Andrew Sullivan is disconcerted over President Obama’s support of a no-fly zone in Libya.
Citing Obama’s campaign rhetoric — which was decidedly different from how he is now governing — Sullivan feels duped for believing Obama would show more military “restraint” in office.
A reader’s email Sullivan posted on his site may offer some clues as to how Sullivan views the no-fly zone in Libya. In a word, it is seen as “utopian.”
Putting aside the specific merits of the no-fly zone (which deserves its own conversation) — if any politician ever threatened to “immanentize the eschaton” it was the messianic Barack Obama. (2008 was, you may recall, “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”)
Supporting Obama was as utopian as one could get.
Since his election in 2008, few of Obama’s actions have greatly surprised me. Yet Sullivan (who we can probably agree is an intelligent guy) — and other notable “conservatives” who supported Obama — have frequently been surprised by his actions.
My real question — the one that I’ve wrestled with now for years — is: Why were they so naive?