Skip to main content

Glenn Beck is a charlatan. A clown. A buffoon. He belongs on a second tier stage in Vegas, and he very well may end up there, some day. He is not dangerous, but his ability to exploit the legitimately angry dispossessed reveals something that is dangerous. Decades of right wing economic policies have undermined unions, the middle class, the social safety net, and the sense that we are all in this together, moving into a better future. Few believe their children or grandchildren will inherit a better world. People are afraid, and they don't understand why they are afraid. And while Glenn Greenwald is correct that by not seizing the mantle of populism, the Democrats have created a void that was ripe for exploitation, that inevitable exploitation has come to be personified by the likes of Glenn Beck. He disseminates lies and disinformation, preying on the vulnerable, distracting them from even beginning to be able to grasp the real reasons why their dreams seem more and more illusory, and their ability to maintain even a basic sense of security and comfort more and more tenuous.

Dana Milbank is about to publish a book on Beck, and the poor guy did his research. Presumably, afterward, he had to sterilize himself with turpentine and kerosene. In an article in the Washington Post, over the weekend, he provided a brief summary of what he has learned about Beck. And he began by recounting an anecdote from Beck's 2003 memoir. Beck admits to having been strongly influenced by Orson Welles, who used to travel around Manhattan in an ambulance. The sirens were screaming not because Welles was ill, but because it was a good way to beat traffic.


Most of us would regard this as dishonest, a ploy by the self-confessed charlatan that Welles was. Beck saw it as a model to be emulated. "Welles," he writes, "inspired me to believe that I can create anything that I can see or imagine."

But as Milbank points out, Welles was an admitted charlatan. First and foremost, he was a showman, one of the rare filmmakers about whom the word "genius" legitimately applied. Welles was the master of illusion, making magic of manipulation. For the most part, he used that genius and mastery to entertain and create art, although it famously got well out of hand with his War of the Worlds radio broadcast. But Beck casts himself as something genuine. He cries as if he's capable of genuine sympathy and empathy. But his manipulations and machinations are not merely for entertainment, and they're not even merely for self-aggrandizement. First and foremost, they are used to enforce and reinforce the very political and economic structures that subjugate the people whose alienation and disillusionment find false solace in the theatrical rantings of people like Beck.


I was reminded of Beck's affection for deception as he hyped his march on Washington -- an event scheduled for the same date (Aug. 28) and on the same spot (the Lincoln Memorial) as Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic march 47 years ago. Beck claimed it was pure coincidence, but then he made every effort to appropriate the mantle of the great civil rights leader.

King, the peacemaker. The adherent to the principles of Gandhi. The man who wrote and lived "Strength To Love." And then, there's Beck, who says he chose the date of his rally without even knowing its historical significance, attributing the coincidence to "divine providence." And the most disturbing part is that some people apparently believe him.

As Beck attempts to turn the world inside out and upside down by claiming the mantle of a movement he probably would have opposed, and whose means he is too small even to begin to comprehend, Milbank lists some of Beck's greatest moments as a champion of civil rights.

  • As a radio host, performed an on-air skit that mocked a stereotyped Asian accent, forcing his station to apologize.
  • On CNN, while interviewing Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, demanded proof that Ellison isn't working with "our" enemies.
  • Called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people."
  • Claims Obama was elected because he isn't white.
  • Claims Obama is moving us into slavery.
  • Asserted that the president's very name is Un-American.
  • Claims Obama seeks reparations from white America, to "settle old racial scores."
  • Has claimed Obama is tied to or influenced by "radical black nationalism" and "Marxist black liberation theology" and the New Black Panther Party, which Beck claims is part of Obama's "army of thugs."

It would almost be funny if so many didn't take it seriously. And if their taking it seriously wasn't part of a deeply disturbing hidden agenda. As Frank Rich explained, last Sunday:

There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.

Their self-interested and at times radical agendas, like Murdoch’s, go well beyond, and sometimes counter to, the interests of those who serve as spear carriers in the political pageants hawked on Fox News. The country will be in for quite a ride should these potentates gain power, and given the recession-battered electorate’s unchecked anger and the Obama White House’s unfocused political strategy, they might.

All three tycoons are the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled “Invisible Hands” in her prescient 2009 book of that title: those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R. You can draw a straight line from the Liberty League’s crusade against the New Deal “socialism” of Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission and child labor laws to the John Birch Society-Barry Goldwater assault on J.F.K. and Medicare to the Koch-Murdoch-backed juggernaut against our “socialist” president.

And Rich referred to the chillingly essential article on the Kochs, by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker.

As their fortunes grew, Charles and David Koch became the primary underwriters of hard-line libertarian politics in America. Charles’s goal, as Doherty described it, was to tear the government “out at the root.” The brothers’ first major public step came in 1979, when Charles persuaded David, then thirty-nine, to run for public office. They had become supporters of the Libertarian Party, and were backing its Presidential candidate, Ed Clark, who was running against Ronald Reagan from the right. Frustrated by the legal limits on campaign donations, they contrived to place David on the ticket, in the Vice-Presidential slot; upon becoming a candidate, he could lavish as much of his personal fortune as he wished on the campaign. The ticket’s slogan was “The Libertarian Party has only one source of funds: You.” In fact, its primary source of funds was David Koch, who spent more than two million dollars on the effort.

Many of the ideas propounded in the 1980 campaign presaged the Tea Party movement. Ed Clark told The Nation that libertarians were getting ready to stage “a very big tea party,” because people were “sick to death” of taxes. The Libertarian Party platform called for the abolition of the F.B.I. and the C.I.A., as well as of federal regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Energy. The Party wanted to end Social Security, minimum-wage laws, gun control, and all personal and corporate income taxes; it proposed the legalization of prostitution, recreational drugs, and suicide. Government should be reduced to only one function: the protection of individual rights. William F. Buckley, Jr., a more traditional conservative, called the movement “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.”

That November, the Libertarian ticket received only one per cent of the vote. The brothers realized that their brand of politics didn’t sell at the ballot box. Charles Koch became openly scornful of conventional politics. “It tends to be a nasty, corrupting business,” he told a reporter at the time. “I’m interested in advancing libertarian ideas.” According to Doherty’s book, the Kochs came to regard elected politicians as merely “actors playing out a script.” A longtime confidant of the Kochs told Doherty that the brothers wanted to “supply the themes and words for the scripts.” In order to alter the direction of America, they had to “influence the areas where policy ideas percolate from: academia and think tanks.”

Of course, legalizing drugs and prostitution and opposing gun control appeals to many, across partisan and ideological bounds. But it's not a stretch to assume that the brothers aren't helping fund organizations such as NORML. They are, however, helping fund climate denialism, which is what you would expect from oil industry billionaires. And while eliminating income taxes and campaign finance laws would greatly benefit billionaires, it would spell the end of the government's ability to check abuses by rapacious industries such as oil, health insurance, and banking, and it also would mean the end of even a semblance of a social contract. It also would mean the effective end of democracy, the new royalty and aristocracy being corporate plutocrats such as Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers.

Little wonder, then, that the brothers are helping fund phony movements now fronted by the likes of Glenn Beck. Because people like Beck wouldn't be capable of mobilizing masses of the manipulated, if not for the power of a propaganda shop disguised as a cable news network, and the financial backing of meticulously calculating billionaires whose real goals are mostly about coalescing their own wealth and power at the expense of the very people they are attempting to manipulate into serfdom. Beck is the front. The clown. The distraction. Behind Beck and his ilk lies the money trail. As Mayer concluded her article:

The Kochs have long depended on the public’s not knowing all the details about them. They have been content to operate what David Koch has called “the largest company that you’ve never heard of.” But with the growing prominence of the Tea Party, and with increased awareness of the Kochs’ ties to the movement, the brothers may find it harder to deflect scrutiny. Recently, President Obama took aim at the Kochs’ political network. Speaking at a Democratic National Committee fund-raiser, in Austin, he warned supporters that the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the Citizens United case—which struck down laws prohibiting direct corporate spending on campaigns—had made it even easier for big companies to hide behind “groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity.” Obama said, “They don’t have to say who, exactly, Americans for Prosperity are. You don’t know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation”—or even, he added, “a big oil company.”

Don't worry about Glenn Beck. Popular history will forget him. He's not a significant political player, and he's not a memorable entertainer. But the people hiding behind Beck and his ilk must be raised to public consciousness. Because so many of the Tea Party faithful don't even know who is promoting what they have been duped into believing is their cause, and certainly don't know the real cause they are being duped into promoting. Most of them are being played for suckers. To the financial backers of Beck and his ilk, most Tea Partiers are but another demographic group to exploit. It would be good for them and for the nation and the world if they ever figured that out.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:02 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  a liar as well as a charlatan (23+ / 0-)

    he claimed to have held the original of George Washington's First Inaugural address at the National Archives.

    It is not at the National Archives, which may not even have a contemporaneous copy.

    The original, which is of course handwritten, and in Washington's handwriting, is at the Library of Congress.

    And he would not have been allowed to hold it, had he actually gone to LC and requested to see it.

    Not the first lie he has offered.  Not the most significant.  Certainly it will not be the last.

    It is representative of his behavior.

    Oh, and of course the question of how he misrepresented the contents is an entirely different issue.


    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:09:21 AM PDT

  •  Bingo! Thanks for writing this! (15+ / 0-)

    Beck is a 21st Snakeoil Dealer, as showy and slimy as any liar who sold elixirs that caused people to get sick 'back in the day'.

    He's far worse than the snake oil man in Outlaw Josey Wales, on whose white suit Eastwood spits tobacco.

    Beck has access to a huge tv audience and financial support from a wealthy billionaire - Rupie Murdoch.

    So Beck's weorse than those assholes who sell shit that doesn't work or makes you sicker - he is fucking-over a large number of people to make a lot of money and that's wrong.

    But it's worse even than that - he's selling ideals that delude people - true, they want to be deluded, but it's still akin to trying to get children hooked on tobacco and heroin.

    It's one of the great frustrations of mine that 'freedom of speech' protects lying far more than it helps the truth.

