Three years ago the United States endured a fake controversy centered on then-candidate Barack Obama, whose then-friend and mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright had years earlier boomed “GOD DAMN AMERICA!” during a crowded sermon at his influential Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. The imbroglio dominated campaign coverage for days, and presaged a public rift between the two men, and Obama’s memorable Philadelphia speech on race.
Imagine for a moment that Obama, not Wright, had uttered those words, during his presidency, not his campaign, and you’ll have a sense for what Italy’s dealing with right now.
Here’s a report from The Guardian:
In a sign of his frustration at the investigations into his alleged crimes and misdemeanours, Silvio Berlusconi vowed in July to leave Italy, which he described as a “shitty country” that “sickened” him.
The Italian prime minister’s astonishing remarks are contained in the transcript of a telephone conversation secretly recorded by police investigating claims he was being blackmailed about his sex life…..
“They can put listening devices where they like. They can tap my telephone calls. I don’t give a fuck. I … In a few months, I’m getting out to mind my own fucking business, from somewhere else, and so I’m leaving this shitty country of which I’m sickened.”
Ok, maybe it’s a terrible analogy, but a good rule of thumb for any national leader is don’t call the country you rule a bad word, and threaten to abandon it as soon as possible.
Get the day’s best political analysis, news and reporting from the TPM team delivered to your inbox every day with DayBreaker. Sign up here, it takes just a few seconds.