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4/8/2009
GLENN BECK AND THE RADICAL RIGHT

I hope you will forgive me in advance because this is one of those posts where I’m not exactly sure what I want to say but will know it when I eat it.

I know this drives most of you batty because this is one of those issues where I don’t stake out a position immediately and defend it to the last extremity. Most of the time, I prefer ideas to percolate a while, age a bit like a fine wine (or, my detractors might say like rancid beef). I like to play the angles on most issues because there is always more than one side to any argument and usually more than two sides. The world is not an “either/or” proposition and if that makes me a squish on some issues, so be it. The bane of my existence has been my meager academic record and loving parents who insisted their children learn how to think rather than make academic achievement an end unto itself. To ensure this, they exposed the 10 of us children to an extraordinary array of philosophers, historians, poets, essayists, novelists, and humorists who looked at the world from every possible angle. From Marx, to Montesquieu, to Mad Magazine, my dad’s library was a playhouse for the mind, and an enriching experience for the soul.

None of that plays well on the internet (or, these days, among most conservatives) as my dwindling number of blog readers and ever more strident critics never let me forget. But lest you take this for a whine, fear not. I am content to do as I have been doing for going on 5 years - wake up every day and write what I want, and share my thinking on whatever catches my fancy. And right now, I have bosses that put up with my apostasy and stand behind me - at some cost, I might add, as I have no doubt both American Thinker and Pajamas Media have lost some readership because I have pissed so many off. I am grateful for their support (and the continuation of my paychecks) which for the time being, allows me a freedom of expression that should be the envy of any political writer on either side of the divide.

Today, it is the critique by the left that somehow, the radical right has captured the conservative movement and, by extension, the Republican party. Liberals have temporarily abandoned the idea of trying to make Rush Limbaugh the leader of the conservatives and the GOP because Mr. Limbaugh has failed to cooperate by not being very radical lately or at least, loony tunes radical which is the standard by which the left wants to establish in people’s minds when they look at the right.

Instead, they have focused on another pop conservative in Glenn Beck, a big time talk radio host and a budding star on Fox News. Mr. Beck is the kind of “conservative leader” I warned about in this post when I wondered whether tapping into populist rage by stoking the rhetorical fires was such a good idea:

The inevitable populist backlash is predictable. The problem is that mass movements based on populist rage have generally led to untoward and unanticipated consequences. History is littered with these populist outbreaks - especially those that happen as a result of great cultural and economic changes being enacted by a perceived elite. The last major populist movement in America was George Wallace’s candidacy in 1968 (to a much lesser extent in 1964 and 72) that saw the Alabama governor get an astonishing 13.5% of the vote and carry 5 states in the general election. Wallace tapped into the rage and fear being felt by white, working class men who felt threatened (thanks to Wallace’s sneering, bigoted rhetoric) by African American agitation for equality. Nixon and the GOP then mainstreamed the tactic albeit using much more subtle language and even Clinton got into the act with his famous “Sister Souljah Moment,” assuring whites he wouldn’t pander to black racists like Jesse Jackson (Clinton is the only Democrat since JFK to carry any states of the traditional “Deep South.).

Tapping in to the rage of taxpayers by exploiting their fears then, would almost certainly result in unanticipated problems for the GOP. But beyond that, is this the way the Republicans wish to return to power? The Rovian strategy of using wedge issues to cleave the electorate over gay marriage, abortion, and other social issues got Republicans elected but also sowed the seeds of their own destruction. By the time 2008 rolled around, those wedge issues had lost their potency and there was ample evidence of a backlash by center-right and center-left moderates against the GOP and their perceived intolerance. It was Obama who exploited this backlash by promising to govern based on not what divides us but by what unites us. His “post partisan” message - a campaign gimmick we know now - resonated powerfully with the center who had tired of the back biting and poisonous partisan atmosphere in Washington and longed for “change.”

(Side note: Many commenters mentioned Ross Perot’s third party insurgency as the last “populist” uprising which is true to a certain extent but hardly compares to the fear and rage present in 1968 or today.)

I know many conservatives adore Glenn Beck. He has an everyman demeanor and an obvious deep and abiding love of America which serves as a tonic for many on the right in these sometimes depressing times. I wouldn’t call him thougtful but he is not without brains and appears to prep very well for his radio and TV shows.

But Glenn Beck is also something of a kook. Back in March, he claimed that he had been doing “research” on the so-called “internment camps” where first, liberals claimed the government was making ready for them and now some conspiracy minded conservatives believe Obama is preparing for the right (Don’t you wish the government would make up its mind?). He made the statement that he couldn’t “debunk” the story and added, “”If you have any fear that we might be heading toward a totalitarian state, look out. There is something happening in our country and it ain’t good.”

I don’t care where you are on the ideological spectrum, anyone who believes we may be headed for dictatorship is a loon. I could agree with that last statement but when it is preceded by such a fantastically ridiculous notion that Obama and the Democrats are going to cancel elections, or disband the Supreme Court, or initiate other actions that would be necessary to turn this country in a totalitarian haven, any rational American has to ask if this fellow isn’t a couple of shakes short of a martini. I was relieved to hear that he brought in a writer from Popular Mechanics to debunk the FEMA camp story recently but that doesn’t change the fact that Beck lacks the ability to think rationally.

Of course, that’s not the only thing Beck has said over the years. Asking Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim:

And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, “Sir, prove to me that you are not working with our enemies.”

And I know you’re not. I’m not accusing you of being an enemy, but that’s the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.

Beck can say that he loves Muslims all he wants and it won’t change the fact that asking that question brands him as a bigoted kook. We gave up on religious tests at the same time we ratified the Constitution. Conservatives who don’t see a problem with the way Beck “feels” about asking that question - admitting his own prejudice and ignorance - I say for shame. It is no different than asking John F. Kennedy if he could be a “loyal American” and a Catholic at the same time, referring to a Catholic’s supposed allegiance to the Vatican. It is a monumental insult and, at bottom, anti-American. Ellison himself may be something of a crackpot but to place him on the same plane as Bin Laden is irrational.

Here’s an exchange with another problem pop conservative Chuck Norris on Beck’s radio show:

GLENN: Somebody asked me this morning, they said, you really believe that there’s going to be trouble in the future. And I said, if this country starts to spiral out of control and, you know, and Mexico melts down or whatever, if it really starts to spiral out of control, before America allows a country to become a totalitarian country, which it would have under I think the Republicans as well in this situation; they were taking us to the same place, just slower.

NORRIS: It was slower, yeah.

GLENN: Americans will, they just, they won’t stand for it. There will be parts of the country that will rise up. And they said, where’s that going to come from? And I said Texas, it’s going to come from Texas. Do you agree with that, Chuck, or not?

NORRIS: Oh, yeah. You know, Texas is a republic, you know. We could actually —

GLENN: It was a country before it was a state.

NORRIS: Yeah, we could break off from the union if we wanted to.

GLENN: You do, you call me.

NORRIS: Oh, yeah.

GLENN: Seriously, you do. I don’t mind having that lone star on my flag. I really don’t mind it. I’ve been out with a seam ripper looking at my flag going, I don’t know, California could go. I’m just saying —

I listened to this audio and these guys weren’t joking around. They were dead serious. Well, Norris seemed to be having a little fun at Beck’s expense. But even if you think Beck was joking around, the way he said it would give most of his listeners the idea that he was serious.

Now, if someone wants to make a case that this was a rational, reasoned response to our current crisis, I would first put you in a padded room and then give you some crayons to play with. Perhaps one of things that attracts many fringe righties to Beck is that often, he appears to be barely under control, as if powerful emotions have a hold of him and only with a mighty, conscious effort is he able to keep from erupting into spasms of emotive irrationality. This plays well especially on TV where Beck has been reduced to near tears several times when contemplating what America is becoming.

Now, there are plenty of other instances where Beck has gone off the deep end - at least according to the left. The examples above were ones that I tried to thoroughly research because the effort underway on the left to discredit conservatives includes the long time liberal strategy of telling one and all exactly what conservatives are thinking - even when they’re not. This piece in Politico is an example of how the left “interprets” conservatives:

The Republicans find themselves caught between two countervailing forces: the need to craft a policy agenda that appeals to middle-class Americans and the need to maintain the support of an angry base of voters that is alienated from, and suspicious of, the new president.

Beck, who with no sense of irony favorably compares himself to Howard Beale, is taking the latter course — with a vengeance. While Democrats have sought to tie Republicans to Rush Limbaugh, his attacks are tame compared with those of Beck, who spoke recently of creeping fascism as visuals of Nazi rallies played behind him. His occasionally unhinged attacks of strung-together nonsequiturs about the evils of Big Government provide little in the way of constructive solutions to the country’s vast problems. But this is also true of what we are hearing from Republican leaders.

The author of this piece is a former Dodd speechwriter and a fellow at the New America Institute, a think tank with a decided lefty tilt. Don’t you love the way he characterizes Beck’s attacks as “unhinged?” Not all are, of course. It’s just that Mr. Cohen happens to love Big Government and hence, any attack on it by definition is “unhinged.”

So too the liberal’s idea of “far right” which usually places someone referred to as such somewhere to the left of David Brooks. Suffice it to say, allowing the left to define conservatives and try to discredit them by marginalizing even mainstream righties is a breeze when kooks like Glenn Beck give them fodder for their critiques almost every day.

Stacey McCain:

So there seems to be a certain sort of bipartisan consensus that the GOP is now fully committed to pandering to Buchananites, Birchers, goldbugs, gun nuts, Paulistas and sundry fringe types, and yet . . . I dunno. I’m not feeling the love here.

Do any of my fellow right-wing extremists share this perception? You there — reloading your 7.62 ammo in the Idaho cabin while listening to the short-wave militia broadcast — do you feel as if you’re now part of the woof and weave of the GOP tapestry?

How is it that Charles Johnson and Christopher Orr both think Glenn Beck (whose Fox show I’ve never watched, BTW) represents the camel’s nose in the tent, a dangerous intrusion of crackpottery into the Republican mainstream, while the genuine wingnuts still feel as ostracized and alienated as ever? Is this a consensus or . . . a conspiracy?

The reason that the fringe still feels alienated is because people like Beck are making a living by playing to those feelings and fears, stoking the fire that manifests itself in feelings of helplessness and anger. I don’t buy Cohen’s thesis but at the same time, you cannot ignore the rise of people like Beck whose fantasies about Obama and the Democrats trying to turn this country into a socialist nation (or Communist) rather than implement a far left liberal agenda; or confiscate weapons instead of infringing the rights of gun owners through draconian legislation and regulations; or permanently appropriating auto and financial companies instead of bailing them out and imposing stifling rules that will make them less competitive — all are serious and undermine our liberties and the free market but are so far from “totalitarianism” as to not be believable. There are rational critiques of everything Obama is doing without having to resort to exaggeration, hyperbole, and simple looniness. I wish Beck and others would realize that.

Of course, rational criticism don’t pay the bills in this day and age so the more dire you can make the situation sound, the more eager people will be to tune you in and revel in their own feelings of betrayal. By listening or watching Beck, people know that like minded patriots are experiencing the same fears and frustrations that they are, making those who tune in part of a community. We saw this exact same phenomena during the Bush years with the left and the widespread belief in a draft; in “another 9/11″ in order to cancel the election of both 2006 and 2008; in the almost weekly “We’re going to invade Iran” rumors; and, of course, the usual black helicopter and FEMA camp nonsense. Hofstadter was right. The “First Party System” - where the party out of power believes the other party will destroy the country - is alive and well in America.

Beck worries me. Conservatives worry me. I worry about myself. I feel trapped in a huge ball of cotton, trying gamely to make my way out but don’t know which direction to start pushing. I am losing contact with those conservatives who find Beck anything more than a clown - and an irrational one at that. Same goes for those who worship at the altar of Rush, Hannity, Coulter, and the whole cotton candy conservative crowd. I can’t take those people seriously. The fact that they are popular mystifies me. Our heroes 20 years ago were Reagan, Buckley, Kirkpatrick, Kirk, Goldwater, Martin Anderson, and others who didn’t see conservatism as a meal ticket but as something to think about, to write about and contemplate man’s place in the world and his relationship to government and God.

Is it really a question of elites versus the rest? I hardly think my little blog catapults me into that exclusive club. Maybe I’m too old. Maybe I’m too stuck in my ways. Perhaps I have stagnated while the rest of the conservative movement has gone on without me. As I said at the beginning, I don’t know. I just don’t know.

