Final Word from Wednesday, August 7, 2013

In his blitzkrieg against the Zeman presidential government, Bohuslav Sobotka talked about the virtues of parliamentary democracy and self-determination for ČSSD. He warned against allowing a "shady operator" (Martin Nejedlý) who works for a Kremlin-friendly oil company (Lukoil) to continue running the Rusnok cabinet. "At stake is democracy," Sobotka declared. And then he chucked it all in and endorsed the very menace to democracy that he had spurned. He said he did it because he is a democrat and because this is what the majority of ČSSD's leaders wanted. If nothing else, we will forever be indebted to Sobotka for a new definition of "democrat." No longer is it merely an "advocate or supporter of government by the people." It is now also someone who accepts the majority rule of a small group of party insiders who have been browbeaten, cajoled and perhaps even threatened by the unelected representatives of an autocratic president who was never given a mandate to change the democratic system. Is that a democrat, or a co-perpetrator? [Czech Republic Jiří Miloš Aviation]

Glossary of difficult words

blitzkrieg - an intense military campaign intended to bring about a swift victory;

virtue - a quality considered morally good or desirable;

shady - of doubtful honesty or legality;

to chuck it all in - to abandon a course of action or way of life, esp. for one that is radically different;

menace - a threat or danger;

to spurn - to reject with disdain or contempt;

to browbeat - to intimidate someone, typically into doing something, with stern or abusive words;

to cajole - to persuade someone to do something by sustained coaxing or flattery;

perpetrator - one who carries out or commits an illegal or immoral act.


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