Civil Liberties

Another Member of the "Borderline Sedition" Watchmen


Commenter John informs us that Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has apparently joined the Joe Klein Klub for Hunting Down Seditionistas:

The Democratic governor, who is close to the president, made the comments at a forum at Suffolk Law School's Rappaport Center, where he was asked by an audience member about partisan battling in Congress.

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.

In a follow-up interview, however, Patrick called his statement "a rhetorical flourish." Klein, on the other hand, is now aiming his rhetorical flourishes at libertarians:

I suspect that [Rand Paul's Civil Rights Act comments] will be the first of many such disasters for the Tea Party libertarians. They are about to find themselves faced with actual political rivals who will be more than happy to expose the utopian foolishness of their ideology. This will be a rare moment of public education for an electorate that doesn't pay sufficient attention to even the most important aspects of democracy. […]

If the Republicans play their cards right, they will step away from the brink and recognize that a certain don't-tread-on-me libertarian spirit has always been close to the heart of the American dream, but that libertarian extremism has always been a loser–and that even Ronald Reagan found that he couldn't put a dent in the liberal social safety net because it was too popular.

Most extremist moments in American politics are passing fevers. Glenn Beck's ratings are down; his paranoid act is wearing thin. Balance will eventually be restored–which, in this case, will probably mean fewer Democrats in Congress (because their 2010 levels were unnaturally high, given past history), but it will also mean that more Republicans will understand the downside of demagogic extremism.