Concerns are growing about Berlusconi's judgment and fitness to lead his country, and the Italian PM has decided to validate them — by joking that his party should be renamed "Go Pussy."
According to the Guardian, Berlusconi's Freedom People party is doing badly in the polls. The party used to be called Forza Italia, and Berlusconi apparently quipped that "some of polls say the best choice would be Forza Gnocca," which translates roughly as "Go Pussy." Shockingly, some Italians aren't psyched about this choice — Catholic newspaper Famiglia Cristiana told the PM, "If you are not ashamed, we will be ashamed for you. And we will say sorry, in your name, to the whole world." And Democratic senator Anna Finocchiaro said, "These are not jokes but a reflection of the view that Berlusconi and his coalition have of the country –- backward, vulgar and squalid." However, Mussolini's granddaughter thinks Forza Gnocca is a great idea, and as long as the descendants of fascists are on board, it must be awesome.
Some have taken the comments as more evidence that Berlusconi is no longer fit to lead his country — says Finocchiaro, "We can no longer tolerate a prime minister who, in a grave moment of domestic and international crisis, assaults the institutions of the Italian state and who looks after only his own interests while making jokes of dubious taste." I think the best evidence that Berlusconi has kind of gone off the deep end (even for him) is that his "jokes" are no longer printable in many newspapers — the Wall Street Journal had to call gnocca "a slang term for female genitalia." And last month, his comments about Angela Merkel's body were too "vulgar" for the Daily Mail. Then again, maybe this is Berlusconi's new strategy — if his jokes are so gross newspapers won't print them, then he can say whatever he wants.