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Beck and Palin strive for historical immortality

In their speeches on the Mall yesterday, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin followed a script familiar to students of American history's most storied demagogues: They played on their followers' murky fear that a sinister and Godless other is trying to transform our country into something no longer recognizable as America.

Consider their money quotes. Beck called the rally for the sake of "restoring honor," and said:

"Something that is beyond man is happening. America today begins to turn back to God. For too long, this country has wandered in darkness."

Beck also insisted that we must turn "back to the values and principles that made us great."

Palin, meanwhile, said:

"Say what you want to say about me, but I raised a combat vet. You can't take that away from me."

And Palin also said:

"We must not fundamentally transform America as some would want. We must restore America and restore her honor."

Consider Beck's claim that his speech marks "America" turning "back" to God, and the exhortation that we turn "back" to what made us great. The unbearably obvious implication of these quotes, and of the title of the rally itself, is that someone or something has tarnished our honor and turned America away from God and American greatness -- presumably two sides of the same coin.

Beck repeatedly claimed that his rally wasn't meant to be "political." As high-minded as that may sound, the real point of stressing the rally's apolitical goals was political in nature. The idea was to relieve himself of the responsibility to pinpoint who, precisely, he wants his followers to blame for leading us away from God and for tarnishing our honor. Beck wants this all to be drawn by inference -- classic political demagoguery.

The intent of Palin's quotes were even more obvious. Palin, after all, noted explicitly that "some" want to "transform" the country into something that now requires us to "restore America." She also implied that someone, somewhere, wants to "take away" from Palin the fact that she raised a combat veteran.

This is classic politics of resentment: "They" have nothing but disdain for your values, your accomplishments as parents, your national pride, and your way of life. They want to take all that away from you. No need to say who "they" is. We've already agreed upon that in advance. Indeed, if you read through many of the quotes from the rally's attendees, they understood precisely who Beck and Palin were talking about.

All of this absurdly transparent demagoguery and resentment-mongering took place exactly 47 years after King delivered his "I have a dream" speech from the same spot in 1963. I wonder if yesterday's orations by Beck and Palin will be considered essential to the American history curriculum in the year 2057.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 29, 2010; 9:38 AM ET
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Comments

I hope that people who were in DC had a chance to see the exhibit on Nazi propaganda at the Holocaust Museum. The use of propaganda to designate an "Other" who does not "share our cultural values" is exactly what people like Mr. Beck are doing, whether or not they realize where it comes from. The Christian faith has sometimes worked for governments and sometimes worked against them, but the Christian message is clear -- the concerns of the temporal world are not necessarily those that matter to God. When there is a conflict between what one's religion says is a duty to God, and what one's government says is a duty to the state, an individual's conscience must make the choice. There is no one-size-fits-all response that relieves the individual of that choice.

Posted by: MinnyMa | August 29, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

What I want to know is why people like Beck and Palin hate me? I'm religious. I live in "Real America". I'm an American. Son of Americans. Grandson of Americans. Great Grandson of Americans. Heck, my wife is a Daughter of The American Revolution. Why do these people hate me and mine?

Is it because we're not Christian? Or we believe the government can help people? Or believe as the Torah has taught me that we look out for our neighbors and the least among us?

So why to these people am I not an American? Or better yet why do these people believe that when they speak for what America wants or America needs that they speak for me?

Who appointed these narcissists and demagogues the judges of what makes an American? And why would anyone who truly believes in American exceptionalism believe in the words of these people corporate shills? Are there that many scared people in America?

I'm a middle class, middle aged, white, religious, Midwestern living, New York City raised, fourth-generation American - please may these people stop claiming they speak for me. And please people, don't believe these people speak for all of us.

Posted by: zattarra | August 29, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

man you are so right. and when they talked about clinging to god and guns, that was scary. and that part about how we just needed to give them power, and the seas would receed; whoa!! whack-a-doodle demogogery!! all the way. these people are dangerous!! wait, uh, no. i was confused the demogogue in the WH WHO said that stuff. and a lot more. dang dude, you got a good point. that whack job "in charge" (who sublets all the work to congress while playing golf) really IS a dangerous dude. you MAKE. A. GREAT. POINT.

