Monday, September 18, 2006

Unrest protest Budapest

Citizens in Hungary apparently hold their prime minister to a much higher standard than that which our own government is used to meeting:
A leaked recording that caught Hungary's prime minister admitting the government had lied about the economy — keeping it afloat through "tricks" and relying on "divine providence" — has prompted protests outside parliament and calls for his resignation.
In fact, by nightfall, thousands of Hungarians were gathered, demanding Prime Minister Gyurcsany step down.

Now, this makes me laugh. Not at the Hungarians, mind you, but at what I imagine would be the reaction here in the US had George Bush been heard saying that the economy was a giant ponzi scheme and that he relies on "divine providence." Oh, wait. He has already said that.

Of course, Bush hasn't exactly used the word, "ponzi," but he is prone to state that the economy is "good," which is a trick in itself. He lies about the economy all the time.

But looking at some of Gyurcsany's remarks, it almost reads like the kind of confessional one imagines the few rational souls left in the White House might be saying on a daily basis:
We screwed up. Not a little, a lot. No European country has done something as boneheaded as we have.

I almost died when for a year and a half we had to pretend we were governing. Instead, we lied morning, evening and night.
But in America, we know this cannot be happening in the White House. And even if it did, and such a recording did make the public airwaves, the spin cycle would wind up instantly. Kristol and Krauthammer would promptly praise the wily Bush for his resourcefulness. Tricks! Tricks of the trade! they would say. That's what he meant. He was speaking in the vernacular, or rather, like he always does. Any fool can see that. Bravo Bush! Bravo for using every trick there is, resourceful and wily! That's presidential character.

Well, you get the idea.

Naturally, any stated reliance by Bush on "divine providence" would be applauded handsomely, as it already has been by his mewling media wonks and the muddle-headed Christian right. A Republican president relying on God -- even saying that God speaks to him -- is not a recipe for riots in the streets of Washington. In this country, it is a source of praise and a sign of good moral character.

You've got to hand it to Gyurcsany, though. The man is at least rational and appears to be fully aware his lies and screw ups (I suspect his reliance on divine providence amounted to something along the lines of "god help us"). He knows he lied about the country's budget deficit in order to help his reelection. He has actually admitted this and something else we don't have a hope in hell of ever hearing from the Bush administration:
[Gyurcsany] admitted that to have a better chance to win last April's elections, the government covered up the true size of the state budget deficit and said a law introducing tax cuts was a mistake.
From a politician, such breathtaking honesty about being dishonest and wrong is entirely refreshing. But the Hungarians are still pissed. The miserable part of this tale is how indolent it makes the citizenry of the United States look. Because you know we wouldn't do what the Hungarians are doing right now: visibly and vocally demanding accountability from their government.

[by the way, the Prime Minister of Hungary has a blog....]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our president even lies about the books he reads. Sixty books in eight months, please. A full time book reviewer would have difficulty keeping up that pace.
The Misanthrope

8:22 AM  
Blogger theBhc said...

Did you hear about Bush when he said he "read the Shakespeare"?

11:26 AM  

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