I guess if Hugo Chávez can’t even get majority support in a referendum for proposed changes to the constitution that he can’t be much of an aspiring dictator, can he? On the merits, I’m obviously not an expert in such things but Chávez’s proposals — an end to presidential term limits plus concentration of more power in the president’s office — are probably a bad idea for a country like Venezuela and it’s probably a good thing that they were defeated. Still, the level of pious screeching about Chávez’s authoritarianism from people who think the dictators (“emirs,” etc.) of Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, etc. should be treated with nothing but the utmost respect has always chafed.