Posted by: fred1962 | August 29, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Very funny story about Glenn Beck at http://newspile.weebly.com/

Posted by: heinzefletcher | August 29, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh please minnyma, anyone with more than a teaspoon of brain matter has a pretty good idea of just who the propaganda experts are in the country. Without the mainstream media and popular culture at large we would not have Obama sitting in the White House.

Posted by: thebink | August 29, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Very funny story about Glenn Beck at http://newspile.weebly.com/

Posted by: heinzefletcher | August 29, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"I wonder if yesterday's orations by Beck and Palin will be considered essential to the American history curriculum in the year 2057."

Um, the answer to that would be no. But most events that have occurred on the mall in Washington in a bid for historicity tend to fall flat.

"They played on their followers' murky fear that a sinister and Godless other is trying to transform our country into something no longer recognizable as America."

As opposed to playing on murky fears that hyper-religious right wingers are trying to transform our country into a religious theocracy that will no longer be recognizable as America. Plus, they're going to destroy Social Security. And . . . cut taxes on the rich! :)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Somehow I bet fred is a lot more concerned about the current president playing a round of golf than he was about the former president spending approximately 1/3 of his time in office on vacation.

Maybe it's because fred believes that black men shouldn't be allowed on the golf course.

Posted by: JennOfArk | August 29, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Greg - damned bright analysis of the rhetorical style and techniques here and their historical precedents. You've looked at this in an original manner that no one else I've read has considered. Well done.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 29, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

You know, Kevin, you seem like a halfway reasonable person, so I just want to ask you: when did the goal of democratic government in this country shift from being all about protecting all of us and ensuring justice for all to making sure that a few people can own everything?

I mean, I'm really curious about that, because not only do those two goals seem to be in opposition, but also because fulfillment of the latter pretty much ensures a weaker nation. And also because it seems that setting up and providing protection for an aristocracy of great wealth seems, I dunno, anti-democratic. I mean, upholding and protecting the rights of 5% of the population at the expense of the other 95% just seems like a weird ultimate goal for a "democracy".

What say you?

Posted by: JennOfArk | August 29, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

This weekend East Coast, next weekend West Coast. It would be nice if they came up with some new material, but I guess you gotta stick with what has worked in the past. This post was written prior to Beck's revival meeting, gosh who could have predicted this turn of events.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Christian Right has often sought to stay the hand of God, angry with our failings as a nation, by ‘standing in the gap’ at large prayer rallies and pleading for mercy. They have made a special point of doing so in the run up to national elections since 1980, praying for godly government and righteous candidates, and this year is no exception. The beneficiaries are almost always Republicans and this year is probably no exception in that regard as well. But there is also an ominous element that mostly transcends parties and is on vivid display as we enter the fall campaign season.

On Labor Day weekend, Lou Engle, head of the fiery neo-Pentecostal group, The Call, is leading a worship service in a sports arena in Sacramento, California and a "solemn assembly" at the state Capitol the next day.

Before we discuss these, there is one additionally remarkable aspect of this. The eminence grise of this initiative appears to be former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose organization Renewing American Leadership (ReAL) is apparently the force behind a series of Christian Right events being organized under the rubric of "Pray & Act." This is politically important, but as Gingrich’s role becomes more public, it may also become morally dissonant, since Gingrich is well known (and has been recently highlighted in the news) as a thrice-married serial philanderer. This certainly makes him an unlikely guide for a religious political movement whose leaders believe that the fate of America hinges on the health of heterosexual marriage. (His recent conversion to Catholicism not withstanding.)

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/8/27/896863/-When-Politics-Means-the-End-of-the-World-%28as-we-know-it%29

Posted by: lmsinca | August 29, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Is this what has become of intellectual liberal journalism, obsessing over and writing every other column about Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News? I mean, I know you guys need page hits but this is ridiculous? How about writing some stuff about elected Officials, and those who hold all the POWER in Washington (you know... the Democrats?). But I guess speaking truth to power suddnely went out of style as of January 20, 2009. I dare every left leaning Journalist at the Washington Post to try and go one week without mentioning Palin, Beck, Limbaugh or Fox News. Good luck with that...

Posted by: hastoglis | August 29, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Al Sharpton held a pro-Obama and pro-socialism government rally. No-one showed up! The saddest part is that he neglected to mention God, and our Lord Jesus as one who is a "Reverend" should do.. Sharpton cricized Beck saying he should read the "I have a Dream Speech" and that Dr. MLK's speech was pro-government. I just read the speech and Dr. King dreamed of a day where little black girls and boys could hold hands with little white girls and boys. His speech was about love, and a hope for a brotherhood of mankind where race was less important. His dream was for Unity and peace where we could all sing together.
Al sharpton is a divisive racist and a shameless politician who disgracefully hi-jacks the great Dr. MLK every year for his own gain.

