We’ve seen the predictable reaction to Pat Robertson’s call for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela. The usual talking heads have condemned it, the state department called it inappropriate — a term you usually associate with using the wrong fork at dinner — and the Religious Reich, while not exactly backing their man, came out with the helpful reminder that Jesus Christ himself wasn’t all peace and love all the time.
As far as I’m concerned, Pat Robertson can say whatever he wants to whomever he wants and about whomever. Freedom of expression is what we’re fighting for, right? And the more craziness he comes up with, the better job he does of making the Bush administration uncomfortable — after all, Robertson is taking credit for getting the president elected — and he provides us with a wonderful point of comparison to people like Michael Moore. Moore may be a clown, but he’s never put out a contract on anyone that I know of, and he doesn’t have his own TV show…which, by the way, begs the question as to whether or not The 700 Club may be liable to a fine from the FCC. After all, if CBS can be slapped with $550,000 for inadvertantly revealing Janet Jackson’s breast, can ABC Family be fined for allowing someone to advocate murder? Do FCC sanctions apply only to tits but not hits?
Whatever the outcome of this flap, I say let Pat Robertson say whatever the hell he wants. The more he natters on, the more uncomfortable he will make the Republicans; after all, he’s not just a scruffy baseball-cap-wearing film maker but the head of one of the largest lobbying groups in Washington and a huge fundraiser for them. And the best thing is that he’s not alone. James Dobson, Phyllis Schlafly, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer; these pompous, arrogant, and homophobic bores out there are all owned by the Republicans, and the more they talk, the easier it is for the left to make the case that when it comes to bomb-throwing, we on the left have nothing on them.