Totally called it. John Boehner, criticizing a State of the Union address shot through-and-through with acknowledgments of American exceptionalism, for failing to use the word. This was foreordained from the moment Michele Bachmann conspicuously dropped the word in her speech, the way a seventh grader deploys SAT vocabulary: generically. In the following, trade the word “exceptionalism” for any other thing we generically like:
I believe that we are in the early days of a history-making turn in America. Please know how important your calls, visits, and letters are to the maintenance of our liberties. Because of you, Congress is responding and we are just starting to undo the damage that’s been done the last few years. Because we believe in lower taxes. We believe in a limited view of government, and exceptionalism in America. And I believe that America is the indispensable nation of the world. Just the creation of this nation itself was a miracle. Who’s to say that we can’t see a miracle again?
“Happiness”? “The future”? “Baseball”? “Softcore pornography”? There’s now a required speech vocabulary list in America: ignore the word, even while paying elegant homage to the concept, and face Republican wrath. Make a note. Do they really think we’re this dumb?