JEERING THE EU….Max Boot writes today about the rejection of the new European constitution by France and the Netherlands:
It’s almost enough to make a confirmed Euro-skeptic like me feel sorry for the bureaucrats in Brussels. “Why does everyone hate us?” they must be asking over their croissants and lattes. “Haven’t we delivered real benefits for the people of Europe?”
This is pretty typical of conservative commentary, which has been almost comically triumphant about the recent pair of No votes. I swear, you’d think it was VE Day in winger land.
I wouldn’t mind so much if this was based on substantive dislike of the constitution, but that really doesn’t seem to be the driving force here. Rather, the right primarily seems cock-a-hoop over something that’s little more than childish: the prospect of Jacques Chirac and his hated squads of “elitists” and “unelected bureaucrats” getting a black eye. The fact that an awful lot of the no votes were driven by anger at things favored by conservatives ? admission for Turkey, a stronger European military commitment, open markets, free movement of labor ? doesn’t really seem to have occurred to them.
The no vote doesn’t really seem like much of a crisis to me, but it doesn’t seem like much of a victory for conservatives either. They should be careful what they wish for.
UPDATE: David Adesnik agrees. Or maybe not. I’m not sure. In any case, he thinks that pundits around the world are simply reading into these elections whatever it is they wanted to believe in the first place. That sounds about right to me.