On Monday the Wall Street Journal recycled an editorial that conservatives have been using more or less since the late 1940s. The theme runs something like this:
Democrats are threatening to abet the cause of (Communism/Islamism) by failing to support our (puppet/strongman/”friend”) through (arms sales/financial support/free trade deals) and as such are revealing themselves to be traitors. A true patriot understands that our (puppet/strongman/”friend”) needs (arms/money/trade) in order to resist the inexorable advance of (Communism/Islamism).
Try it yourself; recommended insertions include “Augusto Pinochet,” “Ngo Dinh Diem,” and “Pervez Musharraf“.
In this Monday’s case, we find that the traitorous Nancy Pelosi is abetting the onslaught of communism by failing to press a Colombian free trade agreement forward with sufficient enthusiasm:
What is it about Democrats and Hugo Chávez? Even as the Venezuelan strongman was threatening war last week against Colombia, Congress was threatening to hand him a huge strategic victory by spurning Colombia’s free trade overtures to the U.S…..Colombian President Álvaro Uribe is embracing greater economic and political freedom. He has bravely assisted the U.S fight against narco-traffickers, and he now wants to link his country more closely to America with a free-trade accord. As a strategic matter, to reject Colombia’s offer now would tell everyone in Latin America that it is far more dangerous to trust America than it is to trash it….
Which brings us back to Mr. Chávez and his many Democratic friends. Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd’s early support helped the strongman consolidate his power. Former President Jimmy Carter blessed Mr. Chávez’s August 2004 recall victory, despite evidence of fraud. And then there are the many House Democrats, current and former, who have accepted discount oil from Venezuela and then distributed it in the U.S. to boost their own political fortunes. Joseph P. Kennedy II and Massachusetts Congressman Bill Delahunt have been especially cozy with Venezuela’s oil company. If Democrats spurn free trade with Colombia, these Democratic ties with Mr. Chávez will deserve more political scrutiny.
One might, at this point, observe that Hugo Chavez’ political survival is tied intimately to the price of oil, and as such by any reasonable accounting has been done immense service by the war in Iraq and by continued bluster against Iran. Indeed, I’m inclined to think that Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have done far more to solidify Chavez’ position than any Democrat… with the possible exception of Joe Lieberman.