First, let's hear from Tom "The World is Flat" Friedman, who lately has been musing about how much better things run in China:
So I don't--I, I--I'm worried about this, it's why I have fantasized--don't get me wrong--but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one day. You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment. I don't want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness. But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions.
I don't know about you, but my fantasies rarely involve repressive government. But we'll put that aside for the moment. There's an obvious problem with Mr. Friedman's prescription. No one is ever satisfied to be China for one day. And even if we stipulate that Mr. Friedman's prescriptions are the right solutions, to merely "authorize the right solutions" won't work, because people are quarrelsome and will fight for their own interests. Which is why the Chinese government actively represses its own people when it feels the need. Maybe Tom is cool with that, but I'm not.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is also growing tired of dissent, as the Boston Globe reports (H/T: Allahpundit):
Patrick said that even "on my worst day, when I’m most frustrated about folks who seem to rooting for failure," he doesn't face anything like the opposition faced by the president.
"It seems like child’s play compared to what is going on in Washington, where it is almost at the level of sedition, it feels to like me,” Patrick said.
Sedition? Now that's a bold statement, as the Globe reminds us.
Merriam-Webster.com, the dictionary site, defines sedition as "incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.''
Insurrection against lawful authority? Now some Republicans are a little unkempt and most thoughtful observers would argue that the Tea Parties might need a fashion makeover, but sedition? Insurrection? It's quite a charge to level.
After the forum, Patrick explained his remarks.I would be curious to see the extraordinary ideas from the President and his party. From what I can gather, it's pretty much the same off-the-rack agenda they've been peddling since 1933, but maybe massive expansion of government is somehow extraordinary now. Who knows? That's why we have people like Gov. Patrick around, to explain such things to those of us who are too benighted to understand the nuance of a concept as quicksilver as almost-sedition.
“I think that the number of people in the Grand Old Party who seem to be absolutely committed to saying ‘no,' whenever he says ‘yes,’ no matter what it is, even if it’s an idea that they came up with, is just extraordinary,” the governor told reporters after the forum.
Still, the Globe has to ask the question:
But did the opposition really border on sedition?
“That was a rhetorical flourish,” Patrick said.
In other words, the governor was talking out of his ass. The good news is that we are apparently free to be churlish for yet another day. But remember what Elvis Costello sang.