In the pages of this morning's Washington Times you will find an op-ed by Monica Crowley, the former Nixon aide turned McLaughlin Group participant, which neatly embodies the hysterical and immature right-wing reaction to the passage of the health care bill.
Crowley's complaint about the new law is that it undoes American exceptionalism and completely nullifies all those things that have made America great. She lays out her case thusly:
We have been the "shining city on a hill" that achieved superpower pre-eminence in a very short period of time because we were unique: The American people had a fierce passion for liberty, and our political system - based on limited government and individual freedom - was great because it was good. It allowed us to thrive, prosper and set ourselves apart from every run-of-the-mill nation.
What the Democrats did last weekend was not just pass a horrendously expensive, corrupt and destructive health care bill.
They took a big chunk out of our exceptionalism.
They are turning us rather quickly into France. Or Great Britain. Or any other Western European nation that was once great but no longer enjoys that status.
Where to begin...
Let's start with this bit of circular logic: "[O]ur political system ... was great because it was good." I'm not sure why this sentence needed to be written or how it got past the editors. No food critic could hope to get away with: "The crab bisque was delicious because it was tasty."
While we're on the topic of logic, let's move on to the implication of Crowley's argument that America was "exceptional" prior to the passage of the health care bill, but now is no longer. If one were to believe that, then one would have to assume, according to Crowley's logic, that unaffordable insurance premiums and the denial of health coverage to millions of Americans were essential to the "exceptional" character of the nation and contributed to the thriving prosperity that set us apart from "run-of-the-mill nations."
And then there's the unceremonious designation of France and Great Britain as "once great but no longer." She doesn't really explain why these countries -- which enjoy extraordinary levels of political, cultural, economic, and military power -- no longer qualify as "great," but the implication is that they've committed the sin of not being America. Crowley also seems to suggest that the new health care law is similar to the French and British health care systems, even though both those countries offer state-sponsored universal health coverage, something the recently passed law doesn't come close to doing.
What it comes down to is that Crowley's idea of American exceptionalism, in addition to being laughably childish, is also wildly cynical. The "great" America, in her view, is one in which her citizens endure high medical costs, bankruptcies, and crippling illnesses, all for the sake of not appearing "French."