Palin egregiously crops Obama's thoughts on American "exceptionalism"

Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

Did you know that Barack Obama and liberals hate America and don't understand why it is the best country ever?

I had never heard such groundbreaking analysis until I cracked open Sarah Palin's new book, but it's true - and Palin can even egregiously crop a comment by Obama to prove it.

In a chapter titled "America the Exceptional," Palin claims that "many of our national leaders no longer believe in American exceptionalism," and instead think that "America is just an ordinary nation and so America should act just like an ordinary nation."

She continues:

They don't believe we have a special message for the world or a special mission to preserve our greatness for the betterment of not just ourselves but all of humanity. Astonishingly, President Obama even said that he believes in American exceptionalism in the same way "the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism." Which is to say, he doesn't believe in American exceptionalism at all. He seems to think it is just a kind of irrational prejudice in favor of our way of life. To me, that is appalling. [America By Heart, pg 69]

A few pages later, Palin laments Obama's "global apology tour" and yearns for a time when America was led by people that "are not embarrassed by America, who see our country's flaws but also its greatness."

The dishonesty of Palin's assessment of Obama's views on American exceptionalism is really staggering. Let's return to the half-sentence Obama quote she uses to prove that he views American exceptionalism as "just a kind of irrational prejudice in favor of our way of life."

Obama's remark that he believes in American exceptionalism in the same way "the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism" came in response to a question by Ed Luce of the Financial Times in April of 2009 about whether Obama subscribes to American exceptionalism.

While Palin quotes Obama's first sentence, she leaves out the rest of the statement in order to lie about Obama and contrast him with Presidents Reagan and Kennedy.

Namely, she excises the very next sentence, during which Obama - far from being "embarrassed" by America - says that he is "enormously proud of my country." She also crops out Obama outlining how our country, though "imperfect" is, in fact, "exceptional" because of our "core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality."

If you take Palin by her word -- which you absolutely shouldn't - this means Obama subscribes directly to the type of view of America that Palin desires: someone who sees "our country's flaws but also it's greatness."

Palin's claim that "our national leaders" (read: Obama) think that "America is just an ordinary nation and so America should act just like an ordinary nation" is also completely demolished by the rest of Obama's comments, wherein he describes how America has "a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity." This "leadership," he argues, must be achieved by creating partnerships with other countries.

Here's the full statement on American exceptionalism by Obama, with the part Palin quoted out bolded for emphasis:

"I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I'm enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. If you think about the site of this summit and what it means, I don't think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an Alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that.

"And if you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.

"Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we've got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we're not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.

"And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can't solve these problems alone."

To recap: Palin crops Obama's thoughts on American exceptionalism, then laments that he doesn't believe in the things she dishonestly omitted when she edited those comments.

It's almost like she has an ulterior motive for smearing him.

Person
Sarah Palin
Show/Publication
America By Heart
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.