It is of course useless for me to remind the enlightened reader the bitter rivalry observed these past years between Democrats and Republicans, made particularly tense as the Iraq toll war keeps escalating. I mean, there are real reasons for Nanci Pelosi to wish she had poisoned darts coming from her eyes to stab George Bush in the back while he was making his state of the Union address. As well as there were reasons for Cheney to wish that earth would open under the chair of the woman sitting to his left.
There was also a Democratic rebuttal delivered shortly after the Bush speech by a newly elected democratic senator from Virginia who used to be Republican until the Iraq war took a toll unacceptable for him. Nobody seems to have taken offense.
But all were for a brief moment playing the democratic rituals that exorcise once a year the biter rivalry in US politics, when all remember that a democracy is something that is fought for everyday, even after more than 200 years of the most successful constitution in history. You might want to say whatever you want about the US constitution but on duration and stability it is second to none. Actually, it is far ahead of anyone on that parameter.
A few days before I left Chavez did have his state of the union speech. A grotesque affair where all gold plated and banner clad he came to ramble for hours in front of a sycophantic audience that included no one from the opposition, even as a guest (I think that the church sent someone but even the media access was restricted to pro Chavez media). During this sorry exercise the enunciated piece of resistance was the confirmation that private property would be seized and that the glorious 1999 constitution that is supposed to be perfect and the best that Venezuela ever got would be EXTENSIVELY rewritten.
That is, during his state of the union speech Chavez ratified that he was no democrat and that whatever is left of viable opposition would be further controlled and repressed and impoverished.
How can chavistas sleep with such tremendous contradictions? Very simple: the boss ordered it and we all followed, a.k.a. fascism 101.
You know something: Chavez with all his tasteless jewelry and ridiculous military uniforms and more and more grotesque public displays is making someone as unpalatable as Bush look better than what he should.