Patterico's Pontifications


Fareed Zakaria: America’s Problem is That We Love Our Constitution Too Much, or Something…

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:41 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

It’s self-fisking, but worth watching for the sheer smug idiocy of it all.

Hat tip: The Blaze.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]


  1. I would ask smarmy to name one person just one what has ever been under the impression that America’s cowardly loser McConnell-Reid-McCain Senate is the “marvel of the world”

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 6/2/2011 @ 7:49 am

  2. What’s a Fareed?

    Comment by DohBiden (15aa57) — 6/2/2011 @ 7:58 am

  3. Other than this loser person whispering in Obama’s ear, why do we care what he has to say?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:13 am

  4. Oh I get it a Fareed is someone who has his head up Obama’s arse.

    Used in a sentence-Chuckle the demented blogclown is such a Fareed.

    Comment by DohBiden (15aa57) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:16 am

  5. Fareed, the more wealth and power is transferred to Washington, the more special interests are drawn there. Constitutional limits on government are the solution, not the problem.

    Comment by Russ R (304430) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:22 am

  6. I would ask Fareed what drew him to this country, above all others.

    Comment by MayBee (081489) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:31 am

  7. Fareed comes off as smug and condescenging, to be sure, and I’m not going to try and defend him.

    I will say though that regardless of how much this sounds like a “bitter clinger” kind of remark, there’s an element of actual culture involved, as opposed to phony multi-culti diversity-mongering.

    In the aerospace engineering field I’ve worked with a lot of brilliant Indian folks. And with few exceptions, many come off as know-it-alls who simply can’t understand why others don’t “get it” like they do. Fareed truly believes that a parlaimentary Euro-socialist system, with a strong transnational undercurrent, would better serve America and can’t understand why we wouldn’t be willing to trade paltry individual freedoms to arrive at this enlightened system…

    Paltry individual freedoms he wouldn’t have to trade in India or Britain, by the way, owing to his elite status in society.

    It’s easy to preach the Euro-commie gospel when you’re one of the critters at the farm that is just a little more equal, so to speak…

    But truly I don’t think he intends to be as insulting as he comes off here.

    Comment by Bob Reed (5f2db5) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:32 am

  8. Oh, and I should have mentioned that, like many of the Euro-commie-loving folks here in the US, instead of trying to “enlighten us” and transform America into a Euro-lite country, people like Fareed should just move to one of those worker’s paradises that’s structured in a way he approves of.

    Leave America to all of us bitter clingers that prefer maximum personal liberty and a constitutional republic like our forefathers envisioned, intended, and codified…

    Comment by Bob Reed (5f2db5) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:36 am

  9. It’s easy to preach the Euro-commie gospel when you’re one of the critters at the farm that is just a little more equal, so to speak…

    Exactly, Bob. These folks simply are selfish and don’t want lesser people’s freedom to interfere with their ideal government. They are actually not willing to make any such sacrifice on their own.

    We can see this in a few ways. A hard lefty will cheer at democracy being thwarted if he’s lost an election in Wixconsin or Florida. But he’ll also be furious if he suspects an election is being stolen from him. Such a person will cheer extremely loud protests and his own freedom to make them, but speech he doesn’t like should just go away.

    These people aren’t confused about freedom. They just aren’t willing to share what they cherish.

    Comment by Dustin (c16eca) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:43 am

  10. Dear Mr. Zakaria-


    Comment by Bugg (9e308e) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:51 am

  11. Bob – Do you think it is worse to be unintentionally insulting, and be unaware of why your views are noxious to so many, or simply be intentionally insulting?

    Comment by JD (b98cae) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:52 am

  12. I did not phrase that well, Bob. I think Fareed should know, must know, how noxious his expressed views are to so many.

    Comment by JD (85b089) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:57 am

  13. I just wish he had given us one example of the ideal country so we can learn who to imitate. I just can’t think of any. Maybe Switzerland which is tiny, isolated and in which every citizen has an assault rifle in the closet.

