Unless Barack Obama is even a weaker president than he appears to be, the effusion of editorial emoting unleashed by the Ukraine crisis is unlikely to have any effect on U.S. policy. Pray, let that be the case.
Should Obama’s advisers look for guidance to the opinion pages of the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal, much less the Weekly Standard or Fox News, we’re in deep trouble. One might as well leaf through the latest Victoria’s Secret catalog for guidance on empowering women.
Still, the recent flurry of angst-filled opining provides a concise tutorial on what we might call the theology of American Exceptionalism, the irreligious religion that flourishes in certain quarters of the American elite and periodically finds favor with the larger body politic.
Central to that theology are several tenets, vividly displayed by overwrought commentators over the last several days.
Tenet Number One. History is what exponents of American Exceptionalist theology choose to remember. What they choose to forget does not exist. Or, at the very least, it lacks relevance. So selective amnesia is not only permitted—it’s essential.