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In the 17th century, the petty princes of Northern Germany hired court poets with names, like Opitz, Gryphius, Greffenberg and Harsdoerffer, to elevate the non-events of their little courts into something profound, weighty, world-historical.

Gerhard Schroeder is using the same strategy. Steingart and Bestie are, similarly, court poets for hire. Let me repeat: the Bush-Schroeder meeting was a non-event. The only thing more cramped than Schroeder's appearance with President Bush are the baroque rhetorical flourishes (otherwise known as "Schnoerkel") employed by Messrs. Steingart and Bestie to elevate this non-event into something "happy." Schroeder was as painful to watch as these two are painful to read.

I agree. When watching the footage of the meeting on TV it appeared to me that Schroeder was more concerned about his hemorrhoids than anything else.. at least that's what one could gather from his cramped expression...

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