Last summer, with several other Americans, I went to a garden reception attended by some French barristers, generals, and assorted professionals in Versailles. Most of them, conservatives and liberals alike, were quite ecstatic about the prospect of Barack Obama as the next American president — except one. He glanced around and then quietly whispered to me, “There is only room for one Obama — and, you remember, we already are the Obama.”
I think we are beginning to understand something of what he meant.
Europe went gaga over the campaign of Barack Obama — especially his serial references to multilateralism, vows to leave Iraq, eco-utopianism, and the soothing way in which he trumped Europe’s own disgust with the Bush administration.
Promises of nationalized health care, higher taxes, Kyoto redux, and more government cheered Europeans, leading them to believe that Obama would steer America on a path closer to their own. (That the French, German, and Italian governments may be slightly to the right of Obama was never mentioned — nor was the fact that in their lethargy Europeans occasionally like to come over here for a swig of old-fashioned rip-roaring America.)
Yet after the first seven weeks of the Obama administration some in Europe may be reminded of the old adage, “Be careful what you wish for.”
March 13, 2009
Europe may get more than it bargained for in Obama
Victor Davis Hanson writes at NRO on March 13: