10 January 2009

Obama's Honeymoon

When I started here, my first point was that the tension between the US and Europe was not about Islam, and not about George W Bush, but was a deeper conflict of vision that was surfacing after being hidden by the cold war.

As Bush Derangement Syndrome took hold, it became even easier to misunderestimate the nature of the disagreement.  The new president has a style very much more to the taste of European elites, and so the concrete basis of the divergence in outlook is going to become more obvious.

I think Barack Obama's honeymoon in the European media is going to last for weeks, not months.  What I didn't expect, however, is that Bush would be rehabilitated.  But see this piece in the BBC, explaining (quite reasonably) that the financial crisis cannot be blamed on Bush.

The falling-out with Obama will be quite different from any disillusionment that Obama's supporters in the US may suffer as expectation meets reality.  The European media are enamoured by Obama's personality, and had a particular antipathy to Bush, but they have no concrete policy expectations for the new administration to be disappointed by.  The material disagreement between the US and Europe will carry on exactly unchanged.



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