UPDATE

How do I know that many who visit this site have the reading comprehension skills of a three toed sloth?

Three or four comments already informing me that Beck recently had on a writer from Popular Mechanics to debunk the FEMA camp conspiracy theory. Guess they missed this above:

I was relieved to hear that he brought in a writer from Popular Mechanics to debunk the FEMA camp story recently but that doesn’t change the fact that Beck lacks the ability to think rationally.

Now the rest of you don’t have to tell me what I’ve already written.

By: Rick Moran at 9:05 am
151 Responses to “GLENN BECK AND THE RADICAL RIGHT”
  1. 1
    E L Frederick Said:
    9:35 am 

    I agree comepletly Rick. Somehow the nutroots has moved from being the kooky left to being the kooky-right. It’s a movement that has left me boggled and vomiting.

    Excellent post, thank you.

  2. 2
    7.62mm Justice Trackbacked With:
    9:45 am 

    Rick Moran on the Radical Right…

    The reason that the fringe still feels alienated is because people like Beck are making a living by playing to those feelings and fears, stoking the fire that manifests itself in feelings of helplessness and anger
    ……

  3. 3
    lorien1973 Said:
    10:16 am 

    Nom nom nom. Eating your own is delicious.

    Does Glenn Beck being a kook affect you in any way?

    Did Andrew Sullivan and others promoting “Trig is Bristol’s child” affect them in any way? Not to mention the other insanities that were perpetrated for 8 years.

    No. So who cares. If he’s a kook, let him be one. No one is forced to listen.

  4. 4
    lorien1973 Said:
    10:17 am 

    Also, I believe Beck was debunking the FEMA camp thing, too.

  5. 5
    sonofdy Said:
    10:22 am 

    Beck debunked the fema camp junk.

    He is just the next target of the radical left. He has actualy quite a good record of predicting what the radical left government will do.

  6. 6
    Jimmy Said:
    10:24 am 

    You know the conservative movement is more or less extreme/fringe when an intellectual critique of one of its more cartoonish leaders must be prepended with three paragraphs of apologizing for making said critique.

    RIP conservative thought (keyword thought).

    It was a personal digression which was the reason for my apology. That and the fact that the post is a little muddled as is my thinking on the issue. I made no apologies for my beliefs. (”If that makes me something of a squish, so be it.”)

    Maybe you should like, you know, learn to read before burying conservatism.

    ed.

  7. 7
    applebutter Said:
    10:26 am 

    What scares me is that Beck scares you. As lorien1973 said, nobody’s being forced to watch.

    You seem to fear the condemnation of Beck by the left. What he says has no bearing on what you say. You may be painted with Beck’s brush, but you have to consider who’s doing the painting. They aren’t going to use flowery language to describe you in any event.

    The idea of the GOP as a big tent party may very well be dead. But it’s not the conservatives that killed it, it’s ‘centrists’ who think the whole tent needs to be picked up and dragged to the left.

    Perception plays a big role in politics. Not caring what voters think of the party or conservatism may be brave and courageous but it will also lead to electoral disaster. Plus, I can’t believe that even though he is popular, that Beck and others like him speak for a majority of conservatives out there - judging by what I hear and read. If so, my mistake.

    ed.

  8. 8
    blainemono Said:
    10:28 am 

    Glenn Beck, was waiting for the guy at popular mechanics to do an in depth analysis of the camp myths like they did for the 9-11 truthers myths. that show was aired recently. Beck’s show reported that the only actuall camp intended for political prisoners the myths were reporting was actually in North Korea.

  9. 9
    jackson1234 Said:
    10:33 am 

    Sorry, this is one rabbit hole I won’t go down very far. Let’s stipulate Beck is a nutter. So what? Keith Olbermann is a psychotic. So what? Rachel Maddow is a nutter. So what? Chris Matthews has lost all rationality and also has become a nutter. Again, so what?

    Until I see the Left taxed about Olbermann claiming Dick Cheney had death squads or Chris Matthews shouting down Michelle Malkin or—well, suffice it to say I won’t get taxed. Neither should you. As for the alleged incitement to violence, I submit Al Gore has unintentionally incited more domestic violence via eco-terrorists than all the left-wing and right-wing talk show and radio hosts combined. And even to that point–so what?

  10. 10
    Sam Said:
    10:34 am 

    Call Beck all the names you want and say he’s the kook conservative leader. He’s not. He’s and entertainer/informer on a news popular channel. He only stokes the stupids that can’t think for themselves. I like Beck because to me he seems genuine. He is also funny. You spent waaaaaay to much time obsessing about him. Write about something different. I’m tired of all these bloggers dogging Beck because he is popular right now. You bloggies didn’t say jack about him when he was on HNN. He was saying the same things in the same way. Get over yourselves. Ridiculous…..

  11. 11
    Jay Said:
    10:37 am 

    Beck is serving a purpose though by drawing needed attention to a large segment of our country who aren’t buying the whole hope and change BS.I agree he is also making us all look a little kookier than we really are:).We need to redefine what is important, if a side show hawker is the beginning of a conservative awakening then I’m for it.Showbiz worked for the dusky hooligan in office now, didn’t it? You write very well,keep up the good work.

  12. 12
    Gary Brudner Said:
    10:37 am 

    I listen to Obamas speeches so i can be INFORMED if i disagree. What ISSUES, SPECIFICALLY, do you disagree with Beck? Have you ever listened to him? How about discussing this in the area of ideas NOT PERSONAL DESTRUCTION! Do you think that our borders should be open? or we can for the first time in the history of the world, that we can spend ourselves out of a recession? or that when over 600 scientist say the earth is actually cooling, Gore calls them the same as Holocaust deniers? Facts or personal destruction, OPEN YOUR MIND before it is too late…

  13. 13
    aplo Said:
    10:38 am 

    Your intellectual elitism is showing!

  14. 14
    Jaibones Said:
    10:38 am 

    It was Obama who exploited this backlash by promising to govern based on not what divides us but by what unites us. His “post partisan” message - a campaign gimmick we know now - resonated powerfully with the center who had tired of the back biting and poisonous partisan atmosphere in Washington and longed for “change.” ________________________________________________________________________

    Well, Rick, it’s statements like this that earn you diminished credibility and readership. Guys like me have been pointing this out since day one of the Obama propaganda campaign, people who live in the Illinois that couldn’t have given a shit what Obama said or did literally up to the moment that his sponsors at the Chicago Tribune removed his GOP Senate opponent from the race. Up until then, no one had ever heard of him; he was a non-entity.

    Well swishes like you “may know now” but conservatives with functioning brains knew it then. Who gives a crap what Beck talks about? He’s not running for office. You’d do well to ask Eric Cantor and 84 other House “Republicans” wtf they’re doing voting to tax a handful of private citizens at 90% in order to steal their personal income - because it offends them.

    Focus on the problem, not some clown on tv. The problem is that middle of the road voters see zero difference between a segment of the GOP and the sickening, socialist Democrats. That, my friend, is a fucking problem worth writing about, not your Dad’s copy of the Communist Manifesto.

  15. 15
    Mike Said:
    10:41 am 

    Hmm….this seems to be much ado about nothing. Glenn most certainly has some kooky sound bites. The underlying theme, however is that the federal government is, and has been, increasing in power and size, necessitating a reduction in the freedom of the people. The direction that we have been going for quite some time is one that is distasteful, and a bit scary to us right wing kooks. Us nuts that want to be trusted to care for ourselves and our own without government intervention. We want to have the government actually live within its constitutionally defined limits.

    The thing that startles people is the idea of us owning guns. The idea that it’s possible (it’s not really) that we’ll rise up and fight the feds.

    You can say all you want about Glen’s kookiness, but no matter the existence of Glenn, there will always be liberal, big government types that will find plenty of fodder to paint us as dangerous, backwards and ignorant. I can do the same for them, I just won’t get the air time. Don’t add to theirs.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

  16. 16
    Mark S Said:
    10:42 am 

    WOW - you could not be more wrong.

    Re: FEMA camps. Beck originally dismissed it on his radio show, but the calls wouldn’t stop. He then mentioned it to Ron Paul on his TV show in a dismissive “you don’t believe this” question, and Paul told Glenn to not simply ignore it because there was something to it. Beck was taken aback and then announced he was going to get to the bottom of it, hence the past two nights of debunking the idea with the aide of Popular Mechanics.

    Glenn is not stoking any fires. He’s been doing this for years and you’re stunned that someone could come along and upset your perceived apple cart so quickly. Is he melodramatic, yeah. But I’ll take that over Brooks whiny schoolboy, Noonan’s affected poise or Friedman’s wannabe hipster lingo.

  17. 17
    Eddie Said:
    10:42 am 

    You know whats funny? So called conservatives being frightened by the truth. All one needs to do is open their eyes. If you can truly look at what the liberals are doing to our country and then say you’re frightened by a conservative pointing out what is happening then I really feel sorry for you. Wake the hell up!

  18. 18
    Jeff Said:
    10:45 am 

    “We gave up on religious tests at the same time we ratified the Constitution”?!! Is that why Mitt Romney was tarred and feathered by the media during the Republican Primary for being a Mormon? Just about everything you spun bunnies say about conservatives, really is a reflection of the secret & blatant combinations of the left.

  19. 19
    Newagegop Said:
    10:45 am 

    Ya know all the folks that founded conservatism Buckley, Reagan ect. are simply being repeated by the Becks and Rushs of the world. I just don’t hear conservatism from our puppets in Washington anymore. The talk shows exist because so few in power actually promote conservative ideas.

    As far as the doomsday theories of Beck, the only reason Obama won’t take our guns is because we won’t let him not because he doesn’t want to. Pointing out the fasicist/commie tendencies of liberals is vital because it is true. They seek a government master for all of us.

  20. 20
    ILona E Said:
    10:45 am 

    Amazing that you spent so much time writing about someone you feel isn’t worthy. Turn the channel if you don’t like what you see or hear.

    I enjoy Glenn Beck because he is very good at explaining complex ideas in a way that most people can understand. He loves his county - SO DO I.

    We are being lied to by the Left constantly and it’s taking us down a path of larger government and overwhelming debt. We now have a President that BOWS TO THE KING OF SAUDI ARABIA. A country that spawned several of the terrorists that took down the World Trade Towers.

    God help us through this nightmare of the World’s Most Arrogant Narcissist.

  21. 21
    icu812 Said:
    10:47 am 

    Dear neighbor,

    If it were not for Beck another “kook” would take his place. If Beck is a kook, than its obvious that our country’s forefathers were also loony according to your standards.

    Didn’t they also say that if government fails that we have an obligation to dissolve government?

    I don’t believe that this government has failed us, yet. But I do believe that if we continue down this road that Progressive Liberals have paved then we will one day complete that “march to Socialism” as Beck put it.

    Am I a sheep because I listen to Beck? Am I being programmed by the extremists?

    Would a sheep have an understanding of human nature. Does a sheep have free-will? Does a sheep have knowledge about history and has learned from past other government’s mistakes and successes?

    I am a Conservative because I know and accept the foundations of what makes a society civil, and so does many others.

    Maybe I am being too bold, but if Glenn Beck were a Roman slave, you would find many other slaves, including myself, screaming that they were Spartacus too.

  22. 22
    Sapwolf Said:
    10:54 am 

    Extremism in the defense of liberty is no extreme.

    Didn’t Goldwater say that?

    I’m sorry, but I’m an educated conservative and Beck and his show are a barrel of fun.

    Seriously though, the way Obama is tacking very hard left with the Dems in Congress, it is only a matter of time before things get out of hand.

    Beck merely has the radar pointed in that direction and he is picking up the begginning signals.

    I would ask people to study other countries where things went chaotic like Argentina, many African countries, Mexico, etc.

    It could happen here too. Not likely in the near future, but could down the road if we continue to destroy the economies ability to generate enough GDP to pay our debts and provide enough wealth for Americans to survive.

    Freedom and liberty take maintenance every now and then.

    Don’t be so afraid all the time. Lighten up while we still can and watch Beck with his hilarious schtick.