    Comment by Mike K (8f3f19) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:59 am

  14. Such a person will cheer extremely loud protests and his own freedom to make them, but speech he doesn’t like should just go away.

    These people aren’t confused about freedom. They just aren’t willing to share what they cherish.

    Veritas Dustin.

    It’s the ol’ “What’s good for me, is not for thee…” type of reasoning. The modern corollary being something along the lines of either, “do as I say, not as I do”, or, “by any means necessary!”…

    Comment by Bob Reed (5f2db5) — 6/2/2011 @ 9:01 am

  15. This man [Fareed] is a total moron. That’s for starters. Even most morons do, in fact, understand that the Constitution is the supreme law of our land. He does not. I’ve attempted to watch his show a couple of times out of a weird sense of fairness, but it is unwatchable and very very toxic to my blood pressure!

    Comment by Gayle Miller (d14034) — 6/2/2011 @ 9:02 am

  16. You know JD, I’m pretty sure he’s aware that many will disagree with him. I’m pretty sure though that he just doesn’t think that those who do are smart or “nuanced” enough to have their opinions taken seriously.

    Really, it’s a matter-of-fact, “I’m educated, you’re not, so you have to accept what I say”, kind of elitism that’s accepted in a lot of places around the world.

    And it’s fundamentally incongruent with the American founder’s notion of fundamental equality before the law, regardless of social station.

    As has been argued many times by folks much more articulate than I, many in our modern intelligentsia, punditocracy, and professional politicians consider, or at least comport themsleves, as a cut above everyday folks; like they are ersatz aristocrats. Kind of along the lines of the Codevilla piece where he talked of these folks considering themselves to be “the ruling class”.

    It’s an idea that is very prevalent overseas, based on my experiences abroad, and one that some American academics have sought to inculcate into our society for the last 100 years.

    It’s why I say he mightn’t even intended it to be insulting necessarily; it’s just something he takes as a fundamental truth. That notionally it is so incongruent with “the American way” is what makes it so insulting to all of us.

    Comment by Bob Reed (5f2db5) — 6/2/2011 @ 9:11 am

  17. What he means is that people from his side of the aisle should look into changes; the changes the tea partyers have been demanding (flat tax, etc.) don’t count.

    Comment by Patricia (b717c7) — 6/2/2011 @ 9:15 am

  18. IOW, he is a weinerhole.

    Comment by JD (85b089) — 6/2/2011 @ 9:15 am

  19. I find Fareed very difficult to watch in TV, mostly because he has bought in so completely to the ideology of multi-culuralism and transnationalism.

    He began shilling for Obamacare during the 2008 election, with arguments ranging far and wide; from “social justice” to, “It’ll make American business competitative with the rest of the world!11!1!-because they all do it”.

    I’ve never been a fan of justifying action based on what others are doing. They also have high tax rates, systemic unemployment rates that are high, a far less dynamic economy, and a decided lack of social mobility; things I don’t want here.

    That and, as I’ve noted, he has the annoying trait of not undestanding why others don’t see the world like he does, and concomitantly writing off their opinions as being incorrect because of that.

    Comment by Bob Reed (5f2db5) — 6/2/2011 @ 9:18 am

  20. Yup JD, that sums it up. I’m just giving him the benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t intend to be, but can’t help himself due to his upbringing.

    Don’t forget that he’s Indian, and while they technically outlawed the caste system long ago, socially speaking their society is still very hierarchal. So it’s not hard to see where someone like himself would have a prediliction for classist arguments…

    But, yeah, weinerhole.

    Comment by Bob Reed (5f2db5) — 6/2/2011 @ 9:21 am

  21. he’s so provocative

    Comment by happyfeet (a55ba0) — 6/2/2011 @ 9:53 am

  22. And people wonder why I support Sarah Palin. Sheesh.

    Comment by Jaynie59 (058ebb) — 6/2/2011 @ 10:04 am

  23. a friend found this gem years ago in a blog that is sadly no more, but i’ve always felt it does a good j*b of capturing an essential truth, if one remembers that America is still a nation of immigrants and their descendants; people that came here because where they were sucked badly enough for them to say “screw this” and start all over in a foreign land.

    as such, we are indifferent to what the rest of the world does and how, because we came here to get away from all that.

