According to a report with the lurid title Poland denies Barack Obama cannibal ‘joke’ in Britain’s Daily Telegraph. the Polish Foreign Minister tells jokes.

Actually, the smooth-talking, Oxford-educated former advisor to Rupert Murdoch, whom Wikiepdia descibes as Poland’s ‘point man for missile defense’, tells really crass jokes. Here’s an example:

Have you heard that Obama may have a Polish connection? His grandfather ate a Polish missionary.

Obama and SikorskiThe Telegraph further informs us:

A spokesman for the Polish foreign office conceded that Mr Sikorski had made the controversial comment, but denied that the foreign minister had intended to insult Mr Obama, whose father was Kenyan.”Mr Sikorski did not tell a racist joke,” said Piotr Paszkowski, the spokesman. “He was only giving an example of the unpalatable and racist ‘jokes’ that surround President Elect Obama.”

Ah, I must remember that. A very handy defense! Rather like the Conroy defense for browsing porn (“I wasn’t doing it for fun. I was checking out what should be banned”)

Apparently there are now:

“calls from (Polish) opposition politicians for an investigation to deter (sic) if the foreign minister broke anti-racism laws.”

How futile! Do these people really want to criminalize bad taste? It would wreck Poland’s tourism industry, for one thing. No more Brits at soccer games.

Obama, having survived trial by fire in the cauldron of US politics, can undoubtedly cope with serial silliness from European politicians, who seem determined to trash what remains of Europe’s reputation for sophistication.

In any case, as a former resident of Chicago, I bet Obama knows a few good Polack jokes.

But unlike the Polish Foreign Minister, Obama can keep his mouth shut when it’s prudent to do so. His placid demeanor in response to provocation is an inspiration.

Whatever his negatives, Obama does have class.

You can’t legislate for that, either.

________________________

Footnote on Radoslaw Sikorski

According to today’s Wikipedia:

Radoslaw SikorskiRadoslaw Tomasz ‘Radek’ Sikorski is the (Polish) government’s point man on missile defense. {He} signed a missile defense agreement with Condoleezza Rice of the United States over the vociferous objections of Russia.

The agreement came less than two weeks after the breakout of the 2008 South Ossetian war in Georgia.

“Parchments and treaties are all very well,” Sikorski said, “but we have a history in Poland of fighting alone and being left to our own devices by our allies.”

Wikipedia also says:

From 1990 he was an advisor to Rupert Murdoch on investments in Poland… From 2002 to 2005 he was a resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. and executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative.”

Does Sikorski deliver punch lines any better than the folk in Raising Arizona?

If you don’t remember that Polack joke, here it is again. We are nothing if not ‘fair and balanced‘:

Glen: Say, that reminds me–how many Polacks does it take to screw in a light bulb?
H.I. McDonnough: I dunno, Glen. One?
G: Naw, it takes three. [Gasps with laughter.]
H: [Looks puzzled]
G: No, wait! I told it wrong. Here, I’m starting again. How come it takes so many Polacks to screw in a light bulb?
H: I dunno, Glen. How come?
G: Because they’re so darn stupid. [Gasps with laughter.] Get it?