I don’t know whether it was a good idea for the Bush Administration to support a coup to drive Hugo Chavez from power. He looks like bad news for sure, but elections are supposed to mean something.
But I’m pretty sure that trying to displace Chavez and failing to do so was a bad idea. It didn’t look as if we even tried hard to help the opposition win the recall vote. Now maybe the opposition wasn’t really worth supporting, but Napoleon’s first rule of war applies to diplomacy: If you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna.
Add one to the list of key foreign countries we’d have an easier time dealing with if we had a President not named “Bush.”