National Review's Jay Nordlinger one year ago --
What is it about the Czech Republic and straight talk? The country’s president, Václav Klaus, is pretty much the number-one straight-talker in the world (for example, on global warming, and on the financial crisis now engulfing us). But the Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolánek, isn’t bad either. Here is what he recently told the European Parliament:
“The U.S. is repeating mistakes from the 1930s, such as wide-ranging stimuluses, protectionist tendencies and appeals, the Buy American campaign, and so on. All these steps, their combination and their permanency, are the road to hell.”
This quote was indeed gleefully recycled among the American right.
News just in from the Czech Republic --
Mirek Topolanek had been under strong pressure from within his Civic Democratic Party to step down following the comments to the editorial staff of the gay magazine Lui. He announced last week that he would not lead his party's campaign in a May 28-29 election or run as a candidate.
Topolanek's were made came during an informal conversation with editorial staff of the magazine and were not meant for publication. A video of the meeting was leaked to other media, however.
He said that Transport Minister Gustav Slamecka is a homosexual who "gives in" when he faces a serious problem." About Prime Minister Jan Fischer, he said, "he's simply a Jew; he's not gay and he gives in even sooner." Fischer is Jewish. Slamecka has not publicly commented on his sexual orientation.
Topolanek also accused the Roman Catholic church of "brainwashing" believers.