June 14, 2007

Old Europe’s Old Prostitute

Okay, so Tom Lantos, a Democratic Congressman from California, went on Nancy Pelosi’s dubious foreign policy trip to Syria. (“The road to perfidy and fecklessness goes through Damascus.”) That, we need hardly mention, was stupid. But, hey, we all make mistakes.

And Rep. Lantos has more than made up for this silly blunder in a recent speech at the dedication of a monument honoring the victims of Communism. The Associated (with Terrorists) Press reports:

A leading Democratic lawmaker lashed out at the former leaders of Germany and France, calling former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder a “political prostitute.”…

“I am so glad that the era of Jacques Chirac and Chancellor Schroeder in Germany is now gone," Lantos said to applause.

He said when the United States asked Schroeder to support its decision to go to war in Iraq "he told us where to go."

"I referred to him as a political prostitute, now that he's taking big checks from [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. But the sex workers in my district objected, so I will no longer use that phrase," Lantos said….

Lantos said Chirac "should go down to the Normandy beaches. He should see those endless rows of white marble crosses and stars of David representing young Americans who gave their lives for the freedom of France."

If that doesn’t make you greatly esteem Rep. Lantos, dear reader, you’re probably in a coma.

Now, we must say that we’ve always taken something of a shine to Rep. Lantos. A Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor, Lantos has always been supremely good on Israel. But, in taking aim at the defrocked former leaders of Old Europe, he’s surely outdone himself.

Not that everyone enjoyed Rep. Lantos’ candor. Again according to the AP:

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, once Schroeder's chief of staff, said Lantos' comments overstepped "the limits of political decency."

Well, boo hoo, Herr Steinmeier. Forgive us if we’re wrong, but we don’t seem to recall the German establishment getting all up in arms when Hugo Chavez took to the podium at the United Nations to call President Bush “the devil himself.” Was the German ambassador to the UN chuckling at these remarks? We don’t remember his truculent reaction to Mr. Chavez’s overstepping of “the limits of political decency.”

Perhaps this is the case because bien pensants in Old Europe have swum in anti-Bush rhetoric for years now. And at least Bush isn’t aiding Vladimir Putin’s totalitarian takeover of Russia. Would that we could say the same thing for haughty former Chancellor Schroeder.

Posted at June 14, 2007 12:01 AM | TrackBack