Tony Blair gambled spectacularly and has lost spectacularly. He told his MPs it was their duty to follow his lead and they have defied him. A prime minister who emerged badly battered from the general election campaign is now in deep trouble.
For all the accusations of hubris, there is something lugubrious about Tony Blair's view of the human condition. The British people seem to have little sense of their place in the world beyond uncritical support for America.
Push me, pull me. Our politicians, it seems, get there in the end. The new Labour legend has it that Tony Blair persuaded his party, after long years of denial, that it had much to learn from Margaret Thatcher.