A post by Pat

Tom Friedman thinks Democracy is becoming a hindrance.

The media is wringing it’s hands over the political climate. It’s always sunny when Democrats get their way. The forecast is for stormy weather. All this opposition and people in the street, it’s not a good thing.

Tom Friedman was on Meet the Press today with Tom Brokaw and David Brooks. He thinks we’d be better off if we were more like the Chinese government.

Brokaw: Tom, are we at a kind of turning point in America in terms of being able to make this a functioning country again or are we dysfunctional?

Friedman: This is what worries me that I’ve been saying for a while there is only one thing worse than one party autocracy, the Chinese form of government, and that’s one party democracy. In china if the leadership can get around to an enlightened decision, it can order it from the top down. Here, when you have one party democracy, one party ruling, basically and the other party basically saying “no”, every solution is suboptimal. When your chief competitor can produce optimal and you can only produce suboptimal! Because what happens whether it’s health care or the energy bill, votes 1 through 50 cost a lot; votes 50 to 59 cost you a fortune and 60, his name is Ben Nelson. By the time you made those compromises you wind up with the description out of the health care bill, which is this Rube Goldberg contraption, I hope it passes but I can’t tell you I think it’s optimal.

It’s so much easier to get things done when there’s no opposition, no one to say “no”. Of course to achieve that you have to round up and imprison or kill dissidents and impose censorship. As long as something optimal comes out of it once in awhile, say universal health care, it’s well worth it or so the thinking goes in some circles. History is well acquainted with optimal solutions from unopposed governments.

Neither Brokaw nor Brooks seemed to think Friedman was talking like a madman. This is what worries me.

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11 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. RuBegonia says:

    The PS_PS ~ the Pièce de résistance . A Pat_S Post final line always brings it home. Brokaw has been disappointing for his tolerance of the NBC/MSNBC insanity, though I believe he did have a hand in ousting Matthews and Olbermann from the top tier of their 2008 election coverage.

    Oh, the final line of Pat’s Previous Post was “The dog was dead”. So to quote the final – final line of this post – “This is what worries me”.

  2. ladykrystyna says:

    The Corner on National Review Online has been bringing up this Friedman thing for months. The guy is a nut. And him saying out loud, is scary. Scary not only because Brokaw and Brooks didn’t bother to question him about, but scary also because it is very probable that other people who actually hold positions of power in our gov’t right now actually believe the same thing. Hence the Slaughter Rule – they just want to get things done.

    And like Pat said, you can’t do that without jailing and killing the opposition.

    See, many years ago, I probably wouldn’t have blinked much at these comments because I was so apathetic and not paying attention. But if you open your eyes and pay attention, these are the things you hear and it should make you afraid.

    Very afraid.

  3. k.nelson5047 says:

    Mr. Friedman, lets talk about some “optimal” solutions we can get from China so our government can run more smoothly: only allow 1 child per family, treat women as second class citizens, pay workers minimums of $1 per day, kill and imprison those citizens who disagree with the government. Are these some great autocratic ideas you would like practiced in this country? I love how the elites think they have the solutions and we should suspend freedom in the name of expediency and efficiency. They do not get it that our government was set up specifically to make it difficult to jam down horrific bills down the throats of the public.

  4. Maynard says:

    Pat, I had a similar reaction when I read this:

    Obama, speaking to Katie Couric on Feb. 7, said: “I would have loved nothing better than to simply come up with some very elegant, academically approved approach to health care … and just go ahead and have that passed. But that’s not how it works in our democracy. Unfortunately, what we end up having to do is to do a lot of negotiations with a lot of different people.”

    If this doesn’t express a presidential yearning for the autocracy of the ivory-tower academics, with disgust and contempt for the input of “we the people”, I don’t know what does.

  5. 1elder1 says:

    Give me Liberty or give me death.