    Spray tons of carcinogens into the ocean to hide petroleum spewed from a hastily-drilled hole from a greedy corporation, but don't smoke pot.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:10:51 AM PDT

  •  Neoliberalism and imperialism are the (13+ / 0-)

    real problems.  It's decades of outsourcing good paying jobs to cheap labor and pouring trillions into protecting the overseas interests of the outsourcers.  Connect the dots, it isn't hard to do.

    Demagogues like Beck and Palin will never the connect the dots because they are part of the problem.  Besides, they are making millions on the backs of the foolish who don't understand the nature of their problems.

    It's easy to scapegoat people.  It's easy (and good for the corporate masters) to scapegoat government.
    That's all Beck and Palin have to offer.

    Come out on October 2th for the One Nation rally if you had enough of the right wing lies:

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:11:08 AM PDT

  •  He's Just Another Jim Bakker (21+ / 0-)

    And the same thing that takes those dipweeds down, their penises and their lust for drugs and other "earthly sins" ... will take this ass hat down too.

    Think of the Swaggart moment bawling to the camera for forgiveness, and tell me you can't imagine Glenn Beck having one of those same days.

    Write In: Alan Grayson

    by Detroit Mark on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:11:14 AM PDT

  •  Will He Be Remembered As The King Of Tea? (1+ / 0-)

    He could do tea commercials in his future.  I see Lipton lots of Lipton in his future.  LOL.

  •  But why do so many Americans appear (8+ / 0-)

    willing, even eager, to be deceived by all of this?

    As the diarist writes:

    But the people hiding behind Beck and his ilk must be raised to public consciousness. Because so many of the Tea Party faithful don't even know who is promoting what they have been duped into believing is their cause, and certainly don't know the real cause they are being duped into promoting. Most of them are being played for suckers

    Well, yes.

    But do you really believe it shall be easy to persuade folks to say "Ah, yes, I am being deceived!"

    Too often, people swallow lies because they want to swallow those lies.

    •  Disagree somewhat (8+ / 0-)

      Too often, people swallow lies because they want to swallow those lies.

      No one likes to have their pocket picked.  And people don't inherently want to swallow lies.  They want their own personal views to be validated.  Glenn Beck has mastered the art of validating the fears and personal views of his zombie brigade, while at the same time picking their pockets.

      That's what Glenn Beck is all about.  When his zombies finally figure out that their pockets are being picked, that's when he will cease to be relevant. Or useful to puppeteers like the Koch boys.

      "When reality is your enemy, insanity is your refuge." -- blue aardvark

      by Richard Cranium on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:29:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know if it's so much about (10+ / 0-)

      they "want" to swallow the lies. There's a couple things going on with this guy:

      1. sophistry and well-poisoning falls from his lips, every single time they flap.
      1. the vast majority of his followers are either low-information or else they're from the school of thought, unique to America, that if it's on teevee, there has to be Truth involved, or else the Almighty They wouldn't let it broadcast.

      If Health Insurance Reform can wait until 2015, then so can any changes to Social Security.

      by o the umanity on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:32:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are a lot of people who feel that way (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rolfyboy6, Matt Z, Danise94

        It was on the NEWS, it has to be the truth.

        No, it doesn't. And Beck isn't the news.

        You know, I'll give him that he didn't realize he was setting up his Beckapalooza on the anniversary of King's speech. Most people probably wouldn't have known what date that was on.

        But once it was pointed out to him, he should have MOVED the event. Even just one day would have been fine. It wasn't like there wasn't any time to do so - he's been hyping this for over a year, and got flak about the date from almost the minute he went public with it.

        I think he picked the date, and didn't know, and when it was pointed out, he KNEW it would cause a lot of static, and that suited his purposes just fine. No way in hell would he move it after THAT.

        •  You're way too nice :-) (2+ / 0-)

          Or maybe I'm way too cynical. But my impression of a successful charlatans is that one of the best traits they can have is the ability to play dumb.

          He's a charlatan from the word "go". He knew exactly what he was doing.

          If Health Insurance Reform can wait until 2015, then so can any changes to Social Security.

          by o the umanity on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:48:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Once somebody pointed out the date (0+ / 0-)

            sure, he knew what he was doing.

            But the initial choosing of the date? I doubt it.

            When you plan an event like that, especially if you have a venue in mind, you plan around the available dates AND the convenience of your audience.

            His crowd looked an awful lot like a NASCAR crowd. Overwhelmingly white, rural/suburban, Southern or Southern sympathizers.

            So I checked the NASCAR schedule - there's no race that weekend. The race before is in TN, and the race after is in Atlanta. If you're going from TN to Atlanta, DC is not much out of the way. And you don't have anything important going on that weekend (I would argue they don't have anything important going on ANY weekend, but that's me)

            Can't be on a Sunday, that would keep the churches from sending buses of people. Can't be most of July, my bet is those weekends/Saturdays were already booked. Can't be later than Labor Day. That pretty much limits the available dates - and you can't use the venue if it's not available.

            But once they were told what significance that date had, yeah, they ran with that. Though they might not have had many options for other dates.

            I'm not going to give him many breaks on other things, but this one I'll give him a little bit of a break on. Though if that was the case, he could have explained that - but that would have undercut his whole scenario.

        •  Precisely he is on TV and the news so they (5+ / 0-)

          think he must be important and well informed and besides, he reinforces their prejudices, their fears, their hatreds.

          It is like those who felt because a minister said something like a Jim Baker, a Jim Jones , a David Koresh, it must be true and it must have come from God.

      •  I would argue there are some of his followers (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CParis, o the umanity

        who feel that way, but it is the minority. The vast majority of his followers are just racists and he has been able to take their racism and validate it, using other words, like socialist, communist, and all the rest of the demagoguery. A vast majority of these followers went into this already hating President Obama simply becuase of the color of his skin, Beck just allowed that hate to fester by his off the wall rhetoric and tactics.
        It is no mistake that the tea party has been criticized for being racist, it is because they are. Beck knows this and this is what he is playing or preying upon. All of a sudden he has made being racist a badge of honor. This whole charade in D.C. at the Lincoln Memorial, reclaiming the civil rights movement, and restoring America, WTF do you think that was all about?

    •  Jonestown and a number of other cults (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xanthippe2, sable, Danise94

      including David Koresh's Branch Davidians were even willing to commit suicide or murder to protect their cult leaders.

      So what Beck has done is form a cult with the support and help and funding of the media and fat cats.

      •  I don't think this is a cult, unless you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        consider the KKK a cult. It is the present day version of the KKK, or worse, Hitler reincarnated. Look at Beck's rhetoric from day one, look at those people he singles out within the Obama administration, they are all black folks, successful black folks, like Van Jones for example. It drive Beck and his followers crazy that we have an African American President, and that there are African Americans in power, running this country. Why in the hell do you think their slogan is "take our country back, or now they refined it to "restore America".  The same way Hitler hated Jews, Beck hates African Americans and his success is based on those Americans who also hate African Americans, or don't trust them. He is a very dangerous man, and this is a very dangerous movement. If history has taught us anything, it has taught us to not ignore something like this. We can mock him, and call him names, but each day the economy doesn't improve he gains more and more followers. I can not say it enough, he is very, very dangerous.

      •  not similar to Beckheads at all (0+ / 0-)

        middle-aged/old white people collecting Social Security, Medicare, etc are not going to be part of some suicidal cult.  Unlike Jones or Koresh, Beck is not expecting his followers to separate themselves from the rest of the world - there's too much money to be made fleecing the millions who listen/watch his sideshow.

        If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me. ~ Alice Roosevelt Longworth

        by CParis on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:29:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And by swallowing (0+ / 0-)

      the lies, they can deceive themselves into believing that they are like these rich, self serving "leaders." Never realizing that they are being used and the leaders wouldn't give them the time of day or a second glance if it didn't serve their purpose.

    •  This is true, no one can make you do what (0+ / 0-)

      you are not willing to do in the first place, no matter how convincing they appear. People have to feel there is something in it for them. In the case of the tea baggers it is founded in racism. Beck has given them reasons to make their racism acceptable.

    •  Well first of all people resent being (0+ / 0-)

      talked down to. Beck appeals to their resentments of elite institutions, which the media almost always equates with liberalism (even though many prominent right-wing Republicans attended similar private boarding schools and colleges). People resent being told by well-intentioned liberals that they "are voting against their best interests" and that "they need to be 'educated'" on whatever issue is being discussed.

  •  Outstanding Post but the Obama White House? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rolfyboy6, ezdidit

    but my largest concern is still the unfocused political strategy of the Obama White House.  How can he/they not be out there in press conferences, for one thing, where he can asnwer questions about such travesties as the Beck rally?
    What are they thinking?

    If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

    by jhannon on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:24:51 AM PDT

  •  I agree (10+ / 0-)

    except for the fact that Beck actually is dangerous. For one thing, his words and deeds are encouraging some crazy people to commit violent acts.

    "If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:26:59 AM PDT

  •  It's about time that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    someone other than Beck made money off of Glenn Beck. Seems only fair.

    We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley Shacklebolt

    by chparadise on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:28:08 AM PDT

  •  Can I get in a word, here? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The legalization of prostitution, recreational drugs, and suicide and getting rid of the CIA are sound ideas.  The devil, as usual, is in the details but I can support the ideas.

    "Charles Koch became openly scornful of conventional politics. "It tends to be a nasty, corrupting business," he told a reporter at the time. "I’m interested in advancing libertarian ideas." According to Doherty’s book, the Kochs came to regard elected politicians as merely 'actors playing out a script.'"

    Politics is a nasty, corrupting business and politicians are often actors playing out well rehearsed scripts.  Nothing askew there, either. The Kochs' means are mendacious and their ends are largely not in my best interests, but good ideas should never be wasted.  Read Newsweek's

    •  And read an article (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RevJoe, CarolinNJ

      which tries to spin Rand Paul as a reasonable guy?

      And the Koch brothers aren't writing any scripts for this country. Not if I have anything to say about it.

      No offense, but trial balloons make me nuts.

      If Health Insurance Reform can wait until 2015, then so can any changes to Social Security.

      by o the umanity on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:35:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that was presented to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        o the umanity, CarolinNJ

        give you a view of how most people who don't follow this stuff see it.

        They don't see the Kochs as a problem. And to be fair, they haven't done anything obviously illegal - you can certainly promote your views, and contact legislators, and donate to candidates, and set up foundations.

        At least you can if you have enough money. And that's where the problem is.

