July 8th, 2011

US Senator warns “democracy at risk” in Hungary

The co-chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission on Thursday expressed concern over recent government measures in Hungary and gave warning that “democracy is at risk” in the country.

In a statement published in the Congressional Record, Democrat Senator Benjamin L Cardin said while events during Transatlantic Week last week have reflected strong ties between the US and Hungary, there have been other developments overshadowing these relations.

While Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s two-thirds majority support in government is “not necessarily a bad thing”, Cardin said “the Orban government has used that supermajority to push through one controversial initiative after another.” Among such initiatives he mentioned the media law, the citizenship law and the new constitution, as well as changes to the Constitutional Court, measures to reduce early retirement for soldiers and police officers and changes to the ombudsman system.

The statement also mentions that “restrictions by Hungarian authorities on pro-Tibet demonstrations during last week’s visit to Budapest of the Chinese Premier were seen as unnecessary and heavyhanded”.

“In 1989, Hungary stood as an inspiration for democracy and human rights advocates around the globe. Today, I am deeply troubled by the trends there. (…) I hope that other countries looking for transformative examples will steer clear of this Hungarian model,” the statement said.

Ildiko Lendvai, the opposition Socialist member of parliament’s human rights committee said in response that “it gives us no pleasure that Hungarian citizens must more and more often be defended from abroad against their own government.”

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  • Elle

    It bemused me somewhat that an obscure US senator is moved to agonise about democracy in Hungary. Then I realised that this Cardin fellow must have been alerted to the fact that the (communist) MSZMP-derived tribe in Hungary (the Lendvai relic seems still to be its top mongrel!) can use all the badmouthing help it can get. Here is the creepy Cardin:

    http://www.njdc.org/site/page/benjamin_cardin .

    Typical of Politics.hu to pull out this quite innocuous piece of ‘news’ as if it were news!

    • American in Budapest

      Well, it is typical of ‘Elle’ to indulge in personal attacks as opposed to substantive criticism.

      The reality is that no one likes Hungary in the EU. It has no alliances and garners no respect.

      Every snickers at the Hungarian government behind its back …

      • Pete H.

        My experience includes many Hungarians snickering at the Hungarian government in front of foreigners. And I am not just talking about Hungarians on the left.

  • Pete H.

    Since Politics.hu published a watered down MTI summary, you can get more information on the Senator’s statement and how it was spun by MTI here:

    Elle, this “badmouthing” now comes from all corners of the Hungarian political spectrum. This summer, I witnessed your Jobbo buddies voicing their unhappiness with Fidesz along side the Hungarian left – that “Clown Protest” really blew a huge whole in anybodies ability to argue that these criticisms of the ruling party are simply a manifestation of MSZP’s propaganda. One of the things I witnessed when I observed that protest was that many people held placards that said they once put their trust in Fidesz but would not be fooled again. Are you still being fooled Elle? And why exactly is the good Senator “creepy”?

  • wolfi

    Pete, that’s an easy question if you know elle’s state of mind:

    He’s a very popular Jewish politician with unconventional opinions:
    “He has also received scores of 100 percent from the League of Conservation Voters and NAACP indicating stances that are in favor of environmental protection and civil rights. He was also one of the 133 members of Congress to vote against the Iraq Resolution.”

  • Elle

    Thank you, Pete H, but I have read enough of the Balogh woman’s vicious, Hungarians-hating rantings to consider her justly assigned to the garbage heap of her fellow spirits, of whom you are apparently one.

    My ‘Jobbo buddies’? I take it that this is your way of referring to my affection for Jobbik, the Movement for a Better Hungary.

    You certainly did not see Jobbik ‘alongside the Hungarian left’. What you saw was a rabble, incited by your kind, disgrace itself, by itself. Jobbik might have staged a protest to condemn the threat to the retirement-age, etc., conditions of firemen. Fortunately, the Party was tipped off that a postcommie rampage was in the offing, and cancelled its intention to demonstrate. The postcommie arms of the media nevertheless fell over themselves in the effort to mendaciously associate Jobbik with the protesting Clowns. (You, of course, are keeping up this mendacity.)

    ‘… this “badmouthing” now comes from all corners of the Hungarian political spectrum’

    This is not true. The badmouthers are exclusively you and yours. While Jobbik does its work as the Opposition, it is a loyal Opposition that confronts the Government when it thinks fit. The badmouthers are your kind: those who will stop at nothing to besmirch Hungary’s reputation in the world.

    ‘And why exactly is the good Senator “creepy” ’

    The creepy Senator is a creep because he is a nasty partisan who will twitter stupidly about democracy being under threat in a parliamentary democracy, just because it serves the interests of his kind to do so. He, like the rest of you, would love to see Hungary back in the vicious grip of your kind (represented in Hungary by the very same MSZP-SZDSZ clowns we clobbered at the last elections), and driven back to the brink of the economic disaster from which the present Government pulled it to safety. But you cannot do this democratically: The Hungarian electorate has given you the arse. And you know it. So you resort to badmouthing Fidesz and all things Hungarian, and you call on your kind to rally to your aid.

    ‘Are you still being fooled Elle?’

    No, I am never fooled. You see, I am considerably smarter than you and your kind.

    • spectator

      “…No, I am never fooled. You see, I am considerably smarter than you and your kind…”

      – Thank God!

      Finally someone to look up to – as opposed to Mr.Orban!
      About time that we can admire a “considerably smarter” person in this circles, and on the right side!
      The far-far-far right, mind you, but just as well!
      Be honest, folks, we really needed a “considerably smarter” person to share with us her wise thoughts…or else.

      Oh, happy day!

  • wolfi

    elle is probably as smart as those Hungarian guys who counterfeited French Francs in 1925 – a reall funny (and maybe sad …) story:


    If you can read German:

  • Attila

    Well certainly the good Senator would never allow his party to resort to pushing through unappealing legislation within the USA because of their majorities in Congress….Obamacare, Union bailouts, TARP, THE Stimulus and Gay Marraige while ignoring the real issues affecting the country such as illegal immigration and unprotected borders, unemployment, high taxation and the economy! Seems while his party is leading the country down a less democratic path of socialism, Hungary is portending towards a truer democracy where elected officals serve the good of the country instead of their special interests.

