Rick Santorum and the rest of GOP presidential gang all have a man-crush. Considering he was an outright intellectual elitist, a shaggy-haired liberal, and — horror of horrors — French, the object of their adoration seems a bit surprising, but the French aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville and his 1835 United States travelogue, Democracy in America, have surged into national politics this campaign cycle — often linked to the nascent expression “American exceptionalism.” […]
Although a superiority complex has long pervaded the national psyche, the expression “American exceptionalism” only became big a few years ago. (In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton called on Americans to “vindicate the honor of the human race.”) What’s more, Tocqueville didn’t invent the term. Who did? Joseph Stalin.
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This won’t happen because I know America far too well. What will happen is that we will change the definition of “overweight” so that only 40% will be whatever the new definition is.
America, where any problem can be solved by semantic gymnastics.
With the Beatles (the band not the album), the songs that sound like they have nefarious meanings are generally just them being silly, or Helter Skeleter which is really just Paul wanting to make a lot of noise and really talking about a slide because he’s Paul and not much of a lyricist (sorry, but the man was going to do Scrambled Eggs instead of “Yesterday” if it weren’t for outside intervention). The ones that you wouldn’t think are that bad are the ones that are, sometimes, that bad, and the ones that are the creepiest are John’s early “I’m going to get you” songs he wrote to his exes.
The smoke was still rising from the rubble of the World Trade Center when Richard Armitage, at the time the US deputy secretary of state, spoke in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. “History begins today,” he said.In the coming decade, Armitage would turn out to be right — except the politician could not have foreseen how tragic the history would be following the epochal event.
It is the history of the decline of the USA as a superpower.
The authors of the Patriot Act always intended that its provisions would be permanent. The politically expedient thing to do would have been to include a sunset provision, to acknowledge a temporary moment of crisis that required special measures for prosecutors to pursue terrorists.