Outgoing Czech President Vaclav Klaus has since the (partial) transition from communist rule stood as nearly the single bright light in the former Eastern Bloc. At times a light shines from nearby Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary, with whom Klaus shares much philosophically. But Klaus has been a consistent and uncompromising leader in efforts to carve out a truly new and independent era for the once-captive nations. For those of us who highly value individual liberty and subsidiarity, Klaus was an heroic counter-weight to the intolerable bore, hectoring centralizer, and darling of the international Left-elite, Vaclav Havel.
The European Union, dominated as it is by those who in the West and East had in an earlier era dedicated themselves to international communism, could never forgive Klaus for his unrelenting opposition to the political reintegration of the former East under the rule of the same transnational elite that had a few years earlier been defeated by the 1989 transitions.
It is no wonder they hated him. As he wrote in last year's Europe: The Shattering of Illusions, now available in the US:
"Political elites have always known that the shift in decision-making from the national to the supranational level weakens the traditional democratic mechanisms (that are inseparable from the existence of the nation state), and this increases their power in a radical way. That is why they wanted this shift so badly in the past, and that is why they want it today."
Now his enemies through their allies in the Czech Senate have found a way to kick him one last time as he exits the political scene. As a coward puffs himself up when he knows there is no danger, the Czech Senate narrowly voted to impeach Klaus just days before he is to leave office, on charges of "high treason." His crime? Using his power as president on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of independence to grant amnesty to some 7,500 souls languishing in prison for mostly petty crimes. His real crime in the eyes of his enemies is his decades of obstructing the centralizing forces of the largely unelected European ruling class, blocking sovereignty-killing treaties like the Lisbon Treaty and opposing the multi-billion dollar bankster bailout fund, otherwise known as the European Stability Fund.
Leading the charge against the free market Klaus is Czech Senator Jiri Dienstbier, Jr., the son of a well-known communist journalist from the bad old days of the 1950s who traveled the world as a trusted servant of the world revolution. The apple does not fall far from the tree...
As a special Vaclav Klaus bonus, see here Klaus hosting Rep. Ron Paul in Prague for the Prague Spring Lecture back in 2006.
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