  • Count Onme

    Well, well, well. The name of the game is at last ‘outed’ and is called, outsmart the cabbage queens on pol.hu.
    “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, (oh yes you will!!)
    A great tune and title by The Who! Listen, and be impressed!
    I must admit the level of argument has improved although the new format of the site has not!
    Let’s face it guys and gals: all the clever debate and argument is not going to change the fact that Hungarian politicians are a shambolic lot which is why, everyday, we are able to fill these pages with hate and disgust for them.
    Hungarians work hard and succeed abroad and it remains
    an enigma to me as to why they can’t do the same in their own country…??

  • JF

    Aaaah! the smarter than everyone ‘Elle’ is back. I thought we had lost her, or it! Nothing new under the sun of Hungary, anyone who dares speak against the Dear Leader is a ‘badmouth’, a hungarian hater and most probably a devil worshiper that should be burnt alive on the new ‘Orban’ square!
    The problem is that all of this…

    ““the Orban government has used that supermajority to push through one controversial initiative after another.” Among such initiatives he mentioned the media law, the citizenship law and the new constitution, as well as changes to the Constitutional Court, measures to reduce early retirement for soldiers and police officers and changes to the ombudsman system.

    The statement also mentions that “restrictions by Hungarian authorities on pro-Tibet demonstrations during last week’s visit to Budapest of the Chinese Premier were seen as unnecessary and heavyhanded”.

    …is true!!!

  • freedom

    Typical. American democratic-socialist like Cardin, work closely with EU socialist, and EU socialist work cloesly with Hungary’s socialist. In the end, it’s all about teaming up internationally to blame the conservative Fidesz by the international-left to make it seem like a non-partisian effort to denounce the Hungarian government over alledged freedom violations, but in the end it’s all about politics.

    The international Left is condmening Hungary on every stage and passing resolution after resolution, organizing their international affiliates to denounce Hungary’s conservative government because it has made Conservative proposals. Where were these international-global lefiest when their Socialist government ran one of the worst psot-Soviet regimes of the past 20 yrs? They were congradulating it when they sent batton weilding police to attack the protesters in 2006, calling the protestors right-wing extremist. Yet, when a few-hundred Socialist die-hards protest Fidesz the international-left organizes their political, media monopolies to recognize that opposition to Fidesz as legitmate (you know not extremist like they’d be called they opposed Fidesz).

    Yes, Fidesz has made numerous mistakes, esepicially not going after the former-Socialist like they should have, allowing them to escape justice and the money they pocketed for themselves and their international buddies. Only Jobbik is capable of unifying the Hungarian people with their mix of social and conservative issues, only they can resist international-interferences.

  • newsreader

    Whether this ‘Senator Who?’ is right or wrong is irrelevant to what I would like to say. Even if he were 100% right, which he is certainly not, I would find his patronizing and hypocritical attitude absolutely annoying, not to mention the attitude of those who spread his comments as a relevant news item. I bet there are people hired by the leftwing media specifically to brows all available foreign new source and collect any fart-in-the-wind ‘news item’ as long as it is negative, and these ‘objective’ Hungarian news outlets will make it into a dramatic headline in Hungary.

    First, some facts about American ignorance:
    Only 10% of US Senators have passports. This means, they never travel outside the US. (Some say that US is starting a new war every few years in order teach it citizens a bit of geography.)
    Even though the US has actively waged a war in Afghanistan against the Taliban, only 58 percent of Americans could identify the Taliban.
    63% of young American’s couldn’t identify Iraq on a map of the Middle East (after 8 years of war with Iraq).
    41% of young American’s can’t even identify what continent the Amazon rainforest is on
    50% were not able to identify New York State on a map of the United States

    I wouldn’t be surprised if half the senators wouldn’t be able to point out Hungary on the map, let alone be informed about Hungarian daily politics. So, I wonder who the helpful comrade was who sent him this speech. I am sure he did not write it on his own.

    The Senator is worried about the Hungarian far right.
    Interestingly, the French, Dutch, Austrian, Finish, Italian far right parties all got more votes in their respective national elections than the Hungarian far right party, and he is not worried about those. Also, according to the US Homeland Security the rapid growth of the far right in the US should be a cause of worry for Americans, but not for the senator.

    The US has started an unjust war every 5-10 years in the past 50 years, yet the senator is concerned about Hungary’s attitude toward its neighbors.

    According to a Sept 17, 2010 USA Today article, there were 50 million people without health insurance in the US, and according to other sources over 60% of all personal bankruptcies in 2010 was caused by uncontrollable healthcare costs. Now Obama managed to push through a compromised healthcare law, which likely will fail or has to be changed dramatically because of constitutional challenges by the Republicans. Yet the Senator is concerned about how Hungary is handling domestic social issues.

    Therefore, for the senator to criticize Hungary on certain social and/or political issues is plainly hypocritical.

    • wolfi

      Newsreader, you really should “read the news” about Ben Cardin, for example here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Cardin

      He surely knows more and does more about those problems in the USA that you mentioned.

      PS: Your list of US shortcomings could have been written
      by him

      BTW, if “for the senator to criticize Hungary on certain social and/or political issues is plainly hypocritical” then what about your criticism of the USA ?

    • American in Budapest


      Your comments are irrelevant to whether democracy is at risk in Hungary.

      Simply irrelevant.

      American is not a social democracy, but it is a democracy.

      And without that particular democracy, you would speaking Russian instead of English.

      Best Regards,

      An American in Budapest.

      • newsreader

        Your starting point is that democracy is in danger in Hungary. Whether it is so, I am not sure. It will be clearer after the next free and democratic elections, which is the real test and foundation of any democracy. Whether one likes it or not, the current government has a super majority, which if you want to be consistently democratic in your approach, has its consequences and you have to accept those consequences. The government has been given unusual powers by the electorate in two rounds of elections, and they have the democratic (people-given) right to use those powers. In fact, one could say that not using those powers would be undemocratic (shirking their responsibilities). Whether they used their powers rightly or wrongly, people can decide in the next elections. One has to accept this, or one is becoming selectively democratic, whenever it suits his/her purpose (which means antidemocratic). Therefore, one has to play by the rules rendered by the last elections. In three years time one can express his or her opinion about the government’s work at the ballot box.

        My point was not about whether Hungarian democracy is in danger or not. My point was that someone (regardless whether he was right or wrong about the situation of Hungarian democracy) who knows little about Hungary, does not have Hungary’s best interest at heart and is a lawmaker in a powerful (hence important) country with rather spotty record regarding democracy nationally and internationally, should not be the one who engages in partisan politics in an other country. The result of such actions is obvious from the many, now crumbling, semi-totalitarian regimes in the Middle East and elsewhere, which were ‘advised’ and propped-up by the US for the past 40-50 years.

