Realpolitik

by Don Boudreaux on March 28, 2010

in Current Affairs, Intervention, Politics

The Wall Street Journal‘s irrepressible Americas columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady is a national treasure: here’s her latest column on Honduras – and on the Obama administration’s coziness with tyrants.  Some key ‘grafs:

The image of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wielding what resembled an oversized mallet while leading a mob of congressmen across Capitol Hill on the day of the health-care vote is the stuff of nightmares. It is also instructive. As a metaphor for how the Democrats view their power, the Pelosi hammer-pose could not be more perfect.

Just ask Honduras.

Last year, the U.S. tried to force the reinstatement of deposed president Manuel Zelaya. When that failed and Team Obama was looking like the Keystone Cops, it sent a delegation to Tegucigalpa to negotiate a compromise.

Participants in those talks say Dan Restrepo, senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, let slip that the U.S. interest had to do with American politics. The Republicans, he said, were using the administration’s support for Mr. Zelaya, an ally of Venezuelan Hugo Chávez, against the Democrats. It’s not going to work, Mr. Restrepo is said to have informed the other negotiators, because “we have the power” and would be keeping it for a long time.

It can’t have been comforting for Hondurans to learn that while their country was living a monumental crisis, fueled by U.S. policy, Mr. Restrepo’s concern was his party’s power. For the record, an NSC spokesman says “Mr. Restrepo didn’t say that.” But my sources are more plausible considering what has transpired since.

And here’s a video interview.

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