  23. 23
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    10:57 am 

    Beck can say that he loves Muslims all he wants and it won’t change the fact that asking that question brands him as a bigoted kook. We gave up on religious tests at the same time we ratified the Constitution. Conservatives who don’t see a problem with the way Beck “feels” about asking that question - admitting his own prejudice and ignorance - I say for shame. It is no different than asking John F. Kennedy if he could be a “loyal American” and a Catholic at the same time, referring to a Catholic’s supposed allegiance to the Vatican. It is a monumental insult and, at bottom, anti-American. Ellison himself may be something of a crackpot but to place him on the same plane as Bin Laden is irrational.

    Absolutely awesome, Rick.

  24. 24
    Outlander Said:
    11:00 am 

    Few comments:

    1. Rick, do not insult the three-toed sloth. The three-toed sloth is a rarer breed of sloth found typically in Costa Rica. It’s fuzzy and cute. What did it do to you? :)

    2. Beck worries me because he has the potential to mainstream kooky-fringe stuff like the FEMA concentration camp story. The UFO people and the tin-foil hat crowd are so preposterous that their fringey ideas don’t get taken seriously. Beck is amiable enough that people could get suckered into believing that stuff.

    The worst thing that could happen to the right in this country is to have any significant percentage of conservatives start to seriously believe that Obama is going to be the next Stalin. This country was seriously hurt by the fact that so many Democrats honestly believed that: (a) 9/11 was an inside job; (b) Bush invaded Iraq to get oil or to avenge a Saddam assassination plot; (c) the PATRIOT Act and warrantless wiretapping were done to persecute liberals and muslims; and (d) Bush “stole” both the 2000 and 2004 elections. We must break the cycle of crazy. Our movement and our country depend on it.

  25. 25
    michael reynolds Said:
    11:02 am 

    Rick:

    No, you’re not “too old” you’re afflicted by rationality. You actually believe there should be some connection between reality and your opinions. This is heresy.

    I’ll repeat what I’ve said here before: conservatism and the GOP are both in very, very deep trouble. Neither shows any signs of working through problems. Conservatives haven’t gone into exile to rethink, retool and re-emerge, they’ve gone fetal. They sit muttering angrily, the crazy street people of politics, raging at phantoms.

    The danger is not primarily from armed right-wing nut-jobs — we have cops and prisons for those people. The danger is that we will have no ideological counterweight in this country, that we will become de facto (not de jure) a one party nation, at least for a while. Right now conservatives and the GOP aren’t even in the game. We need a two party system, and the two parties cannot be Democrats and Loonies.

  26. 26
    memomachine Said:
    11:02 am 

    Hmmmm.

    Yup nothing changed here. Moving on.

  27. 27
    Carol Said:
    11:03 am 

    I certainly don’t agree with Glenn on all things, however, on this FEMA camp thing. It started because he angrily hung up on a caller who brought them up because he thought it was looney-toon talk. His sidekick, Stu, called him out for being “rude”, and he started one of his notorious rants on how he was so tired of all this FEMA camp talk, and how getting info from the Internet was not “research.” By the end of the rant, he committed to a thorough investigation and would report back.

  28. 28
    FedUp Said:
    11:03 am 

    I have to admit to being a disenfranchised Republican. I watch Beck and agree with a lot that he has to say since he is basically mirroring what I think. I am a Christian Conservative who is deeply concerned about our country. We have an empty-suit ninny who has no clue about running a country. All he cares about is fame and adulation. He can’t even do his own dirty work, he’s letting President Pelosi do that.

    Tell me that you don’t believe that the dems are doing all they can to grab all the power they can (timmy geithner comes to mind)and to shred the Constitution every chance they get.

    Now, since I’m new here, could you please just give me an idea of who you believe to be speaking the truth to America?

  29. 29
    Dale Said:
    11:03 am 

    I listened to Beck for a while years ago, and decided he was too much of a whack job to listen to. I watched his TV show a couple times and it seems tamer. But there is no reason to ignore his seemier side. I am more aligned with Jeff Goldstein than your more moderate postings, but keep calling them as you see them and I’ll keep reading them.

  30. 30
    Will Said:
    11:04 am 

    Your being disingenuous. If you had just waited to post this article, you would have seen that he went through the “FEMA camp” theory and debunked it. But you just hope that no one who reads you would have noticed it. He said he was researching it and he debunked with popular mechanics editor James Meigs.

  31. 31
    jason Said:
    11:07 am 

    i’m just curious if there was a point to this post? you don’t like him change the station/channel. i know it’s hard for some people to understand why glenn is nuts, BUT, he tells you he’s nuts.

  32. 32
    Carolynn Said:
    11:12 am 

    Glen Beck is the same person he was on CNN and his radio show. People are now just waking up to Beck because he is exploding on Fox.

    I don’t consider myself some on the kook fringe and I don’t miss an episode of Beck. I love it when he sticks it to Obama. I love when Rush and Hannity stick to the Drive by Media and this administration as well.

    Who on Capitol Hill is even listening anymore? Where do you here them standing up for the ” Forgotten Man”?

    Why do Conservatives eat their own? Can you even imagine a Liberal coming down on the evening line up of MSNBC?

    If conservatives have something to say, kook or not, we do believe in free speech - dont we?

  33. 33
    Tom Said:
    11:12 am 

    Conservatism is a joke. Just reading the comments on Hot Air.com, which linked to this article, proves that Republicans are absolutely hypocritical when it comes to “cults”.

    All we ever heard during the campaign was how Obama voters were supposedly a “cult”. Cult, my ass. The only political cults today are the conservative commentator cults, such as that of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, who can do no wrong.

    You guys are a joke. The Democratic Party controls Congress, the White House, most state legislatures and governors’ mansions.

    What do you have? Fox News. ROFL.

    Pwned.

    To actually have the stupidity to annoint yourself the judge of whether I or anyone on this thread has been “pwned” says more about your enormously inflated opinion of your own abilities than it does about anything that you’ve actually written - which is about as ignorant a comment ever left here.

    ed.

  34. 34
    Eddie Said:
    11:16 am 

    How do I know that many who visit this site have the reading comprehension skills of a three toed sloth?

    Three or four comments already informing me that Beck recently had on a writer from Popular Mechanics to debunk the FEMA camp conspiracy theory. Guess they missed this above:

    I was relieved to hear that he brought in a writer from Popular Mechanics to debunk the FEMA camp story recently but that doesn’t change the fact that Beck lacks the ability to think rationally.

    Now the rest of you don’t have to tell me what I’ve already written.

    Really? The people that visit this site have the comprehension of a three toed sloth?
    Read your own quote genius. On the one hand you are relieved that Beck had on the writer from Popular Mechanics to debunk the FEMA camp story and in the very same sentence you’re saying Beck lacks the ability to think rationally.Which is it? Because having an expert debunk the story sounds pretty rational to me. I suggest that you check yourself into liberals anonymous, because suggesting that someone is somehow crazy for pointing out the truth is right out of the liberal handbook. Oh and by the way you don’t quite get the appeal of someone like Ann Coulter? Try checking out her writing thats where the appeal is. Also try to debunk any of the facts she puts into her writing. Do some research it might open up a whole new world to you, you may actually learn something.I’ll issue you a challenge read anything she has written and tell me just one falsehood that she’s said. I wont hold my breath…

  35. 35
    RSS Said:
    11:18 am 

    Lighten up Rick. No need to be scared of conservatives. The ones you should be scared of have total power in our government now and also those who run the MSM and squeal like girls and raise their skirts when the Maximum Leader is around.

  36. 36
    Bride of Rove Said:
    11:19 am 

    Are you completely high? Beck is a self avowed Libertatian. He is an entertainer. He has a staff of dozens whose entire world is researching the hell out of every whackado idea, piece of history and tidbit of interesting news that comes across Beck’s desk and he crafts one hell of an entertaining show every day - a show that kids enjoy. He says himself not to take his word as gospel.

    What he does is, make stuff interesting enough to get the audience researching for themselves. He presents interesting authors and books most people wouldn’t read on a bat and people read them. He starts the conversation.

    He’s not a Republican. He doesn’t represent the Republican party.

  37. 37
    Bride of Rove Said:
    11:20 am 

    Pardon typos. Multi-tasking never works out well with a cat on the desk.

    Heh - does the cat agree with me?

    ed.

  38. 38
    Jude Said:
    11:22 am 

    Well spake, Mr. Moran.

    We could, I suppose, all hope for the better Beck to emerge but it is, after all, television.

    Now, let me go looking for that thoughtful left wing critique of Keith Olbermann who, of course, makes Glenn Beck look like Erasmus.

  39. 39
    John Said:
    11:22 am 

    Listening to Beck about a decade ago on radio, when he was just starting to get stations to sign up for his syndicated program, he seemed to be someone groping for a distinct identity in the (by then well-established) conservative talk radio universe. He knew the general template, but he was trying to figure a way to break out of the back behind Limbaugh and establish his own distinct voice.

    On the positive side, he didn’t go the Michael Savage route (Savage having try to mimic Bob Grant, something Mark Levin is doing more successfully right now). But listening to Beck then versus Beck today, I still think he’s more of a right/populist poseur than someone who’s truly nuts. Sort of a more mellow version of Morton Downey Jr., who knew there was money to be made from tapping into the market for conservative talk, and played one on TV just before Limbaugh’s show went national.

    Basically, I think Beck’s in it more for Beck than he is for any bedrock core beliefs, and like Downey is becoming more aggressive and careless with his recent success. If he crashes and burns a year or two from now, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least; nor would him coming out 2-3 years after the fact as far less of a radical right person than the one he’s currently playing weekdays on Fox News.

  40. 40
    Chris Jones Said:
    11:24 am 

    I really don’t get why everyone keeps pointing to the FEMA camps conspiracy as evidence that Glenn Beck is a kook. He has thoroughly debunked the FEMA camp story with that guy from Popular Mechanics who debunked the 9/11 conspiracy. Beck never said he believed the FEMA story, he simply said he wanted to find the truth once and for all. He spent the last two days saying he’s found the truth and the truth is that it’s all BS.

  41. 41
    Voidseeker Said:
    11:28 am 

    For someone that “prefer[s] ideas to percolate a while, age a bit like a fine wine” may I suggest actually putting in some effort, ingredients? I am amused by critics of Glenn Beck, who has been growing in popularity for 8 years, that are just now trying to “warn” the country about him.

    It is beyond laughable due to the shallow research and lack of any personal exposure to the Glenn Beck program that is obvious in the writing.

    Feel free to keep reading Media Matter or whatever else came up in Google and the rest of us will go ahead and actually listen/watch Glenn for ourselves. I would suggest trying it sometime, for a great length of time. You would sound just a little less ignorant.

    Want an example: “The fact that they are popular mystifies me. Our heroes 20 years ago were Reagan, Buckley, Fitzpatrick, Kirk, Goldwater, Anderson, and others who didn’t see conservatism as a meal ticket but as something to think about, to write about and contemplate man’s place in the world and his relationship to government and God.”

    Meal ticket? 20 year old heroes? Glenn Beck was saying the same things is saying now years ago, back when Bush was in office, and his ratings were going DOWN. He was warning about the stock market hitting 7K when it was 14K - people called him crazy. He was talking about how BOTH parties are going against the Founding Fathers goals and the Constitution they enacted - back when it was an R in the Oval office. Glenn Beck is sincere in what he says and has a better track record of stating where we will be than anyone else. When the first bailout was being talked about, under Bush, Glenn gamed out what would happen on his show and stated that the bailout would end up being over 4 Trillion. He was right about that as well.

    Glenn’s heroes are just a little older and little more impressive than the ones from 20 years ago. 213 years earlier in fact.

    How do I know that [the autor of] this site ha[s] the [listening] comprehension skills of a three toed sloth?

    Just about every day, and as a main theme of his radio and TV shows, Glenn Beck “write[s] about and contemplate man’s place in the world and his relationship to government and God.”

    Best of luck with your site. Honestly wish you the best success possible. Just as I did with Charles Johnson @ LGF - who is another ignorant Beck detractor. You are wrong about Beck, and when that becomes obvious the rest of us will not hold it against you guys.

  42. 42
    ClericalGal Said:
    11:32 am 

    Glenn Beck is not a kook. I agree with Carolynn: it seems the right loves to eat their own while the left says nothing about their own sides’ excesses. As for Charles Johnson: my LGF account was blocked 2 months ago for simply down-dinging an anti-Beck post that I felt misrepresented him. Just like this one.

  43. 43
    Moose Said:
    11:33 am 

    Labeling ideological opponents as “nuts” is a soviet type tactic. The Soviets locked up dissidents in psychiatric hospitals to both discredit them and take them off the streets. Now this tactic is pandemic on in the blogosphere in particular and our modern culture in general. We have become what we fought and defeated.