        If this senator (or any other US lawmaker or diplomat) really wants to help Hungary, than they have to help the people and not one political party that is in freefall and heading for self-destruction (the majority of the MSZP membership is 60 or over). If they want to help, their help and advice should address not only the symptoms but also the root-causes of the political/social problems in Hungary and Hungarian society.

        I may be wrong, but I believe that there will be further developments at the next elections. I think the left has to reinvent itself and that can only happen with a disappearance of the MSZP (too much baggage, too many bad memories). However, since the MSZP and the Fidesz were and are locked into this to-the-death mutual chokehold, I think if the MSZP disappears, the Fidesz will also dramatically change or become irrelevant.

        These foreign, mindless, partisan, political interventions, (by the EU and US) are only fanning this old hate-filled (hence not democratic) political rivalry, and as such they are the real danger to Hungarian democracy.

        • American in Budapest

          Ah yes, the real danger to Hungarian democracy are those damned foreigners, the ones who built modern societies with developed economies …

          • Attila

            Thank God for conservative capitalism that built those modern societies and developed economies…so that the Liberals could wither them away! Give it 50 more years of liberal leadership Mr. American, and the wealth of the nation will dissipate! …the US will be a solid third world country. Hungary is at a crossroads, nationalism fuels pride and moral strength, and restores the vigor the country sorely needs.

        • American in Budapest


          You are engaging in outlandish sophistry. No democratic majority, no matter how large, gives the majority the right to water down individual rights, including the right to free of expression or the right to immediate access to a lawyer.

          Hitler came to power through the ballot box. So we need to respect Hitler’s decision? That was a catastrophe …

          As for a spotty record, the US did win the Cold War. That led to the liberation of Eastern Europe.

          You can take your rhetoric about ‘spotty record’ and shove it up your fat Hungarian arse.

          • Elle

            ‘Hitler came to power through the ballot box. So we need to respect Hitler’s decision?’

            It is quite amusing that the ziobolshies think they have pulled an ace when they come up with this old canard. But it is a lame old canard, crippled less by overuse than by its shaky logic. Just two points:

            1. How can anybody claim to value democracy, and, in the same breath, disparage the mandate to govern that the ballot box confers?

            2. Had the German voting public not endorsed Hitler in 1933, the then-very-strong communist corps in Germany, under intensive cultivation since Rosa Luxembourg et al., would certainly have won Germany politically. The rest of Europe would have fallen without much struggle, for a communist Germany and the USSR would together have walked all over it. The US would not have intervened, for, let us not forget, the financiers of Leninist Russian communism and the contemporary abettors of nascent communism everywhere were also the movers and shakers in the US.

            As it happened, Germany followed Hitler in 1933. The battle this country put up against communism weakened it everywhere. Consequently, Western Europe was spared the communist boot. And only East Germany got it in the neck. West Germany remained free to re-establish itself as an economic power-house without which the European economy could never have recovered.

            So yes, Germany did well to back Hitler in the ballot box. And yes, we do need to respect Hitler’s decision to take Germany to war against the ziobolshies. If you were not the blind, stupid, rabid ziobolshie you are, you might realise that.

          • newsreader

            Thank you for yout thought-provoking comments. They are very revealing, they are a gem!

          • newsreader

            My previouse comment was ment for AIB.

  • wolfi

    Newsreader, you really should “read the news” about Ben Cardin, for example here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Cardin

    He surely knows more and does more about those problems in the USA that you mentioned.

    PS: Your list of US shortcomings could have been written
    by him

    BTW, if “for the senator to criticize Hungary on certain social and/or political issues is plainly hypocritical” then what about your criticism of the USA ?

    You’re so funny in your stupidity, don’t realise that you’re contradicting yourself most of the time …

  • wolfi

    Elle shows itself again – one of the finest specimens of Nazi creature you can find today (or anytime) …

    If the Germans hadn’t voted for the NSDAP and the communists also in 1933 (those two often worked together against democratic people!) then things might have developed differently in Europe …

    And: Hitler didn’t get a majority of the votes/members of parliament in 1933 – he used the President to realise his ambitions …

    And one more thing: Hitler and Stalin had a pact …

    So actually there’s not too much of a difference between those “Socialists” and “National Socialists” – even the name gives them away …

    Or as we mathematicians like to say: Often minus infinity equals plus infinity

  • Szabad Ember

    @Elle (comment above at July 11, 12:57pm),

    Not bad! You almost sound rational while stating absolutely outlandish things that only your fellow extremists would agree with. You’re making up history, possibly from some minor fact that you read somewhere.

    1. Germany was in no way anywhere near to becoming communist, as evidenced by the fact that the Nazis won the election. If not for the Nazis, those people would’ve voted for some other anti-communist party; the communists won less than 15% of the vote in that election, not much less than Jobbik did in the last Hungarian election. Are you going to claim that Jobbik is not the verge of taking over? I’m sure you would love that, but it’s not going to happen.

    2. The Germans started WWII in Europe, and if not for WWII, Hungary would not have experienced 40 years of Soviet-dominated communist rule, nor would Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, North Korea, North Vietnam, Cuba, the Baltic countries, etc. Yeah, that sounds like Germany’s “battle against communism weakened it everywhere”.
    3. The communists won power in Hungary and other places through the ballot box. Do you even know the history of Hungary? Letting Nazis and communists win elections through lies is not the intent of democracy, but, since you have nothing but contempt for democracy, you wouldn’t know the first thing about it.

    You should really stop calling people “stupid” and “rabid” while you’re personifying those traits. You are possibly the biggest hypocrite I’ve ever had the displeasure to read something from. I’m beginning to suspect that you are some caricature – like that guy who pretended to be a Syrian lesbian – planted to make right-wingers look unhinged and irrational. At least your outlandish lies are easy to refute.

    • Elle

      ‘The communists won power in Hungary and other places through the ballot box. Do you even know the history of Hungary?’

      You don’t know Hungarian history (nor any history, I suspect.) There was a free election in Hungary in 1949. It was genuinely a free election. The communists won 17% of the vote. That was the last free election until 1989. The communists did not come to power via the ballot box anywhere else either.

      And this was the least rapidly stupid of your remarks. And a little piece of advice: Nobody can be a ‘szabad ember’ when he is in the state of pig ignorance in which you suffer

      • Curious George

        “The communists did not come to power via the ballot box anywhere else either”.
        Now that is a pig-ignorant remark, but hardly unusual coming from Hyacinth. By the way, I thought the grand-daughter of Hitler’s arse-licker promised to leave.

