Pat Robertson, Hugo Chavez and the Republicans

by on August 24th, 2005

We found the weapons of mass destruction! Apparently Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela has them hidden in the back yard of the presidential palace in downtown Caracas.

That’s the only reason I can figure that the Yale educated scion of the Republican Party Pat Robertson would appear to have slipped his nut and called for the assassination of the elected leader of Venezuela. It’s either that or Karl Rove or some other Bush minion gave him an extra vodka martini and conned him into floating a trial balloon to test the reaction of the Christian conservative base to the idea. The Republicans are desperate for anything to distract from the debacle in Iraq. Given the new poll by Public Agenda showing those who attend church regularly as the strongest backers of Bush’s Iraq policy, maybe they figured Robertson could con them into backing an invasion of Venezuela.

Anyway, according to Robertson, killing Chavez “would be a lot cheaper than another war,” and it’s necessary to keep our Latin American neighbor from becoming a hotbed of godless communism and Islamic extremism. Lookout, I can here those dominoes falling now. Robertson by the way is the same guy who has repeatedly tried to frame the war in Iraq and the battle against terrorism as a struggle between Christianity and Islam. During a July broadcast with Christian Broadcasting Network International correspondent George Thomas it was Robertson who said, “People in America with political correctness refuse to open their eyes and listen to that. They steadfastly refuse to say this is a struggle between Christianity and Islam.”

But before writing Pat Robertson off as some out to lunch nutball, the press and the public would do well to remember that he is a powerful Republican activist with close ties to the President and the Republican Congress.

It was Robertson who launched the Christian Coalition, giving rise to the organization of conservative Christian voters and empowering conservative Republican candidates and political consultants, many of whom are still beholden to him.

And according to FEC reports, during the 2004 election cycle Robertson personally donated more than $20,000 to Republican candidates, including contributions to President Bush and Senators John Thune and George Allen, a Republican presidential aspirant.

Robertson has also played a major role in mobilizing Christian conservatives to shape the selection of a conservative Supreme Court candidate by the Bush administration. While Jay Sekulow of the Center for American Justice may be the one advising the President on his Supreme Court picks and using the Center to mobilize Christians to support the Bush administration, it was Robertson who founded and funded the Center, paying for Sekulow’s work.

One only need to look at the recently passed $286 billion federal transportation bill for evidence of Robertson’s clout in Republican circles. According to a recent story in the Virginia Pilot, the newly passed highway bill, with an assist from U.S. Sen. George Allen, and U.S. Reps. Thelma Drake and J. Randy Forbes, includes $10.8 million for an I-64 exit leading to City Line Road, which doesn’t exist, but where Robertson is planning to build a $300 million housing, retail and office development. (Note: according to FEC reports Robertson gave Drake and Allen $4,000 each in 2004.)

Maybe they can help him with Chavez.

John McDonald