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Proud to be Standing, Arms Folded and Saying "No"

4:24 PM, Sep 9, 2009 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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In his pro-autocracy New York Times column today, Tom Friedman complains that "on both the energy/climate legislation and health care legislation, only the Democrats are really playing. With a few notable exceptions, the Republican Party is standing, arms folded and saying 'no.'"

Friedman has been effectively pilloried in many places for his vulgar anti-democratic fulminations. But his linkage of Obama-like climate change and health care legislation to Chinese-style autocracy is useful, and somehow revealing: The spirit of both pieces of legislation is the spirit of China--a mild China, a soft China, a nanny-like China, to be sure--but in those signature pieces of legislation the despotic impulse is there, underlying the bureaucratic jumble and legislative horse trading.

Thanks, Tom, for reassuring all of us who are standing, arms folded and saying "no," that we're doing the right thing.