        • Attila

          CG are you on a banana high again!!!! Tell us please where communism was ever voted in?

          • Curious George

            @Attila – The communist party have won elections and formed governments in Nicaragua, Moldova, Nepal, Kerala & West Bengal. Now, stop strutting on your donkey and go read a book.

          • Elle

            Well, there’s your ‘answer’ from Curious George, Attila! I don’t think the banana-muncher knows even what tree he means to swing from.

          • Szabad Ember

            Wow, Attila, you are just Elle; no idea how to use Wikipedia, let alone do a little research!



            See my comment below for the link to the Hungarian election of 1947.

            I could go on, but you get the point. I can see now why you and she are so right-wing; you never check your facts, and so believe everything that the right-wing websites tell you. If you took the effort to be civil, I wouldn’t be so harsh in correcting you. Please stop being like Elle, who is just beyond redemption as a human being. Also, calling people names and coming up with ridiculous opinions that you spout as facts does not make you correct, or even logical.

      • Szabad Ember

        Wow, what are you smoking? Have you even set foot inside of Hungary? The elections in 1949 were not free, and the communists won over 95% of the vote. The elections in 1947 were rigged to some extent, but probably not as badly as the next elections here will be; the communists won with a plurality, 22%, and used big brother Stalin to help bully their way through to dictatorship. I could spend a lot of time looking up all the places where this would be spelled out for you in English, but I’ll just do the simple thing, which you could not be bothered to do, and give you the Wikipedia link.


        I don’t often write this about people, because it’s an overused word on this site, but you are STUPID if you think that everyone else is so incapable of doing a simple bit of research to counter your lies.
        I love how you call me stupid, then make such an ass of yourself. So if that was my least “rapidly” stupid remark, and I can support it so easily, why don’t you counter my other points? Oh, right, you’re too stupid, and too terrible of a liar. Go back into your corner and suck your thumb, now. That should keep you from using your keyboard to spread lies for awhile.

      • Szabad Ember

        I’ve decided that, from now on, I will try to refrain from using the word “stupid”. The aggressively offensive jerks who love to use that word on this site have ruined it for me. Instead, I will use the word “Elle”, since there is plenty of evidence here that it is a synonym of “stupid”. Not in the French language, where it means “she”, but in the English language, which is the language of this site.

        Elle, you are so Elle! Ah, that’s so much better!

        • Attila

          Ah But Free Guy!!! We enjoy the nom de plume of Stupid…it fits our ideology so well! As for Elle, it rhymes with Belle, and last time I looked that was a very attractive name!!! So you left wing morons can understand…it’s getting something for nothing that is ruining the economies in so many countries. You guys just trade handouts for power. As for communism, where are those countries on the rank of eceonomic powers today?

          • Szabad Ember

            What are you talking about? Did you even read this thread? My point was that winning an election does not make you right, especially if you use your power to destroy democracy, like the Nazis, the communists, and Orbán. You Fidesz apologists and jobbos never fail to bring up the fact that MSZP lied to win the 2006 election, yet that’s exactly what Fidesz did in 2010 (and tried to do in 2002 and 2006), except that, this time, the consequences will probably be worse for Hungary.

            As for your second sentence… hallelujah! We have found common ground! And I’m not left wing, I’m center right, which is one of the things that bothers me so much about Fidesz; they claim to be center-right, but, in reality, they are more left-wing than MSZP! Nationalizing pensions and imposing crisis taxes on the very institutions that are necessary for growth just aren’t done by anyone genuinely on the right.

  • Szabad Ember

    That should read “on the verge of taking over”, instead of “not the verge of taking over”.

  • Anon600AD

    just quickly (for once)
    American in Budapest: Your comment that Hungarians should be thankful to America because otherwise they’d all be speaking Russian…well, how bloody rude and insensitive can one person be? I mean honestly! What was America doing after WWI? Did it even join its own organisation to prevent aggression? For how long was Russian a forced language in Hungary? What was America doing during the 56 revolution? Come to think of it, what has America really done for Hungary that no-one else did? How about that whole thing of funding ridiculous loans to Kadar in the hope of destabilising the Communist Bloc? That had a great effect on Hungary that the country is still paying for. Pull your head out of your ass son. The only way I’ll retract that is if ‘newsreader’ is French. In which case…well, you get the picture. (hopefully)

    ‘Hitler was elected’. Well…not really. It was more complex than that, and had a lot more to do with political manoeuvring than democracy…come to think of it, sounds like the US system.

    Elle: Thatcher said “If you have to tell people you’re a lady, you aren’t.” It’s much the same with intelligence.

    • Szabad Ember

      That was pretty funny!

      Not to contradict you just for the sake of it, but isn’t it true that political maneuvering is usually standard in a parliamentary system, since there isn’t usually a party which has an outright majority? Maybe I’m misunderstanding your point. The Nazis won by far the largest number of votes, even though the election itself shouldn’t have been held; he lied and intimidated, but that was my point, so maybe you and I agree here.

      Also, even though I’m not trying to defend American in Budapest, the whole point of winning the Cold War, which the U.S. did far more than any other country to accomplish, was to free the people in the Soviet Bloc from communism? Again, I could be missing your point. What I don’t think I’m missing is that going into Hungary in 1956 would’ve certainly started World War III, just like invading North Vietnam would’ve done (which is a big part of the reason why the U.S. lost the war in Vietnam). Besides, most of the loans to Kadar came from Europe, if I am not mistaken.

      I agree that American in Budapest is rude and insensitive, and I’ve admonished him on that score. I can be rude, too, but only in response to rudeness. The U.S. usually does things in its own interest, just like virtually every other nation on earth. He shouldn’t be expecting Hungarians to kiss his ass because of what that old lying scumbag Reagan did 25 years ago.

      • Anon600AD

        Re:political manoeuvring. In terms of the difference between the US and the Weimar Republic, then yes…and that is partially my point. I just also think that to say that the German people backed Hitler as their leader is not accurate and to make it sound like he had a mandate is misleading.

        Re:US and the cold war. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a US hater, and for what it’s worth, I think it’s far better that they became the world’s pre-eminent superpower instead of the USSR. Having said that, if the goal was to free the Eastern Bloc from Soviet oppression, it is a freedom Hungary has never had the luxury to enjoy. After a few years of Goulash communism, when the communists departed, they left behind a mountain of debt; of which a large proportion was to Western and US loans. (By the way, this, and the debt from Hungary’s massive infrastructure projects (housing etc) is the real source of Hungary’s debt at the time of transition, not left over reparations from Trianon.)

        You’re right to say that the US couldn’t have intervened in the 56 revolution without risking WWIII; however, to imply that Hungary should be thankful to the US is just too much. Hungarians were dying in their thousands while the world looked on…and while the west was more occupied messing around in the middle-east. Just remember that the 56 revolution was actually successful…that is, until the Soviets realised that the west would not lift a finger if they rolled their tanks in. So we can debate back and forth about what the outcomes could have been, but the reality is, at least partially, that the 56 revolution was put down for lack of interest by the west. Let’s not forget what the Americans did for West Berlin…air drops, tanks on the border…all kinds of brinkmanship. Could that have made a difference in Hungary? Perhaps, but we’ll never know will we?

        My post to AIB was not to castigate the US for every crime and mistake that has been committed in the name of ‘freedom’, but just to say that in my opinion, what AIB said was completely ignorant of the way that Hungarians suffered because of US decisions, and that they are still quite literally ‘paying the price’ for the politics of the cold war. It just makes Americans look like ignorant, arrogant fools, and dishonours the lives and sacrifices that many Hungarians made for their country.

        • Szabad Ember

          I have to agree with everything you said, except to say that I’m still not convinced that Hitler didn’t have a mandate to rule, any more than any winner of an election has; he just lied and cheated to get there. Also, he obviously didn’t have a mandate to do what he eventually did. Sounds like someone in Hungary… except on a much more massive scale.

  • A Day in the Life

    As if the American bankrupt nation hasn’t enough on its plate at the moment it should worry about democracy in Hungary? What about Russia? Much less of the stuff ther but, silence?
    BTW. Wolfi. What about stagflation in Germany when you needed a wagon load of Marks (?) to purchase a tomato.
    The Greeks with their 350 billion euro deficit will have you in the same situation shortly… bankrupt!!
    Italy is leaning like the tower, Spain is dead, Portugal is silent in disbelief, Ireland dances a penniless jig and America has large amounts of unpaid bills…

    • Pete H.

      You are obviously not paying attention to what the US has been saying regarding the erosion of democracy in Russia. The US has hardly been silent.

    • Szabad Ember

      You talk about stagflation in Germany, yet what about Hungary? Have you ever heard of the pengő or the filler? Besides, the Germans haven’t had to deal with stagflation in over 70 years, so your point is moot. The Greek debt is spread all over the world, and Germany only has about $70 billion of it, depending on who’s doing the estimating. I’m sure Germany can handle that amount without going into bankruptcy, especially since any default would only require less than the majority of it to be written off.

      Ireland is far from penniless; they still have one of the highest per-capita GDPs in the world. Spain is not anywhere near dead, although all the countries you listed will be suffering somewhat over the next few years. Still, their quality of life will be much better than that of the average Hungarian, probably for a generation or more. You should take an economics class, or just read the newspaper.

      Besides, what in the world does any of this have to do with democracy in Hungary, the topic of this thread? Also, why does everyone seem to think that foreigners who don’t live in a Utopia of perfection have no reason to criticize the Hungarian government? By doing so, they are trying to help Hungary avoid a fate worse than stagflation; a return to authoritarianism! Wasn’t Kádár enough?

  • newsreader

    Just a few nuggets about US democracy, lest you think that US history is only “spotty” with regard to human rights and justice, and these characters are trotting around the world to scold others. What a bunch of hypocrites! Here it goes:

    The US used to be the land of Native Americans. As of today most of these nations were either physically eradicated or lost their language and culture.

    About 4 million black slaves were freed in 1865 (remember, in 1868 Hungary enacted one of the most progressive laws on minorities, in all of Europe.)

    Racial discrimination, segregation was guaranteed and enforced by law until the 1965. (Remember, by then the US was signatory to the International Bill of Human Rights for decades.)

    After the Mexican-American War (1846–1848), the U.S. annexed much of the current Southwestern region from Mexico. (There was no ‘Trianon justice’ here.) Mexicans residing in that territory found themselves subject to discrimination. It is estimated that at least 597 Mexicans were lynched between 1848 and 1928 (this is a conservative estimate due to lack of records in many reported lynchings). Mexicans were lynched at a rate of 27.4 per 100,000 of population between 1880 and 1930. This statistic is second only to that of the African American community during that period, which suffered an average of 37.1 per 100,000 population. Between 1848 to 1879, Mexicans were lynched at an unprecedented rate of 473 per 100,000 of population.

    Even today, racial discrimination is still one of the major social problems in the country. For example: From 1981 to 1997, the United States Department of Agriculture discriminated against tens of thousands of African American farmers, denying loans provided to white farmers in similar circumstances.

    For hundreds of years, the Ku Kux Klan is still alive and well today. In its history it is responsible for 5-1000 ritual lynching and for hundreds of thousands of harassments, beatings, injuring, etc.

    In recent times, whenever it was in its national interest, the US provided full financial and military support to dozens of countries, which by its own standards were totalitarian. This infamous list included countries from South America, Middle East, Africa and Asia. At the same time they were happy to pounce away at little countries with no economic interest in them, such as Cuba.

    Just one single example from among the hundreds: 1957-73 – Laos — The CIA carries out approximately one coup per year trying to nullify Laos’ democratic elections. The problem is the Pathet Lao, a leftist group with enough popular support to be a member of any coalition government. In the late 50s, the CIA even creates an “Armee Clandestine” of Asian mercenaries to attack the Pathet Lao. After the CIA’s army suffers numerous defeats, the U.S. starts bombing, dropping more bombs on Laos than all the U.S. bombs dropped in World War II. A quarter of all Laotians will eventually become refugees, many living in caves.

    How about the many of wars the US stared since 1950? How about the millions of people killed and even more injured and made homeless, the millions of ruined lives, for the sake of US national interests?

    • Pete H.

      Yes and in most of those cases progress forward came with a big kick from the US left. And here we have a US Senator from the left who not only works tirelessly for civil rights at home, but takes his message abroad. For the sake of the Hungarian people, I hope the Senator and others both in Hungary and outside, keep up the pressure on the Hungarian government.

      And further more, for whatever the US’s faults, we have been a world leader is progressing forward with women’s, gay, religious, and minority rights. We might still have a few pathetic members in the klan, but they do not have a party that commands over 15% of support as Jobbik does. Blatant freely expressed racism, antisemitism, anti-gay sentiments, and sexism are a route to political failure in the US. In Hungary public figures routinely make bigoted comments without any penalty. I love Hungary and wish the best for her, but she still has a long way to go to get over her post-socialist and post-Nazi traumatic stress disorders.

