After trying very hard to ignore it for days, Slovenian political class finally started weighing in on the slow-motion car crash that was PM Janša’s Twitter meltdown over the course of the past week.
But, drawing the ire several prominent US diplomats and then becoming the poster-boy for European flavour of trumpism in the eyes of numerous media outlets, only emboldened the Glorious Leader who then proceeded to all but destroy, in a matter of days, what little standing Muddy Hollows had in European and international diplomacy.
That national politicians would be slow to pick up on Janša’s diplomatic catastrophe is not really surprising. As pengovsky noted in the previous post, this sort of shenanigans is par for the course for the Glorious Leader. He has been putting on this same fucking act for the last thirty years. No wonder indigenous politicos failed to take notice.
That said, the political landscape in Muddy Hollows is by its very nature autarkic. This is weird, given how small a country Slovenia is. In addition, the current crop of political class are not really what one would call the best and the brightest, so it is not a stretch to see them being mostly oblivious to the outcry and disbelief Janša’s Twitter meltdown provoked around the world.
Flaming bag of dog shit
One can only imagine their shock when they discovered that people out there were actually paying attention to what a prime minister of a small Central European country has to say. And then, the horror of once again tuning into the shit-stream that is Janša’s Twitter timeline, only to discover that the man is simply too far gone.
Once upon a time, Janša would tweet mostly policy positions and an occasional incendiary remark. These days, the ratio is exactly opposite. Tweet upon tweet upon re-tweet of attacking the media, the judiciary, the opposition, the “deep state”, and, in the past ten days or so, peddling conspiracy theories about how Joe Biden stole the US elections. Curiously, there’s also an occasional mental health tip.
Having realised Janša’s tweets on US elections constitute a flaming bag of dog shit, Slovenian political class attempted to side-step the issue and ignore it completely. As one would side-step and ignore an actual flaming bag of dog shit. But eventually they recognised that damage is being done in real time and tried, feebly, to somehow undo it.
Janša’s unfiltered Twitter-consciousness
President Borut Pahor, for example, tweeted out not just a congratulatory tweet, but a whole congratulatory thread.
Sure, it’s in Slovenian and was as such primarily intended to domestic consumption, but the “Translate Tweet” function is good enough and the US Embassy in Ljubljana probably got a hard-copy version anyhow.
Leaders of coalition and most opposition parties followed suit, as if Uncle Joe was somehow waiting for their two cents before he finally held his victory speech.
Case in point being defense minister and NSi boss Matej Tonin, who – truth be told – sent out a fairly OK-ish congratulatory tweet, although pengovsky can’t shake the feeling that it was over-edited for content and under-edited for grammar.
More importantly, however, the flurry of tweets from Muddy Hollows was meant to put a daylight between indigenous politicians and the mental excrement PM Janša was – and still is – posting regarding the outcome of the US presidential vote.
That said, no coalition party leader dared to criticise Janša openly. The furthest anyone got was Tonin saying PM’s tweet “are not benefiting Slovenia right now”. Others were going along with “oh, it’s just Janša being Janša”. Which sounds a lot like “oh, it’s just Trump being Trump”. So, there.
Opposition leaders, however, were obviously not going to let an opportunity like this go to waste. After all, it’s not every day we get to see how Janša’s unfiltered Twitter-consciousness ages that badly that fast.
But – as SD chief Tanja Fajon found out – Janša’s tether to reality so far gone that he’s basically calling everyone who congratulated Joe Biden – a Nazi.
Foreign minister Logar tripping over his own logic
Interestingly enough, a veneer of criticism came, perhaps unintentionally, from foreign minister Anže Logar. The same Logar who famously said months ago that this government will be returning Slovenia to the diplomatic map. Pengovsky is pretty sure cleaning up Janša’s mess on Twitter was not what the minister had in mind.
At any rate, in a recent virtual press gaggle, Logar refused to openly condemn Glorious Leader’s Twitter meltdown, saying that he doesn’t see how that could damage Slovenia-US relations or Slovenian standing within the EU (dude, seriously?).
However, when pressed, he said that while the EU doesn’t always need to be unified internally, it would benefit from more unity in foreign affairs, especially in relations with the US.
Which, of course, was the whole fucking point about EU in general and some member states in particular being cross with PM Janša.
Now, whether Logar wanted to say what he said or whether he just tripped over his own logic, remains to be seen. Pengovsky bets on the latter but if there should be a seemingly inexplicable change at the top of Slovenian diplomacy any time soon, this could be the reason.
Speaking of changes at the top, the Glorious Leader having an extended moody moment on Twitter sparked questions about whether he’s actually up to the job at hand.
Remember, when he took over the reins of the government in March, he did so claiming that he can handle the epidemic better than the other guy, who – per Janša – wasn’t handling it at all.
Fast forward to mid-October and it is Janša who appears not being able to handle the epidemic, with death toll reaching mid-tens on a daily basis, a consistent 30% infection rate and hospitals being at capacity for an extended period of time.
So, what does the Glorious Leader do? Why, he tweets, of course.
Just until noon today (Friday) he sent out over 50 tweets. Granted, only a couple of those were his original content, most were retweets. But even so it takes time to do that. Especially if the retweets continue to include conspiracy theories about how the US election was stolen.
(And while we’re on the issue, this website offers a nice statistical overview of Janša’s tweeting habit)
Not only is his Twitter habit getting worse and worse, he is by almost every account – save his own – damaging Slovenian standing (such as it is) on the international stage. And even if no permanent damage will be done, the effects will likely be felt for months or years to come. Despite the fact that Janša did try and sprinkle his timeline with tweets aimed at projecting the strength of US-Slovenian relations.
Just how strong these relations will be going forward, we’ll see soon enough.
For example, Slovenia is about to replace its ambassador in Washington D.C.. This obviously strategic and prestigious post will now be filled by an SDS toady who may find himself hard-pressed to build connections and get informal access to Biden administration, crucial to any diplomatic effort. Hell, the guy might even have to wait in line a bit just to get the nod from the host country.
And speaking of waiting in line, Janša’s antics do not bode well for the upcoming Slovenian presidency of the EU. I mean, imagine Janša sparking a tweetpocalypse while running the EU…
And yes, pengovsky knows there’s a real EU president now and that rotating presidency is little more than a glorified secretarial job nowadays, but still.
Odd man, out
Janša is used to being the odd man out. It’s been his shtick throughout his career.
Question is whether the country can afford being dragged down by his demons and whether the political class is willing to do something about it before it’s too late.