Posted by: JBfromFL | August 29, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

The Reactionary Right has gone from just stupid to outright EVIL.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | August 29, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Some times it takes a Charismatic and Visionary leader, to reveal to us what was right before our very eyes, all along.

Until William Jennings Beck opened my eyes;

I had never before noticed that Martin Luther King, and John Hagee most defiantly were identical twins who were separated at birth.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 29, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Yesterday, I noted the over-arching religiosity of the Beckalooza and pointed out the conflict between libertarian notions (as voiced by the Ron Paulites) and cultural conservatives. Benen writes a post on this today as well... http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_08/025428.php

I think Steve misses the important aspect in all of this.

I've argued for a long time that the TP phenomenon is a marketing device meant to capture the activism/enthusiasm of the Ron Paulites and use it to rebrand the GOP.

We know that the early TP groups were either organized by the Freedom Works operation or were visited by GOP reps who were sometimes open about the purpose of their visit, to belay any moves towards a third party (a strong component of the Paulite crowd was a rejection of the Bush administration in spending and in social policy).

What yesterday's themes and presentation strategies seem pretty clearly to represent is a further evidence that the libertarian wing is being absorbed by the much larger and much more institutionalized conservative movement machinery.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 29, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Beck and Palin may not have achieved historic immortality yesterday, but that's ok - they've already achieved historic IMMORALITY.

Posted by: JennOfArk | August 29, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

@zattarra: "What I want to know is why people like Beck and Palin hate me?"

I missed the entire rally (haven't even seen a clip of it), so I don't know, but did Glenn Beck say he hated people like you?

Or is recasting whatever demagogic stuff he did say as saying "he hated you" a return volley of justified demagoguery? ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

@MinnyMa: "I hope that people who were in DC had a chance to see the exhibit on Nazi propaganda at the Holocaust Museum. The use of propaganda to designate an 'Other' who does not 'share our cultural values' is exactly what people like Mr. Beck are doing"

Which is ironic, because it's Glenn Beck and his followers that are, in fact, the "Others", and those are the people who don't share OUR cultural values.

It's not that there aren't actually scary Others that want to transform America, it's just that's it them, not us! ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Greg: ""I wonder if yesterday's orations by Beck and Palin will be considered essential to the American history curriculum in the year 2057."

I would say no. There was no overarching message in yesterday's rally (or revival or whatever it was). At best, it was mixed and muddled and brimming with platitudes. I do agree with Kevin's comment that most mall rallies have fallen flat, and that is exactly why MLK's rally and speech is one for the history books, and to-date, is unrivaled. It was an apex point coming after years (decades?) of civil rights activism. It also carried a message for all people, not just those of one religious persuasion or another.

The one thing that I find quite curious about Beck, and his wanting to reclaim the civil rights movement, is that just a few months ago, he railed quite audibly against social justice. If there was any underlying message from MLK is was just that. Funny that he doesn't see the conflict that stares him right in the face.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

@JennofArk: "You know, Kevin, you seem like a halfway reasonable person, so I just want to ask you: when did the goal of democratic government in this country shift from being all about protecting all of us and ensuring justice for all to making sure that a few people can own everything?"

You need to work on your strawman construction. I'd have to disagree with a lot about your premise, and the premises on which it is based. Sufficed to say, I don't think that a switch that happened, I think you're confusing symptom with intent, and I certainly don't think we're making sure that a few people can own everything. Indeed, in real terms, more people have much greater net worths than a century ago, where almost everybody lived in abject poverty by today's standards. One artifact of the system that helps us get there is that it creates insufferable, megalomaniacal billionaires. This is not the intent, and I don't think that protecting those folks dominates the argument.

"I mean, upholding and protecting the rights of 5% of the population at the expense of the other 95% just seems like a weird ultimate goal for a 'democracy'. What say you?"

