Back in September, Tom Friedman, speaking of China, proclaimed that "there is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today." That prompted Jonah Goldberg to call Friedman a "liberal fascist," drawing an example from his seminal book, Liberal Fascism, to demonstrate how Friedman's fawning over the Chi-Coms "is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s."
But far from being abashed, Friedman is apparently so enamored of his formulation that he has repeated it virtually verbatim. The Times columnist suffered another bad bout of Chi-Com envy on today's Meet The Press, guest-hosted by Tom Brokaw.
"Mr. Bush is to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao this week on the sidelines of the G8 Summit - where leaders will talk about soaring gas and food prices and the thorny issue of climate change," Yang said. "Officials want to build momentum toward next year's deadline for a global agreement to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for climate change."
President George W. Bush in April announced his support for establishing federal emissions reduction targets with a goal of stopping greenhouse gas emission growth by 2025. That wasn't enough for "Nightly News," which still managed to find a global warming alarmist with anti-Bush sentiments to bash his efforts.
From the Downfalls of Centrist Labeling Department: An MRC colleague E-mails his amazement at the Washington Post's World News section: "The head of China is a middle-of-the-roader according to Sunday’s Post. I guess a middle-of-the-road totalitarian dictator."
The headline to Edward Cody's piece on Hu Jintao and the current Communist Party's National Congress was "Hu Set for Second Term at China's Helm: Political Middle-of-the-Roader Has Limited Reform Efforts to Economic Sphere." The story goes from page A-20 across to page A-21, where the headline is "Hu Poised for Five More Years Steering China on Centrist Track."
Using the same ideological labels for communist countries that you try to use in Western democracies is inherently frustrating. It's not like Hu Jintao is leading China on a Clinton-style Third Way corporate-liberal program, where Jesse Jackson would be denouncing his allies in "Communists for the Leisure Class."