Ridiculous Republican Meme of the Day: America's Too Weak to Shake Hands

It's early Monday, and you know what that means: time for a new coordinated conservative tantrum. The freak-out over the Department of Homeland Security and domestic threats is so last week. The new fit is over President Obama shaking hands with the President of Venezuela at the Summit of the Americas.


Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tore into President Barack Obama Monday for his friendly greeting of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, saying Obama is bolstering the "enemies of America."

Gingrich appeared on a number of morning talk shows comparing Obama to President Jimmy Carter for the smiling, hearty handshake he offered Chavez, one of the harshest critics of the United States, during the Summit of the Americas. [...]

Two Republican senators, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and John Ensign of Nevada, joined in the criticism Monday, with Ensign calling Obama's greeting of Chavez "irresponsible."

Obama apparently expected the excessive whining, and noted over the weekend the "great differences" he has with Chavez, including the Venezuelan president's "inflammatory" rhetoric and his unhelpful role in Latin America.

"It's unlikely that as a consequence of me shaking hands or having a polite conversation with Mr. Chavez that we are endangering the strategic interests of the United States," Obama told reporters. "I don't think anybody can find any evidence that that would do so. Even within this imaginative crowd, I think you would be hard-pressed to paint a scenario in which U.S. interests would be damaged as a consequence of us having a more constructive relationship with Venezuela."

That, of course, doesn't matter. Gingrich & Co. need a new meme, and they settled on this one over the weekend.

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