        •  I do see the Kochs as problematic and I do not (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE, wishingwell

          agree with all their ideas.  Money is always a problem:  unequal bargaining power.  But not all the Kochs' ideas are crack brained and while the ideas may be self-serving, they may also serve me.  The Law of Unintended Consequences has consequences, you know, and even the Kochs can't control the tides.

      •  None taken, but what trial ballons are you (0+ / 0-)

        referring to?  I'm interested in the ideas and legalizing and abolishing, to abbreviate the discussion, are ideas I support.

        •  sorry, (0+ / 0-)

          just the idea that it exists as an article at all. The whole point IS that this handful of ideas (relative to the entire Tea Party platform) are reasonable--and that, in turn, can reflect back on Paul and his benefactors as "reasonable".

          Which none of them are, despite the fact that occasionally, sensible ideas may in fact emanate from their lips.  

          If the ideas themselves are sound, how can we get Democrats to talk about them?

          If Health Insurance Reform can wait until 2015, then so can any changes to Social Security.

          by o the umanity on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:54:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I was more interested in the exposition of the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            crack brained ideas accepted as valid:  "Asked about the most "extreme," I’d cite the invasion of Iraq, a war of choice that has cost many billions of dollars and countless innocent lives. The "kookiest" policy is arguably farm subsidies for corn, sugar, and tobacco—products that people ought to consume less, not more."

            You did notice the writer doesn't defend Paul's platform.  Conor Friedersdorf is only pointing out that many would-be emperors are running around nude--and have been for a long, long time.

            •  The march in October fits that bill. (0+ / 0-)

              October 2nd in D.C.

              If I can remember dates (???) for a week.

              Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

              by vets74 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 03:12:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Then we have to have the anti-Beck (0+ / 0-)

        movement. If they want a war, we need to give them a war. We need to be just as loud and just as visible as Beck. There is lots of progressive money too. People who beleive in Democracy, unlike the Koch brothers. All they do they do to further their own personal fortunes. There is some truth in the ravings of Beck. Where are today's patriots? He is passing himself off as one, but he isn't? He is out to destroy America and all that we hold dear about America? It is a government, by, for and of the people, all the people, not simply the richest people, there are many more of us than of them. Why can't we get it together. They have created a common enemy to rally against, President Obama. We have one too, it is Glenn Beck.

    •  The Koch brothers (13+ / 0-)

      are the robber barons of our times, nothing more, nothing less. They hate government not because it's nasty and corrupting, but because it limits their ability to do whatever they want. They see themselves as subject to no law or social obligation, and view the government as interfering with such absolute freedom. There is absolutely nothing noble or ideological about their intentions. This is all about unfettered megalomania and a sense of complete superiority. They are 100% anti-democratic.

      "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

      by kovie on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:48:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You realize the price we will pay for... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rolfyboy6, LynChi, RevJoe

      ...getting those "good ideas" on the Koch Brothers' terms, right? We don't get to cherry pick the handful of "reasonable" Libertarian ideas if we (I fear) resign ourselves to this concerted rhetorical onslaught. They want and will get the Corporate Deregulation and the elimination of CORPORATE TAXES and at best will "let the marketplace of ideas" determine if legalized prostitution, recreational drugs, assisted suicide, etc. are viable ideas. Given the history of the former Anglo Persian Oil Company, I think it's safe to say that a government heavily influenced by Libertarian principles would find the CIA a useful entity.

      The Kochs themselves are probably indifferent to those issues reaching some fruition. They, like most Libertarians, merely use those examples as thematic of Libertarian ideals, not stances that the electorate should embrace.

      Please don't suggest we can reach some reasonable common ground with people who think they can ultimately hire enough personal security and build high enough fences and private essential infrastructure to keep the "huddled masses" out of their privately sheltered Neo-Galt enclaves.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by Egalitare on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:51:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One thing caught my attention (0+ / 0-)

      Is it assisted suicide they are in favor of?  How do the opponents of end of life counseling see this position?  They construed the idea into death panels and pulling the plug on grandma. Wouldn't that result in the same sort of necessary planning?  I find some of their positions hypocritical.  I also wonder exactly why they are for those ideas.  I think they could become extremely self serving for their power structure.  I guess I'm just skeptical of people who go around touting "freedoms" and "liberty" while exploiting fears.

  •  The hardest part (5+ / 0-)

    will be exposing the evil behind Beck and his cronies and dumbing this connection down enough for the tea party crowd to understand they've been had.  It isn't enough for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to expose but for LTE to be written in a tone that catches their attention without turning them off.  The Koch bros and Rupert Murdoch own so much of the media that this will be a tough task.  I know I will be working on a "template" letter that doesn't show our "elitist education" to those that would not listen to us.  

    •  There are millions of people out there (14+ / 0-)

      who WANT to be had because the alternative, facing up to the reality that the American dream that THEY'VE believed in all their lives--that if you're a white, god-fearing, hard-working christian of modest ambitions, god will smile on you--has failed them utterly, is simply too much to bear. They'd rather hold onto the dream at any cost than face up to reality and adapt, and spiritual opportunists like Beck give them a way.

      He's just the latest in a long line of snake oil salesmen taking advantage of the vanity, ignorance, bigotry and fears of unsophisticated and/or weak-minded fools.

      "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

      by kovie on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:40:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      • simply too much to bear (6+ / 0-)

        Similar to Vietnam vets realizing it was all a lie.
        Fucks you up good.

        Afghanistan - Come for the lithium and stay for the opium.

        by BOHICA on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:45:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What I'll never be able to understand (9+ / 0-)

          is how and why ADULTS can continue to believe in such rediculous myths and be so blindly and naively trusting of people they don't know. I can only attribute it to some sort of emotional and intellectual weakness. I.e. permanent infantilism.

          Then again, one has to believe in something in life. But damn, keep it reality-based!

          "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

          by kovie on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:51:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that is so well put (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the behavior of the rank-and-file hard right in America is exactly that - infantile.  They look solely to authority figures, mostly on the teevee, to tell them what to think and what to do.

            •  It should also be acknowledged (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that there's also an enormous amount of such infantilism in the center and left, even if it manifests itself differently, and in more superficially sophisticated (but no less self-deluding, self-serving and dishonest) ways.

              E.g. the alleged virtue and necessity of "pragmatism" promoted by yuppie centrists and pseudo (i.e. neo) liberals, who try to hide their cowardice and lack of principle and regard for the less fortunate and well-off behind the veil of "realism" in order to justify their unending capitulations to the far right (and not so hidden embrace of many of their values, namely selfishness and megalomania).

              Or the utopian dream of a workers' paradise still subscribed to by members of the actual far left (not highly represented on this site, of course), as opposed to the mainstream progressive left, which persues the much more attainable vision of social democracy that nearly all of the rest of the developed world lives under.

              The latter I ascribe to a more "noble" kind of infantilism, utopianism, which is relatively harmless since its adherents are relatively few in number and lacking in power.

              But the former, centrist kind of infantilism has been tearing the country--as well as the left--apart, with its fake left, run right policies and politics, and its core dishonesty, in claiming to represent the most "pragmatic" way to make things fairer and more equitable, while in reality serving the interests of its overprivileged upper middle class adherents and the upper class robber barons that it claims to oppose but clearly worships and serves (and is too smart to not know).

              And it is infantile because it is dishonest, selfish and destructive in a very obvious, egregious and unnecessary way and thus infantile way.

              And I think we all know who I'm referring to here: apologists, worshippers and defenders--cheerleaders, in other words, most of whom are solidly middle and upper middle class, well-educated professionals for whom all these policy debates are likely theoretical, which is why they can afford to hold such infantile positions on them.

              It's an American disease, infantilism. Or, the belief that one can have it all, without you or others having to pay the price. And especially you.

              "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

              by kovie on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:09:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And by "you" in that last line (0+ / 0-)

                I meant the generic you, as in TIME's person of the year you, not you you. :-)

                "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

                by kovie on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 11:20:12 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  EXCELLENT! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You hit the nail on the head with this statement!

  •  Glenn Beck is Harry Lime (7+ / 0-)

    I.e. an opportunistic sociopath with a certain oleaginous charm.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:33:36 AM PDT

  •  You hit the nail on the head. (7+ / 0-)

    Last week, in a diary, I called Beck a "predator".
    This diary explains better that I could, what I meant by that.
    Well done!

  •  So what's it going to take to get Obama to push a (0+ / 0-)

    ...Fairness Doctrine?  

    So much of the airwaves poison peddled by Beck and his ilk could be countered by a Fairness Doctrine, but like health care's public option, it was pulled off the table from the start.

    Tell your Congressman and Senator that you will work to defeat them unless they push for a Fairness Doctrine.

    Aborticentrism-- the closer life gets to being your responsibility, the less sacred it becomes

    by cgregor on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:34:42 AM PDT

    •  Or something more germane (0+ / 0-)

      which will no longer give these charlatans an outlet to LIE--revisit Brandenburg with respect to inflammatory language, and/or overturn the current decision in Akre/Wilson vs. New World.

      Until we undo the law that gives media management the civil right to fire reporters who won't report news spun by management such that The Corporate People aren't offended--or else clarify the concept of harmful language in mass broadcasting--Beck and his wannabe colleagues in the Propaganda business will stay in business.

      If Health Insurance Reform can wait until 2015, then so can any changes to Social Security.

      by o the umanity on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:40:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not so that's even possible anymore; (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mmacdDE, xanthippe2

      The fairness doctrine was based on the principle that the broadcasters used a public property (the airwaves) to broadcast, and therefore were obligated to use it in the best interests of the community. While local stations still use the airwaves, the major broadcasters can just as easily broadcast over cable.

      Secondly, what you're proposing is a re-regulation of broadcasting. Not a bad thing, but in the current climate highly unlikely. We've seen just what fury greeted the attempt to impose even mild regulation on the banking system this year.

    •  Most of those 'airwaves' are private now (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and people pay to receive them.

      That's why the fairness doctrine isn't the solution. It would be seen as censorship, and in some ways, it is. When the broadcast spectrum is extremely limited, you have to have some constraints, because the options for information are so restricted.

      But now? I've got hundreds of channels, with lots of very niche programming, which I PAY for. If I don't like my choices, I can change to a different set of choices. Or drop it entirely.

