The leftist party that these people support is currently in control of both houses of congress and the White House (and they are well-represented within the federal judiciary) and yet, it is not enough. The power is not pure enough, it is not invincible enough; their power is diluted because, dammit, those little people crowing about the constitution all over the internets are mucking things up!
Although, to be fair to Friedman, his China Fantasy is not new; he talked about “being China for a day” with Tom Brokaw in 2008. He’s been hoping for a dictatorship ala China, for a while, now as Jonah Goldberg notes.
Friedman and Mitchell, and even that self-absorbed twerp Woody Allen are all wringing their hands over something they cannot (yet) control; alternative media and how it has contributed to the difficulties of getting things done in Washington.
When the press had a monopoly on information, it was much easier for them to influence opinion; that in turn made the legislator’s jobs easier, too. Now, yes, things are more difficult for the politicians, but that’s mostly because they insist upon working as they always have (the incestuous commingling of pols and media freaks on the left, and pols and business freaks on the right, with back-room-deals-aplenty, back-scratching galore and pork, pork, pork for everyone) while the electorate has decided it wants something different.
So, Allen and Friedman–and others who have kept their faces before us for 40 years by coasting on the work of their youth, because they’ve done nothing memorable, lately–are feeling the shifting sand beneath their feet, and they’re wondering why America can’t simply submit to a fantasy of Limited Dictatorship. It’s so inconvenient for these elites to have to deal with the noise of the bourgeoisie – commoners who presume to opine on anything and who dare to object to the incessant lecturing from their betters.
So, let’s be China “for a little while…” (just long enough to get everything we want accomplished).
Because what they want must, of course, darling, be the very thing that needs doing.
Let’s allow Obama to be dictator “for a couple of years,” because that preening narcissist will certainly give up his dictatorship once the nowhere-utopia of which the left dreams is achieved. Right? Of course.
Ann Althouse writes:
A love of autocracy often lurks beneath the liberal veneer. There’s this idea that the right answers are known and the people are just too deluded and distorted to see what they are and to vote for them.
They propose dictatorship because they are no longer able to get away with their former arguments, which boiled down to: “shut up. You’re stupid. We’re cool.”
They propose dictatorship because they know their lives would be completely unaffected by such a thing. They will still have access to their Park Avenue doctors; they will be exempt from the rationing of medical treatment that the Obama administration now admits will take place. They will continue to be the privileged useful-idiot voices of the politburo. They will still have their limos and their lunches, where they will sit together and bloviate about what must be done for the commoners who cannot be trusted with their own lives.
“And in fact, you are absolutely right…” they will say to each other, and in their insulated little Pauline-Kaelesque worlds, they will not be able to imagine that anyone with any sense would possibly disagree.
Every murderous totalitarian government of the 20th century began with some insulated group of faux-intellectuals congratulating each other on how smart they are, and fantasizing about how, if they could just install a dictatorship-for-a-day, they could right all the wrongs in the world.
It is the ultimate fantasy of the narcissist. And we’ve got whole generations of them, in control of our media and our government, all intent on “remaking America.”
Update: Roger L. Simon believes “The Culture Wars are Turning:”
Apparently, for the first time, those bastions of the most conventional liberalism in our society, the networks, are turning on Obama. Reason: BP and the oil spill. It’s supposed to be Obama’s Katrina. Of course, I no more blame Obama for the spill than I do Bush for Katrina. Nor do I blame either of them for the difficulty in cleaning up these disasters. Those are unfair accusations. There are plenty of things to attack Obama about — like the worst foreign and domestic policies since Andrew Johnson — without having to pin a drilling accident on him, bad as it is. But the media, that never vetted him and have given him a pass on virtually everything, are attacking him now. Why?
They sense — and Woody and Friedman sense with a different reaction — that the Culture Wars are turning. It’s partly the Tea Parties, but it’s more than that. It’s the zeitgeist. The times, they are definitely a-changin’. Liberalism, as we have known it for decades, is on the defensive. With the welfare state unsustainable, it has nowhere to turn and its adherents are turning tail in every direction. They are mad and they are, in many cases, unmoored. Lifetime ideologies are beginning to crumble. Personality constructs are at risk.
What will happen next? Well, nobody knows. We are living in an extreme version of the Chinese curse about living in interesting times. In the near term, look for more desperate remarks like Friedman’s and Allen’s and be grateful for them. They are signs of weakness and insecurity from their side.
Also, it is likely that breaches in the mainstream media will increase. The New York Times, of all places, has recently acknowledged that the European welfare state is in trouble and will have to reform. Could the USA be far behind? The Washington Post today called liberal icon Chuck Schumer “a media-addicted political monster.”
Breaches in the dike indeed. As I said, more to come.
Pass the popcorn.