Friedman: You know what’s kind of cool? Dictatorship!

posted at 3:36 pm on September 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

One normally expects to see paeans to one-party rule and dictatorships in fringe publications sponsored by International ANSWER or World Can’t Wait.  Usually, the New York Times offers those sentiments in more subtle terms than it does in today’s Thomas Friedman column.  Friedman extols the Chinese form of government while deriding the fact that political opposition keeps Obama from imposing the policies Friedman likes:

Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

Our one-party democracy is worse. The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying “no.” Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste. Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist. But if he’s forced to depend entirely on his own party to pass legislation, he will be whipsawed by its different factions.

Oh, those enlightened Chinese government officials!  When they’re not executing people to harvest their organs, and when they’re not forcing women to have abortions to satisfy their one-child policy, and when they’re not tossing people in prison for political dissent, they have a great energy policy … even though they reject Kyoto and any attempt to hamstring themselves on economically-suicidal cap-and-trade policies.

Actually, considering Friedman’s column, perhaps rounding up the opposition is a net plus for the Chinese in his eyes.

Even putting aside Friedman’s longing for fascism (as long as it supports his policies), Friedman’s entire premise is suspect.  We haven’t enacted government-run health care precisely because we’re not a “one-party democracy.”  Constituents have made their opposition plain to it across the nation, and Democrats understand that Republicans will replace many of their colleagues if they support ObamaCare.  Obama’s approval numbers have dropped precipitously as well, because people dissent from the orthodoxy of the Democratic elites.   That’s what has Friedman pining for Beijing.

Saying “no” to very bad ideas is a perfectly legitimate response, especially when the policies impose government control over private industry to the extent Barack Obama and his radical Congress desire.  The opposition has no responsibility to engage on horrible ideas, although contra Friedman, the Republicans have already offered an alternative to ObamaCare, which Henry Waxman refuses to consider.  Saying “no” to rapid expansion of government power is the rational response to radical policies.

What’s next for the New York Times?  A tribute to Benito Mussolini and running the trains on time as a fair exchange for personal and political liberty?  (via The Corner, which has been savaging Friedman all day)


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when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today

Somebody give that man a Pulitzer!

Oh, wait…

juanito on September 9, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Communism is the new political center.

Dave R. on September 9, 2009 at 6:57 PM

A very twisted scoundrel.

Gang-of-One on September 9, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Oh, you guys, just relax! Why, Bill O’Reilly says communism isn’t a threat any more! Didn’t you get the memo?

Special K on September 9, 2009 at 7:48 PM

I have just lost any and all respect for Thomas Friedman. I used to like his writings, particularly on foreign policy. The guy has just gone over to the dark side. He’s a complete tool of the Far Left.

To hold up China as the shining example of the World’s successful Nations? One word:

TIBET!

And to have the audacity to call Obama, the US Senator with the most Far Left voting record of all 100 Senators INCLUDING SELF-IDENTIFIED SOCIALIST BERNIE SANDERS, a “Centrist,” is not only laughable, it is deeply insulting to any and all readers who know anything about US Politics and Current Events, and who are able to decipher a Gallup Poll or National Journal Voting Index.

Mr. Friedman, you are an utter disgrace to journalism. Moreover, you’re a disgusting American. You don’t even deserve to call yourself one of us any more.

Move to China bucko. I’ll even offer to give you free Fast Chinese lessons, if that will make your move out of our Country any faster.

Eric Dondero, Publisher
Libertarian Republican

ericdondero on September 9, 2009 at 8:18 PM

Friedman: stuck on stupid dangerous.

When (and I do mean “when”) PrecedentMackDaddy imposes martial law people like Friedman will be there to applaud.

davidk on September 9, 2009 at 9:50 PM

Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist.

He’s a centrist in the same way that the NYT is a bastion of non-biased, objective, fair reporting.

ddrintn on September 9, 2009 at 11:20 PM

The elite. The ignorant. All one and the same.

