This isn’t going to end well

That rancid little commie nut down in Venezuela is looking to become Fidel II:

“There is a perverse subversion of our existing Constitution under way,” said Gen. Raúl Isaías Baduel, a retired defense minister and former confidant of Mr. Chávez who broke with him in a stunning defection this month to the political opposition. “This is not a reform,” General Baduel said in an interview here this week. “I categorize it as a coup d’état.”

Chávez loyalists already control the National Assembly, the Supreme Court, almost every state government, the entire federal bureaucracy and newly nationalized companies in the telephone, electricity and oil industries. Soon they could control even more.

But this is an upheaval that would be carried out with the approval of the voters. While opinion polls in Venezuela are often tainted by partisanship, they suggest that the referendum could be Mr. Chávez’s closest electoral test since his presidency began in 1999, but one he may well win.

“We are witnessing a seizure and redirection of power through legitimate means,” said Alberto Barrera Tyszka, co-author of a best-selling biography of Mr. Chávez. “This is not a dictatorship but something more complex: the tyranny of popularity.”

Of course just one of the problems with “the tyranny of popularity” is when said tyranny turns unpopular but the tyrant won’t let go of the “power [seized] through legitimate means.”

The usual social fevers are present in this impending catastrophe, including the urgent feeling that markets don’t matter and that what was produced in markets can be taken and distributed to “the people” as if the markets were not essential to the continued production of the things taken for distribution. The end of all this is well known, including the institutionalization of poverty along with the raking imprisonments and murder of those who resist. But the dreariness of it all is best summed up by the old double-bind saw from the Soviet Union: “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.”

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