Obama in Berlin: "the end of history on acid"
David Brooks today:
When I first heard this sort of radically optimistic speech in Iowa, I have to confess my American soul was stirred. It seemed like the overture for a new yet quintessentially American campaign. But now it is more than half a year on, and the post-partisanship of Iowa has given way to the post-nationalism of Berlin, and it turns out that the vague overture is the entire symphony. The golden rhetoric impresses less, the evasion of hard choices strikes one more. . . .
In Berlin, Obama made exactly one point with which it was possible to disagree. In the best paragraph of the speech, Obama called on Germans to send more troops to Afghanistan. The argument will probably fall on deaf ears. The vast majority of Germans oppose that policy. But at least Obama made an argument.
Much of the rest of the speech fed the illusion that we could solve our problems if only people mystically come together. . . . The great illusion of the 1990s was that we were entering an era of global convergence in which politics and power didn’t matter. What Obama offered in Berlin flowed right out of this mind-set. This was the end of history on acid.