Griz on September 9, 2009 at 11:44 PM

I love it when Liberals are HONEST!

rednebulastudios on September 10, 2009 at 3:27 AM

Is this what it’s come to? Is this satire? Unbelievable.

pc on September 10, 2009 at 5:21 AM

As a wise Latino male with rich life experiences all I can say is that Friedman is a fool. That any American would prefer the Chinese way than the American way is very revealing. This is from a man (girl?) who should be of age to have an inkling of the purges and repression that Chairman Mao put upon his people. Apparently not. Can you imagine the lack of historical education being heaped on our youngsters. I have a son who just started the 5th grade and they still have not even touched the American Revolution or the Civil War. I of course have made him read books about both and we are now investigating the World Wars and Korean War. He wanted to know why we had to fight the Chinese. Imagine that. Why do we have to fight communism? He is only 10 so he gets a pass for now. He knows now about the evils of communism. Friedman should know better. Mao would have killed him or thrown him into a re-education camp. Friedman is a jackass.

bigtexmex on September 10, 2009 at 6:36 AM

Tom Friedman and the others at the New York Times are socialists, and socialists don’t believe in democracy and limited Government. They believe in dictatorship.

The hoot is that Friedman says he is a centrist. No, Tom, you are a socialist left winger.

Phil Byler on September 10, 2009 at 6:36 AM

Friedman: Want a worker’s paradise? Only 90 miles off of Florida, Your Nirvana awaits….Take all the other commies with you please….

adamsmith on September 10, 2009 at 6:43 AM

I respond to this at my site: http://www.truthandcommonsense.com

The short of it is that Friedman and his ilk think by being part of the elite power base and trying to please them (much like the small dog/big dog skit on old cartoons, with the one bouncing around the other big dog “Watcha wanna do, watcha wanna do?”)
What they don’t understand is, as history has proven over and over, people who want to rule others, have no use for those like Friedman, after their purpose has been served.
Do you think the Chinese would tolerate weaklings like him, or Dowd, or Olbermann?

archer52 on September 10, 2009 at 7:29 AM

The NYT? They are still in business?

percysunshine on September 10, 2009 at 7:38 AM

This man wants us to give up our freedoms so he can get his false Utopia? This man is crazy! Our system works when we don’t have crooks at the helm and our politicians are looking out for their peoples interest, instead of their paying off special interests. If President Obama had taken all of this so called stimulus money and spent it all on putting up a new electrical grid and enough nuclear power stations to meet all of America’s electrical needs instead of letting the left wing Apollo group write up a grab bag for liberal groups worldwide, we would have made thousands of new jobs. Not just jobs building these new structures but also manning and maintaining these sites. We also would have saved Trillions of dollars in our future on money being shipped to terrorist nations. But no! this didn’t happen instead we only got a handful of bills to give to our children and a pack of lies. I don’t know about you but I am tired of this BS we are being shoveled.

SGinNC on September 10, 2009 at 8:19 AM

I read the FIRST EDITION of his “The World is Flat” when he was a NObody(well a SMALLer nobody).

The book had an “authentic” tenor, but when I saw him later on CSpan’s Book Talk, he had that “tinfoil hat” stench to him.

Anything he says or writes now is pure hyperbole to keep his buzz up. He USED to be credible, but his RED slip is starting to show.

seejanemom on September 10, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Smells like an open sewer.

Ted Torgerson on September 10, 2009 at 8:40 AM

I’m new here and I have a dumb question: what does FIFY mean?

RustBelt on September 10, 2009 at 8:47 AM

People still clamour to get out of China and into the United States, but are not allowed. Couldn’t be those those ‘reasonably enlightened leaders’ in their way, could it?

happy2behere on September 10, 2009 at 8:49 AM

Fixed It For You

MarkTheGreat on September 10, 2009 at 8:49 AM

Suggestion for Tom. Try this experiment, mercifully constrained to the confines of your modest home: you and wife, toss a coin, winner gets to be dictator for next six months. See how that works out for you in your own home before you decide to try sell it to the rest of us. Oh, and could you do the planet a favor? Plant a few trees on your estate to replace those gave up their lives needlessly for your pathetic column?

shaken on September 10, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist. Marxist.
.
FIFY

Dasher on September 10, 2009 at 9:05 AM

I’m new here and I have a dumb question: what does FIFY mean?

