Jonah, the sense of Pinochet as a uniquely evil tyrant — when he was actually rather a singular tyrant, a tyrant who allowed a somewhat free economy to develop under his tyranny — is a central mythos of the Left and clearly will remain so after his death. And why? Because he deposed a Socialist president who was a Castro catamite.
This has all the marks of a classic conservative Pinochet defense. At least he developed the economy! He deposed a Socialist! In JPod's view, which seems to be a popular one among wingers, leftists only disliked Pinochet because he destroyed their beloved socialism. Nevermind that he killed opponents in the thousands and deposed a democracy. On CNN International on Sunday, the guy from the AEI tried to skirt the whole democracy issue by saying "Allende didn't even have the majority of the vote!" Well, you know what, Bush didn't get the majority in 2000 and barely did in 2004. Bill Clinton didn't get above 50% in 1996. Allende was the legitimate president and we supported his ouster and the bloody dictatorship that followed. These Cornerites are on the wrong side of history, plain and simple.