Deval Patrick on Beck Rally: 'It's a Free Country. I Wish It Weren't.'
10:20 AM, Sep 2, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
In this episode of "Better Know Your Democratic Governor," longtime Obama ally (and speech donor) Deval Patrick seems to commit a Kinsleyan gaffe when asked about the Glenn Beck rally held on the Mall August 28.
The rally faced criticism from liberals, particularly black leaders who believed it was inappropriate to hold it on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Most of those liberals were wise enough not to question Beck's right to hold a rally; just the wisdom and symbolism of the date and place. Gov. Patrick is not so sure about the Constitutional rights of those who disagree with him.
When asked whether he was troubled by the rally, he replies, "It's a free country. I wish it weren't. You know, you got to respect that freedom." Here's Massachusetts talker Michael Graham discussing the comment, with audio of the clip:
If I were the defense for Patrick, I'd argue that it's possible he was saying, in essence, "It's a free country. I wish it (the rally) weren't (held on that date). You know, you got to respect that freedom." But my, that would be an odd construction for that sentiment. In defending his remark, Patrick doesn't put forth that argument. He merely reiterates that it's a free country, and he wishes the rally hadn't been held that day.
Independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill took him to task over the comment today: