by William Teach | July 25, 2017 7:39 am
It’s always amusing how, when a Republican is in the White House, everything that happens in the world seems to be the fault of the United States and the Republican president. Witness Slawomir Sierakowski’s screed
Poland Turns Away From Democracy, Thanks to the U.S.
President Trump’s visit emboldened the Law and Justice party to attempt a judicial coup, and Washington has been a mere bystander since.
Polish democracy won a partial, momentary reprieve on Monday when President Andrzej Duda vetoed two controversial billsthat would have given the ruling Law and Justice party direct power over Poland’s courts. Partial, because President Duda did sign a bill giving the Justice Ministry control over local courts. And momentary, because Mr. Duda has said he would introduce his own versions of the legislation soon.
It’s no secret that Law and Justice and its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, have their sights set on judicial independence, one of the few remaining checks on their control of the Polish state. Less well appreciated, but no less clear, is the role that the United States has played in encouraging them to take this latest step.
Mr. Kaczynski and his party have been grabbing for power since they won 2015’s parliamentary elections, but this year they have been particularly brazen. At a European Union summit meeting in March, they tried to block the election of Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister and an opponent of Mr. Kaczynski, to a second term as the head of the European Council.
Got that? This has been apparently going on since 2015. And they tried to block Trump (where is the freakout from the NY Times over foreign interference?). The party, PiS, has been around since 2001, and seems to be a smattering of beliefs, running from a strong socially conservative belief with links to the Catholic church to being Socialist economically, wanting lots and lots of governmental control of the economy.
But, they got smacked down big time in the issues mentioned in that 3rd paragraph, but, then, Trump!
Into this mess stepped Donald Trump, himself mired in controversy and looking for good press. And so the White House announced that on his way to the Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, this month, he would visit Poland, a country long regarded as the most pro-American in Europe.
Uh oh, a visit!!!!!
The visit worked for Mr. Kaczynski, too — embattled in Europe, his government needed to show that Poland enjoys the respect of one of the world’s most powerful politicians.
And so Mr. Trump came to Warsaw, confirmed his commitment to NATO’s Article 5 on collective defense, and promised contracts for the sale of Patriot missiles and natural gas to Poland. Mr. Kaczynski’s party bused in cheering crowds, and both sides concluded — with good reason — that the visit was a success.
Law and Justice’s standing in the polls improved; the latest, carried out before the vote on judicial reform, showed 38 percent support for the party and only 19 percent for Civic Platform, the largest opposition party.
Got that? This is all because Trump visited one of our great allies. That is the whole premise. A state visit.
In short, for the price of some applause, Mr. Trump gave Mr. Kaczynski the cover to carry out a coup. And what has the United States done since? The State Department issued a dry statement formulated not to offend the Polish authorities (“We urge all sides to ensure that any judicial reform does not violate Poland’s Constitution”).
The NY Times and Mr. Sierakowski are letting their Trump Derangement Syndrome loose like hounds after a rabbit. The Blamestorming is amazing. And then they wonder why Trump won, when citizens are exposed to this insanity.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.
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