Monday, June 04, 2018

Trumpian Ambassador-- Making Friends And Influencing People


It would be impossible to imagine that any other president-- or Secretary of State-- wouldn't immediately fire Richard Grenell, U.S. ambassador to Germany after his Breitbart interview this weekend. If you've ever heard of him, it's probably because far right loons forced Mitt Romney to fire him as a spokesman for his 2012 presidential campaign when they found out he was gay. Trump, who likes him because he was a Fox contributor, forced Mike Pence to swear him in as ambassador last month which made him the highest-ranking openly gay official ever in a Republican administration.

So what's the fuss? It's not about his gayness; it's about his embrace of neo-fascism and his desire to "empower" European neo-fascists. “I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders. I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left." But by "conservatives," he doesn't mean Angela Merkel, head of both the German government and the right-of-center Christian Democratic Union.
“There’s no question about that and it’s an exciting time for me. I look across the landscape and we’ve got a lot of work to do but I think the election of Donald Trump has empowered individuals and people to say that they can’t just allow the political class to determine before an election takes place, who’s going to win and who should run.”

The U.S. ambassador spoke of the small circle of political and media elites saying, “That’s a very powerful moment when you can grasp the ability to see past the group-think of a very small elitist crowd telling you you have no chance to win or you’ll never win, or they mock you early on.”

...The winning strategy, Grenell noted, is focusing on conservative issues that improve life for ordinary working people, the silent majority, saying the “support is massive” for candidates that can articulate “consistent conservative” policies on migration, tax cuts, and cutting red tape and bureaucracy.

Unafraid to name names, Mr Grenell expressed a deep respect and admiration for the young Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz saying, “Look, I think Sebastian Kurz is a rockstar. I’m a big fan.”

Chancellor Kurz, leader of the conservative Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), formed a coalition with the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) earlier this year, and has been one of the strongest advocates for securing the European Union’s external border.

Not long after the formation of the coalition, Kurz stood up to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, rejecting the controversial European Union migrant quota system.

He was also been a leading conservative on the topic of counter-Islamisation while Foreign Minister in the previous coalition government, advocating and helping to pass a ban on the full-face Islamic veil.
This isn't really news to Germans where Grenell is the least popular diplomat in Berlin. He threatened Germany as soon as the U.S. pulled out of the Iran deal, demanding that German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately." That was on his first day on the job. German media refers to him and a harter Hund a colloquial way of saying a tough cookie, in this case, quite tongue in cheek-- while using the word for a dog.

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At 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't he realize that if his stated wet dream of a neo-Nazi world materialized, he'd be among the first to be marched into the ovens?

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Procopius said...

On the first day after presenting his credentials, he sent a tweet.

“German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.” This was widely read as an order, if not a threat. Quoted from the Brookings Institution,

Trump loves him.

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Alice said...

How bad a president do you have to be to mess up our relations with Germany and Canada.

At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corporatist Koch-suckers are by definition fascists, for they have nothing but disdain for anyone who isn't wealthy. Imagine if this flaming fascist (whom real Nazis would have quickly shipped off to Dachau) were sent to Greece, Italy, or Spain. He'd already be on his way to the US of A with his credentials in hand, and a boot mark on his derriere.


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