Tom Lantos, RIP

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Tom Lantos, the Hungarian-born Democratic congressman, has died. Lantos was vigorous and outspoken in his opposition to communism, having seen his country savaged first by fascism (he twice escaped from Nazi forced labor camps) and then by a Soviet puppet regime, led by Hungarian quisling János Kádár. CEI's Ivan Osorio offers a tribute, with some important caveats:

While I didn't agree with him on much beside the evil of communism, I did have the pleasure of witnessing one of his last controversial episodes, during his speech at the dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, D.C. in June 2007, where he caused a small row with Germany when he blasted former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, calling him a "political prostitute, now that he's taking big checks from Putin," and quipped that "the sex workers in my district objected so I will no longer use that phrase." Former French President Jacques Chirac came in for some verbal abuse as well. Whatever one thinks of the Iraq War, it's always fun to watch politicians tear each other down. RIP.

A video of his controversial speech at the Victims of Communism dedication here.

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  1. Holocaust survivor who supported murderers during the Waco “investigation”. I hear its dark and hell is hot.

  2. I disagreed with him on quite a bit, but he was one of the few decent Democrats in Congress.

    He was a good man, who always spoke his mind and could care less about political correctness.

  3. Isten aljda meg a Lantos Tamast!

  4. Yeah, the only thing I know of him comes from “Waco: The Rules of Engagement” where he sided 100% with the ATF. He really looked like a scumbag.

  5. Wasn’t this guy the co-chair of the congressional committee during the circus testimony by the Kuwaiti nurse about Iraqi atrocities in Kuwait that later turned out to be a fake and non other than the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador? Hi reaction after facts surfaced:
    “The notion that any of the witnesses brought to the caucus through the Kuwaiti Embassy would not be credible did not cross my mind… I have no basis for assuming that her story is not true, but the point goes beyond that. If one hypothesizes that the woman’s story is fictitious from A to Z, that in no way diminishes the avalanche of human rights violations.

  6. Like Madeleine Albright, Lantos made Munich the central defining fact of his political thought. He was passionately opposed to violent extremism and believed it needed to be confronted.

    And that gives us his Iraq War support and his pro-ATF bias i/r/t the Waco raid.

    The lesson of his career, to me, is that even the most noble and correct ideas need to be leavened with compassion, realism, and other complicating ideas, not pursued with single-minded devotion.

  7. Let’s not also forget his disgraceful performance during the Waco hearings, immortalized in the documentary “Waco: Rules of Engagement.”

  8. Oops, looks like not one but two previous posters also hadn’t forgotten.

  9. “Iraq is your problem now. I’m outta here.”

  10. “The lesson of his career, to me, is that even the most noble and correct ideas need to be leavened with compassion, realism, and other complicating ideas, not pursued with single-minded devotion.”

    Easy for you to say Joe, you have never actually faced an extremist. It is very easy for you and I who sit fat dumb and happy in our free, safe and rich country to lecture someone like Lantos about the need for realism and other “complicating ideas”. Lantos had a moral credibility on the subject that neither you nor I have and hopefully for the sake of the country will never have.

  11. For all of his moral credibilty, he still got the most important vote of his life wrong, precisely because of the Munich-forever mindset.

    It’s not a knock on the guy’s character of intellect, but if we can’t learn from the past, what’s the point?

  12. Fuck ’em. One more dead politician.

  13. “For all of his moral credibilty, he still got the most important vote of his life wrong, precisely because of the Munich-forever mindset.”

    He didn’t get it wrong Joe. History hasn’t been written yet. You need to start contemplating the possibility that Iraq is going to end up better off thanks to the US. It is going to be a really hard process for you Joe. It will take a while, you will probably go through the five stages of grief and do a lot of bargaining with your self. But don’t worry, you can always do what the anti-cold warriors did after the fall of the Berlin wall and just claim you were for it all along. Cheer up though, your man Obama is starting to go through the same process himself. Here he is last night on 60 minutes

    “And you pull out according to that time table, regardless of the situation? Even if there’s serious sectarian violence?” Kroft asked.

    “No, I always reserve as commander in chief, the right to assess the situation,” Obama replied.”

    You can traslate that last bit to mean “I reserve the right to stay a little longer and win and take credit if it looks like I can do so”, which is fine by me.

  14. john, how else could he have responded to that question or most ‘regardless of the situation’ comments? ‘i cant predict the future.’ dumb but perhaps necessary question from kroft.

  15. OK, John, you keep looking for the pony.

  16. Although if we’re down “better than 2002” as our standard for judging the worth of the invasion, and not even attempting to even out those hundreds of thousands of dead civilians and expanded Iranian hegemony into a net gain, then you just might find it.

  17. You need to start contemplating the possibility that Iraq is going to end up better off thanks to the US.

    Still laughing…

  18. “Still laughing…”

    Ignorance is giggly bliss

  19. istory hasn’t been written yet. You need to start contemplating the possibility that Iraq is going to end up better off thanks to the US. It is going to be a really hard process for you Joe.

    John, how long are you going to wait until you declare that the Iraq war has not worked, if the situation doesn’t improve? 5 years? 10 years? 100 years like Mr. “bomb bomb .. bomb Iran?”

    I’m not saying that the situation will not get better, am I just wondering how long are you going to continue to support the investment before you decide to cut loses.

  20. Doesn’t matter if Iraq ultimately benefits from having a civil war. American Congressmen who voted to go start one there in 2003 did it for dumb reasons, and those who are still defending those decisions have done nothing but replace one dumb reason with another over and over again. You’d have to be pretty disingenuous, or pretty credulous, to argue that Senators who voted for the Iraq War were looking ahead to the present situation going “well, after the Sunnis, Shi’ites and Kurds finish killing one another in an enormous war of vendetta over past oppressions and fear of the same thing in the near term, Iraqi society might be freer and more peaceful.”

  21. This guy ran from psychopathic jackbooted thugs only to support another group of psychopathic jackbooted thugs. His death is no loss.

    We need to stop being so nice to politicians when they die, so many knowingly screw us and when they die we act like they were our favorite uncle. They do not deserve the kid gloves. When are politicians ever going to have consequences for their actions?

    Does anyone know where he will be buried? Looks like I need to break out my dancing shoes. When Reno dies we should hold a dance-a-thon on her grave and donate the proceeds to the survivors.

  22. Why would a libertarian think the US slaughter of millions of people during the Cold War was what defeated Communism – rather than, say, the inherently unworkable economic system of socialism? Why would any libertarian defend such crude, utilitarian morality?

  23. Why wouldn’t it? I’m a libertarian. But I don’t believe that the answer to all questions lies therein. It’s not the Unifed Field Theory.

  24. Er, I mean

    “Why wouldn’t a libertarian think that?”

  25. Good night, Zionist warmonger man!

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