E.J. Dionne notes that Republicans have gone from calling President Obama a Kenyan-style anti-colonialist to calling him a European-style socialist in his column, “Moving Obama To Europe:”
This is what progress looks like for a president named Barack Hussein Obama.
Not so long ago, many in conservative and Republican ranks were eager to paint him as an alien creature far removed from American life as most Americans understand it. A determined cadre insisted Obama was not even eligible to be president, claiming he was born outside the United States. Obama eventually put that to rest by making public his birth certificate, which proved he was born in Hawaii.
Fox News falsely reported that he had attended a “madrassa” during his childhood in Indonesia. (He actually went to a public, non-religious school.) And Newt Gingrich concluded that Obama exhibited “Kenyan anti-colonial behavior,” a strange description that’s hard to square with such Obama undertakings as ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Obama’s adversaries have not thrown in the towel in their efforts to distance him from his own country. But they are bringing him closer and closer to home.
Thus did Mitt Romney’s victory speech after the New Hampshire primary link Obama to Europe not once or twice but three times. Obama, Romney said, “wants to turn America into a European-style entitlement society” and “takes his inspiration from the capitals of Europe” as opposed to “the cities and small towns of America.”
“I want you to remember when our White House reflected the best of who we are,” Romney declared, “not the worst of what Europe has become.”
So Obama is still not fully American, in Romney’s telling. But conservatives talk a great deal about defending and preserving Western civilization, which we share with our European friends. So moving Obama from Indonesia and Kenya to Europe seems like a big concession for their side. Who knows? In a few months, Obama might even be moved to some midpoint in the Atlantic.