      •  Partly true and partly not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        native, mmacdDE

        You get hundreds of channels, but you DON'T get the ability to selectively pick and choose. You get what the cable/dish company gives you, all or nothing, and while you can block out individual channels, you can't add any they don't offer.

        That in itself is a very, very serious problem, considering how very hard they all push Faux Noose (which pushes itself ON them with low or no fees).

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:31:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Definitely (0+ / 0-)

          I can add a tier to get more channels, or change providers altogether, but I have to take the whole package or nothing - including a bunch of stuff I don't really want.

          I wish they would enact ala carte pricing. Or structure the tiers differently. They certainly could do that.

          They already sell special sports packages, all the HBO/Showtime/premium channels are extra, HD is often extra, etc. They could certainly have a package that included a wide range of worldwide news, a package that had NO news channels other than the major broadcast news shows, etc.

          They don't because some of those stations give the cable companies a good deal on stuff, so they carry those rather than others because it's better for them financially.

          Can't blame the cable companies - they're in business to make money. If they can carry a channel for free, they're going to carry it.

    •  It's more than just a "Fairness Doctrine" (0+ / 0-)

      it's the need to get back to a point where the broadcasting resources aren't held in the possession of just a few corporations.

      Back in the day, there were some awesome urban AM and FM stations in this country. Not only did they play kick-ass music (in the era before Pandora and the like), they also did a lot of coverage of issues of importance to the urban community, and being locally owned/controlled they could concentrate on the issues that affected their listeners' daily lives, whether it was threatened cutbacks in bus service, new disciplinary rules in the schools, or relations between the police and the community. But then the stations were bought up and assimilated, Borg-like, by the corporations and all the programming and production was done out of LA or New York; no longer did you have even the token "public service programming" that spoke to the community.

      We have to pry the corporate fingers off the broadcasting pie; there has to be more diversity in radio and TV, so that all voices can be heard. And the Internet is not the answer -- there are still plenty of people for whom reliable broadband (which is needed for much streaming media) is just a pipe dream, low priority when it comes to keeping a roof over the head and food in the refrigerator and power to keep that refrigerator running.

      "When it gets harder to love, love harder" -- Van Jones, NN10, 7/23/10

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 12:19:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why stop with radio & TV? (0+ / 0-)

      Why not ration blogs, too?

      Let's get rid of all the extremist bloggers.  Start with HotAir & Malkin, and chop off the other end  with Kos & TPM.

      Free speech is too important to leave uncontrolled.


      Vote in haste, repent in leisure.

      by wrecktafire on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:40:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Leaders in the Class War (7+ / 0-)

    Murdoch and the Koch Brothers need to be continuously revealed as the agents of Satan that they are.

    -9.00, -5.85
    If only stupidity were painful...

    by Wintermute on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:36:03 AM PDT

    •  The Koch's have give $250,000 toward defeating (9+ / 0-)

      Alan Grayson, and he's going directly after the Koch's in his fundraising pitches.  I think this is excellent, and we should all get behind the effort to constantly identify the Koch's role in influencing these "people's movements" and election results.  The Koch's, and companies like Target and Best Buy rely on no one knowing or much caring what they do to influence politics, and why, and why maybe they aren't on the side of the general public.  Everyone's job in the progressive movement is to make sure their roles are known and their motivations are made visible.

      •  I think that's the best way to go (0+ / 0-)

        If a company or a group is funding a ton of ads for somebody, they want SOMETHING for that. Especially if it's a company - they're not going to be spending that kind of money and not expect something in return.

        Most people know that instinctively. If you're putting out a whole bunch of money for somebody, you probably want something.

      •  Congressman Grayson (0+ / 0-)

        is a hero to me.  He is filled with energy and he cares deeply about the American people.  He is smart, courageous, knows who the true villains and evil-doers are, is unafraid of repurcussions, loves the constitution, and is a valiant fighter against demagoguery.  The Koch brothers are a fundamental and existential threat to this nation, to the social Democracry that we are trying to become.

        Congressman Grayson, I am a Vietnam veteran who served honorably, a lifetime Liberal/Progressive. I have a son and grandchildren living near me here in Florida. Thank you for what you have been doing for us in the struggle against the corporate takeover of our country.  It is nearly too late to stop the horror. I am sad when I think of how the United States has turned to vulture capitalism and corporatism and theocratic conservatism, and how the principles enshrined in the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights have been assaulted and diminished in the years since Reaganomics and right wing ascendancy have prevailed in our system.

        Oh Congressman Grayson, you are one in million.

  •  Beck is dangerous (7+ / 0-)

    He's dangerous, very dangerous. Long before AH and his party took control of Germany in the 30's toxic klowns like Beck laid the ground work for the AH and the camps. The Germany of the Kaiser was an increasingly sick, militaristic and hatred filled society that only needed a good defeat and economic collapse ( post WW1 Weimar) and a weak Quasi-Socialist regime like the Weimar regime to set the stage. We're in the WEIMAR phase now, all the pieces are there all we need now is deeper Depression and a real "leader" type not Beck. Beck is the harbinger though of things to come BAD things. Obama and his corrupt hapless regime will help the along the coming of a real Fascist America up ahead by discrediting both  left populism and Progressivism.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:36:51 AM PDT

  •  Beck admit's to lying (6+ / 0-)

    Huffpo today:  

    Glenn Beck Admits Lying: 'I Thought It Would Be A Little Easier' (VIDEO)
    First Posted: 09- 3-10 12:09 PM   |   Updated: 09- 3-10 04:23 PM

    After being called on a white lie he told during his Restoring Honor rally, Glenn Beck admitted Thursday that he stretched the truth because he "thought it would be a little easier."

    Beck had claimed that he held George Washington's handwritten first Inaugural Address in his hands at the National Archives, but a spokeswoman at the institution said he did no such thing. Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz and others called him out for the fabrication.

    Thursday on his radio show, Beck copped to the lie. (RELATED: Lies By Prominent Americans.)

    "I thought it would be a little easier in the speech," Beck said, than to go into the following elaborate explanation (via Mediaite):

    For what it's worth since his listeners probably don't read Huffpo

  •  He is incredibly dangerous and is setting (4+ / 0-)

    up to get Romney anointed for 2012. Don't want another "businessman" who puts money and profit before people to be the President.

    He will continue as long as he is useful. Best not to underestimate him or whomever is feeding him his talking points. Big business all the way!

    "Nothing is more American than bribing people." fellow kossack kid funkadelic

    by J Brunner Fan on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:42:48 AM PDT

  •  Do not underestimate Beck (6+ / 0-)

    He is a disciple of Goebbels.  In Germany people made fun of the failed artist at their peril.  As Sinclair Lewis famously said, "facusm will come to America in an anti fascist movement wrapped in the flag."

  •  The rally on 10.2.10 is about unity (2+ / 0-)

    and diversity, something Glenn Beck absolutely detests.  

    I am proud to be going to a rally that the teabagger racist/homophobic/haters would loathe.

  •  Coincidentally (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've been working on a diary on Beck's attempts to style himself as Martin Luther King Junior-Junior.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:49:29 AM PDT

  •  this is BULLSHIT, and I hate to disagree (4+ / 0-)

    so adamantly. Beck called Obama a racist. (That calls for return fire, and we have it in Markos's book, American Taliban.)

    The direct connection to FOX for its support for Republicans as the American Taliban effort itself (AT) is clear: Having gone after The Tides Foundation, Beck helped fulminate an aborted lone wolf op.

    O'Reilly succeeded in his year-long persecution of Dr.George Tiller by having him assassinated!

    Indeed, successful efforts by FOX at repression of 1st Amendment religious expression may even move the Park51 Mosque. More to come as the "hardhat pledge" signers openly propose sabotage at the planned site.

    The direct connection between FOX and the Republican Governors Association is an established fact. FOX foments terrorism on behalf of the Republican Party of the United States.

    You are so far off the mark here in mitigating the Beck effect, I'm tempted to call you a troll, but I know better. You've merely made me more irate.

    The Republican Party is off the rails unAmerican - they have fomented a true grassroots movement of militias, malicious psychotic lone wolves and free-wheeling gun-loving bigots everywhere. Beck and O'Reilly, Hannity and Murdoch are at the nervecenter of their propaganda operation.

    Calling Obama a racist was just the tip of the iceberg.

    ...'06, '08, and ...'10? 'It was a trifecta of the peoples' outrage against Republicanism!'

    by ezdidit on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:51:04 AM PDT

    •  MILBANK is precisely wrong as well. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diana in NoVa, swampyankee

      His neoliberal moderation of the schism in American politics is frightening because so many people buy into moderate interpretations. It's easier on the mind, more comforting to the spirit.

      But Beck is a terrorist, an Imam of the Republican Party!

      To say the Republican Party is a 'moderate party' is a stretch by any measure:

      They openly propose an economic plan that would devastate civil society in favor of corporate hegemony and extra-electoral power - outlaw governance through the power of corporate money.

      That is FASCISM in a nutshell. They strike at every freedom enshrined in the Bill of Rights - they are unAmerican!

      The Republican Party must be defeated...but how? That would be the subject of another that we are woefully unprepared to address except by the power of organizing, personally, one-at-a-time. And OFA may well be writing that book as we blog here.

      (discl.: The only reason I'm wasting my time here is because I live in Anthony Weiner's district and NYC is heavily Democratic - the bluest of blue states.)

      ...'06, '08, and ...'10? 'It was a trifecta of the peoples' outrage against Republicanism!'

      by ezdidit on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:21:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No love for Milbank (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Thinks Social Security is an "entitlement" and should therefore be cut.

        Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

        by Diana in NoVa on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 08:29:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  re "entitlements," this, from Bernie Sanders: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in Politico...

             Under the law today, the Social Security payroll tax is levied only on earnings up to $106,800 a year. That means millionaires and billionaires get off scot free on all of their income above that amount. In other words, an individual who earns $106,800 pays the same Social Security tax as a multimillionaire. That’s wrong.

             Applying the Social Security payroll tax on those with the most income, say over $250,000 a year, would correct this inequity. According to CBO, applying the tax to all income would provide all the revenue that Social Security needs for the foreseeable future-- for our kids and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

          We will only win this argument against SS cuts with a coalition of elected Senate Democrats willing to stand strong and R's ominously opposed with millions demonstrating on 10.2.10. They have to fear for their safety. That's not nice, but repukes are playing retribution, spit, fear, rocks, guns at town halls ...and the money card.

