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There's a front page story on the well-paid progeny of political celebrities, written by Angry Mouse, at the time that I write this diary.  There have been dozens of diaries written in the past few days about Beck, Palin, and the like.

We snark about these faces of the Taliban-esque right, and their impact.    We recoil at the overt racism and radical, fundamentalist theology that they espouse in the public forums that they're given (or seize).  We strategize on how to negate their message, and how to advance our own.

The answer is that it's not necessary for us to get involved in an ideological battle that we can never win with them.  Their supporters simply won't listen to reasonable philosophical arguments from the left.  It just ain't in their DNA.  But no one, no matter how batshit crazy conservative or fringe lunatic left they may be, likes to have their pockets picked.  That's exactly what Beck, the Palins, and many of the other of the tent revival conservatives are doing.  It's time to call them out.

Beck, the Palins, and the rest are little more than well compensated grifters and con artists.  They continue to suck the oxygen out of rational political discourse for one reason: to fatten their own wallets.  I was floored to read in Kaili Joy Gray's front page story this morning that Bristol Palin makes north of $10,000 per engagement to tell teens to practice abstinence.

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It amazes me.  Not only do their followers on the right fail to get this, but a lot of people on the left miss it as well.  For Sarah Palin, her family, Glenn Beck, and their ilk, it's not, and has never been, about political ideology.

It is, and always has been, about parting the rubes from their money.  

A classic con.

They've got a great scam going.  And if they can get the full force of an elected congress behind them, so much the better.  If not, oh well.  It's not that big of a deal to them.  They're still laughing all the way to their bank in the Caymans.

When McCain chose Palin, I looked at a picture of Todd posing with her at the Republican National Convention in 2008.  I said to myself, "this guy looks like the cat that just ate the canary".  He had that "I hit lotto" grin on his face.  And he did, for all intents and purposes.

These people are just like Marjoe Gortner scampering away from an evening of Pentecostal tent revival preaching.  As soon as they leave the stage, they're counting the collection.  It's not about saving the soul of the GOP (or the country), their con is about counting the cash.  They've all gotten quite wealthy in the process.

I think that this an approach that the left needs to start exploring. The fringe right is being sucked into an elaborate con by an organized group of grifters.  We will never convince any of their followers that Barack Obama isn't a Kenyan-born Muslim.  We can, however, point out that their pockets are being picked clean at the same time they're being brainwashed to vote against their own economic self interests.

When the seeds of distrust are planted, particularly on the basis of being scammed, interesting things might happen.  We'll never peel off the hard core believers.  But we might make considerable inroads in exposing the grifters for what they are.

Originally posted to All Spin Zone on Sun Aug 29, 2010 at 10:30 AM PDT.

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