    I don’t know what ‘the west’ wants, but Americans are simple: we want
    the rest of the world to go away and stop bothering us.

    Understand I’m not speaking for myself – I’d be on a plane somewhere
    365 days a year if I could manage it. But Americans generally don’t
    like being forced to confront the outside world. We have quite a large
    country of our own and if we find it cramped there’s always Canada
    (America Lite).

    Americans want to spend their days working. We like working. We like
    coming up with crazy plans and turning them into billion dollar
    businesses. If we’re not working we want to hang out with family. We
    don’t like thinking about politics, we’re not the French. We don’t
    like having to learn the differences between Shia and Sunni because,
    quite frankly, we don’t give a damn. We just want to work and hang out.

    From time to time Americans are forced to recognize the existence of
    some other piece of the world: Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq. We resent
    being forced to do so. We didn’t really know these places existed,
    didn’t care, and don’t wish to be irritated by them because we have
    work to do.

    So we fall back on simple, direct solutions to ease the irritation:
    nuke ‘em all. Nuke ‘em all, and then get back to work. It’s not that
    we harbor particular malice toward one country or another, one religion
    or another. What we harbor is indifference. If you threaten our
    indifference by forcing us to pay attention to you and your intractable
    foreign problems we may have to blow something up just so you’ll go
    away. There is, after all, money to be made, and work to be done, and
    family to be hung out with.

    We’re busy: don’t make us kill you.

    I grant that in some cases it’s our own government’s actions that force
    us into the position of having to learn where Fallujah is
    (answer: who cares?) but that doesn’t alter our underlying sense that
    the whole world should just stop bothering us and let us get back
    to work.

    Said by M. Takhallus in

    Comment by redc1c4 (fb8750) — 6/2/2011 @ 10:18 am

  24. Farreed should be locked in a room with the collected w*rks of PJ O’Rourke, so as to broaden his parochial viewpoint.

    after all, it was PJ who observed this great truism:

    “America wasn’t founded so that we could all be better.
    America was founded so we could all be anything we damned well pleased.”

    Comment by redc1c4 (fb8750) — 6/2/2011 @ 10:30 am

  25. Now EricPW is taking his schtick over to hot air. Someone oughta call out his scuzzyfarka worship over there.

    Comment by DohBiden (15aa57) — 6/2/2011 @ 10:50 am

  26. I’ve never been around when there’s a Hot Air login registration. Seems like those are quite rare.

    Comment by Dustin (c16eca) — 6/2/2011 @ 10:54 am

  27. I don’t know, in this particular clip he seems to be making a reasonable point. The USA constitution isn’t perfect, and it is reasonable to suppose that some improvements could be found by looking at how they do things in other places. Most of the world’s smart people live outside the USA, so there’s no reason to suppose that all worthwhile improvements to our constitution will be invented here. If someone elsewhere comes up with a good idea, and it’s implemented elsewhere and seems to work, then it might be worthwhile considering whether to adopt it here too.

    None of this means we should automatically genuflect to anything that comes from elsewhere!

    Comment by Milhouse (ea66e3) — 6/2/2011 @ 10:54 am

  28. Fareed is like those AGW zealots who fly around on private jets, drive huge cars, have huge homes and whine about energy consumption and greenhouse gasses. They have theirs, but the peons need to change their behavior.


