Right Wing Nut House


The Beckian Wing of Conservatism

Filed under: Politics, conservative reform — Rick Moran @ 7:33 am

As I peak out from under the couch where I was hiding these last few days, I note that the guests have departed and I can begin cleaning the spittle flecked walls and ceiling as well as get a start on blotting up the urine stains on the carpet. That was one drunken blog brawl and it will be a relief to go back to inhabiting my comfortably obscure corner of Blogdom.

But before I leave the subject entirely, there is a point to which I need to respond made by many commenters here and bloggers elsewhere; why piss on your own? What purpose is served by going after Beck (or other pop conservatives)? Can’t you just ignore Beck if you don’t like him? And relatedly; You are only playing into the hands of the left; you are allowing them to define acceptable conservative discourse.

I’ll take the second part first, Mr. Trebek. This is a point made by Stacey McCain, Jim Treacher, and others - that I am consciously (or subconsciously) accepting the narrative offered by the left on people like Beck, Limbaugh, Coulter, Hannity, and other conservatives; that we should ignore the exaggerations, the false contextualization of remarks, the cherry-picked quotes, that the left routinely uses to demonize them, and through them the entire right.

(Note: It is hard to “exaggerate” or “take out of context” many stunts pulled by Mr. Beck of late, a subject I will deal with later.)

I am sympathetic to this argument because the reverse is true as well; we should not pay any attention when liberals try and define what is acceptable discourse on the right by praising critics of pop conservatives as “smart” or “sane.” We should appreciate it when some liberals with a track record of rational analysis and thoughtful criticism comment favorably on our critiques of our side - even criticism that includes smacking down elitism and what McCain calls “The Assistant Secretary Syndrome” that damages conservative punditry. But in the main, the idea that we should respond Pavlovian-style to liberal criticism or praise is absurd.

But what about being true to oneself, to one’s own sense of the perception being formed by the electorate with regard to the hard right? The “take no prisoners” attitude on the part of many conservatives flies smack in the face of what most Americans want from the opposition today. What they crave are alternative ideas, reasonable criticism, and not the wild-eyed, fanatical, over the top warnings of a disappearing republic, fascism on the march, socialism, Communism, dictatorship, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria! It makes conservatism look ridiculous to the vast majority of non-elite, non-Inside-the-Beltway, voters. (You are already aware of how it plays with the elites both in and out of Washington.)

You can argue that much of this perception is due to an extremely unfriendly media that is in cahoots with liberals to smear conservatives. But give the people a little more credit than that. If we believe that it’s the media or the left’s fault when Glen Beck tries to create a conspiracy theory involving the Mercury Dime, the fasces, and fascism, we are in a deep state of denial.

In truth, I owe all you Beck supporters an apology. Not that I still don’t think he is unbalanced. Or that he doesn’t hugely exaggerate the dangers of what the government is doing under Obama. Or that he is irrational. Or that his appeal to some conservatives isn’t taking the movement over a cliff the more popular he becomes.

No - my apology is for getting too personal and calling him a “kook” and a “loon.” Those who took me to task for that were correct. My explanation is that I sometimes go for the giggle when I should stick to reasonable analysis.

After immersing myself in “Beckisms” and “Beckmania” for the last few days, I can say flat out that this guy is crazy like a fox. Allow me to explain.

I see the appeal, entertainment-wise, that Beck brings to the table. He has the same gifts of any good stand-up comedian. His sense of timing is impeccable. He has a good grasp of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to comedy. Occassionally, he misfires - the gasoline bit is a good example - but his rants appear to be calculated to get his listeners nodding in agreement as he alternates between a sort of rough hewn populism and really “out there” charges against Obama and the Democrats.

The hyperbole is incredible - literally. To my ears, his off the wall spoutings are very difficult to understand in any context save his desire to get a rise out of people. For example, he couldn’t possibly believe that the US has been headed for fascism “since Teddy Roosevelt” and that the Mercury dime has the symbol of Mussolini’s Fascist party on its back and that this is somehow indicative of Woodrow Wilson’s support for it, can he?

Here’s the transcript of the interview that Beck did with Sheldon Richman, current editor of the libertarian The Freeman which is published by the Foundation for Economic Education.

BECK: OK. I — first of all, am I wrong on this one, Sheldon? That what I’m seeing here is fascistic.

RICHMAN: You’re not wrong. The only thing I would do is broaden your perspective a little bit. We’ve been on this road a very, very long time.

BECK: Oh, I think we’ve been on this road since Teddy Roosevelt. And — I mean, look, I want to show you something. This is — explain what this is. Do you have feedback? This is that — this is all the sticks bound together in the axis. It’s the Roman symbol of fascism?

RICHMAN: This is what the fascists in Italy used as their symbol, which was this Roman depiction of a bundle of rods bound together with an ax coming out the top, which I assume is a symbol of a collective unity and force of power.

BECK: Right. OK, could you zoom in on this? Here it is — Harry, bring it forward a little bit. Zoom in right here.

This is — this is the Mercury Dime. On the back of the mercury dime — and Harry saw this earlier today. He works the gib camera that’s zooming in right now. They look familiar? This is the symbol of fascism.

Who brought this dime in? It happened in 1916, Woodrow Wilson was the president. I didn’t even put this together. We’ve have been on the road to fascism for a while.

Mr. Beck is trying to make a connection between the US government deliberately putting a symbol of fascism on a dime and Woodrow Wilson because…why? We wanted to announce that we supported fascism in a subtle way? Did we want to send signals to other fascists that we were with them? Was Wilson a closet fascist? Why in God’s name would the US government deliberately place a fascist symbol on its money?

Truth be told, what Beck refers to as the symbol of fascist Italy did not begin as a “fascist” symbol” but rather as a symbol of power “carried by lictors in front of magistrates” in ancient Rome. Even in modern times, the symbol was apparently used by a variety of Italian political parties from socialist to nationalist.

Um…the symbol is also found on the “seal of the United States Senate, the emblem on the back of the Mercury dime in the United States, the coat of arms of France, the wall of the debating chamber of the United States House of Representatives and the coat of arms of the Swiss Canton of St.Gallen.”

For a man who prides himself on having crackerjack researchers, are you trying to tell me that Google is unknown to them and they couldn’t have found the Wikpedia entry that I linked above? Most of the uses of of the fasces predates fascism itself.

There is no rational answer to why Mr. Beck was trying to connect the use of the fasces on the back of a dime with the idea that fascism has been on the march in America for a long time, culminating in President Obama’s efforts to quaisi-nationalize banks and auto companies. Beck’s trying to connect the dots here an exercise in sophistry, a monumental exaggeration of what Obama is doing, and either an ignorant or dishonest reading of history.