    Glenn Beck is very provocative but I wager that Thomas Jefferson, among others would say that he is exactly what the country needs in times of crisis.

    If people can expose Beck as a liar and fraud please do–but he seems to have far more credibility and common sense that the elites who have been lying routinely and provably, with little
    repercussions, for years now.

    Speaking of crazy cults–the leftwing Marxist cult of Jim Jones ended in the deaths of 1000 people. He was boosted by the likes of the SF liberal elites, the Carters, Ron Dellums and other lefties. The Obama cult seems to borrow strongly from Jim Jones.

  44. 44
    michael reynolds Said:
    11:34 am 

    Jude:

    Here’s one:

    http://sidewaysmencken.blogspot.com/2008/03/oh-for-gods-sake-shut-up.html

    March of 2008, more than a year ago. And today Alec Baldwin at HuffPo criticized Olbermann for wasting time “pissing on Bush,” and took a swipe at Maddow, too.

  45. 45
    Andrew Said:
    11:39 am 

    I’ll take Glenn Beck’s nuttiness over Olbermann’s nuttiness every day. At least you’re laughing with him and not at him.

  46. 46
    Shaun Mullen Said:
    11:40 am 

    No problem, none whatsoever, with your being forgiven in advance because you’re not exactly sure what you want to say. But this post comes hard on the heels of another where you were quite certain about what you wanted to say.

    You accused Oliver Willis — and myself by extension — of being irrational by connecting the Glenn Becks to albeit isolated incidents where lunatic fringe right-wingers act out by doing naughty things like killing police officers.

    Your “behavior,” as I noted at my own blog and in a post elsewhere today, was the grown-up equivalent of a child closing his eyes, putting fingers in his ears and chanting nothings to try to drown out a parent or teacher.

    So why have you decided to open your eyes, take your fingers out of your ears and listen up? Is it because these people are, as you yourself say “dead serious” or did you just need an excuse to use the word “apostasy,” which is a favorite of mine, as well?

  47. 47
    ThomasD Said:
    11:42 am 

    …all are serious and undermine our liberties and the free market but are so far from “totalitarianism” as to not be believable.

    Frighteningly wrong, or at least ill informed. Totalitarianism has been morphed by the left to mean dictatorship. it specifies nothing of the sort. Totalitarianism, as originally defined, refers to a system whereby the state regulates and controls every significant aspect of life.

    The totalitarian state may take any number of forms but at its heart it must not have a government of well defined limits.

    Every time the government becomes the solution to any given problem we take one step further down the road of totalitarianism. Every tme we sidestep the limitation of the Constitution we take another step further down the road of totalitarianism.

    Barack Obama has yet to encounter a problem, or describe a situation that does not call for additional government intervention. Nor has he taken any steps to reduce government infuence on any part of our society.

    Others may call it the road to serfdom, either way it is the same destination.

  48. 48
    ClericalGal Said:
    11:44 am 

    #39:
    Glenn has said on the radio that when he started to talk about coming economic meltdown about 2 years ago, his ratings went down and program directors asked him not to talk about it so much. So if he was just in it for himself, he would have followed their advice and featured more “safe” topics.

  49. 49
    Robert Said:
    11:46 am 

    I’m still trying to figure out why I read this post. You told us you didn’t know what you wanted to say and then you proved it. I suggest you still don’t know what it is about Beck that upsets you, because you don’t want to admit to yourself that whether you’re “elite” or not, you are a snob.

    Nothing wrong with that, of course. Me, I look down on people who walk around with toothpicks in their mouth. Same thing. But hardly worth the amount of verbiage you’ve expended here.

    imho, you can do better than this. If you’re feeling cranky, put it to good use on a topic you actually some thoughts about. Then we’ll be happy to give you the applause you want.

    One of your commenters asked a good question: Who DO you think speaks credibly for Republicans or conservatives? Why?

    That would be worth a read.

  50. 50
    dbostan Said:
    11:48 am 

    Rick,
    You are wrong, and it is you who is becoming a mushy repubic. Glen and many of us prefer to be conservatives, and stand for our country.

  51. 51
    ThomasD Said:
    11:49 am 

    Who DO you think speaks credibly for Republicans or conservatives? Why?

    Most importantly what is that they say that makes them credible representatives of republicans or conservatives?

  52. 52
    Jim Said:
    11:50 am 

    GO BECK! Your whining is just more proof he’s on track.

  53. 53
    Jaibones Said:
    11:50 am 

    And another thing: quite literally the last time I was here you were saying something David-Brooks-stupid, months ago. I come back, and the very first thing I read is Kathleen-Parker-stupid.

    I think I shall not read this column again soon.

  54. 54
    mikeinva Said:
    11:51 am 

    Well, I have to agree with mike #14. Beck is mostly an entertainer, like Colbert, and seems to have an honesty about him.

    I live in Eric Cantor’s district, and I will be working to oust him from his congressional seat, even if I have vote Democrat. Uggh.

    Politics should be a form of service, not a career

  55. 55
    Fearsome Comrade Said:
    11:53 am 

    Interesting post…but it really does take people inclined toward paranoia to warn us of what’s coming. Anyone in 2006 who warned that we were heading toward fiscal meltdown–such as Glenn Beck and Ron Paul–was labeled a crackpot kook. After all, we have experts at the Fed and the SEC! When the Constitution was changed to allow Congress to levy income tax, anyone who wanted to place a cap of 10% was branded a kook. After all, the government would NEVER ask for more than God wanted. Joe McCarthy was and still is regarded as unhinged for believing that Communists had infiltrated the government…of course, we know now that there was a massive Communist infiltration of the government, and that nearly everyone on his famous “list” had Communist connections. People in the UK who suggested Hitler might not be satisfied with just Czechoslovakia were labeled nutcases. We all know how that turned out.

    Maybe, in real life, Congress and the Fed really are angling for the power to determine everyone’s pay. Who’s warning us about that? Oh yeah, the kooks.

    I’m not saying you should be uncritical, but sometimes, the paranoiacs are the only ones who see the tsunami coming.

  56. 56
    eeyore Said:
    11:54 am 

    Sorry, Rick, I gotta go with Glenn more often than not. He may be histrionic, but his calls have been on point, a lot.

    - In 2005, he was pilloried for saying housing prices were a bubble.
    - He called for getting out of equities a few months before they dived.
    - He freaked when the Govt started talking about regulating executive compensation in bailout companies. Then the Govt said it might have to look at executive compensation ACROSS the economy.
    - Glenn regularly says “Please, let me be wrong about this!” and then proceeds to find out more info (see FEMA camps).

    Glenn even calls himself a “rodeo clown”, but I don’t see how that persona negates his points. It’s not “Firing Line”, but he’s certainly - for me - had a lot of nail-on-the-head “Wake up, America1″ moments.

  57. 57
    Dave Said:
    11:54 am 

    Well, I read to the point where you ridiculed Beck as a kook for asking Ellison a very honest question and labeled those of us with similar feelings as kooks. I can see why you’re costing your hosts readership. By the way, asking Ellison the question posed by Beck is in no way similar to asking JFK about his ability to serve the US as a Catholic. I don’t ever recall 19 crazed Catholics crashing planes into buildings in the name of their religion. Perhaps you need to go back to daddy’s library and do some learnin.’

    Never heard of anti-Catholic bigotry in this country? Are you an idiot or do you just play one on my blog?

    And by bigotry I mean that people were terrified that “Papists” would take over the country and make us all slaves to the pope. Do you think it an accident that no Catholic was elected president until 1960? Read an account of the election of 1928 where Al Smith was the victim of the most nauseating kinds of bigotry you can imagine. But then, I’m talking way over your head when I say “read.”

    Obviously, you should probably not try so hard to make an ignorant fool of yourself. It’s embarrassing.

    ed.

  58. 58
    kagai Said:
    11:55 am 

    It amazes me that writers bemoan the state of conservatism by holding up such figures as Beck, Hannity, and Rush. Their effect on political direction is minimal at best. The problem with conservatism is the politicians that supposedly subscribe to the belief system, but, when in power, act every which way except in a conservative one.

    When people elect you because you’ve told them your the party of small government, fiscal/personal responsibility, and low taxes, but spend eight years being the exact opposite of that, it gets you punted out of office and labeled “BS” artists.

    So, tuck your Beck back in your pocket and write articles telling the “Republican” politicians to govern the way they campaign and stick close to conservative ideals. It’s better to be kicked out of office for doing right by your principles then being labeled a liar for turning against them.

  59. 59
    Libby Said:
    11:55 am 

    Glen Beck has became the voice of outrage for the folks that can not connect with the elite power brokers. Is he nutty, yeah. It is kinda like peanut butter some like it creamy, other crunchy. Well I happen to like it crunchy.
    We all must agree that something has to be done to stop the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Train to Globalism Hell. It is like the movie “Runaway Train” everyone is swarming all over it trying to figure out how to stop it, I say someone has to stay with it till it goes over the cliff to keep all the players on board.
    I say what ever it takes to keep this country from becoming the vision that the O/P/R Gang will have us become. Hey sometimes you feel like a nut sometimes you don’t.

  60. 60
    hipster Said:
    11:57 am 

    It looks like Beck needs to debunk you!

  61. 61
    Jim Treacher Said:
    12:00 pm 

    Maybe “I can’t debunk it” meant “I don’t have enough evidence to debunk it”? Which, however inexpertly expressed, would not be the same thing as “I think this is absolutely true and I endorse it wholeheartedly.” And might explain the subsequent debunking, upon finding that evidence. I know it’s a radical idea, just throwing out that possiblity.

    If you think he shouldn’t be addressing these sorts of urban legends, fine. But he’s not endorsing them.

  62. 62
    sarah Said:
    12:01 pm 

    I wonder how long it took the author of this trash piece to find his, oh, so selective (and out of context) text.

    Give it up. Beck is a good man, speaking from his heart.

    Why are you people so afraid of free speech? Why are so, so, very afraid?

    Perhaps, because you’ll be caught in all of your lies and deceit.

  63. 63
    jaded Said:
    12:04 pm 

    Glen Beck really is a kook, the know nonthing kooky wing of the republican party will be the dath of the GOP.

    Just look at what is about to happen to Arlen Spector? A primary by a hard right wing canidate like Toomy will win the primary but lose the general.

    The writer is correct about the Glen Beck dynamic of the Republican party, it would be like the libs putting Jesse Jackson out there as their main popular face.. Face it, Republicans need a siter soldia moment or a Glen Beck moment, or they will go the way of the whigs.

    It is just reality, face it or don’t , it is up to you.

  64. 64
    Jim Treacher Said:
    12:06 pm 

    Now the rest of you don’t have to tell me what I’ve already written.

    I hope it’s okay to explain why it directly contradicts your thesis. If not, my apologies.

  65. 65
    The Loud Talker Said:
    12:08 pm 

    Beck being attacked was expected and predicted. He is not a recent star, he has been saying the same things for the past eight years. He is gaining popularity because much of American is happy that SOMEONE is saying what he says.

    You quickly bring up the many leftward anti-Beck talking points yet have no actual context. The Muslim comment to Ellison was completely warrented, especially when you consider that Ellison’s pilgrimage to Mecca in December was paid for by an American Muslim organization that has ties to Islamic radicals. In the world we live in today, why is it wrong to ask Ellison the question? Since when does the left avoid asking hard questions? Oh yeah, they don’t ask other liberals…

    If you actually listen to Beck and learn about him you will understand his humor, his use of symbolism and his willingness to bring opposing viewpoints to the forefront where he asks those against him to prove him wrong. He is willing to change his mind if he is convinced to do so with facts. But the left can only latch on to his delivery his crying, his hysteria.

    Do YOU think that all is well under Obama? Do you not recognize the socialism we are being fed? Banks, cars, hypocrital leadership (lobbyists, exceptions, etc.) Beck simply points out the obvious for those that refuse to discuss it.

  66. 66
    Stan Said:
    12:14 pm 

    You’ve managed to say what a lot of us have been feeling, only with twice the verbiage. Slim it down next time eh?

  67. 67
    jackson1234 Said:
    12:14 pm 

    Shaun Mullen:

    “You accused Oliver Willis — and myself by extension — of being irrational by connecting the Glenn Becks to albeit isolated incidents where lunatic fringe right-wingers act out by doing naughty things like killing police officers.”

    Irrational? More like fucking nuts. Let’s say I connect Al Gore’s “Earth in the Balance” to eco-terrorism, the most prevalent form of such violence in the United States. I would be fucking nuts at that point, too. If I found Jodie Foster had made some anti-Reagan remarks, I would be fucking nuts to attribute John Hinckley’s actions to her.

    It is people like you that make me feel confident the Republicans either will take or will come close to taking the House in 2012. It’s nothing they’ve done, mind you, but the cretinous behavior of the Left in recent months.

    Incidentally, you need to go after large breed dogs. I understand they inspire the unstable to shoot dark-haired girls in Brooklyn. Fucking Jesus.

    There was a reason the Left stopped attacking Limbaugh: it backfired after a point. If this is the best you folks have, God help you.

  68. 68
    michael reynolds Said:
    12:22 pm 

    These comments are morbidly fascinating.

    Obama didn’t just beat the GOP, I’m starting to think he destroyed it. With a major assist from Mr. Bush, of course.

    People: a party or a movement built around Limbaugh or Beck is not viable. You’re committing political suicide, here. You’re validating the Left’s most insulting parodies of you. This is nihilism.

  69. 69
    Cassie Said:
    12:22 pm 

    What I find interesting is how so many at Fox News, like O’Reilly and Hannity hate Michael Savage. They call him “Far Right”. Savage refers to Beck as the “hemoroid with eyes” and has accused him of stealing all of his material.

    Meanwhile over at Fox Glenn Beck is King, they see no likeness between Savage & Beck at all, it’s really unbelievable. Glen sounds just like Savage.

  70. 70
    dicentra Said:
    12:27 pm 

    It doesn’t sound like you were a Glenn Beck listener back in the day, back when he was all comedy, all the time, most of it ingeniously, rip-roaring funny.

    Those of use who have followed Glenn for several years know that he’s very grounded and also very passionate about his beliefs. He’s not a kook. He just sounds like one to some people.

    Glenn has friends in the financial industry who feed him info, as well as other sources of inside information. He’s not just speaking off the cuff with his warnings: he is an autodidact, an avid reader of history and political philosophy. He sees the handwriting on the wall and is yelling for us to get out of the warm pot before it boils.

    This puzzles me:

    “you cannot ignore the rise of people like Beck whose fantasies about Obama and the Democrats trying to turn this country into a socialist nation (or Communist) rather than implement a far left liberal agenda”

    What is on the far left if not socialism and communism? The difference between where we are now, where we’re being moved, and the Soviet Union is a difference of degree, not of kind.

    Given the juggernaut of government expansion that has gripped the country since Woodrow Wilson, why SHOULDN’T Glenn Beck stand astride history and shriek STOP!!! at the top of his lungs?

    What else is going to slay this beast? Calm, reasoned rhetoric? Wry social commentary?

    If I had told you 5 years ago that the SecTreas would dictate how private financial institutions were run, you’d have called me a loon too.

    If you’re embarrassed by Glenn Beck, fine. He’s not everyone’s cup of Joe. But he’s also not advocating an armed rebellion (quite the opposite; he vocally condemns such) but rather civil disobedience, melting the phone lines to the Capitol, and asking people to get informed about the Constitution and the founding concepts that built our nation.

    Those “kook” issues are not the bread and butter of Glenn Beck’s agenda. Better if his critics spend a week or so listening to his shows than seize upon his apparent paranoia.

  71. 71
    The Big Sombrero Said:
    12:36 pm 

    “I am losing contact with those conservatives who find Beck anything more than a clown - and an irrational one at that. Same goes for those who worship at the altar of Rush, Hannity, Coulter, and the whole cotton candy conservative crowd. I can’t take those people seriously. The fact that they are popular mystifies me.”

    Me like cotton candy.
    Me like BeckRushHannityCoulter.
    Me not as smart and in-to-lec-to-al as MoranBrooksParkerNoonan.
    Me go away and not come back.

    Seriously Rick- let me know how all this conservative bashing works out for you.

  72. 72
    J David Said:
    12:37 pm 

    I had dropped in to this squish site hoping Mr Moran had purchased a clue in the several months since the last time I was here…He hasn’t.

    If Mr Moran had been actually watching and listening to Beck for the two years he has been on TV(or actually listening to his show for more than a few ADHD minutes at a time)he would be ASTOUNDED by the breath-taking accuracy of his predictions of the things presently befalling the country.

    Mr Moran…still shopping around for some hint of a clue, and still coming up short.

  73. 73
    ThomasD Said:
    12:37 pm 

    People: a party or a movement built around Limbaugh or Beck is not viable.

    Cute strawman you got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.

    You, by chance wouldn’t happen to have any links or cites to ANYONE who has called for Limbaugh or Beck to be anointed the center of the movement would you?

  74. 74
    logdogsmith Said:
    12:41 pm 

    I smell jealousy. Too bad Beck doesn’t conform to your standards. I bet I don’t either. Take off, eh.

  75. 75
    joesmoe Said:
    12:43 pm 

    If it scares you bad enough then leave and go hide under your bed and suck your thumb. You are David Gergen reinvented basically. Can’t beleive i wasted 5 minutes of my life reading reading your sissfied elitist drivel. sheesh what bore you are

    The conservative masses understand Beck and the rest of them for what they are. American citizens expressing themselves in a free country. It is called free speech.
    Deal with it.
    At least they don’t take four pages to make a point you could have made in one paragraph. I can tell you went to the David Frum school of debate. Wine bitch drivel repeat

  76. 76
    Alex Said:
    12:55 pm 

    You obviously feel under appreciated at the moment, but that will pass I’m sure. The rage conservatives have will pass, and rational thinking will win out in the end.

    There’s a distinct difference between liberals and conservatives. Conservatives have jobs and responsibilities; therefore, we only have so many rats asses on hand at any time. We can’t just be giving them out nonstop like liberals do, or we’ll be worn out and disillusioned long before the next election.

  77. 77
    logdogsmith Said:
    12:55 pm 

    It was most entertaining to read your grousing about how brave you are to go ahead and grouse about another guy grousing even when you knew us uneducated unthinking unhinged conservatives would grouse about it. I expect this kind of doublespeak from libtards at HufPo.

  78. 78
    T. Reynolds Sterling Said:
    1:00 pm 

    You are a legend in your own mind. (A phrase from 9th grade). The first paragraph you write is so full of pathetic overblown pomposity that you could have just copied it from a 9th grader school essay. Did you really read a book on Marx (wasn’t that a line from Done McLean?) or just wish you didn’t look that much like Alfred E. Newman. Only a website hack could pass off words like, “The bane of my existence…etc.” Please throw this junk back in the shoe box with the rest of your pretentious excuse for insight.

  79. 79
    Chandler Said:
    1:00 pm 

    Keep it up, Rick… You hit the nail square on the head with this one. For all his firm conviction, Beck is stoking paranoia and fear that does not serve either the Republican Party or the conservative movement well. I’m interested to see how these Tax Day tea parties turn out to see if we’re going to present more spewing, random vitriol like Beck & Co. or if conservatives will turn out to rally for ideas and freedom and the individual liberties that we are being asked by the left to forego.

  80. 80
    funny man Said:
    1:02 pm 

    I see a lot of the Hot Air crowd commenting. Since when is elitism and rational analysis not conservative? If you think ranting and railing is the way to express yourself in a free country, fine! Just don’t diss our ’sissified’ intellectual intercourse. BTW, nothing wrong with David Frum, David Brooks, the American Conservative and the Economist or does that go above your ‘Joe the Plumber’ brain. Sheesh, now I’m ranting too.

  81. 81
    Bride of Rove Said:
    1:09 pm 

    37Bride of Rove Said:
    11:20 am

    Pardon typos. Multi-tasking never works out well with a cat on the desk.

    Heh - does the cat agree with me?

    ed.
    ____
    Cat agrees with no one - because he’s a cat. ;-)

  82. 82
    mondonico Said:
    1:15 pm 

    Why do you assume that Beck only appeals to the “alienated fringe”? I know a number of Ivy-educated (or equivalent) attorneys, hedge fund managers, and executives who think that Beck is describing a scenario that has a 20%-50% chance of coming about.

    As for your speculation whether you’ve joined the “exclusive club” of the “elites,” you need to remember that there is a difference between “elites” and “elitists.”

    “Elites” are those who are close to the levers of power due to wealth, political position, professional achievement, etc.

    “Elitists” are those who favor the opinions and/or interests of the “elites” over the non-elites because they believe the elites are superior people.

    Don’t worry– your views on Glenn Beck won’t make you a member of the “exclusive club” of the “elites.” They do make you seem a little “elitist.”

    mondonico
    Yale ‘85

  83. 83
    Dave Said:
    1:16 pm 

    Who is this guy anyway? And why in the hell does Hot Air link?

    Yeah, anti-Catholic bigotry in the 1920s continuing through to the present day is horrible.

    Now, pray tell, why does this subject, but for the author’s fondness for mixing apples and oranges, have anything to do with Beck’s question to Ellison and, moreover, why is this evidence of Beck’s “kookiness”?

    Someone’s a kook alright, and it ain’t Beck.

  84. 84
    ice eater Said:
    1:16 pm 

    Labels BECK - great idea. distort and miss the point

    When we run out of money soon then you can label without airconditioning.

    We really do not need your opinions - please cease.
    Please do some good.

  85. 85
    seanrobins Said:
    1:21 pm 

    >>>He made the statement that he couldn’t “debunk” the story and added, “”If you have any fear that we might be heading toward a totalitarian state, look out. There is something happening in our country and it ain’t good.”

    This is NOT what Glenn Beck said. He said that he had not yet, but that he would. And he did. He has since said that he’s looked into the kookoo claim, and that it is BS.

    I know that Glenn “looks into” a whole heck of a lot of things which can form the fodder for many conspiracy theorists’ therapy sessions…. But he does not just onto anyone’s bandwagon just because its there. He does do a lot of reasearch before buying into something.

    The reason he gets hit with nonesense like this (that he bought into this idiotic “camp” thing) is because he takes risks in approaching subjects that not only the MSM avoid (heck, that’s easy) but which many of the top people on the Right are afraid to tackle because their scared of the whipping that they’ll take fromt he Leftist media.

  86. 86
    seanrobins Said:
    1:26 pm 

    >>>“you cannot ignore the rise of people like Beck whose fantasies about Obama and the Democrats trying to turn this country into a socialist nation (or Communist) rather than implement a far left liberal agenda”

    I’m curious…. Does making this distinction mean that you believe that there IS some difference between Bambi’s trying to turn this country in a socialist hell hole…and implementing a far left agenda.

    They are identical.

  87. 87
    busboy33 Said:
    1:29 pm 

    @kagai #58:

    “It amazes me that writers bemoan the state of conservatism by holding up such figures as Beck, Hannity, and Rush. Their effect on political direction is minimal at best.”

    How do you figure? Reading the coments here alone displays a pretty substantial impact that Beck has.
    “I like Beck because to me he seems genuine.” #10
    “Beck is serving a purpose though by drawing needed attention to a large segment of our country who aren’t buying the whole hope and change BS.” #11
    “Is he melodramatic, yeah. But I’ll take that over Brooks whiny schoolboy, Noonan’s affected poise or Friedman’s wannabe hipster lingo.” #16
    “You know whats funny? So called conservatives being frightened by the truth.” #17
    “I enjoy Glenn Beck because he is very good at explaining complex ideas in a way that most people can understand. He loves his county - SO DO I.” #20
    “If Beck is a kook, than its obvious that our country’s forefathers were also loony according to your standards. . . .but if Glenn Beck were a Roman slave, you would find many other slaves, including myself, screaming that they were Spartacus too.” #21
    “Beck merely has the radar pointed in that direction and he is picking up the begginning signals.” #22

    I’ll stop there. How can you say that there is no impact? How can you say Rush has no impact when (R) pols that criticize him (or merely call him an entertainer) can’t go 24 hours without personally apologizing?
    Has anybody said “I never believed this crap, but once I heard the dulcet tones of Glenn’s golden voice I became a believer”? No. But a basic advertising strategy is state multiple things the target agrees with, then state something they might not. Why? Because it works. Not on everybody, but on lots of people. Look at the “Super-Mega-Hardcore-Dittoheads” in Rush’s sphere of influence. For them, the greatest statement of belief is to proudly proclaim “whatever you said!!”. If people feel a connection to a personality, and the communication is one-way (personality talks to you, you don’t talk to them), then they ARE influential.
    Its never as blatant as doing something solely because the personality said it. Nobody says “Derek Jeter is selling Pepsi? Well, I hate Pepsi with a passion, but if Derek says to drink it I better start right away!” If somebody is (a) a kook and (b) listened to by millions of people, then that’s a serious issue of concern. Isn’t that what all the wingnuts are complaining about with Obama? That millions of people are being mesmerized by his Jim Jones lies?

  88. 88
    gordo Said:
    1:33 pm 

    Beck is popular simply because the “usual suspects” of Conservatism are not being listened to by mainstream Americans. Who hasn’t read columns about people getting their news from Jon Stewart. This is no different. Sometimes, you have to get emotional to get people’s attention so that you can teach them something important.

  89. 89
    Carly Said:
    1:37 pm 

    So what if he sounds like a kook to you! Aren’t you lefties all kooks? Beck tackles problems that you MSMs do not touch because you are out of touch with reality. You live in your own bubbled world that you make up yourselves. Libs are intolerant, hyprocritical and think they are above everyone else. Leave Beck alone! His arguments and analysis all make sense! Better to be aware of “what might have been” than be caught with “ohh..shuks….obama is our messiah, he is great. I never thought he would do that.” Sorry its too late, the once great US of A is destroyed and relegated to third world status. So what are you libs gonna do? huh?

  90. 90
    Cassie Said:
    1:40 pm 

    Glen Beck is like the John Birchers and conspiracy theorists William F Buckley drove out of the GOP way back when.

    We need another William F Buckley to cleanse this Party and send these Far Right Loons packing.

    And if Beck has a “pretty substantial impact” like most of these commenters claim, the GOP is doomed.

  91. 91
    ignore strawmen Said:
    1:44 pm 

    “Is it really a question of elites versus the rest? I hardly think my little blog catapults me into that exclusive club.”

    Your right – your little blog doesn’t catapult you into the elitist ivory tower club but this does……

    “But even if you think Beck was joking around, the way he said it would give most of his listeners the idea that he was serious”

    Pure elitism – you and your vast superior intellect knows he most likely is “joking around” but wait - what about the great unwashed that have trouble figuring out the difference between apples and oranges. They will be confused and misled without having the superior intellect such as the one I possess.

    I must think for the common man!

    I must speak for the common man!

    I must question this man’s speech!

    It could be harmful!!

    Does Glenn Beck push the boundaries? Yes. Does Glenn Beck sometimes get a little kooky in front of the Camera? Yes. Does Glenn Beck at the core of his message hit a raw nerve among the silent majority? YES!

    Someone who listens to what he is saying can not draw an ideological line around him. He has skewered Republicans as well as Democrats and is right to question whether or not government (not Democrats not Republicans but government) has grabbed too much power.

    Wasn’t it at one time the media’s responsibility in American society to be the fourth pillar of government – challenge the powerful, challenge the elite, be the voice of the people.

    Here we have someone actually challenging the powerful and we are suppose to be worried someone might “get confused” with what he is saying?

    I don’t think he is the one we should be concerned about. No, the person who thinks that Glenn Beck is dangerous because he is challenging those who are in power on whether or not they have too much power is what the media should be doing.

  92. 92
    Dave Said:
    1:46 pm 

    I don’t really give a rip if the GOP is “doomed.”

    Conservative principles, as articulated by the likes of Beck, are good for the country. I don’t care what party carries them into practice, although I will say that the GOP is “doomed” to the extent it tolerates second-hand scholarship wrapped in elitism such as the tripe produced by the author.

  93. 93
    Cassie Said:
    1:48 pm 

    Carly is an example of what has infiltrated the GOP, it’s very sad. She’s calling Rick Moran a leftie…LOL.

    Anyone who uses buzz words like leftie, socialist, Marxist, MSM, Messiah, all while complaining about what they perceive this country has become is just not good for the GOP. And we will lose for years to come because of this kind of silly rhetoric.

  94. 94
    Amos Said:
    1:48 pm 

    I don’t think you have actually listened to Beck on a continual basis. You need to listen to what he is saying. He is saying follow principles and our constitution. We need to remove ourselves from all sorts of radicalisms, be it left or right. He is pushing people who are fed up and angry to do something, and that something is get together and talk about what matters most. He has repeatedly called upon people to not use violence or anger and to not make this a left or right bashing but principal oriented movement that all Americans can participate in.

  95. 95
    Stefanie Said:
    1:59 pm 

    Since you are so concerned about the hysterical far-right fringe (and I applaud you for that, btw), I just gotta ask… are you still working for Malkin?

  96. 96
    Bob Said:
    2:00 pm 

    Thanks to Glenn’s warning about the economy in 2007 I took all of my 401(k) out of stocks in July 2007. So I’m about $500K ahead and will be able to retire. Of course, what’s left will just about be enough to buy a loaf of bread after the hyper-inflation that will result from printing $2T (or $3T or $4T) to show how serious we are about “recovery”.

  97. 97
    kagai Said:
    2:08 pm 

    @busboy33 Said:
    1:29 pm

    I don’t believe that elections are won or lost because of any conservative talk radio/tv hosts. Where was their grand influence during the last election? It doesn’t matter what any of them say, people are going to vote based upon how they feel the current political majority is doing. If they think they’ve abandoned their principles and things are going south then we get the results from last November.

    I watch Glenn Beck and I think he’s entertaining, but he’s not going to matter one iota when election day comes. All that matters is how well the majority party is doing, if things are still in the crapper in 2010, Dems will lose seats. If things are looking up, at that moment in time, then they most likely will keep or gain in seats.

    We need to be talking about how to highlight failing policies and make Democrats accountable for every problem that pops up in ways that pulls in those voters who don’t vote straight ‘R’ every election. All of this pundit talk is just wall punching.

  98. 98
    E L Frederick Said:
    2:11 pm 

    Good many kooks obsessed with Obama’s Birth Certificate, and his “Muslim” roots. I found the truthers and the Bush haters to be tiresome and vile. I see no reason why the “Birthers” and the Obama haters are any different.

    Same kookiness, same vileness, different party.

    “You forgot the first rule of the fanatic: when you become obsessed with the enemy, you become the enemy.”

  99. 99
    Fearsome Comrade Said:
    2:17 pm 

    When JFK was nominated, Vatican II still hadn’t concluded, the pope had been the political ruler of a sizable chunk of Italy in relatively recent history, and Catholic public declarations on political theology had very recently (like, the beginning of the 20th century) called for the submission of all world rulers to the authority of the pope. It was pretty legitimate to ask questions about his religion’s impact on his political allegiance.

    Just goes to show that some kinds of bigotry never die. Anyone who believes Al Smith or JFK would have put the interests of the church before the interests of the US is a bigot. And at least get your facts straight. Vatican II didn’t begin until 1962. And the whole idea that all world rulers should submit to the Pope’s diktats went out with the Borgias.

    But thanks for proving my point about bigots.

    ed.

  100. 100
    retired Said:
    2:24 pm 

    You, whoever wrote this article, opinion, blog,
    You are truly out of touch with the majorityu of rational level headed people if you think Glenn Beck is a right wing kook. He is honest, decent, clear thinking, and is looking out for everyone.

    He is not on any one side. he is his own person and you are missing hte fact he is telling everyone they need to sit back and think about how these extremeist people are splitting this country apart with their ideologies.

    For you and those that think like you to label him as someone on the far right and a kook is scary. How can you be against the values he exposes and talks about? He wants our laws to be upheld, justice in our legal system, capitalism to not be stiffled by our government, and corrupt government officals to be dealt with when they breaks laws and trash our constitution by not abiding by constitutional rights or individuals.

    Glenn Beck also sees the hypocrisy when a poltical group only treats one group of people fairly and trashes the other group if that group is in another politcal party.

    Glenn stand sup for family vlues. H is very concerned with the direction our country is heading. tell me where in all of his likes and beliefs it makes him a right wing kook?

    You would have to be against all of these values yourself if you disagree with him. In fact you more than disagree, you are rabid. That is how you come accross.

  101. 101
    johnmrog Said:
    2:28 pm 

    Talk about dishonesty. You word your “FEMA camp” complaint as if to give the impression that Beck brought up the issue, glamorized it, believes it, and pushes it. Then you give a weak little pewl later about how, gosh, you sure are glad Beck debunked it.

    Well the REASON he debunked it was he kept getting calls about it. And he kept saying it was a kookie conspiracy theory but he didn’t know enough about it to debunk it. Then because of the frequency of which the issue kept coming up he decides to devote time and resources that he has available (and are available to his associates) to OFFICIALLY debunk it. And he does.

    Yet you place it as an issue on which BECK is the kook? Are you kidding me?

    One thing this does convince me of though, Rick, is not that Beck is a kook, but that YOU are a totally dishonest azzhat. I had my suspicions when you started buying the Obama White House generated company line on Limbaugh. Now I’m convinced.

    “Right Wing Nut House” linkage mode in Favorites menu nowwwwwwwwww OFF.

    [dial tone]

  102. 102
    Oldcrow Said:
    2:33 pm 

    I could not disagree more with you and the others such as AJSTRATA about Glenn Beck, I just started watching mister Becks show and yes he sometimes is eccentric but a kook? No I don’t see it remember he is an entertainer as well as a commentator so he has to bring in the fringe also but he does not play to them if anything he destroys their arguments, I have found his show to be spot on in most of what he says and have seen zero facts saying otherwise, I will continue watching his TV show and listening to his radio show and I do not believe he is a detriment to the conservative movement quit the opposite in fact.

  103. 103
    Steve Said:
    2:42 pm 

    “…that doesn’t change the fact that Beck lacks the ability to think rationally.”

    Who made you the arbiter of rational thought, Rick? You took the time and effort to write a really long post to argue the point you made in that clause; and frankly I don’t come away with anything but the thought that the author is another self-satisifed baby-boomer, who thinks the sun shines out of his navel, and is oh-so-impressed with himself for his open-mindedness and high intellect.

    You talk the language of the moral relativist, and that is why people of principle don’t care to read you any more.

  104. 104
    Futures and Options Trackbacked With:
    2:45 pm 

    One more reason that Rick Moran is a genius…

    The more I read of Rick Moran’s writing, the more I am convinced that he is one of the few fully rational voices involved in today’s conservative movement.  This time it’s an honest appraisal of the damage that the conservative media…

  105. 105
    Dave Said:
    2:47 pm 

    Who is this Rick Moran guy? And why is he mixed up in some hocus debate involving conservatism? I mean, from what I can tell, I’d say he’s Kathleen Parker’s intern, but really, who is he?

  106. 106
    Moose Said:
    3:04 pm 

    There is an emormous difference between the “truthers” and the so-called “nirthers”.

    In the first case, 911 is a massive conspiracy (seemingly involving a cast of thousands) involving the murder of thousands for crazed political benefits. This is conspiracy insanity on a cosmic scale.

    The birth certifcate things seems to be simply asking Obama to present his certificate of live birth like any other job applicant. Why this bizarre dance around simply authorizing release of those records? Why not release Harvard transcripts, medical records (not the 1-page summary?).

    The insidious power of the modern media is demonstrated by the trashing of the Swiftboat people. To this day, Kerry has never released his military records and signed the 180 form and John O’Neill ran circles around his detractors time after time. But, thanks to the MSM dishonest creeps, “swiftboating” is a term associated with “McCarthyism”

  107. 107
    tiger7_88 Said:
    3:07 pm 

    Cassie Said:
    1:40 pm

    Glen Beck is like the John Birchers and conspiracy theorists William F Buckley drove out of the GOP way back when.

    We need another William F Buckley to cleanse this Party and send these Far Right Loons packing.

    ——

    You do realize that in Buckley’s last years that he and Limbaugh were good friends, right?

  108. 108
    Andrew Ian Dodge Said:
    3:14 pm 

    Rick, thanks for this piece. It is about time someone pointed out some of his odder pronouncements. I think he is trying to tone them down now that he is on Fox.

    Very brave of you to enter the lion’s den unarmed. Hat’s off to you sir and thanks.

    ed.

  109. 109
    michael reynolds Said:
    3:19 pm 

    By the way, we are keeping track of all these comments so that we can round you all up in our secret FEMA camps. I don’t know if I’m supposed to reveal this but the plan is:

    1) Rescue the economy, salvage the war in Afghanistan, and give poor people access to health care.

