And I disagree with Drudge's bi-line. I do not believe he was mocking the US - I would expect any non American to hold the same opinion concerning American exceptionalism.
I think Putin, while seeing the US as a rival (not as necessarily an enemy), truly is concerned about what he sees happening in the West....the guy is a fan of Solzhenitsyn, who tried to warn us about the decline of the West.
Russia is an oppressive government. America isn’t far behind. Anytime a government becomes as massive as America’s government has, it will be oppressive and over-reaching.
We win a few skirmishes to beat it back and we celebrate, but it doesn’t even register as it is so massive. We’re throwing pebbles in an ocean.
American exceptionalism might return if we toss out most of our institutions. Toss 75% of government, government schools, government colleges, welfare, dependence on government in general.