And this brings us back to the first part of the question that people were asking me; why bother? Beck is an entertainer. He speaks for the little guy. In the large scheme of things he doesn’t matter. Besides, he’s funny. He’s not serious about a lot of the things he says.

All of that may be true. But if you see someone running toward a gasoline dump with a lit match, what would you do? Say, “Ignore him, he doesn’t matter?” Or perhaps, “That’s pretty funny, someone trying to immolate himself.” Or maybe, “Man, this explosion and fireball is going to be so kewl!”

You can argue that I’m an idiot for believing this as many of you have and no doubt will continue to do so. But Beck and others like him, who constantly raise the specter of American doom, of Obama as commissar, the Democrats as Nazis, while imploring listeners to “take the country back” and start some kind of “revolution” are bat sh*t dangerous to the conservative movement. I am not convinced, as many on the left seem to be, that any of this hyperbolic rhetoric will lead to a massive outbreak of violence. But there is little doubt it marginalizes conservatives even more than they were on November 5 of last year and unless the tables can be turned and the Beck’s of the movement are themselves tossed to the sidelines, I fear that conservatism - yours, mine, the paleos, the neocons, the elites, and every kind of conservatism in between - will achieve the same kind of irrelvancy that liberalism experienced (for many of the same reasons) for much of the two decades preceding Obama’s election.

I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who said that “Hell is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself.” It is my belief that unless the Beckian wing of the hard right is marginalized, we conseratives are going to learn the truth of that adage very shortly.


Comments are open. I have an itchy trigger finger.


  1. Beck is not the leader of the Conservatives/Republicans/Right any more than Limbaugh is. Seems to me that these guys get so much support from their followers because there is no leadership in the Republican/Conservative/Right arena. Maybe the “Tea Parties” are a manifistation of the frustration millions of people feel about government and politics. Maybe millions of people listen to these guys because they don’t like the direction the country is going, and the Becks and Limbaughs are speaking their thoughts.
    Maybe the country is going insane, but I don’t think everyone will go quietly into the camps.
    What are the millions looking for?
    You could probably create a list of possibilities better than most.

    Comment by Lars — 4/12/2009 @ 8:38 am

  2. Rick:

    There are a couple of places where you and people like you diverge from Beck/Limbaugh fans.

    You want to win and they actually want to lose. You want to understand, they want to rage. You’re trying to figure out how to draw a line from WF Buckley through to the 21st century and the Beck/Limbaugh crowd doesn’t care.

    They don’t care because it’s not about ideas or even politics for them. It never has been. Politics is just the theater in which they play out their personal psychodramas. For them it’s about the primary emotions of rage, fear, hurt, resentment. Paradoxically they are happier now without the tether to reality that actual power imposes.

    Your side won’t get anywhere without splitting the GOP and the so-called conservative movement. You can’t win when half your team wants to lose.

    Comment by michael reynolds — 4/12/2009 @ 8:51 am

  3. I almost nearly completely agree, but I think that there is an element to the alienation of the middle that isn’t being recognized, namely, the lack of a rational, intellectual leader for the conservative movement. After all, every movement has had its wackos and fringe voices - Beck, in this case, isn’t really anything new abstractly speaking - but what is new is that there isn’t really anyone else to look at as a contrast.
    Beck is the conservative equivalent of Bill Maher, but what we lack as conservatives is an Obama to look to as the rational, realistic and relatable (call it the 3 R’s) spokesperson for the movement. Where someone who is intellectually uncommitted can look at the left and say, “Bill Maher is presumptuous, pretentious and a dick, but Obama really seems to understand what he’s talking about and how it relates to me.” they look at the right saying, “Glenn Beck is a crazy conspiracy theorist that makes the insane look even-headed but… Bobby Jindal sounds like that guy from 30 Rock?” The rational layman is pushed to side with the left, and can we really blame them? Unless you are familiar with conservatism’s history and ideological basis it’s sort of hard to take it seriously these days.
    Point is, Glenn Beck wouldn’t be a problem if conservatism knew what to do with itself and had someone to make its argument. But at a time when it’s been beaten down both by Bush conservatism and a resurgence of lefty ideas, Glenn Beck (and the other’s mentioned) are doing the movement a huge disservice by broadcasting craziness on national television, for the reasons you’ve already addressed.

    Comment by Lukas T — 4/12/2009 @ 9:00 am

  4. [...] tend to agree with Rick on this. The right’s celebrity icons are nothing more than a bunch of baffoons. Who are making a lot of money. Question is: Are they [...]

    Pingback by And Rightly So… » Blog Archive » Easter Sunday News & Links — 4/12/2009 @ 9:11 am

  5. Don’t think that the Limbaughs define Conservatism? Where is Wm. F. Buckley’s son, Christopher Buckley now? What horrible sin did he commit that made the editor of the National Review accept his resignation? Thousands of emails demanding that he goes, for what? Daring to say that Obama is rational? Do you really think that Limbaugh would make 400 million a year formulating constructive Conservative alternative solutions to the big government ideas of Liberals? The left is not as far off the mark as you think, bashing liberals is a very lucrative business, and it has nothing to do with a political philosophy on the powers of government. The sooner real conservatives realize this and forcefully divorce themselves from the Limbaugh wing the better. Yeah, the few brave ones that would do this would spend some time in the wilderness shunned by the “true believers”, but long term they would prevail as their constructive message started to resonate with the much maligned middle. There is no room for both in the Conservative movement, it is time for Conservatism to go back to the intellectual roots it started with and throw out the people that turned a political philosophy into a perverted true believers only pseudo-evangelical movement.

    Comment by grognard — 4/12/2009 @ 10:16 am

  6. The last couple of days I thought to myself “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. I think it is important to stand our ground because we really want to win some elections. The emphasis has to be on rational discourse. However, that doesn’t mean I agree with everything you (Rick) or other people on this blog have to say but starts with the assumption that we all want what is best for the country. It’s natural we come to different conclusions. I give one (small) example. In parts of the conservative showmanship world it has become an established “fact” that global warming is a ‘hoax’. That somehow scientists have willfully propagated this ‘liberal lie’ etc etc. I don’t want to go into the pros and cons of global warming but I don’t believe in any conspiracy. If you are a scientist you just measure melting of the Arctic ice, increasing temperatures and model this with available historical data and most come up with an increase in global temperatures that worries them. That’s it! No need to go into fringe theories about a coming “World Government” and the likes.
    Do you remember when some people where convinced there were huge underground Russian camps and you’d spot a Russian once every few weeks?
    Thanks Rick for standing up for rational thought!

    Comment by funny man — 4/12/2009 @ 10:47 am

  7. Jeebus. “Real conservatives” “they actually want to lose” “But there is little doubt it marginalizes conservatives even more than they were on November 5 of last year”

    What twaddle.

    Beck, and Limbaugh, and yes even the hated Coulter, are often over-the-top, but more often they are *right*, and therein lies their popularity.

    If Limbaugh is so marginalizing, why is he so popular?

    If the brand of intellectual conservatism espoused here is so worthy, why is it mostly unknown?

    If rationalism is so wonderful, how did we get where we are? Haven’t all the Harvard and Yale grads, Left and Right, been running things for some time, in gov’t and out? How’s that working out for us?

    Limbaugh, Beck, and the others are all populists, in the good sense. They try to speak to, and for, the little guy, but the American little guy, the little guy who sees his best interest in Liberty, and the freedom to order and improve their own lives to the best of their ability. The Dems speak for the little guy too (or claim to), but their little guy is someone who thinks their life will only be improved by the efforts of others.

    The problem with intellectuals is that they don’t understand or even like the little guy. Speaking of spittle, look at how much of it around here is projected in their direction. So when you talk marginalization, remember this: you’ll never win any elections just getting the intellectuals to vote for you, and you’ll never get the little guy to vote for you while you look down your nose at him. Yes, I know, Democrats do, but they’re pros at it.

    Really, selling conservatism in America is easy. It’s all about liberty. The right to be left alone, the right to keep what you earn, the right to live where and how you want, to say what you want, and to defend all that is yours. Very simple, and things that most Americans believe in. Not hard to sell, as Reagan proved.

    The trouble is that most professional Republicans don’t really believe in those things, because every one of those things implies a smaller and less powerful gov’t, and what’s the point of striving to be in control of something that’s worth less, in terms of power? To say nothing of the fact that the more power the gov’t has the more the rich will attempt to influence the elected with money, so a less powerful gov’t also means that elected positions are worth much less in terms of money. This basic tension is why the Republican Party doesn’t “work”, at least so far as the Limbaugh, Beck, and Coulter constituents are concerned.

    If conservatism (which is not Republicanism) is to regain power in America, it will be on the backs of, and due to the efforts of, those very people you so disdain. Not due to the sneering of self-appointed intellectuals.

    Comment by DSmith — 4/12/2009 @ 10:52 am

  8. I teach high school. I consider one mark of my job well done is whether my students can sustain a rational, evidence-based conversation on a controversial topic. Our community is rural and traditionally conservative. I spend a fair amount of time reading blogs and punditry, to try to better understand the mechanics of polarization on both sides. Surely it’s not coincidence that the fringes of each side sound identical to each other? Rigid thinking and paranoia are personal traits, reinforced by ranters like Beck and Olbermann, much more than they are political differences.

    So when I want to test my own ability to follow a train of logic and learn from a different point of view, I come here. If I represent the kind of independent voter Republicans need to attract, then yours is the kind of voice that could do that.

    Comment by Lane — 4/12/2009 @ 11:24 am

  9. Our captain is free!!! Great!!

    Comment by funny man — 4/12/2009 @ 11:43 am

  10. I’ve said it before Rick and will say it again. There is hope if people like you, Patterico and AP continue pointing out the reasonable paths.
    I think that a debate between Rush and Newt Gingrich would be helpful in many ways. Gingrich can articulate solutions and strategy that support the ideology in general - Limbaugh, Beck, and others either cannot or will not focus on solutions, rather they enjoy castigating those who dare dissent in any degree. Independents and “Reagan Democrats” will pay attention and may even be attracted to those solutions. Having the loudmouths somewhat marginalized and making diversity once again acceptable in the GOP will be a positive result. More importanthly the dreaded Rinos and moderates may flex their considerable strength in numbers and remind the “Beckites, limbaughites, coulterites, etc” that this IS their party as well.

    Comment by Brad — 4/12/2009 @ 1:02 pm

  11. When one hears a story that seems to put current and past events and statements together into a coherent pattern, and appears to hearken unto authority for its bona fides, it does give one pause. It forces one to examine the premises of the story more carefully, and to do a bit of investigation on the points made.

    That the story seems to hold up under examination is good to know, and it becomes one more arrow in the quiver.

    That the story is a concoction of coincidences, false bridges, and wishful thinking, reinforced by the storyteller’s delivery, style and authority, is all too often the case, and it is sometimes not all that easy for the average Joe to take it apart. But, what it does do is make one think about it, which is mostly a good thing…I think!

    Such a discovery of falsity is a great disillusionment for many, because we want the bad guys to lose, and many of these false stories, these conspiracy theories, are meant to feed on just that desire.

    Lacking the time the inclination to do the work of taking such theories apart for one’s self, there is one simple rule to follow: Give the story time to be critiqued or to be overcome by events–the old 72-hour rule, in other words–before one puts that arrow into the quiver.

    The only problem with applying the rule is waiting for someone to validate the story, which just might take a long time, since unfavorable stories get suppressed by the media. The current example of this is the suppression of comment on the Tea Party movement by the media, until now, as April 15th comes closer.

    That rule applies no less to Glenn Beck than to any other public figure that is (making up or) telling important stories for our consumption, including the media, politicians, philosophers, entertainers, and elites of all stripes and colors. Bloggers too, I might add.

    The closest I have seen of a hopeless comedian morphing into a politician, and by inference, something of a yet-to-be leader in our Senate, is Al Frankin. Glenn Beck can’t come near that noise level, and will not.

    Comment by mannning — 4/12/2009 @ 1:11 pm

  12. Sir,
    I can’t figure out if you’re buying into the need to personalize the question “What is conservativism”. This is a watered down acceptance of Alinsky’s Rule #12.
    McLuhan famously said “the medium is the message”. But is the messenger the medium? We can have adult disagreements all day long about the style of a Beck, a Coulter, a Limbaugh.
    WTF the substance of what they’re saying? Isn’t that what, in the long run, matters?
    (the guy with the Tea Party photos at CPAC)

    Comment by smitty1e — 4/12/2009 @ 1:27 pm

  13. In this debate about the shape and size of government it is difficult to align oneself with the traditional labels. It was not the conservatives who fought slavery in England in the early 19th century but the liberals. Now, it is the liberals who seem to want to control the means of production, denying individual liberty.
    I have been following your blog on this and your thoughts on modern conservatism. Recently, I re-read Thomas Sowell’s “Conflict of Visions”. I think of myself as a “Constrained”, one who looks to small incremental increases in and by society. Obama is an “Unconstrained”, thinking that through intellectual brillance utopia can be achieved. I do not think he, and liberals in general are evil, but their overreach has unintended consequences, usually negative.

    Comment by djh — 4/12/2009 @ 1:31 pm

  14. America has REAL problems that need REAL solutions. This is fact. Unfortunately, the Republican party philosophy has nothing to say about the REAL problems America faces. Sadly, bin Ladin’s dreams are coming true.

    I stopped watching not just Glenn Beck, but all of Fox News because they do not (intentionally?) report the information necessary to understand the nature of these REAL problems let alone provide the information to evaluate possible solutions.

    Fox News really is demagoguery. I am the first to admit the rest of broadcast news does not do any better, but Fox is the king of demagogic commentary. (Yes, I have heard of CNBC.)

    The whole thing just makes me sad. Obama will not destroy America, yet America as we want it to be will probably be destroyed. It’s depressing really.

    Comment by bsjones — 4/12/2009 @ 2:59 pm

  15. >>Beck is not the leader of the Conservatives/Republicans/Right any more than Limbaugh is. Seems to me that these guys get so much support from their followers because there is no leadership in the Republican/Conservative/Right arena.<> It’s natural we come to different conclusions. I give one (small) example. In parts of the conservative showmanship world it has become an established “fact” that global warming is a ‘hoax’. That somehow scientists have willfully propagated this ‘liberal lie’ etc etc. I don’t want to go into the pros and cons of global warming but I don’t believe in any conspiracy. If you are a scientist you just measure melting of the Arctic ice, increasing temperatures and model this with available historical data and most come up with an increase in global temperatures that worries them. <<

    Really? Like you, I don’t want to go into pros and cons, but as someone that reads constantly, I don’t see the consensus amongst scientists you speak about…and the cures I read about will be very expensive if not futile..

    Speaking of another favorite liberal green issue, glad to see hunting is becoming “one with nature and the natural way to obtain meat while being close to the source of our food”….gotta go crank up the crock pot for some deer meat chili, yum.

    Leave Beck alone and lets pray for the right leader to come along and articulate the truths of conservatism….seems to me he is laying the groundwork.

    Comment by CinnamongirlUF — 4/12/2009 @ 3:47 pm

  16. CinnamongirlUF,
    the problem with people like you is that you make this into a ‘favorite liberal green issue’ when it is not. Sure, you can have different outcomes depending on the parameters and assumptions you feed into your modeling. That’s why there is no consensus but the majority of scientists think that human caused global warming is occurring (not surprising with 6 billion plus humans on the planet). However, the point I was only making is that this is not some sort of conspiracy. Just as ‘evolution’ is no liberal talking point but a readily observable scientific fact.

    Comment by funny man — 4/12/2009 @ 4:54 pm

  17. I used to read your blog regularly but since the election have found it very difficult to read much of anything you write about anymore. Therefore, I now rarely click over to read your blog and after reading your latest rant against Beck, I guess it’ll be a while before I try again. I do not think you are aware of the sleeping giant that is now awakening in America, irrespective of political parties. You appear to be sheltered from the angst that everyday Americans are feeling as they see this administration spend, borrow and regulate like NEVER BEFORE in our history. The Tea Party movement is now mobilizing Americans who have NEVER participated in protests their entire lives and are willing to now to save this country from the destructiveness of President Obama, his agenda and the irresponsibility of Congress to spend ourselves into oblivion. Perhaps you should get out a bit more away from your computer and SPEAK to real people face to face, you may find a different story is happening, again, regardless of Dem or GOP parties.

    Comment by fitnessfreak — 4/12/2009 @ 6:57 pm

  18. fitnessfreak,

    Hippies having a tea party here:


    Do they have your support fitnessfreak?

    Comment by bsjones — 4/12/2009 @ 9:49 pm

  19. You know it’s time for us to surrender because we lost. We lost this election, and we lost the argument.

    Obama did a wonderful job on the pirate thingy didn’t he?

    Comment by Gayle — 4/12/2009 @ 10:37 pm

  20. To me, the bigger concern here is that we’re becoming a culture of reactionaries rather than a culture of ideas. Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, etc. are merely manipulating this trend rather than trying to transform it into something more thoughtful. To say that the message matters more than the presentation is wrong — try yelling at your spouse with childish namecalling the next time you have a disagreement and see if he/she appreciates your “message”.

    Also, I just want to say that I stumbled across this blog about a week ago and enjoy Rick’s writing style greatly. It’s refreshing to see an actual essayist on the internet in this age of “give it to me in 25 words or less so I can comment and move on” online punditry. Keep it up!

    Comment by Ryan Garns — 4/12/2009 @ 11:54 pm

  21. The liberal Nobel prize winning economist criticizes the tea baggers and the GOP in the liberal NYT here:


    Krugman thinks Republicans are even more embarrassing and crazier than moonbats. His point is that this is nothing new.

    According to Krugman Republicans have been wingnuts since Reagan. He remembers when Republicans were insisting that both Clintons were murderers. He insists that Republicans do not believe in evolution and they believe that Obama is a closet Muslim, Robin Hood not eligible to be president because he is a foreign national. “SHOW ME THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!”, the faithful exclaim. Krugman thinks it’s crazy to think Obama wants to destroy capitalism by raising taxes to levels slightly lower than the ones we had under Reagan.

    Is the Grand Old Party the senile party?

    Comment by bsjones — 4/13/2009 @ 1:40 am

  22. If some Republicans are up in arms over a blog post by Rick Moran being critical of Glenn Beck, they are either dangerously insecure or totally intolerant.

    Comment by Surabaya Stew — 4/13/2009 @ 5:42 am

  23. It’s pretty simple to me. The Conservative Emperor(The Movement) is naked and you just started with a fig leaf in the name of common decency.

    Comment by the Fly-Man — 4/13/2009 @ 7:12 am

  24. bsjones (somehow your moniker seems quite appropriate) I also remember 8 years of Bush Lied, People Died, Preston Bush was a Nazi sympathizer, tax cuts only for the rich (one of the lies that stuck), war for oil, illegitimate president stealing the election from Al Gore, Bushitler, protesters carrying placards of a behead Bush, illegitimate war (for oil) and Krugman, who is hardly representative of the sane in this country, not bothering to call the left down on any of that. Hell, I am old enough, and I am sure you are, to have heard the rumors how FDR allowed the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor because he wanted to go to war.

    But not everyone agrees with Krugman, or Rick. And it seems there was a blog post on the very site that Rick contributes to, American Thinker, that warned that there were those that would come after Beck.

    If you think Rick now represents conservatives, you, nor he, are a real conservative. And if you think that the 2,000 Tea Parties that are now scheduled for the 15th are all about Obama, someone needs to buy you a clue.

    Comment by retire05 — 4/13/2009 @ 8:02 am

  25. retire05,
    nobody represents ‘real’ conservatives. Neither you nor me nor Rick. What court do we go to for a decision. However, I resent you feel you have a right to make that decision. Some conservatives felt the Iraq war was justified some didn’t. There are good arguments for both sides. So do you want to tell me there is a litmus test?
    BTW, I don’t let myself be defined of what some liberal bloggers said or didn’t say about Bush.

    Comment by funny man — 4/13/2009 @ 9:40 am

  26. Stick to yer guns. Even getting pissed on can have a palliative effect.

    Comment by Shaun Mullen — 4/13/2009 @ 9:42 am

  27. Since I am mired on Southbound I-95 at the time Beck comes on my local Fox cable channel, I set my DVR (one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century) to record his show every night. I found it unwatchable. I don’t think screaming doom and gloom at the top of one’s lungs is productive of anything other than the listener being thoroughly dismayed and disgusted and unwilling to give the man’s sometimes very valid points any credance! So I’m not recording Beck any longer! I have better ways to waste my time. Sam the Wonder Cat gets his supper a few minutes earlier and a few more chin scritches! Everyone at my house is happy, happy, happy!

    Comment by Gayle Miller — 4/13/2009 @ 9:48 am

  28. As to dogs and cats living together in harmony - my sister’s bluepoint Siamese and her pit bull are the best of buddies sleeping curled up together and the Siamese (an imperious breed at the best of times) ordering the pit bull around! It’s the most hilarious and delightful sight you’ve ever seen. Now Sam the Wonder Cat doesn’t like d-0-g-s one little bit, but then when I rescued him he was a street kitty and had suffered more than one injury at the hands of the canine persuasion (and vicious humans as well). That Sam is willing to trust any of our tribe at all, let alone love one of them - is one of the miracles of life! I am honored to be his human!

    Sam is one lucky kitty. Anyone who has the perspicacity to turn off Beck deserves all the loving a feline companion can give.


    Comment by Gayle Miller — 4/13/2009 @ 9:52 am

  29. Retire05,

    How does one know if someone is a ‘true conservative’ or not?

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 4/13/2009 @ 10:05 am

  30. Retire05:

    Don’t you think that true conservatives are a fraternity that includes all of the signs, handshakes, verbal cues, secret words, and other signals that verify themselves to others as being true members, and that have committed themselves fully to the tenets of Conservatism–subset “True”? No 90%, 95% or 98% members are allowed, either? It is 100% of something, or nothing at all?

    We get our marching orders from the likes of Limbaugh and Beck via TV and websites, especially the coded hand signals, so that we are all on the same page when voting, demonstrating, commenting, supporting candidates for office, or writing letters to the newspapers.

    We are as one in all things, or else!

    Comment by mannning — 4/13/2009 @ 10:53 am

  31. Hi Rick, saw your post on Beck over here after your comments were closed. I’ve been taking on the Beck zaniness at my blog as well. Have you been told that you are an Alinsky mole inside the conservative movement yet? I have, and I see Pam Gellar is now claiming that Charles Johnson is an “agent”.

    I’m also amused that those griping about you “pissing on your own” are those pissing on you. If we can’t tell those on our own side when they’re getting out of line, how come the commenters and other bloggers felt free to do so in your case? How many of these folks abstained from criticism of John McCain in 2007/2008? Is this really a principle that they believe in, or just a convenient stick?

    Comment by Pat Curley — 4/13/2009 @ 11:43 am

  32. I don’t disagree with you, Rick, but you must know the lefties that like you have no interest in truth. They just want their side to win and so they exploit any fissures on the right. Beck mostly appeals to the already converted but has the potential to appeal to those not paying much attention. So he must be silenced, and so much the better if he can be silenced by the right, vainly trying to ‘pretty up’ their message. So giving this a rest is my preference.

    It seems to me that a post each and every day mocking the absurdity of Democrats arguing the wisdom of trillion dollar deficits after spending 8 years bleating about the evil inherent in $300 billion deficits would be a better use of your time. In this regard we are beyond anything Lewis Carroll or George Orwell could have dreamed up.

    Comment by EBJ — 4/13/2009 @ 12:27 pm

  33. EBJ (#32) is a poster child for why so much of the Republican right wing could be mistaken for being brain dead.

    I happen to be one of those lefties who is very interested in “the truth,” which is why I have written as many posts critical of Obama recently as those praising him.

    Rick appeals to me because he’s an indy thinker with whom I often disagree but almost always makes me think.

    Beck and people like EBJ, on the other hand, make my brain numb over.

    Comment by Shaun Mullen — 4/13/2009 @ 12:52 pm

  34. retire05 and EBJ;

    I’m afraid your involved in flights of fancy if you’re hoping for meaningful discourse on this site. You’re dealing with people who cite Paul Krugman, the NYT, and link to obscure progressive sites in order to substantiate their arguments. Their paragon of “conservatism”, i.e. John “I’d walk a mile to cross that aisle”. McCain was a disaster. What we’re seeing now is a lot of foot stamping and temper tantrums because we refuse to shut-up and follow this rino herd further into the savannas. In the meantime, they’ll continue to scream, “We’re relevant!”….

    Comment by Ad rem — 4/13/2009 @ 2:01 pm

  35. It would be a useful exercise for conservatives to actually sit down and write a definition for Conservatism. I have no idea what it is anymore, and I don’t think anyone else does, either. It certainly isn’t the ravings of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Sadly, at this moment Conservatism doesn’t seem to be anything more than an angry reaction to Liberalism. Since Obama was elected, I have yet to see a single conservative stand up and offer a sensible suggestion on how things might be different and better. We are standing on the outside, lobbing rotten eggs and wallowing bitterly in our irrelevance. While that might be great sport, it isn’t a winning strategy for attracting voters.

    Comment by old yankee — 4/13/2009 @ 2:29 pm

  36. Well, #34 with a bullet kind of proves Rick’s point–the new Republican party simply doesn’t want to win elections. If *their own standard bearer* John McCain wasn’t really enough of a conservative republican for them there is nothing left by to run shrieking for the farthest right corner of the electoral map. And a cursory look at the electoral map shows that in the long run this is not going to be a winning strategy. They can conceive of it as “not following the rino herd further into the savannas” or they can conceive of it as self immolation on the altar of ideological purity but the one thing it isn’t is a winning electoral strategy. Let me say it very slooooooowly. The country was divided between republicans, independents, and democrats. When the independents became disgusted with the republican party and its solutions they swung democratic. And they aren’t going to swing back to the Republican side unless the republicans strongly repudiate all the moronic things that Bush and the party championed for eight long years, or unless they create an entirely new party out of whole cloth and call it “the new democratic party.” Yeah, that might work. Right now Republican party identification is at its lowest level ever. That is, people are simply ashamed to say they are republican. But that isn’t because there has been a massive shift towards a more ideologically pure party. ITs that people have simply fled to the center/left.

    So keep on watching Beck sob his turtle tears and pour watery gasoline on his shills. Its all good for the Democratic party and, to my mind, great for the country as a whole. The sooner you guys stampede yourselves into irrelevance the better.


    Comment by aimai — 4/13/2009 @ 3:07 pm

  37. When will conservatives figure out that with Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, and so on that IT IS ONLY ABOUT THE MONEY.

    You honestly don’t believe that they believe the crap they spew, do you?

    Comment by jharp — 4/13/2009 @ 3:20 pm

  38. aimai,

    You write with all the smug condescending arrogance of the typical leftist. If Democrats continue to win elections, it will be due to continued illegal immigration as well as the manipulation of the 2010 census by the likes of ACORN. The Republican party lost it’s soul when it decided to open the doors to illegals, in return for cheap labor.

    Comment by Ad rem — 4/13/2009 @ 4:21 pm

  39. DSmith (#7) wrote: If Limbaugh is so marginalizing, why is he so popular?

    wow. so marginalizing in itself leads to unpopularity? i never suspected that.

    Comment by HyperIon — 4/13/2009 @ 4:38 pm

  40. I notice you don’t say I’m Wrong in my analysis. Your only complaint is that you think I’m “smug.”bit hysterical and emotional of you but I understand from watching glen beck’s show that weeping and ranting are the new official GOP emotional styles. Just like divorce, pedophilia, bathroom stall hookups and ocxycontin addiction are the new family values. You know, I’ll take smug winning leftist over weepy, hysterical loser anyday. Watch out! The gay islamicascstmedia acorn based immigrant socialist threat is in the building! Gay abortions will be mandatory!

    Comment by Aimai — 4/13/2009 @ 4:44 pm

  41. Ad rem,
    I wonder what makes you think you are more conservative than I am. You are the one stamping your foot etc. Am I not allowed to read the NYT? Is David Brooks a wimpy RINO needing to be purged from the true believers.
    Come on, if that is your recipe to win on the East and West Coast you really don’t care.

    Comment by funny man — 4/13/2009 @ 4:52 pm

  42. aimai,

    Are you off your meds?

    Comment by Ad rem — 4/13/2009 @ 4:58 pm

  43. funny man,

    I wasn’t addressing you, however, your name speaks for itself….. (Do you really consider David Brooks a conservative???)

    Comment by Ad rem — 4/13/2009 @ 5:00 pm

  44. This may not be relevant and it’s entirety anecdotal, but comes right out of my own experiences with family.

    I’ll start with my 70 something year old mother in law. All she ever does is worry that the sky is falling. Her youngest daughter had a fight with her husband a few days ago and my mother in law was on a 500 mile road trip to change the locks at her daughter’s home to prevent her son in law from committing murder. The poor old lady has endless time on her hands, nothing to do, and a tendency towards a paranoid delusional mind. I’m glad she does not have cable or listen to Fox News. I truly believe it would exacerbate her mild mental illness.

    My own mother tapes Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Shaun and I don’t know what other shows every single day. In addition, she listens to Rush and Shawn for their entire radio shows every single day. There are others she tunes into sporadically. She refuses to watch or listen to anything she calls the MSM.

    Recently, she told me that, “Obama is not my leader. Bush was MY leader.” I thought that was incredibly creepy. My mother loves to talk about politics but gets what I call angry and hysterical if people are not ALWAYS in complete agreement with her. She calls people names and says things like, “You have a right to your ignorant opinions.” I find it sad because she is a very lonely person, who often angrily denounces and alienates people who attempt to befriend her.

    I am not sure any of this means anything and I do not want to blame demagogues for creating or exploiting the mild mental illness that comes from aging and loneliness, but I personally wonder if the amount of time listening to the most extreme and hyperbolic political talk for say seven or more hours a day has a destabilizing effect on people who I might call vulnerable.

    I do not want to restrict any speech and think people are responsible for the decisions they make with regard to what they expose themselves to, yet I think large amounts of hysterical entertainment can be dangerous for some.

    Does this sound familiar to anyone?

    Comment by bsjones — 4/13/2009 @ 5:11 pm

  45. Would you please change the name of this blog to lamewingnuthouse and be done with it?

    I consider myself a traditional (not contemporary) conservative first and a republican second. I can’t stand Beck. Will you all get it through your thick heads that he is not a conservative, consistently admits he is a libertarian and is nothing more than a radio shock-jock with a TV gig? He’s Howard Stern without the bimbos.

    Go Beck yourselves!

    Comment by CZ — 4/13/2009 @ 5:51 pm

  46. Ad rem,
    David Brooks is a moderate conservative who has been around for a long time. I just don’t see what is so wrong about him. I don’t have to agree with him all the time but at least he thinks before he talks (writes). Most of what people don’t like (not necessarily you) is that he is from NYC, writing for the NYT, and, Gasp, sounds like an intellectual. However, I sometimes read the Economist and the NYT for the sole beauty of well-written articles. That is why I also come here or the American Conservative. IMHO, that’s what democracy is all about. Ghosh, and I hate to take myself to serious hence the name (perhaps unfunny man would be funnier)

    Comment by funny man — 4/13/2009 @ 6:04 pm

  47. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., told local officials this week that there are 17 socialists in the House of Representatives. Bachus didn’t name names of the 17 socialists. Apparently, he has a secret list.


    Last time I watched C-SPAN I saw mostly R’s and D’s. I haven’t asked my mother what she makes of it all. Yet.

    Comment by bsjones — 4/13/2009 @ 8:49 pm

  48. Since Obama was elected in spite of Moveon.org and Jon Stewart, I seriously doubt that Beck can destroy the conservative movement — the movement was doing just fine at destroying itself before Beck became popular. I listen to Beck and I think he’s entertaining, even if he gets a little weirdly sentimental and hyperbolic at times. About 95% of what he says could be accepted by anyone with a love of freedom and an understanding of classic liberalism. But disagreeing with you doesn’t mean I think you are a bad person, really. Many more posts like this could suggest you are enjoying the negative attention and the consoling attaboys, which we all know would be ironic.

    Comment by Mike Farmer — 4/13/2009 @ 10:33 pm

  49. You mean “As I peek out from under the couch where I was hiding these last few days…”

    This kind of right-wing craziness has been around for a long time. When I was a kid, John Birchers handed out a pamphlet called “COMMUNISM, HYPNOTISM, AND THE BEATLES.” The thesis of this screed involved the notion that the Beatles were a Communist plot to hypnotize and subvert American youth. That was around 1965, if memory serves.

    Nothing has really changed, has it?

    Comment by mclaren — 4/13/2009 @ 11:11 pm

  50. Incidentally, I know some people are going to doubt that a book that insane ever existed. Well, guess what? You can even buy a used copy on amazon.com:


    Comment by mclaren — 4/13/2009 @ 11:17 pm

  51. “symbol of a collective unity” -

    So I guess this means that (according to Beck) “e pluribus unum” is also a fascist motto, LOL.

    Comment by Nancy Irving — 4/14/2009 @ 4:18 am

  52. @ nancy irving #51:

    For fun, do an InterTubes search with the terms “e pluribus unum” and “conspiracy”. For the Capital-W-whackadoodles, its not a symbol of facism, but rather a “clear and obvious” mark that the Illuminati rule US politics (and the globe).
    Conspiracy theorists are great for your self-image. Whenever I question if I’m completely off my rocker with an interpretation of something, a little “New World Order” hysteria lets me know that no matter how wacky I am, I’m DEEPLY within the “goofballs only beyond this point” line.

    Comment by busboy33 — 4/14/2009 @ 6:31 am

  53. One more time on Mr. Moran…

    I know. I’ve been mentioning him perhaps too often lately, but his most recent series has been hitting very close to home for me.  I just couldn’t resist one more trackback to the man who seems to be able to channel my own ideas.

    Trackback by Futures and Options — 4/14/2009 @ 7:45 am

  54. I know my response is late on this thread, but since I was blocked (glitch? deliberate?) from this blog yesterday I could not respond.

    Some here have asked “what is conservatism?” Here is my answer:

    Conservatism values life, no matter the stage it’s in.
    Conservatism believes that the U.S. Constitution provides equal opportunity, not equal outcome.
    Conservatism believes that the results of one’s labor belongs to them, not to the collective.
    Conservatism believes that the powers of government, as outlined in the Constitution, are few and enumerated.
    Conservatism believes that charity should be voluntary, not forced by the IRS at the threat of imprisonment.
    Conservatism is against the redistribution of wealth.

    That is just for starters.

    Funnyman, yes, there are standards for conservatives. Just as there is a standard by which someone consideres himself/herself a liberal.

    Now today, we have liberal pundits claiming that the Tea Parties, set for tomorrow, have all been organized by far right lunatics who are anti-Obama, anti-Democratic Party, anti-anything that doesn’t move the nation left. Rants against anyone, such as Rich’s Rants against Beck, Limbaugh or Hannity, plays right into that conspiracy theory.

    Perhaps those on this forum who chose to disput me should read the Constitution, the Federalist Papers and the writings of the Founding Fathers to see how far we have come from that ideal they had in mind. And perhaps you should bookmark Thomas.loc.gov and read the bills that are being passed in our Congress and research how they will affect you. It would seem that some here think that if a bill is passed on requiring children to “volunteer” since they have no children, it will not affect them. Perhaps you think that since you did not get a bonus like the AIG employees, you will never be singled out for an oppressive tax.

    I do have to ask if all these so-called “conservatives” who claim the GOP is dead and in the ashes, are not just voicing their wishful thinking. They complain that the Republicans have no leader, but never mention who the leader of the Democratic Party was in April, 2001 or even April, 2005. Did anyone at that time, right or left, think that a little known one term junion senator from Illinois would wind up being the “leader” of the DNC?

    Leave Beck alone. Leave Hannity alone. We don’t attack the left with such vitriol, why should we attact those on the right with such vitriol?

    There is an excellent book “The Politics of Peace”. Some of you should read it.

    Comment by retire05 — 4/14/2009 @ 8:33 am

  55. retire05,
    thanks for the long answer. Lot’s of books to read but little time. However, I give you one area where I would differ with you and my reasons. Based on your political tenets you would be against taxing citizens to fund research. In my opinion that would put the United States in a serious competitive disadvantage in the long run. That would apply to the military, manufacturing and medical care.
    In short, I just believe that times and societies have changed and you have to adapt to stay competitive. It doesn’t mean I don’t understand your concerns. However, even as a conservative you have to find a middle ground between individual rights and collective interests.

    Comment by funny man — 4/14/2009 @ 1:37 pm

  56. “Based on your political tenets you would be against taxing citizens to fund research. In my opinion that would put the United States in a serious competitive disadvantage in the long run. That would apply to the military, manufacturing and medical care.”

    What makes you think research would dry up without government funding?

    Comment by Mike Farmer — 4/14/2009 @ 5:19 pm

  57. In post 44 I referred to lonely little old ladies with mild mental illness not being completely stable.(Hi, Mom.) I genuinely wondered if anyone else thought the phenomena could be wide spread or if they had any first hand experience of it. I wondered out loud if there was a possible negative effect of consuming too much of the wildly hyperbolic entertainment programming by this group that I consider vulnerable.

    Nobody responded. Today I came across this:


    Any comments?

    Comment by bsjones — 4/14/2009 @ 6:35 pm

  58. Mike,
    ok, not all research would dry up. However, consider this: as a pharmaceutical company you have to make a profit otherwise you go under. Naturally, you would like to develop drugs for chronic conditions e.g. rheumatism, blood pressure. In contrast, antibiotics is (hopefully) a one week thing. So these companies don’t put a lot of effort into developing new drugs but since we have plenty of multidrug resistant bacteria we really need them. So what do you do? Trust me if you go into a hospital with a Staph infection and they tell you it is MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus), you are glad vancomycin is still there (but resistance is increasing).
    So even though the need is there and the problem is getting bigger, it is just not doable by a private company (and I don’t blame them). So the research into new antibiotics is often funded by the government. What is the alternative?
    As you can see, I like sticking to practical problems not some lofty philosophical discussion (couldn’t resist the swipe at your website so don’t take offense at my last comment; smile).

    Comment by funny man — 4/14/2009 @ 7:23 pm

  59. “Nobody responded. Today I came across this:


    Any comments?”

    Yes, simply that both sides embrace statism and until we have a limited government it will only get worse. Individualism died and group warfare thrived — now we have, instead of a Hobbesian war of individuals against individuals in an unregulated free market, as feared by modern liberals and conservatives alike, a war of groups against groups in a mindless struggle for raw power in an over-regulated market controlled by statists. Whoops, I went kooky libertarian for a minute — sorry about that.

    Comment by Mike Farmer — 4/14/2009 @ 10:15 pm

  60. Mike Farmer,

    Agreed. Both sides embrace statism.

    Most Liberals I know are afraid of unchecked corporate power. They believe the structure of modern global capitalism gives corporations MORE power than the state and especially more power than individuals like you or I.

    The liberal hope is that by increasing the power of the state a countervailing power will be established that can limit the abuse of power by global corporations. The Liberals I know insist that even the collective actions of individuals, say through Tea Parties, is not enough to stop the power abuses of corporations. That is why, for Liberals, powerful government is necessary. It places a check on the largest center of concentrated power in modern society, namely, corporations.

    Strangely, Liberals also say that corporations harness the power of the state to advance corporate interests at the expense of individuals. The contradiction seems to be that Liberals want to increase the power of government to stop “evil corporations, while simultaneously saying that corporations use government to exploit and take advantage of individuals to achieve their “evil” ends. Go figure.