RustBelt on September 10, 2009 at 8:47 AM

.
Fixed It For You

Dasher on September 10, 2009 at 9:06 AM

That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.

Hitler would certainly agree.

JellyToast on September 10, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Friedman’s got the mustache thing goin’. He just needs a dictatorship to go with it.

Buy Danish on September 10, 2009 at 9:24 AM

One of the only good things about Obama’s reign is that it brings the radicals out of the closet.

Friedman is just one more in a long and growing list of freedom-hating elites who have dropped their masks to reveal what’s in their subversive little hearts. They feel it’s safe to wave their red flags with Obama giving them cover but…

Their day of reckoning is coming.

RandyChandler on September 10, 2009 at 10:08 AM

Let’s purchase him a one-way ticket to the dictatorship country of his choice. I’ll bet Chavez would put him in a good position overseeing the closing of opposition press outlets.

jediwebdude on September 10, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Mr. Obama is not a socialist

Oh yes he is you lying sack. Just like all his friends. Bozo has stated that he believes in the redistribution of my money to other people he thinks needs my money more than I do.

All his friends are communists and radicals. And oh by the way the Chinese are communist totalitarians. Since you seem to be happy with that form of government you should move there. We Americans do not want dictatorship here.

dogsoldier on September 10, 2009 at 10:45 AM

It’s not exactly a new concept…that if only the more “enlightened” ruled, society would be utopian, just, peaceful and prosperous. It’s been proven over the last 2,369 YEARS that it does not, and cannot work.

Don’t take my word for it, go read Plato, he proposed Friedman’s ideal society in 360BC in The Republic. In The Republic an enlightened Philosopher class runs the show, and everything is organized on essentially a caste system and works just peachy in theory. The Philosophers would rule, the Warriors would defend and enforce the Philosophers’ rule, and the Workers would work. And to make it sound really “progressive,” he also believed that in the “just” society “there is no private property, no private wife and children, and no philosophy for the lower castes. All is sacrificed to the common good and doing what is best fitting to your nature.”

Sound familiar??? Leftist, Progressivism, whatever you want to call it, is an ancient, regressive idea that has been proven to be a bankrupt ideology for thousands of years. When it has been actually put into effect it has led to the greatest human suffering in history.

On the other hand, messy Democracy is a truly radical concept that has been proven to lead to the most prosperous, the most just, the most free societies in human history. Just because one side rejects the other’s policies doesn’t make it a “one party Democracy,” btw. What an absurdity! Why was the US not a “one party Democracy” when the Democrats were highly obstructionist during the Bush years and opposed policies with which they disagreed? Seems Friedman suffers from situational outrage.

Democracy it is not without its flaws and it is fragile in its own way, under constant threat from those subscribing to Plato’s antiquated “Philosopher King” ideal or who pose as such in order to gain power over others.

What an ancient struggle!!

http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html

EasyEight on September 10, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Inside every liberal is a tyrant struggling to get out.

willy v on September 10, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist

Say whaaaaaAAAAAAAATTT?!

Alden Pyle on September 10, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Interesting in a sad way to watch liberals talk themselves into facism

EasyEight on September 10, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Consent of the governed is all that stands between them and utopia

Wikipedia on Hitler’s Mein Kampf

During the war, Hitler remarked that peace could only be achieved by a return to the natural order where the strong dominate the weak: an order that was corrupted by the Jews.[30] In other instances, Hitler justifies the destruction of entire cities because, in his view, it was necessary to “revert to antique principles.”[31] Hitler also looked to both Genghis Khan and Sparta to support his ideas of natural selection with the necessary historical backing. Thus, at a Nazi party convention in 1929 Hitler argued against the “Jewish train of thought:”[32]

“The worst danger is that we are interrupting the natural selection process ourselves (by caring for the sick and the weak). … The most far-sighted racial state in history, Sparta, systematically implemented these racial laws.”[33]

The racial laws Hitler referred to resonate directly with his ideas in Mein Kampf. In his first edition of Mein Kampf, Hitler stated that the destruction of the weak and sick is far more humane than their protection. However, apart from his allusion to humane treatment, Hitler saw a purpose in destroying “the weak” in order to provide the proper space and purity for the strong.[34] In the book he attributed the corruption of such a natural order to the equality of human beings created and spread by “the Jew.