    2) Send ACORN workers around to trailer parks, retirement villages and rustic cabins to seize all guns.

    3) Intern approximately 25% of the population (roughly 75 million people) in FEMA-built concentration camps. (Or we may just put a big fence around Kansas.)

    4) Begin the forced marrying of male internees to other male internees.

    5) Install cable in all FEMA-tration camps but block Fox News.

    6) Intravenous tofu.

    Pretty damned weak, Michael. Tofu? How so 90’s of you.

    ed.

  110. 110
    Dave Said:
    3:27 pm 

    Here’s how it is.

    Agree with me, you’re brave.

    Disagree with me, you’re a bigot.

    Rick Moran

    Did I say everyone was an anti-Catholic bigot or just the person who thinks that as late as 1960, a Catholic running for president would be torn between the Vatican and his own country? And yeah, when comments are running 20-1 against me and someone sticks up for me, I call that brave - considering the nauseating tripe people have been flinging at me and that Andrew is leaving himself open for the same treatment from the same mouthbreathers.

    ed.

  111. 111
    michael reynolds Said:
    3:27 pm 

    I wasn’t going to waste perfectly good arugula on these people.

  112. 112
    Dave Said:
    3:37 pm 

    Well, let me proffer a suggestion.

    Don’t put your own tripe out over the internets if you don’t want any incoming.

  113. 113
    funny man Said:
    3:43 pm 

    To all you haters:
    I’d call Rick a thoughtful conservative. If you think your diatribes against anyone not following your line is a model to win over moderates, good luck in 2010. I for one don’t care for your loudmouthed bullying.

  114. 114
    Dave Said:
    4:00 pm 

    funny man, congratulations! You are now classified “brave” in Rick Moran’s world.

    And if you don’t like the “loudmouthed bullying”, then you should vote democrat. Cuz’ I hear Pelosi and Reid are real nice to moderates in their party.

  115. 115
    Brad Said:
    4:07 pm 

    Good piece Rick. Just my opinion but if the conservative movement is to really be taken seriously again it will be due to influence from people such as you, Patterico and Allahpundit not from the hysterical people.
    Keep up the good fight.

  116. 116
    funny man Said:
    4:11 pm 

    If I’m drunk and want to read some BS I go to Daily Kos and Hot Air. If I’m sober and want to actually think, I come here. You don’t tell me about conservative ideas and who to vote for cause all you care for is listening to your own BS.

  117. 117
    Aaron Said:
    4:21 pm 

    “Does Glenn Beck being a kook affect you in any way?”

    Yes. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

    The antics of Beck and his ilk only serve to make it increasingly difficult for rational conservative positions to be taken seriously. Everyone suffers from being associated with him. Whether it is a legitimate association or not, as long as a perception of association exists in people’s minds (and it does), kooks like Beck are millstones around the neck of anyone who desires to engage in rational defense of conservatism.

    Rick, keep carrying the banner of rational thought, we need more people like you in the fight.

  118. 118
    Ad rem Said:
    4:41 pm 

    …..and the Oscar for “outstanding male victimhood” in a self-produced blog, goes to……RICK MORAN!

  119. 119
    busboy33 Said:
    5:18 pm 

    @kagai #97:

    I agree with most of what you’ve said, but when we’re talking about “influence” here, I get the impression that we’re talking about two different things.

    Why didn’t the pundits sway the election in 08? Because they don’t speak for the “silent majority” as some other commenters have referenced. If they did speak for the majority (B. HUSSEIN Obama is a Totalitarin Socialist Marxist Fascist (neat trick that) who will destroy America as we know it), then why the heck did a (large) majority vote for him?
    “Sure, he’ll destroy the world as we know it . . . but I’m really mad at the party in power so I’ll vote for him.”

    That’s not the “influence” that I think Mr. M. is talking about. His concern is the influence on the hysterical voices in the conservative movement. Repubs aren’t going to win back power without at least part of the middle, period. And the more Repubs appear to be whack-a-doodle hysterics, the less possible it is for them to attract potential votes. No matter how “correct” they are, they will lose.
    Is the portrayal of the Right as fringe nutjobs a vast MSM conspiracy? Let’s assume so for the moment. Snarky editing, quotes taken out of context, the whole shebang. The viewer feedback isn’t part of a conspiracy, and they push the voters away.
    “Wake up America! Glenn speaks the truth that the Real Americans know! You commie sissy pinkos are the devilspawn! We shall fight to our last breath!”
    As Mr. M. comented previously, did the inciteful comments of Beck and others cause the Pittsburgh shootings? No, probably not. Was it a FACTOR, did it take someone on the edge and goad them into jumping over the line into suicide by cop? Will whack-a-doodles hear Bachmann claim re-education camps are being drawn up and seize on that as the final straw, the reason to start the Last Stand that they just know in their hearts is coming? Look at the commenters above — how many view their opposition to the Administration as an Apocalyptic battle between Good and Evil? Life and Death? If I believed that, I’d certainly think I had no choice but to start loading magazines and Do What Must Be Done — shouldn’t I think they do as well? And keep in mind . . . these are commenters on a blog that is more reasoned, posted specifically to throw out a call to arms to the “blind weak sheep” who don’t “get it” — wonder what the general atmosphere is on the pro-whackadoodle sites?
    These folks are influential for one basic reason: they drive votes away. In our Democracy, that’s death for a political party. The people that stir the pot damage the party, and even allowing that Glen, Rush, et. al., are correct on some things they do stir the pot. In that sense, they are influential . . . but the worst kind of influential if you support the Conservative philosophy.

    2nd to last paragraph, original post:
    “Beck worries me. Conservatives worry me. I worry about myself. I feel trapped in a huge ball of cotton, trying gamely to make my way out but don’t know which direction to start pushing. I am losing contact with those conservatives who find Beck anything more than a clown - and an irrational one at that. Same goes for those who worship at the altar of Rush, Hannity, Coulter, and the whole cotton candy conservative crowd. I can’t take those people seriously. The fact that they are popular mystifies me.”

    . . . and terrifies voters.

  120. 120
    busboy33 Said:
    5:25 pm 

    @moose #106:

    “The birth certifcate things seems to be simply asking Obama to present his certificate of live birth like any other job applicant.”

    He did. Hi-res scans available at:
    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

    Never let the facts stop a good conspiracy.

  121. 121
    JG Said:
    5:49 pm 

    Beck and others have TONS of audio and tv transcripts you and others can wade through and cherry pick from. Of course there are going to be mistakes, things that could’ve been said differently, etc… However, the thing you’re missing here, in my opinion, is CONTEXT.

    Like I tell people who instinctively bash Rush/Fox News/O’Reilly/Hannity, etc… If you don’t FOLLOW, listen to, or watch these people with any regularity, you miss 50% of the context even though you might be one of the few that actual thinks they are getting it by reading the official transcript instead of getting info from heresay.

    You have to understand their sense of humor, sarcasm, and oddities that make them unique — to give others a true account of their statements. I don’t think you’ve done that here. Good article, though.

  122. 122
    CZ Said:
    5:51 pm 

    As a rabid conservative I have no time for Beck. I don’t relate to weepy sad sack pretenders. The same goes for Huckelbee.

    FOX News is living up to it’s reputation. More boobs than any other cable news network.

  123. 123
    Surabaya Stew Said:
    7:33 pm 

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like the major thrust of this post is that Glenn Beck is bad for the conservative movement due to the way he comes across to the general public. When this is combined with his fast-rising star and the declining influence of the traditional right-of-center media figures, what we have is Glenn Beck defining conservatism in the eyes of many Americans.

    I think that it is this last point that push Rick to write this article, for in past years when the GOP was healthy, Mr. Beck was hardly registering to the average joe. Now that the chips are down for the party and the nation at large, a new audience of scared people are tuning in to his ideas. It is his overall negative message that threatens to keep the Republicans in the dumps as the USA recovers over the next few years.

  124. 124
    IADummy Said:
    7:52 pm 

    I watch Beck occasionally for the pure entertainment value. However, I wonder if we don’t benefit from having someone way out there on the ledge saying things the rest of us are afraid to, or don’t want to, say in mixed company. Beck is not a complete loon because there is a kernel of truth and reality in everything he says.

    When he gets going he is like a tire rolling down a hill. When the rest of us think he should stop, he keeps going because he simply has no breaks. This: a)is often amusing and b)makes us think about the extreme consequences that can result from policies gone wild.

    The fact of the matter is that jack-booted Nazis did take over Germany, ethnic groups were put in internment camps (on multiple occasions) and 3,000 Americans were killed in one day 8 years ago.

    Years before these actual events any rational person would snort at their very idea. Yet they did happen and history is proof Beck’s deranged brain is only the tip of the iceberg of what tragedies man can envision for himself in the future.

    This is the power of Beck. Humor is blended with a knowledge by many that his fears are nutso. Yet in the back of our minds we know that it is slightly possible that his prescience will be proven.

  125. 125
    Aaron Said:
    8:13 pm 

    “Yet in the back of our minds we know that it is slightly possible that his prescience will be proven.”

    It’s not prescience if he’s just throwing a bunch of crazy theories out there and hoping one will stick. That’s just a gambler playing percentages. If a blindfolded man throws enough darts, he will eventually hit the bull’s eye and that’s all Beck is doing. If a person is wrong 100 times and right once, he isn’t “prescient”, he’s just lucky that one theory out of 101 happened to be close to sanity.

  126. 126
    Ad rem Said:
    8:28 pm 

    Aaron……you are moron!

  127. 127
    glasnost Said:
    8:35 pm 

    I don’t remember to read your site all that often, but you’re doing work I respect. I’m a liberal, but my skin really isn’t that thin, and I try to put up with empirical criticisms that seem sort of realistic. There are quite a few criticisms about Obama from both the right Jim Manzi, Tom Macguire…um…) and the left (david sirota, krugman, talkleft, etc) that I don’t agree with that nevertheless don’t fill me with scorn and embarassment, i.e. earn grudging respect.

    The saddest part about Glenn Beck is that, to an extent, his philosophy, as I understand it, isn’t wrong. The scope of the fourth and first amendments has been shrinking since the 1970’s. Politics has become a product of specialists. Institutions get more opaque and unassailable by the year (try suing a large corporation by yourself) But Beck turns the argument into a sick cariacture, and he has no constructive criticism.

    More than that, I can’t stand to listen to anyone on Fox News bewail the state of civil liberties under the Obama Administration. It makes me mad enough to punch holes in the wall. George Bush shit on the Constitution for eight years, threatened the most fundamental rights we can have, and almost everyone right of Cato defended it to the death - stood up and cheered for government surveillance and ghost prisons, for John Yoo’s word-for-word, black-and-white “The Constitution does not apply in wartime”. Obama has embarassed me - under blackmail from the Republican Senate (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-04-05/are-republicans-blackmailing-obama)
    by endorsing some of this monarchic argument in court, but he’s committed perhaps a tenth of the civil rights violations as the last guy - but three months in, fascism is shouted from every street corner.

    For all the chutzpah, if glenn beck, or someone else, was actually pushing for positive, specific changes - leading a movement to bring down the abuse of the state secrets doctrine in court - I would let it go. It’s hard to be mad at a force for good. But the cause celebre is Obama’s… gaving of money to failing industries, in a manner similar to about 240 of 250 nations on earth and familiar to our last twenty presidents, at a time when it’s desperately needed to avoid flushing our economy down the tubes.

    Nationalization *can* be an opening to political exploitation (and/or bad management) and should be watched pretty carefully.. when *someone* *actually* *does* it. But in the real world, every step of the way the Obama Treasury has worked to reverse out and wiggle away from Congressional attempts to control the people we’re subsidizing. The guy wants to nationalize banks about as much as he wants to contract hernias. But the mediasphere is poised to start a revolution at the drop of a hat to overturn the most minimal state interference possible that avoids the end of financial credit in America.

    I’m pissed at Obama for his kid-glove approach to our financial industry, while the right is calling him Hugo Chavez while he pursues a policy as unlike that as he possibly can without having Bank of America eat it. It would be amusing and ironic, if it didn’t make me so godda*n mad. The sad part is that Obama thinks that his moderation will get some recognition and credit from some sort of “moderate centrist Right” that, accept in a few nooks and crannies (here?) doesn’t seem to be found on the Internet, at least.

