Hugo Chavez and the sixth grade meanies

This last week as I observed Hugo Chavez tagging along behind president Bush’s Latin America tour, followers in tow, I was reminded that there is something vaguely familiar about his style of obsessive hatred – You know, the catty lies, vicious ridicule, insults and exclusive I-hate-George parties with Harry and Cindy.

Then it came to me. Could it be that Chavez is afflicted with a rare manifestation of a common adolescent malady, mean girl syndrome?

Imagine for a moment that instead of George and Hugo, we have, say, Heather and Jennifer. Now imagine, if you can, Heather standing before the United Nations saying, "Jennifer spoke in this place like a whole day ago, and it still stinks. She’s always, like, ‘I own the world.’ She totally thinks she’s John Wayne. Whatever. It’s so retarded."

Isn’t that what mean girls do? Bully through gossip, ridicule, and slander?

"He was an alcoholic – you have a president that’s an alcoholic," Chavez expounded from that same podium that has hosted some of history’s greatest statesmen. "He’s a sick man with a complex."

But then a true mean girl would never pass up such an opportunity to socially assassinate her victim, because she needs to build up a network of gullible third parties. For example, useful idiots like Cindy Sheehan, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, and all the Americans who waved Venezuelan flags and cheered while a grinning and ingratiating Chavez strutted about on American soil last September, lampooning Bush’s walk.

Would such nastiness from a hostile outsider be tolerated in Venezuela? I don’t think so.

Yet Chavez preaches that the United States government is the "first enemy" of a citizenry virtually strait-jacketed by the Patriot Act.

His unfettered access to American television and radio communications to spout off such profundities would seemingly contradict his words, but then anyone who would call Saddam Hussein his "brother" and nurture cozy relationships with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Fidel Castro may not know what the definitions of freedom and oppression actually are.

All it takes is an entry on the State Department’s list of terrorism sponsors to secure the friendship and allegiance of Chavez, even though the bondage of the Patriot Act would probably seem like a sudden release from gravity to the citizens of those countries.

Still Chavez never passes up an opportunity to express his compassion for the oppressed American people. "I would like to talk about life and greet the US people with a lot of affection, with a lot of love, and with a lot of pain due to the tragedy in New Orleans and the gulf states," he stated after Hurricane Katrina, then went on to describe how he was "…cooperating very humbly in trying to save lives and assist the homeless."

Is this the same Chavez, oozing all this sloppy love for the American people, who presides over a population with 40% poverty and 11% unemployment? And incidently has urged activists worldwide to help bring down the evil "U.S. empire?"

But I have a hunch that deep down Chavez doesn’t really care about the suffering of American citizens. Call me cynical, but I think he’s just trying to buy more members for his I-hate-George club.

As Heather would say, "I think, you know, Hugo is like pretending to be America’s best friend. I mean, if everyone totally liked Hugo more than George, then George couldn’t go around acting like he’s like the boss of everybody."

So, why does Chavez hate? Maybe President Bush had a slumber party and didn’t invite him.

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