      • newsreader

        “We might still have a few pathetic members in the klan, but they do not have a party that commands over 15% of support as Jobbik does.”

        A former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and Republican executive-committee chairman in his district until 2000, Duke has a significant following online. His videos go viral. This month, he’s launching a tour of 25 states to explore how much support he can garner for a potential presidential bid. He hasn’t considered running for serious office since the early ’90s, when he won nearly 40 percent of the vote in his bid for Louisiana governor. But like many “white civil rights advocates,” as he describes himself to The Daily Beast, 2012 is already shaping up to be a pivotal year.

        • Pete H.

          Oh please, give me break. He’s a nobody with hardly a drop of support outside of Louisiana. Is that all you have? Pathetic!

          • newsreader

            Nice try Pete 🙂 Oh yes, he is joke. 🙂 You have a funny sense of humour. Do black people and Latinos laugh at your jokes? You tell them this one, see how they react 🙂 . I am sure they will find it hilarious that a KKK guy got 40% of the vote, and almost became the governor of a state with the population half of that of Hungary. Oh yes, and he is having enough republican support, that he contemplating running for presidency. Really funny, you too 🙂

            For further homework, you can investigate the latest report by the Southern Poverty Law Centre, the US’s most prominent civil rights group, focusing on hate organizations in the US. They claim that membership in extremist groups jumped nearly 250%. You are smart boy, you can report back when ready.

            Ps.: Of course, you know as I know, this was not my point at all. You made it into one, so you work on it a bit 🙂

          • Pete H.

            My point was about the US as a whole, not one state and not about an election 30 years ago. Fringe candidates are always exploring their chances for a Presidential runs. What’s your point? And what is your evidence that he has any real support among Republicans? Duke claims he does, but were the evidence? On the national level Duke and the KKK are a joke.

            The 250% increase in hate groups is worrisome because of the harm they do, but as a percent of the US population and in terms of their political power there is no comparison to Jobbik in Hungary were they sit in Parliament. Any other strawmen you’d like torched?

            “Oh yes, he is joke. 🙂 You have a funny sense of humour. Do black people and Latinos laugh at your jokes? You tell them this one, see how they react 🙂 .” You are really childish if you think you can spin my comment into something racially insensitive.

            And the final joke is on you newsskimmer: Duke has been legally disqualified from running for public office since 2002 as part of his guilty plea for tax evasion.

            Like I said he is a joke – legally disqualified to run, yet he is exploring running?

          • newsreader

            @ Pete H., Re. July 14th comment

            Oh, Pete boy, you did not do your homework again! But let me help you a bit regarding your insignificnat joke:

            Also, regarding your insignificant joke, recent surveys show that 30%-40% of white population is HIGHLY racist against black people in the US. (remember, ‘highly’ is not just simple racism. I am sure you will find out much more if you simply would do your homework.

      • newsreader

        My point is not that the US is an ‘evil empire’, although the laundry list of its terrible acts and policies are much longer than Hungary’s, not only proportionally, but also in principles. The US is simply doing what is good for its national interest. If it is good for them, they will do almost anything, be it propping up totalitarian regimes, starting wars, orchestrating coups, assassinating political enemies, oppressing peoples, etc.

        When, however, Hungary does something much more benign (both in principle and magnitude), because it considers its national interest, it becomes a threat to world peace and democracy, and the US feels obliged to scold in a partisan and divisive manner. As I said before, if the US wanted to help Hungary strengthen its democratic traditions it should do so by taking into consideration the root causes of the problems and not only the symptoms. It should enhances political dialogue and not deepen the political divisions by providing undemocratic support (by artificially propping up a political entity, which otherwise lost credibility in handling the nations interests). I know, this is what the US did and does in Countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc, but this is neither right, nor democratic, this is simply hypocritical.

        As for the far right in Hungary, if you were a tad bit objective about it, would see that in countries like Holland, France, Finland, Italy, etc. they have a much higher popular support than in Hungary. I never heard a peep from any US senators or congress members getting worried about that. Hypocrisy.

        • Pete H.

          “As for the far right in Hungary, if you were a tad bit objective about it, would see that in countries like Holland, France, Finland, Italy, etc. they have a much higher popular support than in Hungary. I never heard a peep from any US senators or congress members getting worried about that. Hypocrisy.”

          Cardin spoke out about tangible things Fidesz has done to weaken the institutions of democracy. I won’t fall for your bait and switch. If France’s National Front comes into power or Italy’s Lega Nord and they do the same as Fidesz, I am sure US politicians will speak out.

          And the US has taken very forceful measures against Alexander Lukashenko (travel bans and asset freezes). So, Hungary is not the only country that gets attention from US politicians. So, far the US response to OV has been restrained.

          • newsreader

            You are really funny, Pete 🙂

            You are insisting on commenting on my postings by systematically avoiding my initial point, and at the same time you vow not “to fall for my bate”, which was an answer to your comment trying to steer away from my original point. This is getting complicated … but nice try anyway 🙂

            But while we are at it, some more food for thought for you (just to not to leave you totally ignored):

            You write: “Cardin spoke out about tangible things Fidesz has done to weaken the institutions of democracy.”

            Oh, what a brave man he is, except he couldn’t tell his ass from his elbow.

            You write: “I won’t fall for your bait and switch. If France’s National Front comes into power or Italy’s Lega Nord and they do the same as Fidesz, I am sure US politicians will speak out.”

            Lovely to see, how your mind works. So, according to your slimy insinuation, Fidesz is the same as the National Front, the Lega or the True Finns are. You must have a PhD in political science, boy, to come up with such novel insights.

          • Pete H.

            “Lovely to see, how your mind works. So, according to your slimy insinuation, Fidesz is the same as the National Front, the Lega or the True Finns are. You must have a PhD in political science, boy, to come up with such novel insights.”

            You have no clue how my mind works. I did not say Fidesz was like the National Front, the Lega or the True Finns, I said if they were in power and did what Fidesz did to dismantle the institutions of democracy then the US would speak out. And just for the record, I am sure those far right groups would do even worse than Fidesz.

  • Szabad Ember

    What a waste of time; you must’ve been attacked by an American as a child, because you’re obsessively digging up every old skeleton you can think of, to prove what? That the United States is not Switzerland? Actually, even Switzerland is not perfect, having treated its citizens and neighbors unfairly on occasion, in the past 300 years.