I say that's a straw man. Certain politicians and political movers and behind-the-scenes financiers may, of course, have that goal, but that's clearly not to motivation of 99% of the supporters of the GOP, folks like Beck, and run-of-the-mill conservatives. So it's not an argument that's going to resonate. And those are the folks that are ultimately going to vote for and against policies, politicians and parties.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It was cast as gathering to to restore America's honor and dignity. Beck said that America has been wandering in "darkness". Interesting word choice, don't you think?

There was some remarks made, about how Jews and Christians are all in this together; "under Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ". I think most Jewish people will appreciate hearing that.

No mention of where American Muslims fit in, or if the Beckerheads will accept that President Obama is a Christian.

Some of those who attended, said they came to defend the constitution. Of course you would not want to go overboard, in you defense efforts, and end up defending the bill of rights or the fourteenth amendment.

Better to discard that dangerous first amendment, and that fetus enabling fourteenth amendment, in order to deploy our defense forces, where they can do the most good. Right, my fellow, Constitution defending, Tea Party Activists?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 29, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, there was a heavy emphasis yesterday on Jesus which can necessarily push away people of other religious beliefs.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

JennofArk:

"I mean, upholding and protecting the rights of 5% of the population at the expense of the other 95% just seems like a weird ultimate goal for a "democracy"."

Who has this goal, and how has that goal been manifested in what they say/do?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Hastoglis, you are so right. To steal a saying from Limbaugh: Glenn, Sarah, Rush, Fox News et al live inside their heads rent free and there is still cavernous space left over. Some of the rest of you need to look beyond your biases and filters to identify the real haters. Beck and myself and other TRUE PATRIOTS just want to strengthen the reputation of this country as being the land of opportunity and the best place to start is by "Restoring Honor". It is very telling that the liberal commentators automatically think of the current administration as the ones who, by inference, are the ones devoid of honor. I call them commentators as they have abandoned all journalistic principles. As a Christian I recognize that the fiercest opponent of truth is Satan. This should be a clarion call for the left to re-examine who's side they are truly on. Hey libs!! Great impression of Darth Vader. I do however, believe you will eventually toss the Emperor and come back to the good side. I know you're capable of recognizing the truth.

Posted by: southpole | August 29, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

It has been manifested by the Bush Tax Cuts for the Uber Fat Cats, which ended up destroying most of the middle class, and turning an annual budget surplus, into an massive annual deficit, while losing many millions of jobs.

It brought about The Bush/Cheney Great Recession. You should read up on it. It was in all the papers. It became so bad, that The Republican Nominee for President suspended his campaign to rush back to Washington to try and save the country.

And he would have gotten there in time, and actually rescued us all, if he had not tripped over Ms. Couric, on his way to the Airport. I blame Ms. Couric for having impeded John McCain on his mission to rescue us, and that is why we still have not fully recovered, to this very day.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 29, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes another article that lazily carries forward the same old liberal doctrine of, “attack and demonize” those with effective opposition ideas. This is disappointing. No elegance in the author’s approach to demonizing. If the author’s definition of a demagogue is "one who will preach and/or practice doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots" it appears the author is the demagogue here and not Beck or Palin.

Posted by: bob93665 | August 29, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Kevin: "Indeed, in real terms, more people have much greater net worth than a century ago, where almost everybody lived in abject poverty by today's standards. One artifact of the system that helps us get there is that it creates insufferable, megalomaniacal billionaires."

But, really, is there any denying that the middle class is sliding out of existence? If not, explain this:

http://lanekenworthy.net/2008/03/09/the-best-inequality-graph/

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I read thru yesterday's voluminous comments this morning and found one particular thread notable.

How strange to find a man who has forsaken the nation of his birth and has consciously chosen, out of all the nations in the world, to enjoy the benefits of this particular one, spending not just one or two but nine separate posts attempting to ridicule another poster for claiming that the US is the "best" country in the world.

This board is s never ending source of unintended irony.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm not a fan of Beck or Palin, however, Martin Luther King's niece was also a keynote speaker at Beck's rally.
If anything, I think Beck is trying to mend the country -- where Obama has badly divided it; Beck is trying to give Americans strength-- where Obama and the Democrats want
Americans to think they need more government.

Posted by: ohioan | August 29, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Kevin & Scott, I'd say you're both being very disingenious.

Here we have an entire political party and news apparatus constantly carping on the idea that if billionaires pay 3% more in taxes, it will be a death knell for "the economy". When they're railing against "higher taxes", this is their concern - that the wealthiest people, who by definition make the heaviest use of government services - might have to pay something more proportionate to what they take from the system. Because no one has proposed raising taxes on anyone but the most well-off, we know that this is their concern, whether they are honest in the way they express it or not.

