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31 March 2009

Europeanized

The nuancey boys were wrong on Obama, and the knuckle-dragging morons were right.

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A bit of self-reflection might not go amiss. There were various theories on the enigmatic O in the run-up to his election: a) he was a post-partisan intellectually sérieux centrist with a totally awesome temperament, as Messrs Buckley, Brooks & Co argued; b) he was a doctrinaire leftie statist, as his choice of friends and associates suggested; or c) he was a man completely unqualified to be president, as his wafer-thin resume made plain. We're still debating over whether it's b) and/or c), but any homme sérieux ought by now to be honest enough to acknowledge that a) was a fantasy projected on to Obama by doting admirers.

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The naysayers complain, oh, it’s another Jimmy Carter, or it’s the new New Deal, or it’s LBJ’s Great Society applied to health care… You should be so lucky. Forget these parochial nickel’n’dime comparisons. It’s all those multiplied a gazillionfold and nuclearized – or Europeanized, which is less dramatic but ultimately more lethal.

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