Democrats don't do coups right

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on July 7, 2009

I mean small "d" democrats when I say that.

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya continues to attempt to return to power despite widespread support for his ouster within that country. An old college friend of mine returned to the U.S. last weekend from doing missionary work in Honduras and his first Facebook comment was that the media wasn't reporting the truth.

The majority of Hondurans want Mel out as he is going the way or Chavez and Ortega. Maybe the [sic]  should have used the more "official" channels, but things they witnessed him getting crazier by the minute. He broke the law in many ways and was looking to change the constitution to allow him to serve beyond his term.

Which is what small "d" democrats have been saying for two weeks. Unfortunately, capital "D" Democrats continue to prefer the shallow perception of democracy over the reality of it.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with ousted Honduran President Miguel Zelaya in Washington Tuesday, signaling unequivocal US support for Mr. Zelaya's return to office.

The insanity of this policy by the Obama administration cannot be understated. It used to be the GOP that was (oftentimes rightly) criticized for propping up tyrants and despots because they were "our" tyrants and despots. At the height of the Cold War, a valid defense for that realpolitik position could be made. But where is the greater evil on the horizon that we are willing to sacrifice the Honduran people for? It is no longer the Soviet Union and worldwide communism.

In fact, the main evil we face in much of the world today is the thugocratic regimes like Iran and Venezuela, wacko nut-jobs like North Korea, and communist China. Yet, in this situation, we've actually allied ourselves with Venezuela's Chavez!

The Wall Street Journal's Mary Anastasia O'Grady has a great backgrounder on how Chavez came to accumulate power in Venezuela, and how Honduras narrowly avoided a similar fate.

Hundreds of emails from Hondurans flooded my in-box last week after I reported on the military's arrest of President Manuel Zelaya, as ordered by the Supreme Court, and his subsequent banishment from the country.

Mr. Zelaya's violations of the rule of law in recent months were numerous. But the tipping point came 10 days ago, when he led a violent mob that stormed a military base to seize and distribute Venezuelan-printed ballots for an illegal referendum.

All but a handful of my letters pleaded for international understanding of the threat to the constitutional democracy that Mr. Zelaya presented. One phrase occurred again and again: "Please pray for us."

Hondurans have good cause for calling on divine intervention: Reason has gone AWOL in places like Turtle Bay and Foggy Bottom. Ruling the debate on Mr. Zelaya's behavior is Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez, who is now the reigning international authority on "democracy."

Mr. Chávez is demanding that Mr. Zelaya be reinstated and is even threatening to overthrow the new Honduran president, Roberto Micheletti. He's leading the charge from the Organization of American States (OAS). The United Nations and the Obama administration are falling in line.

Is this insane? You bet. We have fallen through the looking glass and it's time to review how hemispheric relations came to such a sad state.

Emphasizing that Zelaya is out because he violated the law, is this Bloomberg report from last week quoting a wise Latina woman:

Honduras’s military acted under judicial orders in deposing President Manuel Zelaya, Supreme Court Justice Rosalinda Cruz said, rejecting the view of President Barack Obama and other leaders that he was toppled in a coup.

“The only thing the armed forces did was carry out an arrest order,” Cruz, 55, said in a telephone interview from the capital, Tegucigalpa. “There’s no doubt he was preparing his own coup by conspiring to shut down the congress and courts.”

Cruz said the court issued a sealed arrest order for Zelaya on June 26, charging him with treason and abuse of power, among other offenses.

What this all comes down to is that small "d" democrats don't do coups right. If you look back at the coup that briefly removed Venezuela's Chavez, it becomes apparent that it was an effort to save democracy, but Chavez was back in office less than two days later. Honduras' removal of Zelaya is obviously also an effort to keep democracy alive in that nation (with no help from Obama), yet he may too return.

My advice to democracy lovers everywhere: If you're going to overthrow a strongman, kill him.


Welcome Instapundistas! Please feel free to look around. For those of you who are new here, I'm a recently unemployed journalist looking for work. You can find my resume and page design examples here.

0 comments on “Democrats don't do coups right”

  1. Everybody says it is insane, nobody is doing much about it. Should we, uh, find a cure, perhaps?

  2. How does that old saying go, "If you would strike a king, make sure that you kill him."

  3. He did talk to Hillary, maybe his plane can fly over Menah Ark and crash like so many others were reported to have done. mpw

  4. I can't help but wonder why BO's admin would support this guy. Could they be looking long term and thinking about repealing the 22nd amendment if he wins 2 terms?? It's on my mind so I guess it would be in the realm of possibility.

    Ousting Zelaya is what SHOULDd happen when situations like this pop up. It was legally orchestrated by the supreme court and legislature with the military acting as the police entity, if I've read the news correctly.

    Could Obama and the dems be seeing their future if they try to overstay their welcome? Hmmm.

  5. If only that was on everybody's bucket list - kill ousted dictator before I die. One bullet, one gun, one pair of brass . . . . .

  6. "Why does the Obamamessiah's ave such a man-crush on Zelaya?" Hasn't it become crystal clear yet, Obama wants the same thing, he want to be a strongman, a dictator; thats what the followers of Saul Alinsky have as a game plan.

  7. Seems to me the problem here is that Honduras' constitution does not have a provision for impeachment and trial before removal from office. Could be that even if it did Obama would still be unhappy and want to find a way to keep a simpatico leader in office. This story is not getting nearly enough attention.

  8. The difference is the same as Bush v. Gore:

    The legitimate government of Honduras knows that the consistent rule of law, applied to the electoral process, assures that the election is fair and truly representative of the people's will.

    Zelaya, (and the hand inside him, Chavez) wants "every vote must count" democracy ... with the origin and integrity of each individual vote ignored as irrelevant to the process.

    Now, do you see why our Dims are behind Zelaya?

  9. "Everybody says it is insane, nobody is doing much about it. Should we, uh, find a cure, perhaps?"

    The cure: throw Obiwon out before he tries to change the 22nd Amendment.

  10. “Everybody says it is insane, nobody is doing much about it. Should we, uh, find a cure, perhaps?”

    The cure: throw Obiwon out before he tries to change the 22nd Amendment.

    --PD Quig - Jul 8th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Throw him out?

    The same way Honduras did with Zelaya?

    You strike at a king to wound him. To wound a king's pride is to bring about desolation.

    No my dear friends... If you strike at the King, you must kill him... as Ralph Waldo Emerson said.


[custom-twitter-feeds headertext="Hoystory On Twitter"]


July 2009



linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram