Tuesday, March 01, 2011

No use crying over split milk

We taught them a lesson in 1918, and they've hardly bothered us since then! But now those pesky Germans have done it:

Two years before the Berlin Wall opened, paving the way for the end of the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan famously called on then-Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987 to "tear down this wall," in a speech he delivered at the Brandenburg Gate, which was then part of the East-West border.

Well, we all summon spirits from the vasty deep sometimes. Would there be an actual "delayed lede" around here somewhere?

But Reagan's role in bringing down the Iron Curtain and breaking the back of communism has touched off a national debate in Germany, where conservatives want to rename a street or square after him while liberals still hold a grudge over the Gipper's deployment of nuclear missiles on West German soil.

Kilt him a b'ar when he was only threeBroke the back of communism, did he? The stuff you learn these days.

Tensions over Reagan's legacy boiled over last month when the Gipper would have turned 100.

Conservatives criticized Berlin officials for not hosting a major ceremony to mark Reagan's 100th birthday. Instead, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy and Walter Momper, the president of the city's parliament, laid two wreaths under a portrait of Reagan in the city-state's parliament building, Der Speigel reported. The city had also sent a bouquet to the official commemorative ceremony in the U.S., a spokesperson for the Senate said.

What do you say, Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg?

"It is a disgrace that a Berlin city government staggering between stupidity and ideology didn't even see fit to celebrate 100 years of Ronald Reagan," Guttenberg said in a speech marking German-American relations, the National reported.

Let's have a moment of sympathy for the cousins at Fox, OK? Because some days, your timing just bites worse than others:

"I've reached the limits of my strength." With these words Germany’s most promising politician, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, resigned as defence minister this morning. He fell less than two weeks after revelations that large chunks of his 2006 doctoral dissertation had been plagiarised.

You can (and should) go enjoy the whole tale yourself. You can count how many times the network that never got over Al Franken's election refers to Reagan as "the Gipper." (Alas, "spilt" in the hed has now been corrected to "split.") And there's this charming eggcorn-in-the-making in the penultimate graf:

The perceived snuff has led conservatives to accuse the city of trying to block all attempts to honor Reagan -- accusations that the city has dismissed.
But perhaps we could save a bit of wondering for the strange coincidence through which this is both a top story at Fox and a 1A choice at the Washington Times:

In this once-divided city where Ronald Reagan famously challenged the Soviet Union to “tear down this wall,” a proposal to rename a public square or street in his honor has sparked heated debate over the U.S. president’s role in Germany’s recent past.

Lot of that "famously" going around these days, isn't there?

The culture war hasn't gone away. In many ways, the fetishization of the Reagan centennial is just the springtime edition of the War on Christmas. Can't wait to see what they come up with next!

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Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

In many ways, the fetishization of the Reagan centennial is just the springtime edition of the War on Christmas.

I hope so. 'Cause that would mean we won't have to go through it again next year...

11:28 AM, March 02, 2011  
Anonymous Andy Bechtel said...

"I've reached the limits of my strength."

So have I, when it comes to the lengths of these sentences in this story. Maybe the editors at the Fox site need to buy some periods.

1:21 PM, March 02, 2011  
Anonymous Picky said...

Perhaps Fox could advise each country which former US president it should name a street after. For those of us suffering the ignominy of not being American this would be useful in reminding us of the paucity of our own nations' contribution to freedom.

7:12 AM, March 03, 2011  

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