The European BBA

Some of Europe’s most prominent leaders have a new fiscal plan, which may sound familiar to some American political observers.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, on Tuesday called for closer coordination of economic policy among the 17 countries that share the euro currency and proposed that they enshrine in their constitutions an obligation to balance their national budgets.

This, I assume, creates a new conundrum for many American conservatives. On the one hand, the right loves the Balanced Budget Amendment, no matter how ridiculous it is. On the other, the right believes any economic measures that can accurately be described as “European” are, by definition, awful.

Indeed, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has condemned President Obama’s economic policies as “awfully European.” He didn’t elaborate as to what that meant, because for GOP voters, it was simply self-evident: Europe = wrong.

So, does everyone get to switch sides now? Will Democrats get to go on the cable shows and say, “Republicans and the French may like this idea, but I prefer an American solution”?

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.