    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/2/2011 @ 10:57 am

  29. I’m not changing my behavior til the dirty socialists stop sending dick photos hither and yither

    Comment by happyfeet (a55ba0) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:14 am

  30. Mr. Feets – Do non-dirty socialist have to stop sending dic pics as well or do we get a pass?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:17 am

  31. And he was in on the Romney thread at Ace.

    Comment by ian cormac (72470d) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:22 am

  32. Mr. Feets – I’ve got a T-shirt tucked away at the bottom of a drawer from my college days that is just dying to come out. People close to me have forbidden me wearing it for years and years. I think the occasion has finally come to grab the camera, drop drawers and don the T-Shirt, which say:


    Then again, perhaps people have been right to advise me against wearing it.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:26 am

  33. here Mr. daley you can come out to Los Angeles for the premiere – probably next year

    Comment by happyfeet (a55ba0) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:33 am

  34. Bob – Do you think it is worse to be unintentionally insulting, and be unaware of why your views are noxious to so many, or simply be intentionally insulting?

    Finally, a hint of self-awareness? I mean, sure toadying to Bob because he’s stereotyped a billion Indians because he worked with a handful of them is ridiculous, but at least you’re starting to sense how you seem to the rest of the world…

    ….which brings us to the rest of the comments from the sort of people who have a problem with the rest of the world.

    Here’s a hint: All of the ideals this country used in its founding came from overseas. We didn’t create anything exceptional in this country; we combined a lot of other people’s ideas into a governing system; one which no other new democracy in history has ever tried to copy (must be because we are different and superior to everyone else!)

    Does it say something to any of you that the Senate of the US is the most dysfunctional governing body in the developed world? Or that our political system spends 3 trillion while only taking in 1.5 trillion and one side screams that one side of the ledger is the problem and the other side says the other one is and neither side will budge?

    That other countries can build infrastructure that works, have lower general and infant mortality rates, do that for less money than we spend, have high speed rail, have internet connections that work, etc? Our political system is sclerotic and rapidly approaching ungovernable and your guy’s response to someone who suggests that the other 93% of humans on the planet might have some insight is to complain he’s smug and start humming Lee Greenwood songs?

    PS Happyfeet, plenty of people have called the US Senate the finest deliberative body in world history, and lord knows, Senators do it themselves constantly. Personally, it’s an anti-democratic tool of oligarchs and needs to go the way of the dinosaur. You start the amendment process there; I’ll get one going here. Only 32 states to go!

    Comment by timb (449046) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:40 am

  35. he’s stereotyped a billion Indians

    timb, read Bob’s comment again. He’s talking about the elite caste of Indians, rather than all Indians.

    You owe him an apology for that one.

    Does it say something to any of you that the Senate of the US is the most dysfunctional governing body in the developed world?

    Does it say something to you that for most of our history, the USA has done very well for herself anyway? It’s almost as though keeping government out of the way is helpful.

    Which state legislature is the least functional? In my experience, it’s Texas’s.

    Comment by Dustin (c16eca) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:45 am

  36. “we combined a lot of other people’s ideas into a governing system; one which no other new democracy in history has ever tried to copy”

    timb – That sounds like something exceptional, which directly contradicts the point you were making. Doh!

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:53 am

  37. 40%of that population is China, which hasn’t had anything resembling democracy ,since around 1925.

    Comment by ian cormac (72470d) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:58 am

  38. Comment by redc1c4 — 6/2/2011 @ 10:18 am
    It’s an interesting post, but I would vehemently disagree with it. Are Americans one of the most parochial people in the world? I don’t think so. Should Americans be as parochial as the poster implied they were? I don’t think so. Or else we would be ignorant enough to justify the elites doing all our thinking for us.

