"The Greatest Nation On Earth"

by Conor Friedersdorf

Here is one way Rich Lowry characterized the Obama Administration in a recent column:

It flatly boasts that we are “the greatest nation on Earth.”

If you click through, you'll see the conceit of the column is such that this is used as a dig at the left. Still, On many occasions in the past (mostly uncorrected, like here), writers at National Review have insisted that President Obama rejects American exceptionalism. Perhaps this is the beginning of a more factually accurate opposition.

Elsewhere in the column, Lowry raises some trenchant critiques:

It surges American troops into the field, disregarding American public opinion and the opposition of the Left. It persists even though the war has been dragging on for years in a country beset by ethnic divisions, a long history of war and repression, and weak, corrupt political leadership.

It believes it has the right to kidnap people in the tactic known as “rendition,” without due process.

It targets people for assassination, without due process.

It rains missiles down on countries, Pakistan and Yemen, with which we aren’t at war and profess to be friendly.

It reserves the right to assassinate American citizens, and has targeted one U.S. citizen for killing in Yemen. He’s a Muslim religious leader not indicted for any crimes, let alone convicted of any.

Damning as these true statements are, it's a bit weird to see them offered, apparently as criticism, by a guy who runs a magazine that often as not takes an expansive view of executive power and doesn't care much about due process when accused terrorists are involved. It would be awesome if National Review suddenly appreciated that it's outrageous and alarming for a president to do the things Lowry says our president is doing.