That may have been a nod to the fact that many abroad hear talk of American exceptionalism as worrisome jingoism. But it provided ammunition for Palin and other Republican critics.
“Maybe President Obama grew up around coaches who insisted that all the players receive participation ‘trophies’ at the end of the season and where no score was kept in youth soccer games for fear of offending someone,” she wrote in her book. ” . . . when President Obama insists that all countries are exceptional, he’s saying that none is, least of all the country he leads.”…
His Republican critics do have a point, Galston said: Democrats have become more squeamish about the idea of exceptionalism in the wake of the George W. Bush years, when spreading American values was used as a justification for unilateral action on the world stage.
“For many liberal Democrats, George W. Bush made the world unsafe for the vigorous assertion of American exceptionalism,” Galston said.