    But I don’t think we are so narrow in our interests. I was done at the local used bookstore this morning, and took him a small pile of books. All of them were used, being people bought them and read them before me:
    L. James: Raj: the Making and Unmaking of British India
    A. Herman: To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World
    M. Rediker: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant seamen, pirates and the Anglo American maritime world, 1700-1750
    B. Lewis: The Muslim Discovery of Europe
    D. Kagan: The Peloponnesian War [the same man wrote a four volume history aimed at scholars; this is a one volume work aimed at normal people)
    D. Staines (translator) The Complete Romances of Chretien de Troyes.
    That doesn't count the two paperbacks by Tim Powers which was what I actually went in to buy. Would the narrowminded, indifferent folks Mr. Takhallus [I'm tempted to make a remark about how representative of the 'silent majority' that name is, but I'll pretend to defeat that temptation] celebrates be interested in any of those books? No, they wouldn’t. But obviously real people around here who can be defined as members of that ‘silent majority’ did.
    BTW, I’m having my usual problem with video embeds. Can anyone point me to a transcript?

    Now, if you excuse me, I have some light summer reading to commence :)

    Comment by kishnevi (9ee373) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:58 am

  39. took him
    took home. Mes regrets, mes amis.

    Comment by kishnevi (9ee373) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:01 pm

  40. that definitely strikes me as hyperbole Mr. tim

    Comment by happyfeet (3c92a1) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:04 pm

  41. timb,
    You put out quite a lot in that one comment; I’ll be happy to address some of it.

    As Dustin noted (thanks by the way), I was speaking of a specific subset of a still hierarchal Indian society, and certainly was not intending to broad-brush all the Indian people.

    In fact, what I mentioned there applies universally to Humans, especially those from societies that are not temporally far removed from past rigid class structures. Furthermore, I increasingly see this kind of behavior here in America, where although we’ve always had different economic strata it was understood that by the very nature of our founding principles that no group of people laid claim to any amount of authority over any others simply by birthright…

    With respect to the Senate, your entitled to your opinion of it’s level of disfunctionality. But I think it’s fair to suggest that part of this stems from Senators sitting for popular election instead of leaving the matter to the individual states; thus Senators are now a kind of “super” at large representatives instead of serving the interests of the individual states as originally intended.

    Higher US infant mortality rates? Many other countries use different definitions, so their’s appear artificially lower.

    High-speed rail? Opinions are mixed regarding whether this would be practical in the US. Indeed, the highly touted Chinese “model” has been revealed to be rife with corruption and must be supported by the government almost wholesale since it will never be able to generate the revenues necessary for it’s operation from domestic fares alone. Much the same reason why private entities aren’t incorporating to provide the service here in the US. If it could turn a profit someone would be doing it. It’s much the same with the high-speed internet…

    But really timb, are you calling me a racist? Because that assertion is as ridiculous as it is insulting.

    Comment by Bob Reed (5f2db5) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:08 pm

  42. We all know you are intentionally insulting and dishonest, timmah. That you feel compelled to repeatedly prove it is confuzzling. Your hate-filled angry screeds never fail to live down to the exceedingly low expectations we have fpor you.

    Comment by JD (306f5d) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:11 pm

  43. Oh, I left one thing out timb,
    Of course you’re right that many of our founding ideals were based on ideas that came from overseas, notwithstanding, of course, any insprirations derived from the Iriquois Confederacy; a shocking oversight, in my opinion, for someone concerned with real diversity :)

    But really, is that at all surprising, considering that many of the people came from overseas as well.

    And you really see the amalgamation of so many ideas, radical at the time, based on the natural rights of man and government by the consent of the people to be decidedly un-exceptional?

    Comment by Bob Reed (5f2db5) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:14 pm

  44. What has happened to my comments?

    Comment by kansas (313837) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:50 pm

  45. Al Jazeera?

    Comment by kansas (313837) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:50 pm

  46. Fareed

    Comment by kansas (313837) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:51 pm

  47. Cenk

    Comment by kansas (313837) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:52 pm

  48. Program does not like word M a r t i n.

    Comment by kansas (313837) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:52 pm

  49. Bashir, Uyghar, and Zakaria shills for Al Jazeera?

    Comment by kansas (313837) — 6/2/2011 @ 12:53 pm

  50. Here, I thought that the US Constitution was perfect and handed down by your holy ancestors and has never been meddled-with since. Now I learn that it might have flaws?