  6. BeforeGoreKneel says:

    What goes around, comes around. I remember the Patriot Act and the price exacted of Bush for its passage: Federal air port terminal inspectors. (Thank god the Democrats did not succeed in unionizing those.) Then there was the multi-year effort to consolidate many offices into one Germanic-sounding Homeland Security Agency. Nowhere was there any close and very public examination of Frank Church and friends or even Clinton. Instead we got Katrina, “Bush hates black people [who live in a 20 foot hole with a cat 5 coming]”, leading to that huge, expensive and intentionally out-of-control bureaucracy being run up on the pole because one pork-shoveling element, FEMA, didn’t shovel enough pork fast enough. The remedy was the same: for any Democrat cooperation, Republicans had give way for another give-away. Katrina, whatever, it didn’t matter really. There’s always a crisis to be exploited. Fires in California, deadbeats buying houses and then remembering, “Oh yeah, I never meant to pay this loan anyway”. George ‘Soros running up gas futures, “Bush lied, people died,” Gore and Kerry were screwed out of being President, yammer yammer yammer.

    So like Clinton’s impeachment was payback for Nixon, Republican opposition is earned and deserved. Obama is due for his. Wait for it, wait for it….

  7. Maynard says:

    And another thing…The historical clarion call of the fascists has been the quest for efficiency. As they say, “Mussolini made the trains run on time.” And there are times of national emergency where you can’t sit around quibbling. That’s when you invoke martial law. You openly suspend the rights of your citizens, because it’s a matter of national life and death. But does pursuit of “optimal” health control justify quietly suspending the American Constitution and ending the American republic as we know it?

  8. Slimfemme says:

    Finally, a honest leftist.

  9. makeshifty says:

    This is creepy. It validates what Glenn Beck was saying about a week ago: The elites in government are looking to China as the better model.

    It also relates back to the article on Theodore Roosevelt that Tammy posted earlier. Teddy loved efficiency, and he hated the way the Constitution got in the way of that. That’s a hallmark of progressivism. In Roosevelt’s first full term (his first partial term came about because President McKinley was assassinated) he said, “The government can do whatever it wants so long as the Constitution doesn’t prohibit it,” which put the original intent of the Framers on its head. That’s how he got his “efficiency”.

    You know, I can relate to the frustration about a lack of efficiency. I felt that way years ago when it came to the budget deficit, the possibility of passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, which never made it, etc. But as I’ve become more educated about the dangers of power I appreciate the fact that the Founders made our government inefficient ON PURPOSE!!

    As much as I think that Friedman is a smart guy on foreign affairs, he’s not so smart on domestic affairs. The problem that he and the Democrats are blind to is that the country doesn’t want the overall design that the health care bills have represented. I’ve seen this with the Democrats. They think the solution is to unite themselves behind any old health care bill. What I’ve been telling people who will listen is, “You’re not seeing the real problem. Come up with a solution that most people like, and you won’t have to worry about Republican opposition.” But I know what the response will be: “The people don’t know what’s good for them.” They take this as a given. It is the crux of the problem with our government right now, and it’s the Democrats’ glaring blind spot. This is why no health care bill will pass with this government that isn’t a train wreck.

  10. Leon says:

    The “fundamental transformation” rape of our society, is the nature of the Socialism beast.
    If you wonder why our creepy leaders in DC are so willing to cram these changes down our throat read this bit from “The Road To Serfdom” by F.A. Hayek.
    Page 24.

    “The French writers who laid the foundations of modern socialism had no doubt that their ideals could be put into practice only by a strong dictatorial government. To them socialism meant an attempt to “terminate the revolution” by a deliberate reorganization of society on hierarchical grounds and by the imposition of a coercive “spiritual power.” Where freedom was concerned, the founders of socialism made no bones about their intentions. Freedom of thought they regarded as the root-evil of nineteenth-century society, and the first of modern planners, Saint-Simon, even predicted that those who did not obey his proposed planning boards would be “treated as cattle.”
    Or as Bill Maher said “Americans are stupid, just drag them to this healthcare.”

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