so in a fashion that involves at least a half-dozen of your deformed neurons firing simultaneously.

Otherwise, find another site to troll.

Lisa Renee said...

There are lots of things I like about McCain, I wish he would have gotten the Republican nomination instead of Bush. However he like others, Paul Hackett as an example, sometimes have foot enters mouth syndrome. Where the sentiment might be seen but the choice of words could have been re-considered. I don't think McCain is going to run for President again, I think his window of opportunity has passed.

mikevotes said...

That's a good article find.

Mike

historymike said...

Thanks, Mikevotes!

Hooda Thunkit said...

Mike,

”And yet, perhaps his willingness to say what is on his mind may end up being his undoing.”

Hasn’t seemed to slow down our own (Carty), but I think Paul Hackett is nursing a pesky flesh wound…


"We've got to get quickly on a track to energy independence from foreign oil and that means, among other things, going back to nuclear power," Senator McCain said on Fox News Sunday.”

I would take issue with this conclusion, as probably anyone else living this close to Davis Bessie would…


"We better understand the vulnerabilities that our economy, and our very lives, have when we're dependent on Iranian mullahs and wackos in Venezuela."

We may well be doing business with these so-called wackos for a very long time, like it or not…


”While I share McCain's enthusiasm for energy independence, I believe his words only increased the tension between the governments of Venezuela and the United States, and the Senator needs to choose his rhetoric more carefully.”

Or knock it off entirely, if he is to remain a serious candidate on 2008.


Ya gotta admire anyone that goes through life seemingly immune to the hazards inherent in the (Carty) patented ready, fire, aim style of losing friends and insulting people…

liberal_dem said...

...and the Senator needs to choose his rhetoric more carefully.”

mike-

Civility is rapidly exiting our culture and, sadly it now is exiting the Senate chambers.

Just today, Senator Lindsay Graham shocked me with a retort to one of the Democratic senators on the other side of the table. The discussio was about morality or something close to this. Graham, believing that his party has the moral high ground on this topic said, "We'll clean your clock on that one!"

I suppose that was mild in comparison with Vice-President Cheney's remark in the Senate, "Go F--k yourself!"

Naturally I am partisan here, but it seems to me that the majority of the 'ugly' remarks and juvenile retorts which have been said in this once-sacred chamber do not come from my party.

Lisa Renee said...

Actually lib_dem...his statement was in response to this:

I really do worry that we're going to take the Supreme Court nominating process and boil it down to abortion. And that won't be good for the country, but that's definitely the direction we're headed.

And let me tell you another thing that's not good for the country. With little chance of stopping Judge Alito confirmation to the Supreme Court, Senate Democratic leaders urged their members Tuesday to vote against him in an effort to lay the groundwork for making a campaign issue of the decisions on the court.

I'll just tell you right now we welcome that debate on our side. We'll clean your clock.

I mean, Judge Alito is closer to the mainstream of America than Citizens for American Way. We'll win that debate, but the judiciary will lose if we continue to do this.


Washingington Post has the full transcript

Harry Reid states he did not make that statement, appears Kennedy made some sort of statement but I haven't been able to track that down for context. So I really don't think that comment was off base since the frustration of "now" versus "then" has been voiced by Republicans many times.

M A F said...

Venezuela, Bolivia, Chile, South America is becoming the socialist block that Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra had dreamed about. through democratic elections. Of course the US did its best to destroy democratically elected leaders in SA as recently as the 1980's.

McCain's comments are foolish. Let us imagine for a moment that he was president, he would have a difficult time dealing with the wackos.

I at one time considered voting for McCain, particularly against Bush. I don't hold the same regard for his straight talk as I once had.

Stephanie said...

My guess, though I don't know the dates of the two references, is that it might be in response to this.

Though, as far as this quote from the article I just linked goes, McCain isn't the only one straining the relationship between our two nations.

"Chavez's opponents accuse him of using Venezuela's oil wealth to win friends while trying to embarrass US President George W. Bush, whom he calls a "madman." But Chavez's supporters defend the heating oil program an example of generosity by a president leading a socialist revolution for the poor."

I'm not saying I approve of McCain being sucked down to Chavez's level. I don't. But blaming the strain on McCain isn't exactly fair.

M A F said...

Stephanie, It is not suprising that Chavez would refer to Bush as a "mad man".

As for McCain, he didn't get sucked down to the level of Chavez because he was already there.

historymike said...

(laughing at Mac)

I used to think the "McCain is nutty" statements were just GWB political smearing, but maybe he was right.

Stephanie said...

So, it's politically wise and completely okay for Chavez to call Bush a "mad man," but a big fumble for McCain to make a statement about the "wackos" in Venezuela?