    So, because the U.S. has done some bad things in the past, they can’t point out when other countries are doing bad things? I challenge you to find me one single country that hasn’t attacked its neighbors, started a war, or treated its citizens badly. A good anti-communist like you would certainly not prefer that the U.S. let Laos slip into the grip of communists? You are a major hypocrite who won’t even admit when he writes something completely Elle, like challenging the commenters on this site to name one EU country that bans the death penalty in its constitution. Did you ever own up to that mistake? Or any of your other “millions” of mistakes?

    You love the word “millions”, yet, of all the wars that the U.S. has started, I doubt that even one million died as a direct result, let alone many millions. Oh, sure, you might say, what a small mind that quibbles over insignificant facts like that… except that you do it all the time. I guess you’re too Elle to look up the word “hypocrite”. You should really know what you’re talking about before commenting. “It’s pretty basic.” Peel yourself away from your Fox News/Kuruc echo chamber for a moment and look around; you’ll realize how clueless you really are.

    The point is, stop wasting everyone’s time with litanies of crimes committed by the U.S., mostly so long ago that they weren’t even considered crimes at the time, and wake up to the fact that pointing to others’ flaws is no mask for the fact that their criticism is valid. In fact, if such an irredeemably criminal society such as the U.S. is pointing at your country to make itself look better, then your biggest problem is not what’s going on over there, but right at home. I could write a much longer list of crimes committed by the Hungarians throughout history, but I love the country too much to run around reminding people about its sordid past. Let’s deal, together, with the anti-democratic Fidesz and the racist Jobbik, since you seem to hate such things so much in other countries. Yeah, I didn’t think so…

  • Elle

    Oh, giggle! I have just noticed that I got ‘szabad ember’ a-Wiki-beavering frenetically. (Wasted effort, silly ember, I’m sorry to tell you.)

    I wrote, in my post above, ‘There was a free election in Hungary in 1949. It was genuinely a free election. The communists won 17% of the vote. That was the last free election until 1989.’

    The ‘in 1949’ was my mistype. I meant to write ‘in 1945’. The other two ‘elections’, 1947 and 1949, were grossly rigged by the Jew Rákosi, the leader of the Hungarian Communist Party. This was a major part of what he called his ‘salami tactics’ for getting rid of the Smallholders’ Party, the outright winner of the 1945 election. (Of course, Rákosi tired of his style of salami tactic-ing very soon after 1949, and took to murdering and exiling people instead.)

    But I see the silly ember is still determined to push his line, one that is convenient for ziobolshies when an elected government is not to their liking, that electoral victory does not confer a mandate to govern. But, of course, he is incapable of defending this inane point of view. That is hardly surprising.

    • Szabad Ember

      I see you finally figured out how to access Wikipedia; still you twist the facts, so it’s a waste of time. Still, I wonder how many other times you “meant to write something”, got it wrong, and no one called you on it.

      I mentioned the rigging, but it was not “gross”, only about 50,000 votes or so. The more insidious thing was the lying, which is exactly how Fidesz won a two-thirds majority (along with the bungling and corruption of MSZP). Still, the “mandate” you talked about did not include rewriting the constitution without even a referendum, and less than a majority of the electorate voted for the governing coalition. Plus, Orbán said he would not do what the IMF tells him to do, and austerity was not going to happen. Guess what, he lied! That’s why polls consistently show a drastic loss of support; he says one thing to get into power, does another thing. Just like the communists, he will rig the system in his party’s favor (already has, actually), so that he will have his Putinesque sham democracy, and further enrich his cronies. This is what I wrote, and you conveniently didn’t address it; if Hitler or Rákosi, or even Gyurcsany, lie to get into power, they don’t really have a mandate. That’s what Orbán has done, and you know it, but you won’t admit it, because you’re a liar too.

  • Elle

    ‘That’s why polls consistently show a drastic loss of support’

    Hey, stupid ember: Are you autistic? That ‘drastic loss of support’ is a reality only in your knuckle head. Even this portal can look facts in the face. Take this in, if you can:

    ‘If an election were to be held this Sunday, the ruling Fidesz-Christian-Democratic alliance would repeat its performance in the 2010 general election and win a two-thirds majority, according to a survey by Nezopont for Heti Valasz weekly.’

    With cretins like you burbling on this blog constantly, little wonder so few people post here these days.

    • Pete H.

      Hey knuckle-headed autistic burbling cretin stupid ember Elle, take this in if you can, Nezopont is a Fidesz associated pollster. Look at this portal’s polling page and you’ll see that Nezopont’s number are always significantly higher for Fidesz than the other pollsters. All other pollsters show that Fidesz’s support has had a drastic loss of support since the election.

      • justasking


        Regardless if Nezopont is Fidesz friendly or not, the reality is, they (Fidesz) would still win a 2/3 majority if an election was held tomorrow.

        That’s what happens when people vote for the lesser of 2 evils.

        • Pete H.

          The reality is that Nezopont is Fidesz friendly (you simply need to look at its members affiliations and look at the poll numbers). Fidesz may or may not win by 2/3 today. More likely around 50% or if what usually happens during an election, when people in the undecided move into the decided column, by much less.

          Lesser of two evils – I would have agreed with you about that a year ago. But, while MSZP was corrupt during its rule, it did not systematically dismantle the institutions of democracy. Corruption is something that can be cleaned up, but when you attack the institutions of democracy you are doing harm that is far harder to correct. I now see Fidesz as the greater of the two evils.

          • justasking


            “But, while MSZP was corrupt during its rule, it did not systematically dismantle the institutions of democracy”

            No, no, nothing of the sort…they just happened to sik the riot squad on the general public who happened, (God forbid)set about making a political protest!

            You call democracy? Can you imagine that ever happening in either Canada or the US? I can’t.

            Yet, this is the band of thieves you want back in power? Right!

            You wanna talk about ‘cleaning up’ Hungarian politics?

            Start by getting rid of every one of those MP’s in Parliament today, and start over. The majority of those there today, are of the mind set, the Hungarian people work for them and not the other way around.

            Until the people of Hungary start demanding serious change and getting involved, nothing more than, same ol’, same ol.

          • Szabad Ember


            You are very one-sided regarding police activity during the riots in 2006, and plain wrong about police actions in Canada during recent protests there. Police abuse occurs in western countries, as well, just like there are agitators in those countries. In Hungary, those political protesters violently took over and trashed a government building, and more police were injured in the first few days of protests than civilians.