    If only they’d built some way into the Constitution to make changes to it in a legal and orderly way!

    I guess there’s nothing left but REVOLUTION!

    Comment by Pious Agnostic (6048a8) — 6/2/2011 @ 1:01 pm

  51. here’s a story that folks like Farreed should heed, but i doubt they’d get the point:

    There is a story, a joke in some ways, an allegory in others, that dates way back. In it, a British Lord travels to the Frontier West, America in the 1800′s. His horse throws a shoe on the trail, so at the first little frontier town he comes to, he finds a blacksmith’s shop to have the shoe replaced. As he rides up, he sees a large, sweaty, filthy man hammering on a piece of red-hot iron. The Lord sits on his horse, waiting to be served, but the blacksmith doesn’t pay him any attention and continues to work his iron. Finally, the Lord, outraged to have been ignored this way by an obvious servant, dismounts, approaches the ‘smith, and taps the man on the shoulder with his riding crop.

    “You, man!” he barks, “Who is your Master! I wish to have a word with him!”

    The blacksmith turns, looks at the Englishman, spits a stream of tobacco juice on the point of the Lord’s boot and says,

    “That sumbitch ain’t been born.”

    you can get the rest of the article, which relates to the discussion we are having, here.

    Comment by redc1c4 (fb8750) — 6/2/2011 @ 1:32 pm

  52. @kishnevi: i don’t get that he said the average (is there even such a thing?) American is parochial, but that we have an utter indifference to the problems our ancestors left behind that continue to be perpetuated by the ancestors of the idiots who created them in the first place.

    i don’t mind giving someone a hand, but when you keep doing the same stupid thing over and over, yet still expect me to help you every time, yer gonna be SOL about the third time you vapor lock, because by then you’re on your own.

    take that attitude and multiply it across the board and you’ll get the widespread support for welfare to w*rk, and lifetime limits on payments, as well as the opposition to multi-generational occupancy of “public housing”, which ought to be eliminated anyway.

    like the man said “don’t bother me: i’m busy”

    Comment by redc1c4 (fb8750) — 6/2/2011 @ 1:42 pm

  53. Fareed Zakaria’s problem is that he’s thintelligent.

    Comment by deepelemblue (ea26b9) — 6/2/2011 @ 5:11 pm

  54. We didn’t create anything exceptional in this country; we combined a lot of other people’s ideas into a governing system; one which no other new democracy in history has ever tried to copy (must be because we are different and superior to everyone else!)

    Interesting, if simplistic and invalid, interpretation of history.

    Comment by deepelemblue (ea26b9) — 6/2/2011 @ 5:17 pm

  55. we have an utter indifference to the problems our ancestors left behind that continue to be perpetuated by the ancestors of the idiots who created them in the first place

    I read him as saying Americans are indifferent to everything outside the US–they’re not indifferent to the problems–they’re so indifferent they don’t even realize they are problems. And even if he meant what you believe he meant, my experience says he’s wrong.

    average (is there even such a thing?) American

    very good point.

    Comment by kishnevi (e2f253) — 6/2/2011 @ 5:20 pm

  56. Fareed Zakaria: America’s Problem is That We Love Our Constitution Too Much, or Something…

    No, about a dozen or so Americans love Fareed too much to be able to listen critically when he’s spouting idiocy like this.

    Comment by sherlock (62f2cf) — 6/2/2011 @ 8:47 pm

  57. timmah the tool, and Milhouse the milquetoast, are doing their level best to convince you that Zakaria’s none-too-subtle call for the U.S. to embrace Socialism is nuthin’ but a thing.

    Comment by Icy Texan (41af2c) — 6/2/2011 @ 11:23 pm


    someone loves the Constitution

    Comment by EricPWJohnson (9edf59) — 6/3/2011 @ 5:33 am

  59. I think this is the first time I’ve ever been accused of being a milquetoast!

    Comment by Milhouse (ea66e3) — 6/3/2011 @ 4:27 pm

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