The Post Turtle on Obama:

"This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America," she said. "We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism."

Sure, it's an obnoxious, desperate thing to say. But I don't really care about that. The truth is they've been saying obnoxious, desperate things since July. I doubt it's going to suddenly do what they need it to do.

But this is the second time now that Palin has made a pretty ironic malapropism with the word "exceptionalism." I think she means to say "America is exceptional" rather than "America is full of people who think America is exceptional--like me, for example!", which is actually quite a different statement. She might be surprised who agrees with her on that one.

(I would think, maybe, that a true commitment to American exceptionalism would necessarily include a willful ignorance of the very concept--an historian's term, really-- because it suggests a possibly critical awareness of American Bestitude. To define the belief that America is exceptional with so many syllables, with that stamp of subjectivity, "-ism," after all, is to admit the existence of alternatives--maybe even legitimate ones. That's probably why, in Polk's day, they just called it "manifest destiny." Destiny--the perfect word for the true believer, really, because it removes all inkling of agency, alternative, or qualm.)

I haven't seen any particular coverage of this gaffe. Maybe it's an elitist sort of thing to remark upon, so the real elites are actually too horrified to mention it, lest they be exposed (true story- I had to check wikipedia the other day to be sure that David Brooks isn't the bastard son of a toothless sulphur miner/pentacostal banjoist. He hides it well) .


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