Obama’s Virtual Reality

Anne Applebaum is onto something with her thoughts on reset diplomacy:

Sooner or later, however, Barack Obama will also have to make hard decisions about regimes that oppose U.S. policy for reasons deeper than dislike of George W. Bush.

There’s a lot of virtual reality with this bunch. Daily stock market plunges don’t constitute real money losses, just opinion readings. Cooler temperatures aren’t signs of cooler climates, just noise in the system. Success in Iraq is an epiphenomenal condition with no connection to a supposedly unwinnable war. This pervasive detachment from reality goes a long way in explaining the administration’s ability to smile, joke, and make small talk while things nosedive.