Imperial arrogance has become so ingrained in US political culture that it even pillories its most loyal ally, the United Kingdom.
While sensible countries like France drew back from the adventures of George W. Bush, Tony Blair was always there, yapping his master on. But his fawning won the UK no rewards.
When new UK PM David Cameron arrived to pay homage in Washington last week, he faced a perfect storm of Brit-bashing over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In an extraordinary feat of self-deception, America is blaming the spill entirely on BP even though an explosion on an American-owned rig triggered the disaster. Warning systems on the Transocean Deepwater Horizon were disabled to allow the workers to sleep undisturbed.
The real culprit, of course, is the insatiable US oil lobby, which persuaded the weak-willed Obama to massively extend offshore drilling permits just one month before the Deepwater Horizon exploded.
In his election campaign, Obama tried to appeal to environmentalists, while Sarah Palin brayed "Drill, baby drill," to ecstatic Republicans. Now as Obama and the Democrats slump in the polls the egregious Palin may be elected the next president in what would surely be the reductio ad absurdum of democracy.
Scenting British blood, senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have demanded Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill attend hearings in Washington. They want to prove BP lobbyists, eager for Libyan oil concessions, persuaded the Scots to release convicted Lockerbie bomber Ali al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds last year.
In fact, al-Megrahi was convicted in a special court in 2001 by three Scottish judges, on evidence so flimsy that even many relatives of the Lockerbie victims believe he was framed on the orders of the Americans.
The original Lockerbie inquiry had focused on the Iranians – who were said to have contracted a Palestinian group to destroy Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 in revenge for the shooting down of an Iranian airliner by the USS Vincennes earlier the same year with the loss of 290 lives, including 66 children. (In a less than sensitive move, the US Navy later awarded combat medals to the Vincennes crew.)
But when it became no longer politically convenient to blame the Iranians, the perennial pantomime villain Colonel Gaddafi was a handy substitute, and al-Megrahi became the fall guy.
The Scottish ministers politely refused to attend the Imperial Inquisition. (As an aside, the senators must have forgotten that last time a Scot, George Galloway, appeared at a Washington hearing he wiped the floor with his interrogators.)
Salmond and MacKaskill showed more dignity than Cameron, who obediently proclaimed al-Megrahi's release "a mistake." Meanwhile back in London, his deputy, Nick "Calamity" Clegg, was complicating matters by declaring the 2003 invasion of Iraq illegal.
There are interesting times ahead for what one British MP has dubbed the Brokeback Coalition - and the UK's less-and-less special relationship with Washington.