          GOTV is all that matters. Now more than ever!

          ...'06, '08, and ...'10? 'It was a trifecta of the peoples' outrage against Republicanism!'

          by ezdidit on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:15:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  LOL "FASCISM in a nutshell" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and of course Milbank deserves to do the book since illogicians of a feather do f***k together.

        "...calling for a 5" deck gun is not parody. Not by a long shot." (gnaborretni)

        by annieli on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:42:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That Beck is a fraud is ..... (7+ / 0-)

    painfully self-evident.  P. T. Barnum would have been awed by this man's genius in getting disaffected white people and a few self-hating minority members to swallow his crazy (but self-serving) rhetoric.  He is also, because of the ease with which he bamboozles those want to believe, a more dangerous man than Rush Limbaugh.

    The problem is I have known a few people like Beck, who were living in a delusional world and tried to convince others of its reality. One was almost successful in causing a disastrous result because of his manipulations and because there were those who wanted to believe, despite the evidence, as believing enriched them monetarily.

    One reason I became a scientist was that I liked the rigor implicit in the scientific method (not that scientists, being human, don't sometimes become delusional- especially if a cherished theory becomes threatened).  I really detest the idea of living in a dream world that denies the suffering that such a dream world causes others.      

  •  Posted at a local blog. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    decembersue, Foxwizard

    Footage dates back to a 1947 documentary entitled Don't Be A Sucker produced by the US Government.

    - It's beyond ironic that ophthalmologist Rand Paul is so myopic

    by second gen on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:52:49 AM PDT

  •  That makes him dangerous (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, rlharry, sable

    He can mobilize many people to vote for the wrong party that will do opposite to what they need.

    He mobilizes people to feel that their racism is right and justified.

    He is dangerous because he makes people believe in lies and act base on these lies thus make the wrong decision.

    If however, he uses this to mobilize people to buy  American,  manufacture here in America, hire Americans not H1B, stop outsourcing ---then that will be good.

    But what does he do.  He promotes reverse racism,  and selfish individualism.

    Protect Democracy. Keep lying GOP out of the People's House.

    by timber on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:54:30 AM PDT

  •  It's the Koch brothers who are more dangerous (13+ / 0-)

    They can buy and sell the Glen Becks.

    "It's too LATE to stop now!" - John Lee Hooker

    by Rolfyboy6 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:55:34 AM PDT

    •  True, but somebody needs .... (5+ / 0-)

      to be their public face.  Like the scum-bags they are, they shun the light.

      •  To what extent do they finance Lyndon LaRouche ? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desert Scientist

        Its the same lines of populist fascism.

        Sometimes word for word.

        BTW: you gotta figure that Murdoch and the Kochs work together.

        Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

        by vets74 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 03:11:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They bought GWB (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, rlharry

      The following is not their only crime. They stole oil from the Osage Indian tribe; they cheated their own brothers Fredrick and Bill out of hundreds of millions of dollars; Koch Industry killed two teens in an faulty pipeline explosion; and in the 90's alone Koch was responsible for 300 oil spills in five states.

      CASH ‘N’ CARRY CHRONICLES An MWO Continuing Feature[Warning long PDF file]

      But a far bigger problem loomed for Koch, in the form of the 97-count indictment that could have cost the company serious damage – to the tune of $352 million in civil fines, plus jail time of up to 100 years and another $50 million in fines. And this time, Bush could exert much more leverage for Koch – so long as he was able to take over the White House.


      Throughout the 2000 campaign, candidate Bush promised he would loosen environmental protections and limit jury awards against corporations found guilty of wrongdoing. But scant notice as paid to the continuing federal prosecution of Koch – or the heavy Koch donations to Bush, the Republican Party, and various conservative political action committees. David Koch and his wife Julie alone have $487,500 in campaign contributions to the Republicans – and absolutely nothing to the Democrats.

      The Koch case was headed for trial last spring – just after Bush took over the White House. But then the funniest thing happened, on the very day that the jury was to begin hearing the case. On April 9, 2001, the Department of Justice announced that it was dropping all charges against Koch Industries and its employees, in exchange for a one-time $20 million fine. In dollar amounts, the company wound up paying about 5% of what its liability could have been, with no jail time for anyone. And David and Julie Koch’s investment in the Republican Party paid off by a factor approaching one thousand to one.

      Four out five sock puppets agree

      by se portland on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 08:16:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This emphasis on Tea Party funders (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, mmacdDE, vets74, ezdidit

    is another example of the Democratic Party's failed strategies in that, once again, it fails to acknowledge the very real and justified frustration of ordinary folks who refuse any longer to drink the korporate koolaid served by the two major parties.  

    Oh, yes, there are differences in the parties. One serves the koolaid with in a plastic cup, the other in a biodegradable one.  But, it's the same drink that rejects the demands at least half of all voters.  Failing to represent those voters will be the biggest mistake the Democratic Party ever made.

    Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

    by Deep Harm on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 06:58:48 AM PDT

    •  Although... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, shpilk, rlharry

      pointing out whose manipulating the strings is never wrong, I should have noted. But, in my opinion, it does more harm than good when it fails to also address the deep sense of desperation among voters that makes them vulnerable to manipulators.  

      Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

      by Deep Harm on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:21:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  lol (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlharry, Deep Harm

      "One serves the koolaid with in a plastic cup, the other in a biodegradable one."

      The ones that dispense the biodegradable cup "feel your pain", too.

      Let's remember that some* of these millionaires who deign to stoop down and mingle with us are disingenuous, going after our votes but not necessarily reflecting the people's desires.

      Wading into the hoi polloi for some of them is a grind, needed to get our votes. They really don't give a damn about us.

      Ted Kennedy they are not.

      *I'd say more 2/3rds of the D's in the Senate are like this, and about half in the House. Most of the people serving in Congress were born into wealth. It's one thing to start out poor; Clinton, Obama and Biden at least have that going for them. And just being born into wealth doesn't mean you cannot be a decent person [Teddy]. But too many times, it's wealth and power that insulates, rather than empowers to good.

      by shpilk on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:29:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My only objection to Scoop ........ (0+ / 0-)

    We can't make this piece a "sticky".

    Welcome to the Corporate States of America ®, give us your money, then die quietly.

    by geez53 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:03:36 AM PDT

  •  Don't Worry Much About Beck's Influence (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynChi, fizziks, ezdidit

    Don't think he is bringing anybody new to the cause. If you attracted at all to Beck's act, you are already voting right wing. Might increase voting rates among this sector, but I think they are high anyway. I know that is the kind of marginal factor that decides elections but it might be offset by the fact that independents have to be turned off by Beck's Holy Roller act combined with the La Rouche style conspiracy theories.

  •  Often Repeating Verbatim (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, Laurence Lewis, ezdidit

    He is Father Coughlin.

    They call him a Muslim because they can't use the N-word.

    by bink on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:07:37 AM PDT

  •  Beck = Bread & Circuses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While the public is diverted by clowns like Beck, the rot behind the stage scenery and the props only gets worse.  

    Light is the answer - but as long as these monsters of wealth work in the shadows, and control which way the metaphorical searchlight of the press is pointed, the only way we'll see what's been going on is when the whole corrupt edifice crumbles.

    At which point most of us will be buried in the rubble.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:07:47 AM PDT

    •  Yep, worked for the Caesars. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We've been working on mob-rule-by-distraction for quite some time.

      Thought this "democracy" thing was supposed to be different.

      Welcome to the Corporate States of America ®, give us your money, then die quietly.

      by geez53 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:20:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right wing economics, Beck, et al. (10+ / 0-)


    One of the single most important things people like you leave out when discussing right-wing economics, people like Beck and his Fox friends, and the corporate leaders behind them is that this has happened all before.

    There is no discussion, no mention of the historical background of right-wing economics (Corporatism/Fascism) in the US, no mention of the McCarthy era right-wing character assassins such as Westbook Pegler, Fulton Lewis, Jr., and George Sokolsky, among others. The late journalist, George Seldes, in his autobiography, Witness To A Century, lays out in great detail how his former boss at the Chicago Tribune, Robert McCormick and the three men mentioned above, led a movement from the 1920's to the 1950's that attempted to bring Fascism to the US. When I say Fascism, I do not mean the kind practiced by that paper-hanging son of a bitch in Berlin, but rather the kind found in Rome, Madrid, Lisbon, and most of Central and Latin America during the 20th century.

    Mussolini defined Fascism thus:

    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power."

    So whenever we see people like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and the rest of the neo-Fascist Party of the US, we should know that there is historical precedent for them. Beck is Elmer Gantry, Lonesome Rhodes, Billy Sunday, William Jennings Bryan (Monkey Trial version), and Hitler all rolled into one. Did you notice how there was no one on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial near or even behind him? Same thing with Hitler at Nuremberg.

    Here is a quote from a real Republican, a real patriot and a real democrat.

    "Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice."

    Can you guess who said it? I'll give you a hint, he was bald, led a war to victory and had a thief for Vice-President.

    Answer: Dwight D. Eisenhower

  •  Orson Welles was a solid leftist, (4+ / 0-)

    and must be spinning in his grave.
    And make no mistake, Glenn Beck is a very dangerous man.

    Splunge: It means I think Obama's great, but possibly not, and I'm not being indecisive.

    by jazzmaniac on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:13:25 AM PDT

  •  I think you're underestimating (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the self-destructive, nihilistic nature of tea party thinking and the wider conservative movement.

    There is no conflict when your basic philosophy is "fuck it all" and "'screw the brown people". Issues don't matter.

    This is a post-issue movement. All they need is ignition points, like the mosque or a black president.

  •  Beck is also very wealthy. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, mmacdDE, xanthippe2

    Much more so than when he had his little puck radio show.

    To abandon this perverted and fake persona he's adopted means no more money.

    It's all an act, fakery.

    by shpilk on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:19:17 AM PDT

  •  See Hillary Was Wrong. It's a SMALL RW Conspiracy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mmacdDE, geez53

    going by the number of major funders.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:20:52 AM PDT

  •  beck will never amount to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    anything?  didn't people say the same thing about limbaugh?

    and rap music will die any day now...

