He Was A Simple Lad, and Fell Among Bad Companions
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
Perhaps it all began with Joe Kennedy and Citizens' Oil. A chance for a new Congressman and old prosecutor to align himself with the Golden Boy of the reigning family in Massachusetts Democratic politics. Bill Delahunt found himself assigned to Foreign Affairs, and had a chance to make interesting new friends, in places like Havana and Caracas.
In 2005, Susan Milligan reported in the Boston Globe (link HERE):
The group, which called itself "Grupo de Boston," met in 2002 and 2003 on Cape Cod. Participants often engaged in heated political talks in the mornings (one session needed an intervention to stop a fistfight).
They also went whale-watching and played intramural baseball in the afternoons, with mixed teams and a bipartisan group of legislators as umpires.
Bottles of Scotch were in the guest rooms, and all had been consumed by the end of the session, a Delahunt spokesman said.
Chávez has been less cooperative and friendly toward Bush, calling him a "crazy man" and an "assassin." When Bush was in Latin America earlier this month, Chavez derided him at anti-Bush rally and declared "dead" the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, a Bush administration priority.
At a congressional hearing last week, the US assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, Thomas A. Shannon Jr., warned that the Chávez government was "subverting democratic institutions by using them to restrict the rights of those who disagree with it."
Asked if he was subverting State Department policy toward Chávez, Delahunt said, "I don't work for Condoleezza Rice. I don't report to the State Department. I report to the people who elected me in the state of Massachusetts. I belong to an independent branch of government."
Indeed - an independent branch of governmet, but supported by the perks and protecols of the rest of the government. Perhaps it was the glamour of hob-nobbing with a head of state and a Kennedy, after being a mere Quincy prosecutor. The irony is, he and Kennedy chose to go whoring after cut rate oil during some of the mildest winters in years, selling out our national interest for a commodity we needed less than usual. Delahunt's friendship with Fidel Castro began around the same time. But his friend Chavez is far more sinister, even for a brutal dictator.
Congressman Delahunt - your political partner has been getting admiring support on Al Jazeera for his support of Iran's nuclear program (HERE). In a 25 minute rant, he told OPEC, "If the United States is crazy enough to attack Iran or commit aggression against Venezuela ... oil would not be $100 but $200!"
Now, even Chavez's erstwhile allies are warning the world that he has crossed several lines, Congressman Delahunt - even those that threaten the United States more than George Bush. In a remarkable editorial in the New York Times, one of his oldest friends writes -
Hugo Chávez and I worked together for many years. I supported him through thick and thin, serving as his defense minister. But now, having recently retired, I find myself with the moral and ethical obligation as a citizen to express my opposition to the changes to the Constitution that President Chávez and the National Assembly have presented for approval by the voters tomorrow (Dec. 2).
A link to the rest of the editorial is HERE.
Congressman Delahunt - these are the words of Chavez's political ally of 35 years, the Commander in Chief of his Armed Forces until this past July. This is not the opinion of a remote figure, but a warning from a member of his inner circle. Chavez has gone too far and is trying to codify his dictatorship of Venezuela.
Are you able to set partisanship aside long enough to realize that a head of state that refers to your President as 'Satan', and who publicly embraces the sworn enemy of your nation who is devoping nuclear weapons, really is NOT somebody who should be a political partner?
For the good of your nation and constituency - Congressman Delahunt, repudiate Hugo Chavez.