Final Word from Monday, July 31, 2017

Czech politicians didn't start shooting themselves in the foot until recently, and they weren't sure of their marksmanship, so they took aim at the knee. Unlike English speakers, Czechs shoot themselves "do kolena" (in the knee). Jan Birke of ČSSD popularized the phrase, and his party keeps doing it over and over. Landing Bohuslav Sobotka on the front page of Andrej Babiš's newspaper by targeting Miroslav Pelta is the latest example. Miroslav Kalousek of TOP 09 shot himself in the knee by going on and on about a rival politician, Babiš, who merely perfected what Kalousek had been doing for years. For his part, Babiš was firing off one round after another straight at his patella, yet his poll numbers stayed where they were. Now it's time to see how resilient KDU-ČSL is. First the Christian Democrats shot themselves in the knee by signing and then reneging on a coalition agreement with STAN. Now they're taking aim again by saying they spoke all along about stepping on the brake if the KDU/STAN poll number was below 10%. For Christians to lie like that is more like a shot to the head. [Czech Republic ANO Mayors' group]

Glossary of difficult words

to shoot oneself in the foot - inadvertently to make a situation worse for oneself;

marksmanship - skill in shooting;

patella - kneecap;

resilient - (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions;

to renege on - to go back on (a promise, undertaking, or contract).

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