President Obama is getting flack from the likes of conservative talk show hosts such as Sean Hannity for being civil and shaking hands with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Chavez isn't the kindest guy, but it doesn't hurt to attempt communication and civility.
Some folks think we should take a more antagonistic stance, but we are likely to just be a "paper tiger" if we take an antagonistic stance; we still buy Venezuelan oil.
As long as we're buying Chavez's oil, we're voting at the pump, so to speak.
Both Chavez and Obama are kind of over the barrel. Obama's country is dependent on the oil, Chavez's country is dependent on the money.
Being civil might as well be tried. It also gains points from other more moderate leaders in Latin America and around the world. Obama is playing to a big audience.
Being confrontational is an option, but that option looks kind of funny while we "vote at the pump" and buy their oil.
There are pictures of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein during the Regan Presidency. Rumsfeld later became our defense secretary while we went to war against Hussein during the Bush Jr. presidency.
Oil can make strange bedfellows.
I've never driven a car.