Tom Friedman Mocks U.S. Concern Over Civil Liberties in Latest Paean to Beijing

When it comes to China, Thomas Friedman just can't help himself. The paper's peripatetic columnist again indulged his strange affection for the authoritarian Communist regime in his Wednesday column, "From WikiChina." Speculating "What if China had a WikiLeaker? (some would say the WikiLeaker would be dead by now, but never mind ), Friedman made up a satirical cable from the Chinese embassy to Beijing.

It's fitting for a China admirer like Friedman to mock civil liberty concerns like the stepped-up police-style frisking of passengers by the Transportation Security Administration:

Things are going well here for China. America remains a deeply politically polarized country, which is certainly helpful for our goal of overtaking the U.S. as the world's most powerful economy and nation. But we're particularly optimistic because the Americans are polarized over all the wrong things.

There is a willful self-destructiveness in the air here as if America has all the time and money in the world for petty politics. They fight over things like - we are not making this up - how and where an airport security officer can touch them....

Americans just had what they call an "election." Best we could tell it involved one congressman trying to raise more money than the other (all from businesses they are supposed to be regulating) so he could tell bigger lies on TV more often about the other guy before the other guy could do it to him. This leaves us relieved. It means America will do nothing serious to fix its structural problems: a ballooning deficit, declining educational performance, crumbling infrastructure and diminished immigration of new talent.

He took a predictable swipe at the Republicans for opposing spending to combat the threat of global warming:

Most of the Republicans just elected to Congress do not believe what their scientists tell them about man-made climate change. America's politicians are mostly lawyers - not engineers or scientists like ours - so they'll just say crazy things about science and nobody calls them on it. It's good. It means they will not support any bill to spur clean energy innovation, which is central to our next five-year plan. And this ensures that our efforts to dominate the wind, solar, nuclear and electric car industries will not be challenged by America.

Ace of Spades contributor DrewM questioned Friedman's admiration:

You seem to find it amusing and bit pathetic that Americans are debating the proper limits on government when it comes to security.

I find it sad and scary that China arrests people for using Twitter.

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