Deval Patrick: “It’s a free country. I wish it weren’t, but … it’s a free country”

Revealing. Via the Boston Herald:

Independent gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill blasted Gov. Deval Patrick yesterday for appearing to suggest he wished America wasn’t as free so that last week’s Glenn Beck rally at the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. once spoke would never have happened.

“It’s a free country. I wish it weren’t, but . . . it’s a free country,” Patrick said on the “Jim & Margery Show” on WTKK-FM. “You know, you got to, you got to respect that freedom.”

The comment had Cahill lashing out at his liberal rival.

“It’s pretty unbelievable and typical of the far left,” Cahill told the Herald. “When they don’t like what the other side says, they want to close down free speech.”

Patrick later in the day defended his radio remarks, stressing he has long defended freedom of speech. The governor said he meant that Fox TV host Glenn Beck should not have chosen the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech on its 47th anniversary to hold his “Restoring Honor” rally. The rally was held Saturday.

“I wish they hadn’t chose that place and that day to have that event,” Patrick said. “But it’s a free country. That was my point, and it has to be respected.”

Cahill, who has courted Tea Party followers and appeared on Beck’s show, slammed Patrick for saying the Lincoln Memorial was somehow sacred ground.

“If the governor thought it was OK to build a mosque near Ground Zero, he should think it’s OK for Glenn Beck and other people to speak at the Lincoln Memorial,” Cahill said. “He wants to have it both ways.”

The governor, a former Clinton administration civil rights official, recoiled at the notion he would abridge Beck’s or anyone’s rights.

“I’ve been involved in civil rights for most of my career,” Patrick said.

Hmmm. Well, it sounds like he’s talking about civil rights for liberals, because – if these comments and past remarks are any indication (he once accused Obama critics of being “almost at the level of sedition“) – then he is not very tolerant of viewpoints that aren’t in line with his own, to the point of bemoaning the fact that his opponents have the right to express those opinions in the first place.

These days, Patrick is what is unfortunately coming to be known as the “typical liberal.” As far as “dissent being patriotic”? Well, that popular liberal rallying cry got tossed out the window the moment Barack Obama was sworn in as President.

Ed Morrissey has the audio of Patrick’s comments.

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