Robertson cried #039;havoc#039; and let slip the gods of war

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2005

You got to feel sorry for poor Pat Robertson. This guy has put his foot in his mouth so many times in the last week, he's probably learned how to floss with his shoelaces.

First, he goes on his television show-"The 700 Club," and calls for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. And isn't it refreshing that somebody at last is speaking the truth about our foreign policy?

This could be the start of a whole new trend. Next thing you know President Bush will show up at a VFW rally and talk about how that punk Putin is just itching to be iced.

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Of course, then the inevitable happened: a few nearsighted malcontents wondered aloud about Robertson's sanity and whether or not he should be herded off to a quiet place in the country and fed a steady diet of strained food, flavored just enough to hide the taste of the industrial strength sedatives.

Not to mention a few Venezuelans who took minor umbrage. So Pat reluctantly went back on TV, not to apologize, but to say he didn't really say what we all heard him say. "I didn’t say 'assassination' (unh, yes you did). I said our special forces should 'take him out' 'Take him out' could be a number of things including kidnapping."

Methinks the Reverend Robertson is either spending very little money on his public relations firm or he has made it his policy to plug his ears and hum "Sugar, Sugar" while they speak.

Robertson denied saying he said Chavez should be killed when he went back on his television show and told his audience that maybe, what he meant to say, was Chavez should only be kidnapped a little. Well, why didn't you say so in the first place? Kidnapping is so much more civilized than out-and-out assassination.

Assassination is so final, what with the deadness and all. But kidnapping allows room for doubt, what with the attendant missingness. Much more mysterious and romantic.

When you get right down to it, he's right; the phrase "take him out" could mean many things. It could mean - place him upright next to the garage like a stack of old National Geographics on garbage night.

Or maybe - take him out to dinner and then a movie followed by a long slow drive to Inspiration Point with the top down and the "Best of Tony Orlando & Dawn" playing soft and low. He could have meant either of those - but I doubt it.

Asked to comment about Robertson's suggestion that our government "take out" Hugo Chavez, Donald Rumsfeld laughed it off as a ridiculous suggestion which would never happen because assassinations of foreign leaders are illegal. Nobody pointed out that so are the stealing of elections and the outing of CIA agents and the torture of foreign detainees. Sticky technicalities we've seemed to dodge in the past.

Of course, The Good Rev is being portrayed by the radical right as a wacky uncle who likes his Hot Toddies a tad too much; but remember, this is the guy who once said feminism was responsible for women killing their children, practicing witchcraft and destroying capitalism.

So obviously his hold on reality is about as tenuous as a room deposit for Courtney Love's fifth anniversary sobriety party.

We can't expect him to lose his television show, but one can only hope his invitations to the Lincoln Bedroom have been assassinated. Or at least kidnapped.

Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. E-mail him at