Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is the latest Democrat to suggest that opponents of President Obama may be committing sedition:
Patrick said that even "on my worst day, when I’m most frustrated about folks who seem to rooting for failure," he doesn't face anything like the opposition faced by the president.
"It seems like child’s play compared to what is going on in Washington, where it is almost at the level of sedition, it feels to like me,” Patrick said.
Merriam-Webster.com, the dictionary site, defines sedition as "incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.''
With his sweeping language about "what is going on Washington" as "almost at the level of sedition," Patrick implicitly suggested that Congressional Republicans and their allies were engaging in treasonous behavior by criticizing Obama harshly and opposing his agenda.
Patrick later tried to walk back his statement:
After the forum, Patrick explained his remarks.
“I think that the number of people in the Grand Old Party who seem to be absolutely committed to saying ‘no,' whenever he says ‘yes,’ no matter what it is, even if it’s an idea that they came up with, is just extraordinary,” the governor told reporters after the forum.
But did the opposition really border on sedition?
“That was a rhetorical flourish,” Patrick said.
Nonetheless, Patrick joins Salon's Joan Walsh, Obama counterterrorism official John Brennan (here and here), New York Times columnist Frank Rich, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera, and Time's Joe Klein on the list of pundits and officials who have likened criticism of the president to treasonous behavior.
Patrick's language particularly echoes Klein, who described a statement by Senator Tom Coburn as "borderline sedition," said some Fox News programming "borders on sedition," and called statements by Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and others "right up close to being seditious."
I've added Patrick's comments to my timeline of attacks on dissent against President Obama.