First the Irish, then the Czechs. José Manuel Barroso is eliminating enemies of the Lisbon Treaty — setting things up for the arrival of President Blair, says Brian M. CarneyAt first, the European Union’s critics had high hopes for José Manuel Durão Barroso. If Jacques Delors represented Brussels’s unbridled ambition and Romano Prodi its weakness for buffoonery and bumbling incompetence, then this soft-spoken Portuguese lawyer seemed to bring some modesty to the post of president of the European Commission. His appointment, some fancied, showed the institution was finally come of age. And, just maybe, was scaling back its centralising, federalist ambitions.How naive that all seems now. Barroso this week stands triumphant, having browbeaten Ireland into reversing its verdict on the Lisbon Treaty earlier this month and last weekend persuading the Czechs that resistance is useless.