"We are exceptional in a certain way that no other nation is," Secretary of State John Kerry told U.S. embassy staffers in Vienna last week. We're the only country founded on "the idea that people are created equal and that all people have a chance to aspire for greatness. … Pretty amazing, right?" Kerry enthused. So far, so patriotically correct — but Kerry really stepped in it when he admitted getting "a little uptight when I hear politicians say how exceptional we are. … Not because we're not exceptional," he hastened to add — but because bragging about it is "kind of in-your-face."
Hit the Drudge siren! Mobilize the shock troops of righteous indignation! Gene Healy notes that everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had a tedious rage-spasm, making an ersatz religion out of American Exceptionalism instead of addressing the ways in which America grows less exceptional.