April 07, 2008


Via the headlines at Hot Air comes a breathtaking Joe Klein entry at the TIME blog Swampland:

Pete Wehner, former chief White House propagandist for the Iraq war, has taken me to task for claiming that liberalism is more optimistic and therefore inherently more patriotic than conservatism. That takes some nerve. He would compare my statement to the constant drumbeat of right-wingnutters questioning the patriotism of those who do not support the Bush Administration's foreign policy foolishness. But I didn't do that at all. I didn't question the patriotism of conservatives: I simply argued that it is more patriotic to be optimistic about the chance that our collective will--that is, the best work of government--will succeed, rather than that it will fail or impinge on freedom.

In others words, it is more patriotic to be in favor of civil rights legislation than to oppose be in favor of social security and medicare than to oppose them...and to hope that the better angels of our legislators--acting in concert, in compromise--will produce a universal health insurance system and an alternative energy plan that we can all be proud of.

Klein can on occasion be astute, but his grasp of the affect of government on the human element is achingly weak from someone who writes about the subject for a living. Government is never comprised of merely the best intentions or has the best work in mind. It is at best a necessary evil, and is often done with the accrual and consolidation of power the goal of lawmakers, their campaign idealism either false from the outset, or leached out of them over time as they succumb to the seductions of power.

Someone posted this Youtube video to a comment thread of one of my Pajamas Media articles several weeks ago.

I do not care for the the purposeful misspelling of Obama's name at the end, but the "ISM" cartoon that comprises the bulk of the video neatly diagnoses Klein's disease.

Government always impinges on freedom. It is government's inherent nature, and for Klein not to understand it's congenital condition is sad to behold.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 7, 2008 08:30 AM

You're certainly a big advocate of MY freedom of speech.

Posted by: chris lee at April 8, 2008 10:26 PM