Comical Nonsense

April 20, 2009 9:41 a.m.

A bit of follow-up on right-wing paranoia about the Obama/Chavez meeting. I’m just watching Andrea Mitchell interview Michael O’Hanlon about whether President Obama showed some sort of dangerous weakness in happily shaking hands with Hugo Chavez. Mitchell played a clip of the always cartoonish Newt Gingrich and then noted that conservatives are drawing the analogy to John Kennedy’s famous meeting with Nikita Krushchev in which the latter sized Kennedy up as a lightweight and — so the argument goes — thus believed he could push Kennedy around during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Now, Kruschev? Really? I’m not sure I can imagine a better illustration of the sort of parodic paranoia I’m talking about. We do realize that the US has the most powerful military in the world and Venezuela has little ability to project military power beyond its own borders. It’s a non-entity militarily, even compared to Iran and North Korea. Will he be emboldened into calling Obama el Diablo? Maybe provocatively give away more books?

Late update: Here’s the video:

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