Hitler needed to eliminate the Jew to eliminate Jewish thinking which interferred with his Utopia. Today the enemy might have new names, but this enemy insists upon having a vote in the process, a vote that impedes the goal of utopia

Friedman calls ours a one party democracy because one party disagrees with the other?
The solution is there, Friedman, in Mein Kampf

entagor on September 10, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Mr. Obama is not a socialist; he’s a centrist.

Only compared to you, Mr. Friedman, is Obama a centrist.

Friedman only touched on energy and his claim of needing higher taxes on gasoline, but once again, we are being lectured on energy use by a man with an 11,400 square foot home on 7.5 acres with a large, presumably heated pool accompanied by a couple poolside buildings.

Friedman could easily fit and pay for the homes for forty families on that land for what he spent on that beautiful home, but, again, it’s do as Friedman says, not as he does.

RJL on September 10, 2009 at 4:00 PM

“we are being lectured on energy use by a man with an 11,400 square foot home on 7.5 acres with a large, presumably heated pool accompanied by a couple poolside buildings”

As always with the self-annointed elites, it’s “Sacrifice for THEE, but no for ME!!”

EasyEight on September 10, 2009 at 4:07 PM

I read the article earlier and thought it was being sarcastic… no? This guy really means it? It was like an Onion parody. Good grief!

Joy on September 10, 2009 at 4:48 PM

I remember GW saying something like he thought that being a dictator would sure make a lot of things easier. I remember him saying it quite tongue in cheek…

psychocyber on September 10, 2009 at 5:28 PM

The hard leftists are revealing themselves.
They believe that their ends justify any means.
Their end is always tyranny. Their means are destruction, repression, enslavement and ultimately genocide.
And they are driven and relentless.
Hasn’t history shown this repeatedly?

justltl on September 11, 2009 at 1:42 AM

The left will never rest until the country is completely re-made into their image.

Whether we realize it or not- whether we admit it or not- we are at war.
If conservatives cannot win this war through winning the hearts and minds of the population and winning elections, what then?

Attempt to peacefully divide the country?
Attempt to establish a dictatorship of the right, just as the left will inevitably attempt to establish a dictatorship of the left?
Flee to a new world?
Take up arms?

justltl on September 11, 2009 at 1:54 AM

friedman, brooks, dowd, noonan, et al are typical of other elitists. They all wish they had more influence in society.

but again with the whiny left.

Our one-party democracy is worse. The fact is, on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying “no.” Many of them just want President Obama to fail. Such a waste.

Look libs, YOU HAVE ALL CHANNELS OF GOVERNMENT! You don’t need any of the dumb republicans to vote for your crap. You guys want single payer, cap and trade, abortion on demand, welfare, amnesty, open borders, banning guns—whatever you want…..PASS IT. You guys have the votes. Why are you complaining about the minority gop. We’re irrelevant. Let us bark and howl at the townhalls and teaparties.

Go ahead. I double dog dare you.

EMR on September 11, 2009 at 5:06 AM

more brilliance from the open sewer guy

painfulTruthDisciple on September 11, 2009 at 7:47 AM

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.

Who gets to pick this “reasonably enlightened group”? This bunch that’s giving us a huge debt of trillions of dollars that my great great grandkids will be paying off are reasonably enlightened. NO THANKS!

Herb on September 11, 2009 at 9:06 AM

http://www.veteranutrage.com

This is EXACTLY what Many so called
Right wing warmongers have been saying

That the democrat party has been taken over
by communists, anti americans
Traitors
Terrorist supporters
anti christians
Anti militarry

And just NOW BECAUSE THE LEFT IS SO CONFIDANT
in their ability to destroy our entire country
are they actually comming out of the closet
and revealing their true agenda..

This is WHY i am Clinging to my rifles
and my bibles

Because i KNOW ALL DEMOCRATS AND POLITICIANS
Are working for our enemies..

http://www.veteranoutrage.com

its an outrage..

veteranoutrage on September 11, 2009 at 10:42 AM

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