    Any man can stand some adversity. If you really want to know a man's character, give him power. Abe Lincoln.

    by maskling11 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:20:52 AM PDT

    •  Also a Nonsensical Hollywood B Actor (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and a paperhanger.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:21:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  if laughable charlatan implied not dangerous (0+ / 0-)

        world history would be very different and a lot less unpleasant.

      •  Leon Trotsky worked in the movies too (0+ / 0-)

        during his earlier pre-Revolution years. He was living in New York at the time and seems to have picked up some pocket money as an extra for Griffith and other studios. Reportedly, he can still be glimpsed in street scenes in a few surviving stills and films (or parts of films).

        If it's
        Not your body
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        AND it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:42:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why aren't (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, mojo workin, BaritoneWoman

    the 'GOOD' billionaires banding together to put a stop to these folks?

    "Coming together is a beginning..keeping it together is a process..working together is a success."

    by secret38b on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:21:41 AM PDT

    •  they suck (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Soros is more interested in impressing people with his grasp of Popper than with getting stuff done.

    •  Because they ARE billionaires ....... (0+ / 0-)

      It's not in their psyche to "band together" as a herd instinct.

      Not to downplay the efforts and openness of Soros, Gates, Buffet, et al who do want to give something back in their own way. But i emphasize "their own way".

      Welcome to the Corporate States of America ®, give us your money, then die quietly.

      by geez53 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:31:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are, indeed, scared... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, LynChi, BaritoneWoman, secret38b

      ...ergo Buffett and Gates band together for a "billionaires challenge" defying other billionaires to give away half their fortunes.

      This is unwise and misdirected, for if they and several of their well-meaning pals got it together to support Democrats to overwhelm and marginalize the most evil and corrosive Party to come along in 150 years, since the Confederacy, they'd achieve far more ...and they'd do it far more graciously than this conspicuous beneficence of theirs.

      If Republicans are not defeated in November so as to maintain a Democratic Majority, I'm afraid that all will be lost: they will be beholden to their rabble, and only corporate fascists and their wealthy owners will win.

      This is a battle for democracy.

      ...'06, '08, and ...'10? 'It was a trifecta of the peoples' outrage against Republicanism!'

      by ezdidit on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:38:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ahhhh Glenn Beck.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynChi, rlharry, xanthippe2

    Proof that there is indeed 'a sucker born every minute'.
    Or 87,000 of them.
    It's about time the Koch brothers were 'outed' for what they really are and just exactly what their financial tendrils are into.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:25:53 AM PDT

  • true believer....Hustler. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  So true. Con-man extraordinaire. (0+ / 0-)

      No true convictions.  Beck has some of the same characteristics as Bernie Madoff.  Put on a nice face, get people to trust you, then bilk them for all you can get.  People like this have no conscience.

      Every man is a king so long as he has someone to look down on. --- Sinclair Lewis "It Can't Happen Here"

      by LynChi on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 08:42:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How big is the tea bagger "movement"? Because (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhillyGal, 88kathy, mmacdDE, nicethugbert

    loudness doesn't equal persuasion. Audience is not influence. Crazy isn't a majority. Outrage is not action. Attention doesn't mean power. Obsession with Beck's lunacy is not mental health.

    All hope abandon ye who enter here.

    by this much on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:43:19 AM PDT

  •  Girolamo Savonarola was a joke too, until (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lorenzo de' Medici died and there was a power vacuum in Florence. Savonarola moved right into it and had the whole city praying, weeping, and burning their once-treasured paintings and luxury items. That was the original "Bonfire of the Vanities".

    Savonarola quickly came to a well-deserved bad end, but Florence was never again the leader in arts and culture she had been.

    If it's
    Not your body
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    AND it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 07:51:59 AM PDT

  •  big quibble (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Byron De Lear

    I don't think it is appropriate to see those who follow the likes of Glenn Beck as poor, deluded saps who have been taken advantage of.  As vulerable people who have had their "legitimate" gripes bent by Beck et al.

    Beck's denizens are indeed deluded and saps, and they indeed have gripes, but they are fully consnsual agents of their own oppression.  They are caucasian Americans in the 21st century - they have at their fingertips every instrument of self-improvement and enlightenment possible, and yet they choose to be the way they are.  They are not lambs being led to slaughter by Beck, rather they are just all butchers following the leader.

  •  Glenn Beck is RobertTilton (0+ / 0-)

    In many ways. But the obvious first similarity is their weird, exaggerated facial expressions. So hard to watch. And people who fall for that evangelical communication feature cannot be reasoned with.

    How much money have you wasted on poorly designed, over priced HDMI cables?

    by plok on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 08:05:26 AM PDT

  •  So, when are the Kochs and Murdoch going to ..... (0+ / 0-)

    get exposed?  After how many lost elections?

  •  We were not alive during the heyday (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LynChi, rlharry, Diana in NoVa

    of Aimee Temple McPherson. Or, for that matter, Joseph Smith or Brigham Young.

    These people were extremely influential during their time--at least as powerfully influential in their time as Glenn Beck is in ours.  All of these snake oil salesmen have in common the ability to sniff out and exploit emotionally, mentally, intellectually vulnerable people.

    One of the mistakes we make here is to think that the people out there have the ability to exercise a developed critical faculty.  It's important to keep in mind that they don't.  It's no good thinking that things would improve if only we could get people educated.

    •  Agree with this (0+ / 0-)

      It's no good thinking that things would improve if only we could get people educated.

      Some people are stupid and they enjoy being stupid.  Witness, to take one small example, the "High Tea Society" of Washington, DC.  No English person would ever make the mistake of referring to afternoon tea (which is what the society promotes) with high tea, which is supper.  You feed high tea to your children at six p.m. and pack the darlings off to bed while you and your spouse enjoy a civilized dinner at eight.  When this was pointed out by an actual English person to the leaders of the society, they refused to change the name.  They think "high tea" sounds exalted, as if the Her Majesty is likely to pop in for a cuppa.

      (Modest quibble:  Her name was Aimee Semple McPherson.  Although she probably did have a temple!)

      Yes, I'm het, but I'm NOT a Mad Hetter!

      by Diana in NoVa on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 08:37:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It seems to me that the premise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother of Zeus

    behind much of this is that voters -- except the progressive left -- are stupid, mindless sheep.  The repeated statements to the effect that Beck "dupes" or fools people, and the repeated statements that the only reason people think this way is because they hear it on Fox seem to me to come from a mindset of "we are smart enough to see through this, the rest of the country is just stupid."  

    Maybe, just maybe, people tune into Fox News because they already agree with much of the underlying premise behind much of what Fox News says -- that the federal government should be smaller and less involved in people's lives; that the "free market" is the best system, that government (in fact, every thing they do) should follow fundamental conservative religious principles, that "their taxes" should not go to supporting others who, in their view, "don't work as hard" (that's what charities are for, in their view), that a fetus is a human being, that those who are successful in business deserve the money they make, all those things.  My conservative friends all spout those ideas, and many of them are very intelligent people -- just with very very very different ideas about government.  

    More importantly, a lot of my intelligent conservative friends DO hear other ideas.  A lot of them even peruse blogs like this.  You know what they say about this kind of article?  "Typical left wing, they think I'm stupid.  They think they are smarter than the rest of the world."  

    I don't think that there's anything wrong with  article deconstructing positions taken by those on the right, like Beck, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, etc.  That kind of thing is what our political system is all about.  However, I am disturbed by the second step -- the disdain for everybody on the "right" as stupid, mindless sheep who are unable to think for themselves.  That kind of (almost) dehumanizing one's political opponent simply exacerbates the ever-increasing political polarization in this country.

    By the way, the right says the same thing about the left -- that they are stupid, that those who don't make a lot of money only want a handout, that those who do use handouts to gain political power, that they have no idea how to run a business, that they have no religious principles, that kind of thing.  That upsets me just as much -- again, I have no problem with a discussion of the merits of various political positions.  It is the attitude that the political opposition is somehow "less worthy than me" (because they are stupid, or lazy, or mindless, or whatever) that disturbs me.  

    It seems to me that, rather than focus on people like Beck or Limbaugh (who are a reflection of their audience), one moves forward by actually reaching the audience to change their underlying principles and beliefs so that they are no longer interested in what the talking head has to say.  

    Off my soapbox now.  I realize that I'll get responses like, "But they ARE stupid!"  Just remember, that's what the right is saying about you.  And that doesn't do much in getting you to listen to them, does it?  There's no reason to think it will get them to listen to you, either.      

    •  well- what do you call someone that falls 4 Koch? (0+ / 0-)

      willfully ignorant?

      •  No, I think that they don't "fall for" (0+ / 0-)

        Koch -- simply that they agree with some of the underlying premises that he is beginning from.  Koch, etc. is capitalizing on beliefs that people already hold.  That's why they are receptive to Koch's ads -- they fundamentally agree with the premise that government should be smaller and out of people's lives.  They fundamentally agree with the premise that government is "them" and not (like people here believe) "us."  They fundamentally believe that because government -- especially the federal government -- is "them" not "us," it needs to be limited and out of their lives, and they do not want to pay taxes for a government that is "them" not "us."  

        They are not so mindless as to believe whatever they hear, not matter what is said.  Do you really think that if you forced them to watch Olbermann, they'd all suddenly become progressives simply because that's what they hear?  

        •  so they aren't stupid- it's their beliefs (0+ / 0-)

          If you believe in 2010 that that the govt. "getting out of people's lives" is in anyway a good thing, you are either a billionaire like the Koch Brothers, or have a fundamental misunderstanding of political and economic reality.

          If you see politics as a "them Vs. Us" and you think the Koch Brothers are in your side, you are either on their payroll or stupid.

          •  There is no single (0+ / 0-)

            "political and economic reality."  Neither politics nor economics is a science.  There is no "correct" answer to either.  For politics, it begins with a philosophical approach, and reasonable people can disagree.  In fact, the disagreement over the role of the federal government dates back to 1789 -- the Constitution itself was a series of compromises between those who wanted a dominant federal government and those who did not.  That debate continued through the terms of our earliest presidents, and is alive today.