    The defense I hear from Liberals to this criticism is that Republicans lend/sell the power of the state to corporations, while Democrats use the power of the state to protect ordinary individuals. That’s a fairy tale if I ever heard one….

    Like you say both parties want to increase the power of the state because it, by definition, increases the power of the parties.

    Unlike some (including you, I assume) I am not a Libertarian because I do have concerns about the accumulation and use of corporate power. I do not think the Liberal fear of corporate power is wholly misplaced. Corporations are, by definition, not democratic institutions and not subject to the will of the people. Corporations are not interested in the general welfare or even their own long term self interest. They have a very specific and narrow mandate, which is, to create profit for share holders. I am not saying this is intrinsically bad, but that other interests can and should exercise a restraining influence over how corporations pursue this goal. Surely, history bears this out.

    Yet, I worry about the accumulation of state power also. Especially when state power is used to abridge civil liberties. I worry much less about the nanny state (helmet laws, seat belt laws, laws limiting smoking in public places, national health schemes) but concede they can be potentially problematic.

    I have made comments about the wisdom of James Madison in the past. I think his fundamental insight is that all men can AND OFTEN DO use power in a pernicious way. For me this applies to the state, the corporation, and the individual. What potentially limits the corrupt use of power by the individual is the state. What potentially limits the corrupt use of power by the state in a democracy is the individual voter. I think the state should have the power to limit the corrupt use of power by corporations. Of coarse, this works best when a government is of, for and by the people.

    Most people left and right seem to agree that government today is not responsive to the will of the people. It seems we really do not have a well functioning democracy. I personally do not think Glenn Beck is doing anything to help.

    Comment by Anonymous — 4/14/2009 @ 11:28 pm

  61. Mike Farmer,

    post #59 was me.

    Comment by bsjones — 4/14/2009 @ 11:29 pm

  62. bsjones, yes, I can see where some would not like Beck, but I give him him a lot of room because of his humor. But it’s really not about Beck, and he knows that — it’s about paying attention and acting.

    Comment by Mike Farmer — 4/15/2009 @ 5:08 pm

  63. Mike Farmer,

    At the bottom of all my posts in this thread are the questions:

    At what cost Glenn Beck style infotainment?
    Is there a benefit?
    Is there a cost?
    What are they?

    Comment by bsjones — 4/15/2009 @ 5:31 pm

  64. bsjones, I don’t know what generation you belong to, but I grew up in the sixties as a wild-eyed radical on the left. A lot of serious activists at the time thought the yippie movement, with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin as the leaders, was destructive to the cause because of their theater-of-the-absurd antics, but I was attracted to Hoffman and Rubin because of the bare-footed irreverence toward the status quo — it was all immature and not a very intellectual approach — but this type of craziness to get points across is somehow very American. It at least fired a national debate, even if it ended in state force and bullets at Kent.

    Comment by Mike Farmer — 4/16/2009 @ 7:50 am

  65. Mike Farmer,
    My question was simply if hyperbolic infotainment comes at a cost.

    Comment by bsjones — 4/16/2009 @ 2:21 pm

  66. Hyperbolic free speech from the duly elected Republican Representative from Illinois Mark Kirk about the possibility of the duly elected Governor from Illinois being shot over tax policy.

    Elected Representative Kirk:
    “I think that the decision to raise taxes by 50 percent in Illinois is political suicide,” Kirk said of Quinn’s proposal to raise the tax rate to 4.5 percent from 3 percent, coupled with an increase in the personal deduction. “I think the people of Illinois are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes by that degree.”

    Does it makes sense that one of the good people of Illinois would be ready to shoot their elected Governor over tax policy changes?

    Just political speech?


    Comment by bsjones — 4/16/2009 @ 11:12 pm

  67. funny man,

    I just saw your reply above — I missed it somehow — yes, I get a bit lofty, but i wonder what would prevent a private research company from forming and selling it’s discoveries to businesses? It would only take a couple of successes to pay for the failures and make a profit. Or perhaps a company could be created which receives funding from private companies which receive the benefit of the research. I think research would go on without government involvement, and it would be more efficient, focused research that doesn’t play political games to keep funding going.

    Comment by Mike Farmer — 4/17/2009 @ 3:28 pm

  68. Mike, what you describe actually happened in part. I used to live in Detroit and heard a guy speak who graduated from Wayne State University. Wayne State actually has a really good Medical School as part of Detroit Medical Center. So this guy just went to the different medical departments and asked the doctors what would be really helpful to them. He then asked some scientists and engineers if they could come up with a device or procedure to do that task. If they said yes he would approach some venture capitalists for some seed money etc. You get the picture. This guy actually founded many of the biomedical companies in San Diego (moved there from Detroit). So all this sounds like picture perfect capitalism (and it’s great). However, it doesn’t work without the scientists and engineers from the university. So again, all I’m saying is that this is an example of a good symbiosis. I would also add that most of the best and most innovative research in the biomedical field came from NIH or NSF funded research (so give those people some respect too). That is my two cents.

    Comment by funny man — 4/17/2009 @ 10:56 pm

  69. I am glad to know that in a sea of irrationality stewed in the political sphere of right these days, there is a voice of reason calling for collective reflection and outing the impostors. The majority of these so-called pundits do what they do solely for personal self-aggrandizement. In case of Beck, he is an ultimate showman/entertainer with little to offer when it comes to the practical and applied system of political discourse as a whole. He usually swim in a shallow water of one-dimensionality and there is absolutely no depth to his rant. The sad commentary here is that people’s intellectually indolence and their inability to cease pandering to one’s confirmation bias are impeding them from doing an honest, scholarly research on the subject matters.

    Glenn usually attempts to conceal his blatant intellectual bankruptcy behind a broad shield of generalization while marinating the topic with poorly constructed satirical garbage and garble of contradictory non sequiturs. For most part, it has served him very well because not only the proponents get so intoxicated on the self-satisfying soundbites, at the same time, the opponents are so tangled in his matrix of verbal goulash, any decent attempt in deciphering the spiel proves to be rhetorically so complicated that by the second corner, he can do a mental somersault and have his fans convinced of contextual soundness. Beck is a bona fide charlatan dancing for the landscape of viewers and listeners only to rake up $20-$30 million/year.

    Turn off your TV, turn off your radio, and keep them off.

    Comment by Elizho — 4/18/2009 @ 5:34 pm

  70. Elizho,

    Yes, one problem I have with Beck is that he can get caught in contradictions because he hasn’t yet developed a non-contradictory philosophy. The same goes in spades for Jon Stewart, Keith Olberman and all the modern liberal commentators — and writers, like Alan Wolfe.

    Comment by Mike Farmer — 4/19/2009 @ 6:47 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress