Jonathan Tobin repeats an egregious lie:
One of the keystones of Barack Obama’s foreign policy has been his willingness to apologize for America’s role in the world and what he sees as its sinful past. It is all part of his worldview which disdains the notion of American exceptionalism and the nation’s unique role as a bulwark of freedom.
Even when we understand that this is part of treating foreign policy as part of the culture war, it doesn’t make sense to say this. It doesn’t make sense to keep repeating something that is flatly untrue, especially when it exposes your side of the argument to be fundamentally dishonest. What is even more strange is that denouncing Obama for “disdaining” American exceptionalism (which he doesn’t) is unlikely to resonate with most Americans. This is particularly true if American exceptionalism is tied (as it frequently is) to an aggressive foreign policy that most Americans don’t support.
Tobin’s remarks are all the more bizarre when the bulk of his post discusses how the White House has refused to apologize to another government for something that U.S. forces did. Should the U.S. apologize for the strikes that killed dozens of Pakistani soldiers? That depends on whether Washington wants to salvage what remains of the relationship with Pakistan, or if it has concluded that the relationship has deteriorated so much over the last several years that there is no point in trying. It might be that an apology would help to repair ties, and presumably that is what diplomats at the State Department are interested in doing. This is a case where an official apology might do some good, and it could conceivably help U.S. interests, so it is significant that Obama isn’t going to offer one. Tobin has drawn attention to a perfect example of why the prevailing Republican criticism of Obama is complete nonsense.