Back To Beck

I love it whenever conservatives turn on each other, which is kind of a mini-fad these days, as, absent a clear right-wing leader, the nutjobs seem to be taking charge and filling the void with more void. But the nuttiest of them all, Glenn Beck, is so out there, so mega-“conservative” (I honestly suspect he has no ideology; he just spews whatever acid-reflux detritus is closest to his mouth at any given moment), so sizzlingly hot in the media sense, that he’s actually causing that kind of cannibalistic reaction in the GOP’s shrinking thinking base, to what must be his immense delight. This guy can contradict himself in the same one-minute spot, pander to whatever audience he imagines is watching (he’s visibly cowed by Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg on THE VIEW, then demands an apology from those mean women only hours later when he’s alone in his radio studio; for Katie Couric, he sez he would have voted for Hillary over McCain, who would have made a worse president than Man-Goat spawn Barack Obama! “How’s that [for a quote]?” he then asks Katie), and repeatedly reveal himself as an idiot to a viewership which is saying, damn: Glenn’s just like us! His Time cover last week just overfed the ego of this classic bully, and I can’t wait for the moment when he finally gets rhetorically punched in the face. He’ll have to do that to himself, though, a la Larry Craig, because his fellow harpies at Fox News will never call him out. But you just watch: one day he will. Unlike Rush Limbaugh or Bill O’Reilly, the guy has nothing in reserve. What you see is all he’s got. He’ll eventually start believing his own press, if he hasn’t already, and decide he must be bulletproof. But Glenn Beck has already used up about half of his fifteen minutes of fame. Many more tears shall flow. Only this time, they’ll be real ones.


11 Responses to Back To Beck

  1. Elizabeth says:

    “acid-reflux detritus”! What a great expression.

    This was a great piece — insightful. It makes my stomach hurt to watch crazy people like him so I’m glad you’re doing it for me and reporting.

  2. brenda says:

    Steady, easy there, feller—that post started sounding a good bit like the nuts you were writing about! As you know mighty good and well, there are conservatives who nowhere approach the vitriolic and verbally-diarrhetic level of your examples. I certainly don’t think every Democrat is a Michael Moore!

    It is perfectly possible to deeply disapprove of, and fear, the left-wing agenda, and still be a rational thinker with good manners. I’d point to George Will, the late William F. Buckley, and my current favorite voice of reason, Thomas Sowell, who writes a syndicated column, and is a Stanford profesor—and, *mirabile dictu*—BLACK.

    Certainly there are nuts on both sides who were not taught to moderate their language when debating. Perhaps it’s the faullt of the dismal public-education system here? Try Sowell’s excellent book, *Inside American Education: The Decline, the Deception, the Dogmas*.

  3. Tom Dupree says:

    brenda, I thought I was clear — nope, I *know* I was — in referring to “nutjobs [who] seem to be taking charge” “absent a clear right-wing leader” and acknowledging “the GOP’s shrinking thinking base.” Extremists on either side are always easy to make fun of. At this minimoment, however, at least on the right, they appear to be *directing* things. IMHO you can also add David Brooks, that Buckley protege, to your list of thoughtful conservatives. Fine and dandy. But who of their like is left in Congress? If you are a Republican moderate, you are, *ipso facto* — UNWELCOME.

  4. Stanley Graham says:

    In the March 28, 2008 issue of THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE Jeffrey Hart wrote of the man who had been celebrated as the founder of the modern American conservative movement personified by Ronald Reagan:
    “Buckley diverged sharply from the generally optimistic view of Iraq taken by National Review. Kristol must have read these columns at the time but had perhaps forgotten them when he wrote his column about Buckley—or else dismissed them since the Weekly Standard still believes that the Iraq effort has been a success.
    But the conviction hinted in the columns only hardened during the last year of Buckley’s life, when he arrived at a tragic view of the Iraq War. He saw it as a disaster and thought that the conservative movement he had created had in effect committed intellectual suicide by failing to maintain critical distance from the Bush administration.”
    The current implied consent given by conservatives to Glenn Beck and his ilk as their leaders in conservative thought, if not the party itself, does nothing to staunch their self-inflicted wounds. Who in the Republican Party has the standing to rebuke those self promoting hacks who are literally diminishing the GOP on a daily basis?
    William F. Buckley’s 1962 article in NATIONAL REVIEW excoriated the John Birch Society and distanced the Republican Party from them. Buckley wrote in part: “How can the John Birch Society be an effective political instrument while it is led by a man whose views on current affairs are, at so many critical points . . . so far removed from common sense? That dilemma weighs on conservatives across America. . . . The underlying problem is whether conservatives can continue to acquiesce quietly in a rendition of the causes of the decline of the Republic and the entire Western world which is false…”
    The aforementioned dilemma is with us yet again. I believe the time has long since come for the views of a virulent few, those who would seem more at home on the Jerry Springer Show, to be rebuked by, or at the very least distanced from those who truly hold conservative views and have the good of their country at heart.

