Change: In July of 2008, Obama visits Germany, delivers his Day The Earth Stood Still-style Citizens of the World Unite speech.
In June of 2013: “Germany to Spymaster-in-Chief Obama: You are on some Eastern Bloc $#!+ right now,” Jim Treacher quips:
Dude? When Germany is telling you to knock it off? Maybe you should listen. I know you won’t, but you should.
German outrage over a U.S. Internet spying program has broken out ahead of a visit by Barack Obama, with ministers demanding the president provide a full explanation when he lands in Berlin next week and one official likening the tactics to those of the East German Stasi.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman has said she will raise the issue with Obama in talks next Wednesday, potentially casting a cloud over a visit that was designed to celebrate U.S.-German ties on the 50th anniversary John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.
Government surveillance is an extremely sensitive topic in Germany, where memories of the dreaded Stasi secret police and its extensive network of informants are still fresh in the minds of many citizens.
Yeah, Barry will need to update that classic speech a bit: “Ich bin ein Faschist Soziopath.”
Am I the only one who was reminded of the Stasi when the White House started telling us to inform on your fellow Americans who say things that “seem fishy”? Four years ago, you would’ve been called paranoid for likening that to the Stasi. Today, you’d have to be a partisan idiot not to be reminded of totalitarian Cold War tactics.
Well, as I noted in June of 2010, when the fallout from the JournoList scandal was breaking, involving the self-described “Non-Official Campaign” by leftwing journalists to elect Obama in 2008 (and 2012), JournoList member Walter Shapiro wrote an article titled “The Death of JournoList: Does Privacy End at the Edge of Your Thoughts?” I responded by noting that Shapiro’s headline “seems like a rather disingenuous question for a man of the left to ask, as this is where the terrain invariably ends up, the further and further one moves left,” adding, “You wanted East Germany on the Potomac? Might as well have all of the trappings, boys.”
Incidentally, today Politico is reporting that Obama oversaw the “Greatest Expansion of Electronic Surveillance In U.S. History.” (Link safe, goes to Big Journalism.) Without of course noting how deeply Politico was in the tank for Obama in 2008 (and 2012).
I rarely say this, but let’s return to Germany for a bit. On Monday, Treacher linked to a German Photoshop of Shepard Fairey’s 2008-era “Hope” poster retitled, “YES WE SCAN.” As he wrote, “It took a German to do the job Americans won’t do: Calling a Democrat POTUS on his bull$#!+.”
Admittedly, my effort was nowhere near as cool as the German version, but Tuesday of last week, playing around with some ideas presented in this Photoshop how-to guide (pro tip: buy the hard copy book, not the bollocked up Kindle version), I cranked this out:
By the way, after Obama’s July 2008 speech in Berlin, acting as John McCain’s surrogate, Lindsey Graham joked, “There goes Germany. We’re going to have to get to 270 without Germany.”
That idea didn’t work out too well, so perhaps Graham is taking another try at winning the German vote, as we’ll explore right after the page break.