Exceptional reading on a Friday morning

It’s 8:15 am, and I’m already behind in my work. Yes, apparently it’s going to be one of those days. My good friend “Federal Employee with Goats,” who has been at work since before the crack of dawn, sent me a couple of really interesting articles from today’s New York Times this morning. In reading those articles, I also saw an excellent opinion piece that says what I’ve been thinking — only much more eloquently. So let’s let Roger Cohen do the talking here, and I’ll get back to work:

Palin’s American Exception

Sarah Palin loves the word “exceptional.” At a rally in Nevada the other day, the Republican vice-presidential candidate said: “We are an exceptional nation.” Then she declared: “America is an exceptional country.” In case anyone missed that, she added: “You are all exceptional Americans.”

I have to hand it to Palin, she may be onto something in her batty way: the election is very much about American exceptionalism.

This is the idea, around since the founding fathers, and elaborated on by Alexis de Tocqueville, that the United States is a nation unlike any other with a special mission to build the “city upon a hill” that will serve as liberty’s beacon for mankind.

But exceptionalism has taken an ugly twist of late. It’s become the angry refuge of the America that wants to deny the real state of the world ….

Which brings us to the first debate — still scheduled for Friday — between Obama and McCain on foreign policy. It will pit the former’s universalism against the latter’s exceptionalism.

I’m going to try to make this simple. On the Democratic side you have a guy whose campaign has been based on the Internet, who believes America may have something to learn from other countries (like universal health care) and who’s unafraid in 2008 to say he’s a “proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world.”

On the Republican side, you have a guy who, in 2008, is just discovering the Net and Google and whose No. 2 is a woman who got a passport last year and believes she understands Russia because Alaska is closer to Siberia than Alabama.

Read the entire piece here.



  1. great article, as you say, very well put. definitely one to share with all my ‘on the fence’ relations as well as those on the other side….there’s still hope that you will change your minds!

  2. she does seem a bit “limited” in her vocabulary at times (even though she is totally hot)…

    I watched part of interview with her the other night where she kept referring to certain groups of people as the “good guys” and the “bad guys”…..

    Does she think this is like a game that kids play? Like Cowboys and Indians?

  3. even though she is totally hot

    I don’t know, Laura — when I look at her I keep thinking of Karen Walker from “Will & Grace” … I keep expecting her to pull out a bottle of vodka and to start yelling at the housekeeper!

  4. That’s it! I couldn’t think of who she reminded me. Thanks for solving that mystery. Although, I think even Megan Mullany probably has a better resume for V.P.


    she’s hot like a spicy chili that gives burns your ass sooo EXCEPTIONALY bad the next day.

    hhhhm… I too think of Karen on Will n Grace, except it reminds me of the episode where Karen is carrying a large bowl of pills, a bottle of vodka and declaring that because their are no men around all the women at the party can be lesbians for the night…!

    by the way what about her arragant husband. not another word has been breathed about his blowing off a official suponea he refused to acknowledge for his presence in a court of law.

    im exceptionally outragged. and I’m dislexic and can’t spell today-sorry.

  6. As more interview footage is released, I’m even more embarrassed for Palin. Cohen makes an interesting point. I wonder which message will resonate with the viewers tonight? I wonder what the pundits will say after all the dramatics from McCain. Will he get another pass from the media? Will they make an honest assessment of the candidates?

  7. Sarah is exceptional you know. Exceptionally stupid, wrong-headed, dense, supersillious, patronizing, clueless, and too boot she has no command of the english language. I don’t mind the down-homisms once in a while, but I shudder to think of her talking to heads of state with the dropping of every “g” as if it were banned from the language. I’m droppin’ her like a danglin’ participle.

  8. i am still amazed that anyone could lister to her speak for 5 minutes and still think she is qualifed to be the VP. let alone be a heartbeat away from the presidency! scary!! no wonder they don’t let her do many interviews!

  9. For Sarah, exceptionalism is special.
    As in education.
    As in mainstream exceptionality.
    As in “Let’s try and make her feel like one of us, shall we, class?”
    As in “She’s doing the best she can with what she’s got.”
    As in “Don’t stare at her—-it’s impolite.”
    As in ” She can’t help it, she was born this way and her momma dropped her on the floor wa-a-a-a-y too many times, and probably caused major frontal lobe damage and turned her into a psychopathic powermonger who’s doin’ the best she can with the little she’s got but don’t get in her way because she don’t know right from wrong and she’s got a nasty temper to boot because of the frontal lobe thingy so don’t piss her off because she’s exceptional.”

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