The wealth gap at this point is higher than at any time in the last 100 years, including the 1920s. We have an economy that relies on consumerism and a population out of which only about 1/2 can really participate in discretionary consumption - the rest are spending every dime on just basic needs. That happened because our government spent 30 years helping the owners of industry (or capital, if you will) destroy unions, hold down wages, offshore production, and tilt the playing field in favor of people who didn't need any help.

This historic imbalance in wealth distribution is the cause of our current economic woes. And the government can really only address it in one of two ways - through tax policy or through higher mandated minimum wages. Yet conservatives say that neither is acceptable, even though the growing wealth gap ensures that EVERYONE will end up worse off economically.

So you can pretend that this hasn't been the goal, but that premise is undermined both by what has been said and what has been done over the past 30 years by conservatives in government, whether they are Republicans or Democrats.

The screeching about "socialism" never surfaces when wealthy people or interests offload costs onto the rest of us - only when the rest of us might get a benefit. The fussing about "redistribution of wealth" only applies when rich people might be asked to pay more taxes, not when their profits go up while the workers who made the greater profits see their wages remain static. There's been a massive redistribution of wealth over the past 30 years, and it's all flowed in one direction...but this was not problematic for conservatives.

So again, I have to ask: what is it about protecting the interests of this small handful of people that represents "democracy" or "freedom" for the rest of us? Because so far neither of you have answered the question, but simply tried to pretend that it wasn't a legitimate one. History says that it is.

Posted by: JennOfArk | August 29, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

JennOfArk, since you're here today I have a real question for you. I have Morans in my family and am wondering how that became a preferred name for morons. I've seen it elsewhere, not just in your posts.

Posted by: AllButCertain | August 29, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

As for Beck and company claim that America has been lost in "darkness", and from God;

Aren't they actually admitting, that all the money that has been given to organized religion has been money that has, been thrown down a rat hole. After all, the USA has had no shortage of Jockey Pulpits, ever, and yet Beck says that they have not accomplished a damn thing. The more the clergy has collected from the sheep, the worse things have become, according to William Jennings Beck.

If you have to get the word of God from Glenn Beck, then why the hell have you been wasting your time and money on all those local Pulpit Jockeys?

Posted by: Liam-still | August 29, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

AllButCertain - you can see the genesis of the "morans" here: http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/images/blpic-moran.htm

This great thinker was out protesting in favor of the Iraq War, which in retrospect turned out to be a really great idea.

Posted by: JennOfArk | August 29, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"I'm not a fan of Beck or Palin, however, Martin Luther King's niece was also a keynote speaker at Beck's rally. "

So? It's pretty safe to say that most of us have relatives we would hate to speak for us in public.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 29, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

"you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." William Jennings Bryan 1896


"Purchase Gold Coins from my Sponsor, and three years later, your investment will be worth about half of what you paid for it".
William Jennings Beck 2010

Posted by: Liam-still | August 29, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

@JennofArk: "Kevin & Scott, I'd say you're both being very disingenious."

So, you're goal is cast aspersions on the motivations of the people you're talking to, and stop the conversation right there?

I don't agree with Scott all the time, but I don't think he's being disingenuous. I know I'm not. And you start off with something like that, I want to get clear on it before I bother getting deep into anything else.

"Here we have an entire political party and news apparatus constantly carping on the idea that if billionaires pay 3% more in taxes, it will be a death knell for 'the economy'."

I think that's an overstatement of the position (in my opinion), but, keep in mind, I don't think it will be the death knell for the economy. I don't know how much it will help (especially in the long run, as more money collected is even more money spent), but I've never said, and do not agree, that millionaires and billionaires paying a little more in taxes is going to kill the economy. In fact, I've said quite the opposite. In these message boards.

"This historic imbalance in wealth distribution is the cause of our current economic woes."

Well, I tend to disagree with that, but you have a lot of company in that opinion. If this makes me disingenuous, okay.

"So you can pretend that this hasn't been the goal, but that premise is undermined both by what has been said and what has been done over the past 30 years by conservatives in government, whether they are Republicans or Democrats."

I disagree. I think the reality is more complicated, more organic, and less conspiratorial than that. I also don't think that's a position from which one can launch actual policy discussions.

