From a reader:
Don’t know if you saw Friedman’s article chastising us for not imposing a carbon or gas tax. Friedman has consistently called for such a tax for years. But look at his hypocrisy — during the Bush Administration, he constantly blamed Bush, Cheney and the Republicans for not imposing a tax. Now that the Democrats control everything, does he blame Obama, Pelosi and the Democrats? Oh no — they are not mentioned at all. It’s suddenly all Americans’ fault! How convenient.
This reminded me of a passage from my book:
In the liberal telling of America’s story, there are only two perpetrators of official misdeeds: conservatives and “America” writ large. progressives, or modern liberals, are never bigots or tyrants, but conservatives often are. For example, one will virtually never hear that the Palmer Raids, Prohibition, or American eugenics were thoroughly progressive phenomena. These are sins America itself must atone for. Meanwhile, real or alleged “conservative” misdeeds—say, McCarthyism—are always the exclusive fault of conservatives and a sign of the policies they would repeat if given power. The only culpable mistake that liberals make is failing to fight “hard enough” for their principles. Liberals are never responsible for historic misdeeds, because they feel no compulsion to defend the inherent goodness of America. Conservatives, meanwhile, not only take the blame for events not of their own making that they often worked the most assiduously against, but find themselves defending liberal misdeeds in order to defend America herself.
Or, as George Clooney once put it:
“Yes, I’m a liberal, and I’m sick of it being a bad word. I don’t know at what time in history liberals have stood on the wrong side of social issues.”
By the way, Friedman’s actual column is more of the typical fare, admiring foreign countries (this time the French) for their willingness to deploy “power” on policies he prefers.