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'The New Old Europe'

8:26 AM, Jul 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Matthew Continetti, writing for the Washington Free Beacon:

Clemens Wergin is something of a contrarian. A German editor of the Die Welt newspaper group, he often found himself defending American foreign policy against European criticism. He would chide his countrymen for neglecting their dependence on the U.S. armed forces. He would lampoon the European belief that moral grandstanding makes for a foreign policy. He would praise American leaders for having the courage to make costly decisions.
Then something funny happened. As Wergin wrote in a New York Times op-ed on July 8, he found himself increasingly unable to distinguish the rhetoric of Washington, D.C., from the rhetoric of Brussels. Last year, when the United States threatened military action against Syria, only to reverse itself overnight and become partners with the Assad government in the destruction of the tyrant’s declared stocks of chemical weapons, Wergin was struck by an insight. “I suddenly understood the problem with this American president and his foreign policy,” he wrote. “He sounded just like a German politician: all moral outrage, but little else to help end one of the most devastating civil wars of our age.” The recognition left him with a feeling not of elation but of disappointment. “President Obama, I thought with a sigh, has become a European.”
Become? In his policies and preferences, in his attitudes and worldview, Obama has always represented the European strain in American politics. We are talking here about the president who, as a candidate in 2008, made it a point to campaign in Berlin—a city more than familiar with mass rallies—and declare himself a “citizen of the world.” The president who, on the eve of his election, said, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming America,” and made good on his promise with ambitious initiatives in health care, energy, and education that emulate the social democracies of Western Europe.
This is a president so beloved by European elites that he won a Nobel Peace Prize after a whole nine months in office. The president who returned to the German capital in 2013, quoting Kant at the Brandenburg Gate and invoking the “spirit of Berlin.” The president who, during a recent visit to the continent, devoted an evening to a dinner party with “interesting Italians,” and lamented the next day that he had to return to mundane matters such as protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States. Wergin’s revelation is old news. Barack Obama is as European as Lederhosen.

Whole thing here.

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