Final Word from Thursday, March 7, 2013

For 23 years, Václav Klaus successfully used a combination of populism, contrarianism, hyperbole, lies and character assassination to keep enough of the voters, business community and political elite on his side to remain relevant. As he leaves officialdom behind, it is perhaps poetic justice that a pair of detractors are using many of the same techniques to denigrate his achievements and reputation and to enhance their own political futures. The impeachment effort against Klaus was spearheaded by Karel Janeček of the Anticorruption Endowment and Senator Jiří Dienstbier of ČSSD. Despite their different political leanings, they are in many ways Klaus's mirror image. They're smooth political operators who know what they want and take no prisoners. They are egotistic, autocratic, self-righteous and self-serving. Like Klaus before them, they see themselves on the presidential throne and shall not allow something as pliable as the Constitution to stand in their way. In their case, you might say that each revolution devours its own father.[Czech Republic presidency president]

Glossary of difficult words

contrarianism - the practice or state of rejecting popular opinion;

hyperbole - exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally;

character assassination - the malicious and unjustified harming of a person's good reputation;

officialdom - (in this context) the realm or position of officials;

to denigrate - to criticize unfairly; to disparage;

to spearhead - to lead (an attack or movement);

smooth operator - a skilful, manipulative person who achieves results;

to take no prisoners - to use an aggressive style that does not recognize other styles or opinions;

self-righteous - having a certainty, esp. one that is unfounded, that one is totally correct or morally superior;

pliable - flexible; easily bent;

to devour - to eat, consume.

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