Poor Mika Brzezinski. Once again, she let Joe Scarborough cut her off in the process of refuting a half-baked argument. I wish she had at least a louder voice to compete with his bullish behavior.

This morning, it occurred in a debate (with Joe Walsh) over the image of America in the world. According to the men, the election of pro-American leaders proves that being associated with American values still holds currency with European voters.

Mika’s rebuttal may not have been important; her eagerness receded quickly. But I found Scarborough’s and Walsh’s assertion laughable. How pro-American are Merkel and Sarkozy? In a general sense, they take economic reform and the projection of military power seriously. Certainly, this reflects a minor turn to a general American model that has been present in the last twenty to thirty years. However, both leaders seem willing and able to resist the initiatives of Bush and American conservatives.

Indeed, in Sarkozy’s latest initiatives (he tends to have impulsive ideas that are difficult to implement), he proposed retooling the army to better meet the threat of terrorism. Some of compared this to Rumsfeld’s love of expensive gadgets in the place of human soldiers. However, there are elements of the plan that show greater resistance to US foreign policy. First, it emphasizes a smaller, specialized force, a rejection of the large army as a counter-terrorism tool. Second, it emphasizes the need to develop European (EU) military capacities. Third, it emphasizes French leadership in the development of a European military. Accordingly, Sarkozy is taking the French army further from the Bush administration’s conduct of the war on terror.

The problem in the assertion of Scarborough and Walsh is that the notion of what being pro-American works only in the context of European electorates. It represents something different from what they would like it to mean. Disappointment with the conduct of the war(s) has led many to think that in order to free itself from dependency on US security capacities, Europeans must develop their own. They may become more American, in this sense, but increase their autonomy from America at the same time. Sarkozy is making it easy for the US to go it alone.

[Side question: why do I tolerated these morning news programs?]