A few months ago, a conservative reader emailed me to say that, even though he didn’t agree with Balloon-Juice politically, he really liked my Stones lyrics title posts, that they were a nice relief from the constant partisan rancor of the intertubes (he put it more eloquently than that, he was a good writer). That made me feel good and it made me wonder about what other types of stuff you can do on a political blog that can bring people together. Reading this CJR piece made me realize, it’s been right in front of my eyes for years: mocking Tom Friedman is something everyone of any non-Chinese political stripe can enjoy. Here’s Volokh conspiracy excoriating Friedman for gushing over China with only the caveat “One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks.”
It’s not just that he wants to enact his preferred agenda though an elite-driven party with no constituency, no activists, and no ties to local communities but that he is clearly uncomfortable living in the world as it is, where voters matter, interests are heard, and political disagreement is important.
[H]ow can a sophisticated political analyst buy into this? How do you look at the way Washington is actually organized, with multiple legislative veto points that can cripple or kill legislation, and say “we could fix this if a third party won the presidency”?
This is one topic where you can’t tell a liberal critique from a conservative critique. Any pro-American-democracy observer should be horrified by Friedman’s autocratic — that’s what this third party stuff is about, having hedge fund managers install an “enlightened” dictator — fantasies. I’m glad that so many people feel the same way that I do about this.