  5. brenda says:

    Tom, you ignorant slut—ooops! Just kidding! You know I love ya baby!:):) I do realize that you were clear on your points, and sorry to force you to quote yourself. But just as “sex sells” in advertising—drama, vitriol, and name-calling “sells” in political squabbling and rabble-rousing. Quiet, thoughtful, intellectual, well-modulated critics in both camps—the *soi-disant* “Jeffersonian Democrats” and the “moderate Republicans” you mention, will not have their voices heard, except by a reading, thinking few. The rest, the rabble, the Great Unwashed (again, in both camps) will only have their blood stirred (and their votes influenced) by what Aristotle decried as “spectacle”:

    “Although Aristotle recognizes the emotional attraction of spectacle, he argues that superior poets rely on the inner structure of the play rather than spectacle to arouse pity and fear; those who rely heavily on spectacle create a sense, not of the terrible, but only of the monstrous”

    I’ll admit my side is guilty if you will admit yours is! But whatever, my very hackles rise when I read between Obama’s shrewdly-crafted lines. Bush had some doozies, too, that would not pass the “smell test,” but…well, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t, and Obama is determined that we won’t “know” him—until the Trojan horse is well into the city gates. “IMHO” I suppose I should add, although—why would I type anyone’s opinion BUT mine own?

  6. brenda says:

    And by the way, HI STANLEY GRAHAM! We are looking forward to seeing “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” next month—I don’t know who Big Mama will be, but she won’t be as adorable as Margaret was—or did your wife play Sister Woman? Or am I dreaming she was in the play? I grow old, I grow old. I recast plays a lot in my memory! I do remember that our town sheriff, Malcolm McMillan, knocked the roof off as Big Daddy, and I wish the annoying and intrusive crime situation in Jackson would allow him time to reprise that role…

  7. Stanley Graham says:

    Hi Brenda,
    Yes, Margaret was Big Mama to the Lord High Sheriff’s Big Daddy. Becky Barnes was Sister Woman (the mother of the No-Neck Monsters), Dora Carl was Maggie, and Ray Wolter was Brick. It was Mac’s first play and while he was magnificent the words were not always those of Mr. Williams. When Mac “went up” he would improvise (in a comedia del arte sort of way) with very, very blue language – the likes of which had never been heard in any Jackson theatre.
    Mac and Margaret were recently reminiscing about life upon the wicked stage and decided that they were way too young when they appeared in CATand would love another shot at those roles.

  8. Tom Dupree says:

    Speaking of blue language, did you know that, with all the Albee, Williams, McMillin and whatever, the F-bomb was never thrown at New Stage until Julie Carr’s exit line in VANITIES — in 1978?

    And re “going up,” I’ll never forget the New Stage tutelage of my sonorous friend Dick Brown: “the script…is a guide.”

    Now let’s get back to trashing Glenn Beck!

  9. Stanley Graham says:

    Will do.

    Glenn Beck plays a shell game with facts and substitutes his Bogeyman of the Day in their stead, such as with ACORN. He follows a rambling introduction with accusations that ACORN has been wrongly receiving federal funds to pursue their diabolical agenda. Haley Barbour, ex-head of the Republican Party and current Governor of the Great and Sovereign State of Mississippi, showed how successful Mr. Beck must have been in this when he followed Glenn Beck’s lead by issuing an executive order September 21, cutting off all state funds to ACORN – funds that had never been allocated to a group that had not had a presence in the state for seven months. The entire gambit was an empty political ploy designed to play on the fears of his audience, a la Beck. If you believe Glenn Beck, ACORN has also been responsible in whole or in part for: the 2008 financial crisis, voter fraud, the stimulus bill, the Minnesota Senate recount, Obama’s nomination of David Hamilton to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the 2010 Census.

    As if it isn’t enough to have Glenn Beck’s altered stream of consciousness, demagoguery serving as a “news source” to many Americans he has taken to reading website users comments on air as credible news. August 4, 2009, Beck approvingly read a comment implying that the AARP was becoming a branch of ACORN, from a website user. How responsible is that?

  10. Tom Dupree says:

    For brenda,

    There’s a difference between a “thoughtful conservative” and a “moderate Republican” — if you Look Back In Context, I was specifically using the latter modifiers for sitting members of Congress. There are yachtloads of thoughtful conservatives. So why don’t *they* run for office and get elected? Because they’ve become too comfy.

    For Stan and brenda,
    I promise that my next major entry will be about community theater, so we can dish our hearts out then!

    P.S.: I’d also love to see those same two leads play CAT again after more than mumbledy-mumble years…

  11. brenda says:

    I still want to play Blanche DuBois. Williams, bless his innocent heart, wrote her as being 30—THIRTY????—and past her prime. Which maybe women were back then, but…now that the media assures us that 50 is the new 30—90 is the new 16, whatever—can’t we bowdlerize the *Streetcar* script and gimme a chance at Dame Blanche? But I do get to cast my own Stanley. Graham?

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