Home Politics Beck at CPAC: Libertarian…maybe; Populist…definitely not!

Beck at CPAC: Libertarian…maybe; Populist…definitely not!


Glenn Beck made a splendid keynote speech at the CPAC Conference. He was in rare form as are many speakers with great imagination who place no importance on the veracity of their words.

He did, however, do something unusual and to some probably dramatic, although not impressive to those who have beaten addictions. It is not surprising to people who have long since beaten addictions that they might mention it. Most would not use it as a ploy, nor would they use the comments of someone else, as he did of Tiger Woods, without their approval. But just as he said the Republican Party must say that they have a problem with tax cuts and profligate spending, and as Tiger must prove himself to his wife….Beck must go a long way to prove his bi-partisanship.

He says that the Republicans should say, “Hello! I’m the Republican Party and I’ve got a problem. I’m addicted to spending and big government.” Well, hello! Glenn Beck has been supporting this Party, in fact broadcasts on the official network of the Republican Party, Fox News, every night. The word “hypocrite” does come to mind.

Still, Beck seemed less fanatical and emotionally disturbed than usual. His ranting included the Republicans for a good reason. He built his speech around an effort to seem populist. It didn’t work. Again, it was merely a little problem with the truth.

He laid out some figures about the political preferences among those in the country today, and ended up with poll numbers proving that only 20% of Americans are Progressive. (A term he made clear was one of disdain, and one that included disdain for President Theodore Roosevelt, the Republican, anti-trust, Populist, conservationist, aggressive diplomat.) The George W. Bush-like Calvin Coolidge, however less militant, was passive enough to meet Beck’s standards.

Consequently, said Beck, “The minority does not rule in this country.” Whatever that means. Apparently it doesn’t mean much, because, despite the polls, wherever he got them, the Liberals, Progressives, elected over 230 members of the House of Representatives, 60 Senators and a President who won by 54% and has—in spite of the worst economy conditions since the Republican Great Depression—a very high approval rating.

He went on, “They have isolated us and made us feel alone. (Apparently when he said “us” he was identifying with Conservatives. That is what the audience consisted of.)
Someone must make a few observations about why they may feel “isolated.”

It may be the support for corporations and tax cuts for the rich.

It may be the hands-off regulatory policies that resulted in an additional 7 million jobs lost and another couple of million sent abroad prior to that.

It may be the $400 million dollars that the aggregated health care industry interests gave to Republicans so that they would, as they did, block any attempts at reform. (To be fair some of the money also influenced a few Democrats, just enough.)

It may be the candidates and others in the campaigns, like the inexperienced Sarah Palin, or the out-of-nowhere, ersatz spokesman, Joe the Plumber or an aging John McCain who suddenly became old and irascible, not the man of the people he portrayed when running against the Republican conservative establishment.

It could be some awareness on the part of the people that there is a revolving door between the Republicans in Congress, facilitated by people like Rick Santorum, Tom DeLay and Grover Norquist that guarantees lobbying jobs on K-Street to Conservative ex-House and Senate members.

Or maybe it is over a war based on a President’s personal grudge or a Vice President’s greed that left 4,300 dead Americans, 30,000 more wounded, over a trillion dollars wasted, with more to come, not to mention hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi citizens and the disrespect of the world community that finally took its toll on American patience.

Isolated? It is kind of a joke, isn’t it? Poor Beck, with his meager $23 million income last year and Rush Limbaugh still plugging away trying to get some notice greater than the 15 million he is provided every day by the oil-industry-owned radio networks.

“The Republicans and Conservatives keep losing,” he said. Of course they do. It is a numbers game. If your constituency is made up of huge corporations and very wealthy individuals, what do you expect? You’re a little outnumbered. Only the daily barrage of lies and propaganda keeps the ignorant and the racist segment of the South returning again and again to vote for Republicans and against their own best interests. Health care goes up; jobs are sent abroad and lost here because of stupidity and greed; wars are started for no reason and go on interminably. Finally, some people may find out and vote against you!

Beck says that we don’t need to go abroad and force Democracy on people. They will follow our example. Apparently, Beck has parted company with the very Republicans he was addressing. They voted for the war in Iraq to bring regime change and Democracy there. They are in favor of changing the regime by whatever means in Iran and bring Democracy there. What about Africa, Cuba, Venezuela, China, Russia, North Korea? Will we do the same there as the people he voted for who attacked Iraq?

Ron Paul won the straw poll among the CPAC attendees for the nomination as their Presidential candidate next time. Brad Pitt has a better chance of being elected, or even nominated. Mit Romney, an arch-conservative was their second choice. Does Beck think that this group will actually elect or eventually even nominate someone like Dr Paul?

The proof is in the pudding. Will he support a bi-partisan fiscal reform commission? Will he condemn the pro-corporate practices of the Chamber of Commerce in attacking individual Republican House members when they do not support the Neoconservative line? Or will he continue to push the same old crap, tax cuts for the rich, more spending by Republicans, more belligerent diplomatic recommendations against countries we don’t care for? Will he continue his personal vendetta against the President, whom he absurdly refers to as a “racist?”

“Everything changed since the Progressives came,” he said. What the heck does that mean? Who is he talking about? Robert LaFollette? Teddy Roosevelt? Richard Nixon? WE CAN’T GO BACK TO 1789, Glenn!

He re-read the poem on the Statue of Liberty, to couch it as an aggressive, in-your-face by America to the Germans, of all people. That made no sense at all and somehow is one of those things about which one might quote another poet, Alexander Pope, “A little learning is a dangerous thing./Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring.”

Emma Lazarus, far from Beck’s Wikipedia revisionist version, was an acknowledged American poet, from a distinguished American Sephardic Jewish family, who had immigrated in colonial times from Portugal. She was a poet and scholar who actually worked among the more than 40 million immigrants who entered this country between 1830 and the first quarter of the 20th Century.

Emma Lazarus was most certainly not mocking Germans on behalf of France. She wrote the poem out of pride for her country and sympathy for immigrants, especially the many East European Jews fleeing persecution. She understood persecution and, in fact, was one of the earliest Zionists. Beck’s little dramatic piece was good theater, but like most of his speech, phony as a three-dollar bill.

He wound up the speech by saying that he “chooses not to believe that our best days are behind us.” But the simple fact is that, as long as he stays on the payroll of the hyper-conservative, autocratic and, frankly, anti-American Rupert Murdoch, following the policies laid out by former Republican Party Chairman, Roger Ailes, head of Fox News, there is not much to believe. He supports the people at CPAC.

These are the same people, former President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Cheney’s daughter, John McCain, Mike Pence, John (the Scarecrow) Thune Mit Romney, Ron Paul, and people like Ann Coulter Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee…all conservative Republicans. These are the people–these specific people–brought us the last 8 years of lowered incomes, (except among the rich,) jobs outsourced, financial scandals, loss of home equity, loss of equity in our 401ks, health care costs through the roof and a recession with 15 million people unemployed.

These are the people Glenn Beck has supported and promoted for many years. It is a little hard to believe that Beck believes that are best days are not behind us. These are the people, the people he supports, who—if they have their way—will absolutely guarantee that they are.

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