Birnbaum Alert

Robert Birnbaum talks with Richard Reeves. Some interesting views on the Edmund Morris Reagan bio, Bob Woodward and this interesting quote:

But America, going back to something we said before, America is whatever we say it is. We have no sense of history, we live in the present, totally different and I am not against that. We are not fighting wars, like in Kosovo, for something that happened in the 11th century. And because of that, the way we developed, or at least I would argue American exceptionalism has to do with the fact that, forgetting that we killed the Indians, that there was this land here and we came from everywhere and we could keep moving on. That’s what I think of American exceptionalism and I believe it’s true, for better and for worse. He believed the same thing. But he believed God wanted it to be that way. The “shining city on the hill” stuff, and “last best hope of mankind,” and that was his American exceptionalism, that we were simply better than other people. And he said that over and over again. I am old enough now that I like us—America is a great place—we are different, we are not better. We are a different kind of people and I prefer being an American to being anything else. But I don’t think God had much to do with it. God doesn’t check passports.

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