U.S. right-wingers like to use Sarkozy as a rhetorical bludgeon, showing that Europe is moving toward the U.S. rather than vice versa. I wonder if this will cause any of their little pea brains to short-circuit. ~Dave Roberts

Via Yglesias

This comes in response to news not only that Nicolas Sarkozy supports introducing a carbon tax, but also proposes putting levies on non-Kyoto-ratifying countries’ imports.  Not very Bush-like or “pro-American,” is it? 

But the Sarkophiles don’t care that much about his views on industrial and environmental policy.  They will overlook this the same way they have overlooked every daffy Tony Blair domestic policy for a decade.  Yes, some have enthused over Sarkozy’s supposed interest in deregulation, but the thing that Sarkophiles really like about him is that he strikes a pro-American pose and drives French leftists up the wall.  In this way, the admiration for Sarkozy is like the conservative admiration showered on Giuliani.  Sure, it makes no sense, but that’s how it works. 

Since he has started taking a hard line with Iran, they are positively swooning, and this is the key to understanding all present-day talk of “pro-American” and “anti-American” sentiment in Europe.  According to this view, the people who wanted to keep us out of Iraq were hostile to us, and those who cheered us on and offered to help were our friends.  Looking back on it, it sounds like a sick joke.  Five years later, given all that has happened in Iraq, you’d think this kind of thinking wouldn’t exist anymore, but it is thriving.  The difference is that the interventionists dub those who support a strike on Iran as our friends, while vilifying those governments and countries that tell us that this is a crazy idea.