Pity Sean Penn*. After years working to position himself as an avant-garde progressive willing to push the envelope by hitching his brand to Chávez’s, his pet revolutionary starts unravelling all that work by standing by the mass-murdering Libyan regime.
As Chávez starts spinning wild tales of gringo conspiracies to grab Libyan oil fields that aren’t even compatible with the wild conspiracy theories Gaddafi himself is spinning, I just have a mental image of Penn watching the news back home and just letting his face sink into his hands: ¡que torta!
He’s now in Caracas, apparently trying to do a bit of damage control.
Sean, buddy, it’s too late. The whole world’s borne witness to the twisted spectacle of one mentally disturbed pseudo-leftie dictator standing by another. Not even Chávez’s own bought-and-paid-for journalists can stomach it.
In refusing to call out Gaddafi for plain old undisguised mass murder, Chávez crosses a new rubicon. It’s not that he’s putting himself beyond the pale of mainstream international opinion: he did that long ago, when he started shutting down dissident media outlets like RCTV. So we’re way past that.
Now, though, he’s making himself radioactive even to the 1% farthest left fringe of international public opinion: Chávez is now beyond the pale of people who initially put themselves beyond the pale by supporting him!