Long long gone
Glenn Greenwald compares Norway's response to ours:
What's most striking, and ironic, is that the Norwegian response to the Oslo attack is so glaringly un-American even though its core premise -- a brave refusal to sacrifice liberty and transparency in the name of fear and security -- was once the political value Americans boasted of exhibiting most. What we now have instead is the instinctive exploitation by political elites of every threat -- real and imagined -- as a means of eroding liberties, privacy and openness, based in part on fear and in part on an opportunistic desire for greater power. That's why Norway's courageous, principled response seems so foreign to American eyes and ears.I've quoted this from Sarah Vowell before, and I'm afraid I'll have to quote it often again:
Whenever I hear the president mention, oh, every 12 minutes, that his greatest responsibility is "to protect the American people," the insufferable civics robot inside my head mutters: "Actually, sir, your oath, the one with the Bible and the chief justice and the Jumbotron, is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. For the American people are not mere flesh whose greatest hope is to keep our personal greasy molecules intact; we, sir, are a body politic -- with ideals."