  128. 128
    glasnost Said:
    8:44 pm 

    Just for a tiny example of why Beck is so harmful and useless, despite having, in a holistic, rather-totally-unrelated-to-Obama sort of way, a point is this:

    The reason our world is so unlibertarian is that unlibertarianism works. Planet Earth is a constant Darwinian test. Ineffective systems die. The Fourth Amendment is a shell because popular majorities would rather suffer the occasional no-knock raid than the more frequent drive-by. Corporations are accountable enough when causing mass damage to keep Americans reasonably healthy and not in obvious debt enslavement.
    If you just get up on a mike and start bellowing about the death of liberty, your hot air will attract a lot of hot air, and you might replace a politician with a different one who will go on to do virtually nothing different. If you want to change the system, you’d better know exactly what you want changed and have a convincing case that your alternative works. Glenn Beck fails overwhelmingly on both counts. That’s why he inspires nutbags, rather than pragmatists.

  129. 129
    Gaia's Child Said:
    8:51 pm 

    I remember when the term “Liberal Republican” was not considered an oxymororn; when liberal republicans were not only elected to political office but also were a strong voice in the Republican Party. In those days Rick Moran would have been considered a mainstream conservative political writer.

    And he should still be considered a mainstream conservative political writer.

    I read you every day, Rick, not because I agree with everything you say, because I don’t but because you are not a knee-jerk hack. You bring a fresh perspective to many issues. But unfortunately this seems to be the day of news as entertainment and dumbed down entertainment at that. I consider Beck a knee-jerk kook but that is because I grew up with actual news programs, ones where the reporters actually did their own investigations.

    I am sorry that you are losing readers because you refuse to follow the party line. But thank you for reporting as you see issues. If the Republican party survives it will be because of people like you.

  130. 130
    glasnost Said:
    8:54 pm 

    Hey, and… it’s great and all that Beck eventually debunked the concentration camp scene. But, it came after days of coverage about a cop killing where the shooter’s living friend specifically mentioned how the friend kept repeating that theory. He didn’t exactly rush to get to the bottom of this Big Mystery until that happened. I’m genuinely glad that Beck has either seen conscience or basic self-interest and put that one out there to cover his a**. Even that is more than Michelle Bachman is up for. But it was a little late and a lot right after embarassing and lethal blowback. The Big Mystery of whether BO is coming up with a secret plan to confiscate your guns has yet to be debunked.

  131. 131
    tiger7_88 Said:
    9:59 pm 

    glasnost Said:
    8:54 pm

    Hey, and… it’s great and all that Beck eventually debunked the concentration camp scene. But, it came after days of coverage about a cop killing where the shooter’s living friend specifically mentioned how the friend kept repeating that theory. He didn’t exactly rush to get to the bottom of this Big Mystery until that happened.

    ———-

    Out and out lie, glasnost. Beck announced on his show a couple of weeks ago that he had called his friend (the Popular Mechanics editor) to look into this… WELL before the police shooting.

    But don’t let the fact get in the way of you and Moran providing Beck a good smearing.

  132. 132
    mannning Said:
    10:09 pm 

    Beck uses calculated bombacity, and clownish faces to entertain as he educates and informs a fairly respectable audience. Such exaggeration and showmanship can be distasteful and offputting as you wait for the rest of the story to emerge. And emerge it does, sooner or later.

    I welcome any commentator that can hold an audience while injecting conservative opinions into the public mind, or, at least, challenges the public to look into the subject for themselves, without the liberal bias that otherwise might prevail.

    That there are more serious and dignified voices to be heard, voices that lay open the subject such that they convince the listener of the truth of their words, and of the conservative way, is quite obvious. But just who is this serious and dignified spokesman and potential leader of the conservative way? Not found yet? No? (I say no!)

    Meanwhile, we have commentators such as Beck that are carrying the torch, and making an impression on people. His audience was around 2 million at last report, which is far more than is reached by RWNH or all other rightwing blogs combined, I believe.

    This is a valid contribution to the cause, I suggest, and one that should be praised for its honest virtues.

    As for the idea that Obama is leading us stepwise into socialism, who can say definitively at this juncture that he isn’t? Not Mr. Moran, although he actually tries to do so, without a shread of evidence here to bolster his case.

    That seems to me to be the arrogance of thinking one can read the mind of Obama and his minions and fellow travelers. And if you cannot definitively prove that he isn’t going this way, which you would have to be able to read the future to do, you must be very alert to the actual steps that he and his leftwing-driven Congress are taking that would increase the possibility of an evolving socialistic government.

    Simple folk pick up signs daily that can be construed by them to be indicators of increasing penetration of dangerous social constructs, centralization of decision-making, spending out of control, and taking over of business.

    Is this what we really want?

    I say no!

  133. 133
    c3 Said:
    10:18 pm 

    Well Rick I still like you. One thing I’ve certainly learned from this post: Glen Beck’s ratings are higher than yours….;-) Keep it up.

    Air America’s ratings are higher than mine. Casper the Ghost’s ratings are higher than mine. A block of wood probably has higher ratings than I do.

    Thanks for the support anyway…

    ed.

  134. 134
    Jimmy Said:
    11:24 pm 

    I think the best way for the GOP to hang itself is to continue to push Glenn Beck and Limbaugh as its spokespeople.

    Do Republicans want to be the party of all Americans or just the crazies? I’m starting to think it’s the latter…

  135. 135
    Nik Mendota Said:
    11:32 pm 

    I don’t consider myself a far right wingnut and I’m neither ignorant nor isolated. On the contrary, I’m an Ivy educated woman of color living in NYC, social liberal/fiscal conservative and I LOVE Glenn Beck. He makes more sense–and shares that good sense articulately and with humor–than most other people I read/watch/listen to.

    It seems like a lot of conservatives/Republicans (including you, perhaps, Rick) are spooked and scared about being a permanent political minority, trying to be extra careful not to blurt out truths, in fear that revealing them–and the anger they engender–will “offend” people and cause them to lose ground rather than gain it. I think that’s WRONG.

    If fiscal conservatives wind up in a permanent political minority it will be because the parasite class has grown to the point of being a massive voting bloc. It will NOT be the fault of Glenn Beck. Indeed, Beck is the voice crying in the wilderness that maybe can SAVE us from exile.

    You GO, Beck. Feckless, fearless fools who want t

  136. 136
    Greatest Hits: Apr. 9, 2009 - Whatever Is Right Pinged With:
    4:59 am 

    [...] Glenn Beck, a “bigoted kook”?? - Rick Moran (Right Wing Nut House) [...]

  137. 137
    Aaron Said:
    8:00 am 

    “Aaron……you are moron!”

    Wow, how can one argue against such a stunningly well-reasoned and thoughtful criticism of ideas?

    And we wonder why the left thinks that we don’t have any substantive basis for our beliefs. Then again, citing sources and creating logical arguments is so much like work…

  138. 138
    Paul Said:
    9:04 am 

    I feel your line of thinking misses the point of Beck’s popularity. He is popular for his core message of freedom and liberty and small government, not because he’s sometimes way out there.

    More explanation:

    http://organizedexploitation.blogspot.com/2009/04/glenn-beck-and-extreme-radical-right.html#comments

  139. 139
    JG Said:
    12:53 pm 

    “…by such a fantastically ridiculous notion that Obama and the Democrats are going to cancel elections, or disband the Supreme Court, or initiate other actions that would be necessary to turn this country in a totalitarian haven, any rational American has to ask if this fellow isn’t a couple of shakes short of a martini.”

    Cancelling elections? Martial law? Totalitarianism? Funny, these are the accusations I heard from the left over 8 years during the Bush Administration. You know, that the Patriot Act was a precursor to “re-education” camps and the like…

    Just saying…

  140. 140
    The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » The über-secret attempt by ACORN to tell Obama the names of people attending Tea Parties (and other stories) Pinged With:
    3:46 pm 

    [...] defending Glenn Beck from kook charges, Robert Stacy McCain scribed a rather long but eloquent defense which also explains everything from [...]

  141. 141
    Those Nutty Extreme Right-Wingers | The Classic Liberal Blog Pinged With:
    10:25 pm 

    [...] GLENN BECK AND THE RADICAL RIGHT Today, it is the critique by the left that somehow, the radical right has captured the conservative movement and, by extension, the Republican party. Liberals have temporarily abandoned the idea of trying to make Rush Limbaugh the leader of the conservatives and the GOP because Mr. Limbaugh has failed to cooperate by not being very radical lately or at least, loony tunes radical which is the standard by which the left wants to establish in people’s minds when they look at the right. [...]

  142. 142
    Elizho Said:
    1:26 am 

    Aside from the entry being swarmed by a ball of radical right wingers, and if I had 25 hours available in a day, I would have debunked the majority of simpleton comments here (albeit some of your constructs appear to be somewhat faulty or should have been polished more appropriately), what I am mostly interested is where these folks are coming from? Is there a some common point of convergence that directing them to this particular post? Can you kindly share the “referral” URL(s)? Frankly, I haven’t seen such skittish reactionary backlash on an ideologically opposing blog site for some time.

  143. 143
    War in the Conservative Blogosphere -AND/OR- Glenn Beck goes off his rocker - Whatever Is Right Pinged With:
    4:15 pm 

    [...] And I’m not alone: prominent conservative blogger Rick Moran’s piece entitled “Glenn Beck and the Radical Right” has recently caused quite a stir — an uproarous one, at that — within the [...]

  144. 144
    Flee, son , flee « Stocks Go Up. Stocks Go Down. Pinged With:
    4:39 pm 

    [...] Political Animal: Conservative blogger Rick Moransaid yesterday, “Beck worries me. Conservatives worry me. I worry about myself. I feel trapped in a huge [...]

  145. 145
    Drasties - Dutch on the World - World on the Dutch Pinged With:
    7:02 pm 

    [...] it’s a problem for the party and the conservative movement. Conservative blogger Rick Moran said yesterday, “Beck worries me. Conservatives worry me. I worry about myself. I feel trapped in a huge [...]

  146. 146
    gedblog » Blog Archive » Blinded by the Right Pinged With:
    8:48 pm 

    [...] made an honest and tough to swallow plea to conservatives with a post on April 8th titled “Glenn Beck and the Radical Right” in which he breaks with the rank and file and calls Beck and his ilk what they are - kooks. [...]

  147. 147
    MlR Said:
    12:23 pm 

    “Radical right” translation: Conservatives who don’t agree with me.

  148. 148
    Peter Principle Said:
    8:01 pm 

    If you can take the long view, what’s happening on the conservative right looks like a predictable cyclical pattern in American politics — in which an elite (or at least, intellectually grounded) movement rises to power by attracting mass support, only to grow increasingly out of touch with the populist “fringe” elements it has attracted to the cause.

    Fifty years ago, the mandarins of the old New Deal left had to deal with the more radical civil rights and New Left activists who challenged their control of the Democratic Party. Before that, the old Wilsonian Democrats of the Progressive Era were challenged by the urban machines and the unions, who emerged as the big winners in the New Deal. Before that, the agrarian Populists took on the McKinley-Hanna Republicans, and before THAT, the Whig elites who created the GOP to contend with the nativist Know Nothings.

    Now Rick Moran is discovering, much to his horror, that his elite reactionary ideology — the conservatism of Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley — has mutated into a populist movement, with all the carny sideshow theatrics and conspiratorial paranoia that American populist movements have traditionally fostered.

    Not to worry: If past is prologue, the elites will eventually regain control, after the movement has been in the political wilderness long enough.

    The real story is going to be on the left, as the same dynamic begins to generate friction between the Clintonite and Obamanian Democratic establishment and the less domesticated liberal “netroots”.

    For conservatives, this should be a source of some encouragement, not to mention entertainment.

  149. 149
    mid-lefty Said:
    10:01 am 

    As noted: the face of the right is now Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Shawn Hannity, Anne Coultier!! Meanwhile, the face of the left is now- Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Ed Shultz.
    People in the the middle decide elections,
    Now the big question– 2+2=???

  150. 150
    funny man Said:
    6:41 pm 

    Peter Principle,
    couldn’t agree more

  151. 151
    Michael Pate Said:
    8:36 am 

    Glenn Beck and Chuck Norris are loons for discussing Texas secession? What does that make Rick Perry?

    Rick Perry strikes a chord with comments about Texas secession

    Of course, the idea of a Liberal Exodus is not unheard of either.

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