I’ve written before that Obama reminds me of Hugo Chavez. But there’s a touch of Allende in Obama, too.
Take a look. Note that a coalition of groups in the Chilean Chamber of Deputies attempted to stop Allende when they became alarmed at the extent of his constitutional overreach. Unfortunately, I don’t think that our Congress has the guts to do something similar these days:
On 22 August 1973, the Christian Democrats and the National Party members of the Chamber of Deputies joined together to vote 81 to 47 in favor of a resolution that asked the authorities to “put an immediate end” to “breach[es of] the Constitution . . . with the goal of redirecting government activity toward the path of law and ensuring the Constitutional order of our Nation, and the essential underpinnings of democratic co-existence among Chileans.”
The resolution declared that Allende’s government sought “to conquer absolute power with the obvious purpose of subjecting all citizens to the strictest political and economic control by the State . . . [with] the goal of establishing . . . a totalitarian system” and claimed that the government had made “violations of the Constitution . . . a permanent system of conduct.” Essentially, most of the accusations were about disregard by the Socialist government of the separation of powers, and arrogating legislative and judicial prerogatives to the executive branch of government.
Specifically, the Socialist government of President Allende was accused of:
Ruling by decree, thwarting the normal legislative system
Refusing to enforce judicial decisions against its partisans; not carrying out sentences and judicial resolutions that contravened its objectives
Ignoring the decrees of the independent General Comptroller’s Office
Sundry media offenses; usurping control of the National Television Network and applying economic pressure against those media organizations that are not unconditional supporters of the government
Allowing its Socialist supporters to assemble with arms, and preventing the same by its right-wing opponents
Supporting more than 1,500 illegal takeovers of farms
Illegal repression of the El Teniente miners’ strike
Illegally limiting emigration
Finally, the resolution condemned the creation and development of government-protected [socialist] armed groups, which . . . are headed towards a confrontation with the armed forces. President Allende’s efforts to re-organize the military and the police forces were characterized as notorious attempts to use the armed and police forces for partisan ends, destroy their institutional hierarchy, and politically infiltrate their ranks.
Allende defied the Chamber of Deputies, and he was only stopped by a military coup. Allende committed suicide rather than step down, but the left has perpetrated the myth that he was assassinated. It makes much better propaganda.
I keep thinking of Obama’s Honduras policy—not the current immigration crisis, but the 2009 shocker where Obama supported the leftist Zelaya’s constitutional overreach, and opposed that country’s lawful attempt to remove and replace him. It was one of the clearest signs that Obama was interested in doing something similar himself. I have very little doubt that, if Obama had been president at the time of Allende’s control of Chile, Obama would have tried to protect him from being deposed, too.