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Authoritarian Hungarian Prime MInister Viktor Orbán is at the White House today for a playdate with Donald Trump. This is very exciting for our unelected bumblefuck president, as Orbán is what Trump would be if he both applied himself, and also if he met a witch in a forest who cast a spell on him that gave him a working brain. Neither of these things is likely to happen any time soon, or ever.

David Cornstein, the Trump crony serving as ambassador to Hungary, told The Atlantic recently that Trump "would love to have the situation" in America "that Viktor Orbán has" in Hungary, but that alas, "he doesn't." He was talking about Orbán's concept of "illiberal democracy," the fascist-lite system of government Orbán has been working to diligently install in Hungary for almost a decade. And what the fuck is "illiberal democracy"? Vox shares Orbán's own description, from a speech he gave in July of 2017:

Christian democracy is, by definition, not liberal: it is, if you like, illiberal. And we can specifically say this in connection with a few important issues — say, three great issues. Liberal democracy is in favor of multiculturalism, while Christian democracy gives priority to Christian culture; this is an illiberal concept. Liberal democracy is pro-immigration, while Christian democracy is anti-immigration; this is again a genuinely illiberal concept. And liberal democracy sides with adaptable family models, while Christian democracy rests on the foundations of the Christian family model; once more, this is an illiberal concept.

Basically it's a white Christian supremacist society where all citizens are free, as long as they are white Christian supremacists. (And you were wondering why Mike Pence is so dick-deep in being Trump's ambassador to the white Christian supremacists. Silly you!)

Today Trump and Orbán did that Oval Office thing, where Trump makes goo-goo eyes at a dictator and the dictator sits there grinning, probably a little bit in disbelief that an American president is treating them so nicely.


Aw hell, you should watch a whole video clip of Trump sitting next to somebody he admires almost as much as he admires Vladimir Putin. In the clip, Trump falsely claims that Orbán is "highly respected" in Europe, that Orbán is "probably like me, a little bit controversial, but that's OK," and that Orbán has "kept his country safe," which refers to how both Trump and Orbán are absolutely fucking obsessed with keeping people with skin darker than theirs out of their countries.

This tweet from Kyle Griffin, which accompanies the clip, features some words from the New York Times that describe Orbán without Trump's bullshit adoration:

Like we said, they are BFFs!

There are two long reads out there on Orbán, both of which we've mentioned already in this piece, and both of which deserve your time. One is in Vox, and the other is from Franklin Foer at The Atlantic, and they detail the similarities between Trump and Orbán, as well as the important differences between the two men's situations, differences that, for now, are holding America back from where Hungary finds itself, as the only member of the European Union ever to have been downgraded to "partly free" by the international watchdog Freedom House.

We've noted that both men absolutely despise migrants, and propagandize their dumbest and most racist citizens, encouraging them to blame all their problems on a mostly nonexistent migrant "crisis." You'd be shocked to learn that both men have anti-Semitic tendencies, and that they -- and their respective political parties, the GOP and Fidesz in Hungary -- have made sworn enemies of George Soros, the hero billionaire who uses his fortune to spread democracy around the globe. Vox lays out the parallel with chilling specificity, without even mentioning what it's parallel to:

Orbán has personally made an enemy of Hungarian American financier George Soros, a Holocaust survivor who he alleges is responsible for a plot to undermine Hungary demographically. In the runup to the 2018 parliamentary elections, Fidesz blanketed the country in huge posters featuring Soros's grinning face, with captions like "99 percent reject illegal immigration" and "Don't let Soros have the last laugh."

Three words: Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

Both men despise the media in an unnatural way and encourage their followers to view real journalists as the enemy of the people, and of course, they both hate elite intellectuals, or rather just people who are smarter than they are, because that's a threat to their power. (For Trump, of course, this is approximately 70 percent of the population, AKA all the Americans who aren't his base.)

But like we said, there are differences. When Orbán came back to power in 2010 -- he was prime minister between 1998 and 2002, after which he and Fidesz lost power for some years -- he proceeded to systematically dismantle institutions, so quickly in fact that, as Vox reports, "[t]he Fidesz constitutional majority [rewrote] parts of the constitution within months of taking power. Parliamentary districts were redrawn and gerrymandered to give Fidesz a leg up." And they packed the courts, going so far as to force all judges over 62 years of age into early retirement. Wait, did we say there are "differences"? Because all of that sounds like shit the modern GOP does with some success, and would absolutely love to be able to do to the level that's being imposed on Hungary. They're just constrained by much stronger institutions in the US.

For now.

Anyway, Orbán and Fidesz have done all that and so much more, but you'll need to read those Vox and Atlantic articles for all that. This line Vox quotes sums up the chilling situation in Hungary quite nicely:

There's a famous line from an Orbán speech from more than a decade ago, back when Fidesz was out of government: "We have only to win once, but then properly." Since 2010, he's followed this maxim to a tee.

And this guy is in the White House today, welcomed with open arms by the guy who could be Orbán if only he was clever enough and didn't have what appears to be the world's largest deer tick on his brain. (It should be noted that Barack Obama wouldn't meet with the asshole at all, and that even George W. Bush notably snubbed him when he was prime minister the first time.)

Luckily for us, Trump is too stupid and hated to get away with what Orbán has in Hungary, and the modern GOP, dangerous as it is, is not really focused on anything besides power, and their relationship with Trump is fairweather. The second it costs them something significant -- you know, like THE WHOLE GOVERNMENT -- they'll turn on him with alarming speed. Just like they did with George W. Bush!

Orbán's big field trip to the White House has been condemned all over the place. The Washington Post said Donald Trump is yet again "siding with democracy's enemies" (true), and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee rightly (and bipartisanly!) yelled at Trump in a letter for what Orbán has been doing to Hungary these past few years.

USA Today collected a few more reactions:


Bernie Sanders condemned the playdate on Facebook:

Victor Orban is undermining democracy in Hungary, just as Donald Trump is in the United States. The job of the President of the United States should be to stand up for democratic values, not embrace leaders who reject them.

But, you know, whatever.

Another day in Donald Trump's America, another day of us watching the president of the United States give aid and comfort to the enemies of America and of democracy.

HO HUM.

Read those Vox and Atlantic articles. They're horrifying.

Hey look, it's your OPEN THREAD!

Follow Evan Hurst on Twitter RIGHT HERE, DO IT RIGHT HERE!

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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