Can we keep America exceptional?

President Obama insists that America is not exceptional. Yet for his flawed economic policies to work, he must rely on an amazing degree of exceptionalness. Like any nation, we are not exempt from the consequences of ill-considered choices. We have the advantage of observing the outcome that decades of overspending and social profligacy have caused in Europe -- welfare dependency, oppressive taxation and insurmountable debt. And riots.

America is indeed exceptional in many important ways: freedom, innovation, opportunity, honor. But bloated government outlays and intrusive, business-thwarting regulations bring economic collapse, even here.