But the dream of a better world, coupled with a superior dissatisfaction with the humdrum here-and-now, minus a developed sense of compassion for real people (as opposed to The People), just seems to dissolve progressives' sense of perspective. An example from not too long ago:
The advantages of the "left" regimes and movements in the eyes of the world media have...not disappeared. They do not have to pursue "left" policies so much as to adopt "left" stances. Anthony Howard, then editor of the left-wing _New Statesman_, once pointed out that if Huey Long had only used left-wing phraseology he would have enjoyed wide support from the New York and London intelligentsia.
-- Robert Conquest, Reflections on a Ravaged Century, 2000
Being flattered is like being drunk: we never think we are least so, as when we are most so. Castro has a long record of playing norteamericano sophisticates like a pawnshop Gibson in a Pete Townshend impersonation contest. Count Professor Bulliet among the duped, and pray for the sake of the next generation of students, if Ahmadinejad's charm is as seductive to progressives as Castro's was.