It doesn’t take a lot to do a horribly bad take on Twitter these days. But to do a bad take, have it go viral internationally and then double down on it, only to get slapped with a disinformation label, that takes special skill.
This, you know by now, is exactly what PM Janša has done on Wednesday after US presidential elections, when – to the disbelief of many – congratulated Donald Trump on winning the vote. Only that Donald Trump by then hadn’t won the vote. And it doesn’t look good for him at the time of this post, either.
Congratulating The Donald before most of the competitive races were called, is a flagrant breach of diplomatic protocol and just basic human decency. This is not how an experienced politician and a self-described statesman behaves.
Pengovsky imagines it really must suck being Slovenian foreign minister these days. I mean, putting out a diplomatic dumpster fire of such proportions would take it out on better men, let alone on Anže Logar, whose notable diplomatic achievements lately mostly consist of forcing the entire top diplomacy of the Baltic states and the leader of Belarus opposition into quarantine after being infected with Covid-19.
However, Janša’s “premature congratulation” (as per writer and author Agata Tomažič <- go follow her), has a much more sinister underbelly that should not be disregarded while the fair people of Muddy Hollows hold their collective palms to their collective faces.
In this respect, sourcing partial returns and dodgy statistics compiled by shady website was just the Glorious Leader going through his old bag of tricks. Indeed, it would have been more newsworthy if he had claimed elections were free and fair than if he had claimed they were stolen.
However, as pengovsky noted in this post, Muddy Hollows has had a slow-moving electoral train-wreck of it’s own headed its way for some time now. And with the election cycle converging in 2022 with parliamentary, presidential and local elections being held within months of each other, it is not beyond the pale to think of Janša’s tweet as a dry run for some electoral results shenanigans in 18 months’ time. I mean, it’s not like he hasn’t done that before.
That said, however, if Janša’s antics have until now remained largely within the Slovenian language bubble, yesterday can be considered his breakout moment. The attention the Glorious Leader was getting far surpassed his “Mission Accomplished” moment in
mid-March mid-May, when he declared the end of the epidemic, generating a bit of a positive buzz in the world media. It even surpassed his government’s botched response to Council of Europe’s media freedom alert in April.
…to give a few examples at random.
As things stand at the time of this writing, Janša’s tweet is about to age badly. As a result, the PM probably needn’t stand by the phone, waiting for a quick invite to the White House.
However, Janša would probably have to look at the Oval Office only on cardboard cut-outs even if The Donald wins all the marbles. If we’ve learned anything about Agent Orange in these past few years is that he demands absolute loyalty but will give none in return. So it is extremely unlikely that Janša would get as much as a pat on a back and a job well done for his sucking up, let alone anything more. Just ask Don, jr.
But given that all of this is happening in the middle of an epidemic which he is struggling to contain, one could be excused for thinking that the Glorious Leader needed a diversion.
Namely, in the last 48 hours or so around 70 people died from Covid-19, bringing the total death toll close to 450, while numbers of infections continue to rise with little signs of the second wave cresting (though hope is that the crest is coming soon and new lock-down restrictions will be slowly lifted).
This is not a good position to be in for someone who came to power claiming expertise in fighting the pandemic.
But just as that premature declaration of victory over the coronavirus turned out to be Janša’s “mission accomplished” moment, so is his congratulating The Donald turning into a gigantic shitshow that the prime minister is, well, struggling to contain.
And that’s before we even take into consideration that Janša got into a bizarre Twitter feud with Michael Carpenter, a key foreign policy advisor to Joe Biden
The whole thing even weirder when Janša at one point tagged the wrong Michael Carpenter and some poor IT guy from Canada suddenly had his mentions murdered.
The whole thing seems to have gotten too hot even for the prime minister. Apparently he took the time off from his near-constant tweeting over the last couple of days, took a long hard look at the results in the US, saw the writing on the wall and started to walk back his stupid move.
Of course it’s someone else’s fault
Staying true to form, he now claims he never congratulated Donald Trump on his victory and that he was merely commending the Republican party on a good night, and that the media made the whole thing up.
If you believe that, I’ve got some prime swampland to sell you in Florida.
At any rate, in between going against the diplomatic protocol, craven attention whoring and in general behaving like an toady asshole on social media, the Glorious Leader has single-handedly downgraded his stature and that of Muddy Hollows a notch or two.
And now that he will have to deal with the fallout of a damning report on corruption in PPE procurement during the first wave of the pandemic and as questions will be asked on the nature of Thursday’s protest in downtown Ljubljana that got a bit out of hand, the Glorious Leader will probably take to Twitter even more.
No points for guessing who does that remind pengovsky of.