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Monday, May 23, 2011

American Exceptionalism in a progressive key

I had a chance to hear most of the president's speech in Dublin, Ireland on the way home from Home Depot and while folding laundry and three things come to mind.

1. I can't speak for all progressives, but I and the ones that I know believe in a form of American exceptionalism but the stories we tell and the values we extol in our telling of the story are different than what many conservatives mean by it. This speech can be seen as relishing in the progressive vision of American exceptionalism

2. The president remains an extraordinary stump speaker when in front of large crowds and his riff on birtherism is disarming and potent. He is going to be a tough opponent for whoever emerges in 2012 from Republicans challenge him.

3. It is good in the midst of all our arguments and debates and disagreements to revel once in a while in our love of patria---place, home, story, belonging. This speech does that with a good Irish twist.

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