            As for economics, because there can never be a "control" so as to test theories regarding the effect of governmental policies on the economy, there is no definitively "right" or "wrong" answer about what governmental policies do or do not affect the economy, and how much.  There are only theories held by different economists coming from differing schools of thought.  For example, the right points to the so-called Kennedy tax cuts and Reagan tax cuts, and the economic growth and increased tax revenues that followed, as "proof" that tax cuts grow the economy and increase tax revenue.  Progressives talk about the higher tax rates during the Clinton years and the booming economy and lowering of deficits as "proof" that higher taxes are better economically.  In truth, neither theory can be scientifically proven because scientific controls cannot be made so as to account for the other factors that may have affected the economy (such as the dot-com bubble of the Clinton years).  Who can say, with certainty, what the economy would have looked like without the Kennedy tax cuts, the Reagan tax cuts, or the Clinton tax increases?    

            People who disagree with you have a different political philosophy and/or economic theory, not a "fundamental misunderstanding of political and economic reality," because there is no such thing as a single, indisputably scientifically correct "political and economic reality."  

            •  total nonsense (0+ / 0-)

              facts are- bush tax cuts hurt the economy
              Reagan tax cuts hurt the ecconomy

              just like you can find scientists willing to cash a paycheck and say there is no global warming

              you can sure find someone with a degree in economics to say tax cuts for billionaires help the economy

              the fact you are pushing this nonsense says all I need to know about you

              •  Well, that's not a very convincing response (0+ / 0-)

                Sure, anybody can say, "I'm right."  It's pretty easy.

                The fact that you answer my discussion of areas where very smart, very thoughtful people have disagreement with "It's a fact that my platitude is right" tells me all I need to know about you.  

                Thanks for playing.  

        •  as for your last question (0+ / 0-)

          Do you really think that if you forced them to watch Olbermann, they'd all suddenly become progressives simply because that's what they hear?  

          no more than if you forced them to read a biology book, they would give up their belief that the earth is 3000k years old

          its not as you say
          "They are not so mindless as to believe whatever they hear, not matter what is said"

          no -they are so stupid they cant see the truth in front of their faces and would rather believe an attractive lie that confirms their mistaken "fundamental beliefs"

          •  What is the "truth" about the role of the (0+ / 0-)

            federal government?  What is the "truth" about how much control should the federal government have over local policies?  What is the "truth" about how much control the federal government should have over the private economy?   Which one -- Alexander Hamilton or Thomas Jefferson (who were at the origin of the debate over these issues) -- was "so stupid that [he] cannot see the truth in front of [his] face"?  

            •  the 2010 truth is- it's corporations VS fed govt (0+ / 0-)

              one side you can vote for, one side you cant

              you tell me which side YOU are on

              •  Nope. Most reasonable people (0+ / 0-)

                understand that the truth is nowhere near that simple. For example, the vast majority of corporations in this country as small businesses -- like the neighborhood restaurant or the the local mechanic's shop, or the corner dry cleaner.  These can organized in a variety of ways, whether single shareholder corporations, multiple shareholder corporations, subchapter S corps, or even LLC's.  

                I'm a lawyer and represent some of those businesses.  I can vote "for" those corporations.  I'm on their side.  So, when it comes to corporations, I will listen to whoever articulates policies that will help those kinds of corporations to build their businesses.  

                In my view, "it's corporations v. the federal government" is a meaningless platitude that tells me nothing.  Ask me about a specific policy, and then maybe I can give you some kind of answer.  

              •  actually.. (0+ / 0-)

                the conflict is not corps vs. fed -- the conflict is in wresting popular control from, as your handle implies, Noam Chomsky, "the two-tiered business war party"

    •  You are right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As a matter of fact, I agree with the premise that people are being duped by false populism in the guise of clowns like Glenn Beck.  And I agree that the money trail behind a fool like Beck tells quite a story.  And I also agree with you that nonetheless, the people attracted to Beck would largely agree with much of his agenda even without the Koch brothers bankrolling the movement behind him.  

      Most importantly, though, I agree with you that telling people they are dupes is not going to do anything to bring them into your camp.  If you honestly think someone is being played for a fool, it is important nonetheless to disabuse yourself of the notion that that person is "stupid" in any way, shape or form.  Is there anyone among us who hasn't been confused about where their true loyalties lie at some point in their lives?  I think not.

      The only kind of climb-down that is effective is one with dignity.  And I don't mean by that a condescending type of "I'll just keep my mouth shut about my superior knowledge to try to win you over for this election cycle."  I mean really and truly trying to respect where other people are coming from even when you vehemently disagree with them.

      That's hard to do.  It's also the only way to reach most people.

      "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

      by Mother of Zeus on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:14:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you cant reason with stupid (0+ / 0-)

        what respect does "get the govt out of my medicare" deserve?

        •  There are examples of "stupid" on both sides (0+ / 0-)

          Yes, there are some stupid people who have a knee-jerk reaction to the platitudes of the right.  Yes, there are some stupid people who have a knee-jerk reaction to the platitudes of the left. Go to any right wing blog and you will see them cherry-pick some VERY stupid statements made by ordinary, "man on the street" supporter of the Democrats.  

          What is wrong is painting everybody who disagrees with you politically or philosophically as either evil or stupid, which fails to recognize that there can be legitimate disagreements among reasonable, intelligent people on non-scientific areas like politics, economics, the role of government in society, and the role of religion in society.  

          A complete lack of respect for ANY political, philosophical, and/or economic viewpoint with which you disagree is NOT the way to  become a majority party, if that's what your goal is.  

          •  Dems already the majority party (0+ / 0-)

            acting like jerks such as beck have a valid point is why we are losing it

          •  give me ONE example on the left (0+ / 0-)
            •  Not hard to find (0+ / 0-)

              I'll start with one that got a lot of play on the right:

              "I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car, I won't have to worry about my mortgage"

              Sure, that's an ordinary, uninformed voter.  Which is exactly my point -- that there are those kinds of people on both sides.  

              I don't spend a lot of time looking for these on either the left or the right, because they are out there.  My comments are based on a lot of thoughtful, very intelligent, reasonable friends and relatives who hold conservative views on those things I mentioned above.  They are certainly not the stupid, mindless sheep that so many here would like to believe they are. They simply hold different views of those kinds of things I mentioned.  

              •  that's a similiar (0+ / 0-)
                sentiment held in many evangelical churches --"if you plant your seed here, you will be rewarded..."

                first seek ye the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you...

                the foundational tenet of prosperity Chritianity,

                or, you could always invest $8.99 and buy the dvd "The Secret" and get rich, that's a hell of alot less expensive then titheing.

              •  Sherrod much... (0+ / 0-)

                and gee doesn't that just prove the point. Of course she more likely is saying that the historic moment makes everyday trials (ie. paying the Bills) less worrisome. Of course you probably couldn't give a Black woman that much credit

              •  Thank you, (0+ / 0-)

                you have remarkable patience.

                Vote in haste, repent in leisure.

                by wrecktafire on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 05:49:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  But should we become a majority by copying (0+ / 0-)

            the mistakes and calamities of our opponents?  If we're going to do the same as the other side, then why not just join the crowd pushing Uncle Sam over the cliff?  FDR was elected four times, and he never coddled the other side.  They hate him even now.

            You have to admit that today's GOP "leadership" is extremely radical and lacking in common sense.  Please tell me who on the other side is not, because up here in the Northeast, lots of the "sensible" Republicans have left the party.  Even Charlie Crist in Florida was forced to do this, and I commend him for doing so.  I never disliked this man and many of the others who have had to leave the GOP.  I really worry about the GOP gaining control of Congress because Obama doesn't really know how to handle them.  He thinks that by being nice, they will help him, but they're out to destroy him and holding power is all they think about.  They are not the GOP of long ago, and we have to be tough with them when they deserve it, like NOW.

        •  Why is that person afraid of (0+ / 0-)

          this construct called 'the government' that they have demonized?  What is it that they are really afraid of?

          "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

          by Mother of Zeus on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 12:05:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not looking for the right.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to listen to me. I'm looking to marginalize these idiots period. These idiots deserve no voice in our society for being stupid and ignorant.

    •  But I want smaller government ... (0+ / 0-)

      in some ways.
      No more prohibition of the Evil Weed, no criminalization of abortion, prostitution, several other matters. I am more than ready to say that what Peewee Herman was caught doing in a private bisiness is simply an example of the cultural pluralism that exists in modern countries. I want to see San Francisco have some more referenda on decriminalizing prostitution, until it wins.
      Now there are things I want government to do. Social Security and Medicare are fine with me. I want to expand Medicare to people of all ages. On the other hand I would not like to see doctors become government employees as in the UK.
      Yes, I agree that an economic safety net is important thing in a modern country.

    •  Yes, people of the right do think ... (0+ / 0-)

      that their opponents are stupid and unworthy. I have been a dissenting voice on lucianne for 10 years.
      I have some Republican relatives. Occasionally we talk politics and it takes some self-discipline to be courteous.
      One cousin invoked the principle of unintended consequences. I can't in toto disagree with that. So far I think health care reform has complied with that. Congress went through a lot of wheeling and dealing and the sight was not pretty. Mandatory insurance got voted down in a non-binding vote in Missouri.

  •  It's not just tea parties and Glen Beck... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the Kochs--and others--have a flying wedge of  well-groomed and well-spoken shills who have wrapped themselves in the pseudo-intellectualism of many many Koch funded think tanks. You've seen many of them on the feral infotainment political talk shows as they obscure genuine conversation with half-truths, untruths, propaganda and lies. Here's a diary about some of these attractive hustlers I wrote a year ago (that's right, I want credit for being ahead of the national media curve!) and their connections to Koch.

    Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

    by JoesGarage on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 08:31:51 AM PDT

  •  One thing to consider.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When this asshole describes himself as a "rodeo clown", it appears to me that too many times the "clown" part is all people pay attention to. But a rodeo clown is a bit different than your average clown. Rodeo clowns are about distracting a bull to help a downed rider get away safely.

    In this case, the so-called Liberal Media and those of us who oppose the GOP agenda are the bull (or maybe you could argue two seperate bulls) and the rider Beck is helping is that agenda. I'd say Beck is unfortunatley doing a better job than a lot of people realize.

    by Erik the Red on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 08:39:14 AM PDT

  •  Koch's inheritence to blame (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they inherited the deadly combo of too much money and too little penis

    •  A lot of tigering around... (0+ / 0-)

      wouldn't have hurt 'em a bit.

      If we're talking about sacrificing blondes to a good cause......

      Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 03:09:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beck described himself perfectly when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother of Zeus

    he called himself a "rodeo clown"--the purpose of a rodeo clown is not to get laughs, it is to distract the bull so the rider can escape the ring without getting gored...Beck is there to divert the people's attention and anger away from the financial elites who are robbing them blind...and he does it very well.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 08:48:30 AM PDT

    •  It is interesting to contemplate whether or not (0+ / 0-)

      he understands that himself or not.  He might.  He doesn't actually strike me as stupid.

      "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

      by Mother of Zeus on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:10:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rupert Murdoch knows how to get his money's worth (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mother of Zeus

        and I think Beck knows he's doing his job very well. I don't think he's stupid at all, I think he's a much better actor than people give him credit for.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:23:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Murdoch, the Koch Bros., Sarah Palin, and Beck. (0+ / 0-)

          This group really deserve each other.  And they hate social justice and have actually been able to get relatively poor people to agree.  I wonder if these people know what social justice is?

  •  Unfortunately, there is nothing less likely (0+ / 0-)

    to convince someone that they have been duped and are being used than to flat out tell them that.  

    "Put your big-girl panties on and deal with it." -- Stolen from homogenius, who in turn stole it from a coffee mug.

    by Mother of Zeus on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:09:09 AM PDT

  •  Beck is todays Elmer Gantry: The guys a grifter, (0+ / 0-)

    and it's to bad that many can't see this.

    "Try not to become a man of success, but rather to become a man of value." ~ Albert Einstein

    by LamontCranston on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:14:31 AM PDT

    •  We need to get thousands of people (0+ / 0-)

      writing letters to the editor and exposing who the real Beck is.  We need to tell hardworking Americans what his agenda is, who he works for, and how he and his friends are destroying this country.  Please write a letter if you possibly can.

  •  and don't forget Obama's personal watchdog (0+ / 0-)

    The Business Roundtable.

    Bad news cycles are not created by genuine mistakes anymore, they're artificially created by Fox News channel...Cenk Uygur

    by lisastar on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 09:29:56 AM PDT

  •  This week Frank Rich tells us what Obama (0+ / 0-)

    should be doing, saying, feeling. Like so many pundits and pontificates Rich, although a good writer and observer of the popular scene, constantly decides that he could communicate better than President Obama.

    This week he wants him to be Therapist in Chief!!!  Poor guy, our Prez, I mean, if he spent his whole time listening to his critics and wannabe advisers he'd never get any work down.

    Oh, wait! that's what they say anyway, he hasn't achieved anything, or not nearly enough, or far too much, Whatever!!!

    •  I haven't read Rich yet this week, but (0+ / 0-)

      I generally do agree with him.  I think he's really trying to help the President.  If you see someone you like who's making big mistakes, maybe you would want to be honest with them and offer some suggestions.  I know that it's what I would want my friends to do, help me out.  As fantastic as President Obama was in communicating with the public when he was running for office, since he's been President, he hasn't really succeeded in communicating effectively with the public.  I think he's getting poor advice from some of the people around him, and he should get rid of some of them, especially Rahm.  He's got to make some "fireside chats" with the public, explain his plans clearly, tell the American people he needs their help, and explain why.

      •  read it. Its perceptive as his columns always are (0+ / 0-)

        doesn't mean one has to agree or disagree with every single thought he has, same with Paul Krugman.

        One takes what one chooses and leaves the rest. Consider the source always.  Contrary to some expectations we are NOT sheeple. We are WE THE PEOPLE!!!!!

  •  Conspiracies on the front-page? (0+ / 0-)

    Interesting -- it's time to grow up and recognize that politics is a nest of conspiracies. We just had Tony Blair fess up to pretty much being a mole in Labor, a "secret" Catholic who supports almost straight Tory principles. Why didn't he just join the party that agreed with him? Hmm?

    Normal politics is conspiratorial, it's abnormal politics, real democracy that is open and transparent. We've also just seen the "deficit commision" which apparently is trying to choke Social Security -- a club of fairly conservative old guys who meet in secret and will present its plan AFTER the election. That's as fucking conspiratorial as you can get.

  •  I Think He Is Dangerous (0+ / 0-)

    Like Jim Jones, He is making his followers drink the Kool-Aid.  His facts are fuzzy and they want do so want to believe that the whites can rise again and therefore every word is gospel according to Beck.  I have to feel sorry for these poor morons ho listen and believe in him, they obviously have some screws loose.

    "... - because it's about reclaiming America's soul." Paul Krugman

    by libbie on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 12:14:37 PM PDT

    •  Jones was bisexual. Active and passive. (0+ / 0-)

      Beck ?????

      He don't look like a Tiger to me.

      Jus' sayin'.............

      Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 03:22:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Beck is the McCarthy of his times (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    may he quickly be consigned to the same ignominy.

    •  No-no-no. (0+ / 0-)

      Beck is a cult figure. McCarthy used the Senate to cover up slander, his phony Red Scare crap, and to set up the whole blacklisting crime spree.

      McCarthy was dangerous. A major criminal.

      Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 03:08:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and (0+ / 0-)

        McCarthy was never prosecuted or convicted of any criminal offense, therefore he is not a "criminal" major or minor.

        McCarthy was a demagogue and a propagandist.
        Beck is a demagogue and a propagandist.

        Both were and are instigators and inciters.  Beck is more dangerous than McCarthy ever was because he is a media personality and not a mere politician.

  •  Beck isn't getting any younger (0+ / 0-)

    and doesn't look particularly good for his age. I think he's going to phase out eventually, at least on TV.

  •  It's a mistake to dismiss (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ANY of these bastards.  I don't know if beck is crazy, stupid, insane, machiavellian, shrewd, a simpleton, believes his own press, doesn't believe his own press, I don't know what his motivations are, but frankly, we ignore him at our own peril.

    If he is the face of the tea party, then the face needs to be exposed for the scabieous tumor that it is.

    And the Kochs need to be dragged into the light of day as well.

    They ALL need to be exposed, the money, the spokesmodels, the yoos and gonzales and addingtons, the goerings goebbels and himmlers all.

  •  Glenn Beck =EQ= Lyndon LaRouche. (0+ / 0-)

    Who's your Daddy ???

    Sorry guys. Laurence Lewis throws out 1.974 words and 237 comments go down -- and nobody connects the same-agenda, populist fascism based, same Obama-is-a-Nazi leitmotif, and the same dragnet for Personality Disorder delusional followers.

    Tea Baggers ???? They're Johnny-come-latelies.

    Beckistan ??? What's that but the LaRouche bookstore -- Ben Franklin booksellers out of Leesburg, VA.

    The Schiller Institute in Washington -- that's another operation that could serve the both of them without missing a beat.

    These people on the right are looking for authoritarian "leadership." They don't know nor care whether the racist, No Responsibility whiners they follow have education/experience/ability or anything else excepting a rich fantasy line.

    Of course its a con. When Murdoch and Koch money gets thrown in, its a double-con.

    Populist fascism is always a con.

    BTW: check out the Perons, too. She was a cutey.

    Career criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + Pro-Life Christians =EQ= The GOPer Base

    by vets74 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 03:03:46 PM PDT

  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

    Because people like Beck wouldn't be capable of mobilizing masses of the manipulated, if not for the power of a propaganda shop disguised as a cable news network, and the financial backing of meticulously calculating billionaires whose real goals are mostly about coalescing their own wealth and power at the expense of the very people they are attempting to manipulate into serfdom.

    And now do you wonder why Glenn Beck and other right-wing talk show and TV hosts are so effective at getting people to support there? I'm admittedly late to this thread, so you might not see the post.

    But Frank Luntz once said that "it's not what you say, but what people hear" that matters. And while this isn't the point of the thread, and you don't make this point directly, a lot of people here say that "these people vote against their own interests".

    What people here when you say "attempting to manipulate into serfdom" is:

    1. They are apparently too dumb to figure out what their own interests are and that somehow "well-enlightened liberals", through virtue of whatever advanced degree they earned at whatever expensive private, selective liberal arts college out there-, know what's automatically best for them;
    1. They need such liberals to "educate" them on various issues because apparently, although they won't say it directly, these people who are "being manipulated into serfdom" must be apparently too dumb to figure it out on their own

    That doesn't sit well with most people. Glenn Beck and his fellow right-wing talk show and TV hosts turn liberals' words, however well-intentioned, against them easily. Liberals would be better served if they learned how to talk to ordinary people on their level.

  •  There's a problem: (0+ / 0-)

    ...Beck is not always wrong.

    While it's ironic that he is using Rupert Murdoch's money to say this, he often hints at powers behind the scenes who have politicians of BOTH parties dancing to their tune rather than doing the people's business.  To this extent, he is spouting a consistent progressive theme.

    Also, he is making great hay from the fact that many of the same people we are entrusting to save the economy are the same people who did not see Panic of '08 coming at all.

    Finally, he is scaring the pants of people by pointing out that Obama's civil liberties record and attitudes are worse than GWB's.  (Don't believe this?  Ask Glenn Greenwald.)

    Vote in haste, repent in leisure.

    by wrecktafire on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 05:08:14 PM PDT

  •  I'm in good company (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    I called Beck a charlatan and would-be soothsayer in my sermon this morning. Great minds, and all that ... ;>)

    Barack Obama is my president!

    by RevJoe on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 08:54:57 PM PDT

  •  Good post. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laurence Lewis

    We have to find a way to force the gov't to take steps against widespread propaganda by curbing media consolidation.

    "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

    by slouching on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 10:12:04 AM PDT

  •  Dana Milbank is a she not a he (0+ / 0-)

    You should probably check out names that are potentially either male or female before posting.  Just sayin'

  •  Prop 23 CA - the oil companies bill (0+ / 0-)

    would repeal environmental protections already in place; the counter message I found useful is

    this fall Californians have a choice about 'the air they breathe'

    I would not be an apprentice governor. The Governor of CA has to be somebody people feel is talking to them in a real way. ~ Jerry Brown

    by anyname on Mon Sep 06, 2010 at 05:29:43 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site