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Obama Frustrates Europe on Climate Change

obama-berlin-rally-poster-germanObama Has Failed the World on Climate Change,” blares a Spiegel op-ed by Christian Schwägerl.  The essay is another data point in the growing notion that the new American president’s aura is fading on the other side of the Atlantic.

But, as I argue in my New Atlanticist essay “Obama Disappoints Europe Ahead of Copenhagen,” this was all too predictable.  Indeed, Bob Manning and I both predicted it before Obama was inaugurated.   Obama is, like George W. Bush before him, president of the United States.  Our priorities are simply different from those in Western Europe.

Obama’s personal ideology on climate change and other environmental issues is much closer to that of the European leaders than was his predecessor’s.  But there’s simply no way that Obama is going to swim upstream on this one in the midst of two shooting wars, a global recession, and a major fight to reform the healthcare system.

[...]

Obama is a cautious, pragmatic politician.  This is a fight he can’t win.  He’ll therefore avoid entering the ring.

None of this will prevent Bruce McQuain and others from enjoying some well-deserved Schadenfraude.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Eric Florack says:

    But, as I argue in my New Atlanticist essay “Obama Disappoints Europe Ahead of Copenhagen,” this was all too predictable. Indeed, Bob Manning and I both predicted it before Obama was inaugurated. Obama is, like George W. Bush before him, president of the United States. Our priorities are simply different from those in Western Europe.

    An interesting passage given it’s similarity to me my pronouncement last January on his terrorism policies. IN the case of both,w hat we have is Obama running smack dab into what he wasn’t dealing with in his campaign; Reality.

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  2. I am outraged at your anti-Chinese bigotry. “Climate Chang” is a throwback to the days of the evil Dr. Fu Manchu.

    Shame on you, James.

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  3. I don’t need you to defend me, Reynolds. Dr. Manchu and I are perfectly capable of defending ourselves from the puny attacks of Flash Joyner.

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  4. RW Rogers says:

    Michael: LOL! Glad you caught that first. I was beginning to feel like the resident pedant/spell-checker.

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  5. RWR:

    It’s fun to bust someone else’s balls for a change. All day long I take this from editors. I wrote a book where I used the phrase “needle-sharp teeth” like 9 times and I still haven’t heard the end of it.

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  6. Oops, I guess I better change that sign-in.

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  7. We mutants must police ourselves. It should not be left to Europe or America to deal with evil superheroes like Climate Chang. Climate Chang — like Magneto — is a poor representative of our community and endangers all mutants..

    I call on our Asian mutant friends such as Weather Wong, No’reaster Nakamura and Hurricane Ho, to deal with Climate Chang and bring him to justice.

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  8. Professor X, I am a big fan.

    By the way, do you have Mystique’s phone number? Email?

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  9. James Joyner says:

    What’s especially odd is that I managed to omit the final “e” on the New Atlanticist original, correct it on my own some time later, and then repeat the error on this post.

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  10. odograph says:

    Very good, Michael.

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  11. G.A.Phillips says:

    What’s especially odd is that I managed to omit the final “e” on the New Atlanticist original, correct it on my own some time later, and then repeat the error on this post.

    Nobodys perfect bro,except for Obama and all other liberals….

    By the way, do you have Mystique’s phone number? Email?

    Harry, you do know that she has lost her ability to shape change into wolverine?

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  12. Brett says:

    The Climate Change summit was bound to be a disappointment, anyways, just like the past couple of dozen. You’ve got the Third World saying “It’s not our fault! You guys caused this, you should pay us compensation and help us adapt! And we won’t cut emissions even with that!” You’ve got people in the US domestic political environment saying that this will kill jobs and hurt the economy. About the only people who seem to want to move forward are some of the European states.

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