Yesterday's peroration by Hugo Chavez at the United Nations was historic. His referring to President Bush as the Devil is more than a sideshow, a vaudeville act or a burst of insanity. It is a precedent. No one has ever ratcheted up the hostile rhetoric to that plateau. Nobody. Not even wacky old Baroody from Saudi Arabia with the two-hour rambles. And it is never good when folks stop trying to put their best face on in public.
As for the content of his message, and that of Ahmadinejad who preceded him to the pulpit, I took my scalpel to it in my patented way in today's The American Spectator.
Ironically, perhaps, their jabbering deflected attention away from President Bush's own address. The President said a series of horrific things that are neither accurate nor sensible. He declared that the Palestinians have been undergoing the "daily humiliation of occupation", which is total bullhockey. He also said that the Palestinian vote for Hamas was not a vote for terrorism but for reforming corrupt governmental institutions. That goes well beyond naive into Jimmy Carter-like duncish self-delusion.
And so yet another well-intentioned President bites the dust in the Arab-Israeli conflict, substituting wish fulfillment for sensible analysis. Something like the syndrome noted by the Wall Street Journal some years ago of people who visit the Wailing Wall and suddenly decide they are the Messiah or Elijah.