            You must spend all of your time reading news about Hungary and none at all reading news about your own country; here’s a couple of articles about police brutality towards protesters at the G-20 summit in Toronto:



            If you really believe that there was some sort of conspiracy against completely innocent, peaceful protesters in 2006, then you have drunk the Fidesz Kool-Aid. This is what happens when you get all your information from biased, right-wing sources. You like to call me stupid; if I am, then, by comparison, I’m surprised you can even feed yourself! Every time you type something here, you include glaring mistakes or outright falsehoods.

            Of course, you’re also missing the point of the comment, or trying to divert the conversation away from the topic that is embarrassing to you and Fidesz: the damage being done right now to democracy in Hungary.

    • Szabad Ember

      Ah, thank you Elle! By doing nothing but childishly insulting me and answering only one of my points, with easily refutable bombast at that, you have essentially confirmed that you have no answer to everything else I’ve written. I don’t even have to do any research this time!

      Also, I think you wrote something similar on another thread; my response is, if there is one poll that is consistently much different than all the others, while those others are all pretty similar, and that poll is commissioned by the party that always ends up looking better in that poll (or some organization that is generally considered to be biased towards that party), then, as any expert will tell you, that poll is definitely biased. This is doubly true in Hungary today, when the media outlets are being cowed into not reporting anything that the government doesn’t like, for fear of having their licence revoked (like KlubRádió).

      Please keep being as Elle as you are now, so I don’t have to strain myself to counter your lies.

  • olga

    @ Pete H

    I find myself agreeing with you 98% of the time ( JA, feel free to throw up ) but to me the Senator’s comment is not about Hungarian democracy or the lack thereof.

    It’s about the US’s obsession of constantly meddling into other countries’ internal affairs when its own economy and political system are in shambles.

    I happen to think that the US is Canada’s best friend and I have nothing but positive personal experiences with your country and its people but perhaps you guys should look North and take some lesson from us in how to “BYOB”

    • Pete H.

      I would hardly describe the US political system as being in shambles. The use of the filibuster is an issue, but in general I feel we have a very strong and democratic system that is capable of self correction. In terms of the US economy no better or worse than most nations these days.

      I am personally quite happy when our government comments on the internal affairs of countries that are moving in an anti-democratic direction. I only wish we were more consistent.

      • newsreader

        “in general I feel we have a very strong and democratic system that is capable of self correction”

        You are mixing up democracy with greed and wealth. (The US population is only 5% of the world’s population, yet it owns over 30% of the worlds wealth; and 20% of the US population owns 85% of its wealth, so you do the math.) The stability of the US political system is primary due to the huge wealth that was gouged by a few rich people, who developed strong lobby groups, and who are financing the political parties, the political representatives, and so, dictating US politics). The political astuteness and interest of the average US citizen is close to zero. Therefore, in general, you are wrong, minus the wealth and power of a few, the US democracy is in shambles.

        “I am personally quite happy when our government comments on the internal affairs of countries that are moving in an anti-democratic direction.”

        Were you referring to Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the pre-war Iraq, the pre-war Iran, Vietnam, or perhaps you meant Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Argentina? These are really shining examples of successful US meddling … but somehow always managed to make money on it. Is this what you are proud of? Or you perhaps meant 1956, when Hungarians were promised everything… and … you know the rest of the story. If this is what makes you proud, good for you.

        • Pete H.

          No I am quite unhappy with those examples. I am quite happy with how the US is handling OV.

          I don’t think a nation that has moved from slavery to civil rights to electing a black president qualifies for a democracy in shambles. In need of reforms, yes, in shambles hardly. But, I can see you have your full on hate of the US going for you.

        • Szabad Ember

          Wow, you never give up with the mistakes, do you? The U.S. system has been stable long before it was wealthy, and I challenge you to name one wealthy country of over a million people that didn’t get that way through greed and taking advantage of other people, to some extent. Luxembourg probably did the same thing, but I don’t know enough about its past to say one way or the other.

          The reason the U.S. has so much wealth is that its population is so huge; on a GDP-per-capita basis, it’s not much wealthier than most western countries, and isn’t as wealthy as some other countries. As for the inequality, it’s not much worse than in other western countries. Look it up, instead of just parroting what you hear on your anti-U.S. blogs.

          As you prove almost every time you post a comment, the average U.S. citizen is much more politically astute than you are. As far as “interest” goes, for national elections, turnout is far above “zero”, so are you saying they go to vote for the free stickers they receive when they do so? Seriously, though, I know for a fact that Americans are better informed, on average, and more engaged in their political system than Hungarians, which is part of the reason why the U.S. has a robust democracy and Hungary is about to become a quasi-democracy, like Russia.

          Where do you get this stuff? Are you just a masochist who likes to be embarrassed, so you write stuff you know is outlandishly false, so I or someone else will come along and point it out?

    • justasking


      I find myself agreeing with you 2% of the time, your above post is one of those times. :DD

  • Canadian

    The majority here are missing the point.

    Hungary is isolated in Europe, with not much allies to speak off. Thats a major problem. Why is a totally differnet matter.

    my opinon, Orban took his large win in elections as a mandate to do what ever he pleases, when the population was happy with the statues quo in terms of democractic ideals, but sick of the corruption. Only time will tell and will see who wins the next election.

    Other issue you guys are missing is the geopolitical motives behine such comments– weither or not they are at play here, i dont know.

    The recent deals with Orban and China are probely not going over all the well with the US and their interests in Europe.

    Look at everything in politics like a chessboard and it will make more sense.

  • Curious George

    @Olga – Ah! That explains why she’s right only 2% of the time 🙂

  • Szabad Ember

    So you’re going to buy into that old canard, too? Again, just because a country has problems, doesn’t mean that one of its leaders can’t give some constructive criticism to another country. If it’s meddling, then there would have to be some action, other than a few words. The U.S. has done plenty of that, but then every country in the world has done that, including neutral Switzerland. If Orbán wanted to criticize the U.S. for something legitimate, would you tell him to MYOB?

    I can see your point, and the U.S. has a bad reputation when it comes to starting unnecessary wars, but it also has a lot of experience with democracy, and Hungary has very little, so why wouldn’t they have something useful to say? The Polish government has talked recently of going to Egypt and Tunisia to help them with advice about the transition to democracy. Is Poland perfect? Does Poland not have very real political issues, protests, and a sour relationship with Lithuania over something that is arguably petty?

    If nothing else, Americans can say, \Don’t make the same mistakes we’re making!\

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