"Because so far neither of you have answered the question, but simply tried to pretend that it wasn't a legitimate one. History says that it is."

Then maybe you need to ask someone who agrees with your premise (and won't be so disingenuous), rather than people who clearly don't agree that you're presumptions are correct. You might as well as me what makes the earth a dodecahedron. I can't really answer that question, because I don't agree that the earth is, in fact, a dodecahedron.

You need to be asking people who concur with your fundamental premise, and I think they will give you the sort of answer you will find most emotionally satisfying.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Restoring Honor? Wow. More like increasing Embarassment! Only if there were an unbiased buyout of Fox "news" (aka, Fox Entertainment, aka, Fox Rightwing Political Porn) would honor be restored in America!
Beck is a medicore, boring journalist- Palin a quasi-celebrity product of another perverted journalist (Limbaugh)- what a great comedy team. What a waste of an otherwise beautiful Saturday for those african-american and progressive liberal haters that drink way too much of the Republican Noise Machine's Kool Aid!

Posted by: rsampson02 | August 29, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

So Martin Luther King's sel successorf-proclaimed modern day spokesperson is last year's great defender of "white culture."

AdAbsurdum

Posted by: bvision | August 29, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Let me try that again.

So today's invoker of Martin Luther King is last year's great defender of "white culture."

AdAbsurdum

Posted by: bvision | August 29, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Kevin - I'm not concerned with being "emotionally satisfied" with your responses - I'd just like to see you actually try to make a cogent one, not one that just relies on "straw man". It's a bit rich for you to get so butthurt over someone saying you're being "disingenious" when your initial response was littered with the word "strawman". So you disagree that this is the goal of conservatism, but you can't point to anything that supports your contention or undermines mine, while I'm able to point to the actual history of what the goals and dubious "achievements" of conservatism have produced over the past 30 years. I'd say that one of us has made a case, while the other has just disagreed for vague and unsupported reasons.

Posted by: JennOfArk | August 29, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Tell the truth Tea Party members, who came to Washington, to attend the Beck rally. Weren't you expecting much more, than what Beck delivered?

Come on. Admit it. You really feel like you were made the victim of a bait and switch, don't you?

I bet you feel just like Ralphie felt, after he had waited, with breathless anticipation for his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring, only to end up decoding a message, that told him to: be sure to drink your Ovaltine.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 29, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1: "But, really, is there any denying that the middle class is sliding out of existence? If not, explain this:"

http://lanekenworthy.net/2008/03/09/the-best-inequality-graph/

That graph is comparing percentages, and in huge chunks--except for the top 1%. Which may be emotionally satisfying, but isn't terribly informative. Stratifying it in 5% or 10% chunks all the way and up and down, and I'd bet you'd get a very different story.

But there's lots of other data to consider. I'd like to dive deeper right now, but I can't.

But, here's an article on it from 2007 that touches on a lot of the points I might make, if I had more time. ;)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/29/AR2007052902001.html

Also, Gregg Easterbrook's The Progress Paradox.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"the wealthiest people, who by definition make the heaviest use of government services..."

How is that?

"...might have to pay something more proportionate to what they take from the system."

In 2007 The top 1% of income earners in the nation paid about 40% of all incomes taxes collected. Are you seriously trying to claim that this 1% of people "take" more than 40% of the services the government delivers? The bottom 50% of income earners paid less than 3% of all income taxes collected. Are you seriously suggesting that 50% of the population is "taking" less than 3% of the services government delivers? Really?

In 2009 fully 47% of all people filing income tax returns paid no income tax...that is zero, zilch, nada...whatsoever. Are you seriously suggesting that nearly half the nation gets literally no government services whatsoever?

Look, you can, like others here, advocate for taxing the "bejesus" out of wealthier people if you want, but you cannot sensibly justify it by claiming you are only trying to get them to pay a "proportionate" amount relative to the services they enjoy. That is just pure foolishness.

"This historic imbalance in wealth distribution is the cause of our current economic woes."

No it's not. The real estate bubble is the cause of our current economic woes.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk: "It's a bit rich for you to get so butthurt over someone saying you're being 'disingenious' when your initial response was littered with the word "strawman".

Two times = "littered"?

"So you disagree that this is the goal of conservatism, but you can't point to anything that supports your contention or undermines mine, while I'm able to point to the actual history of what the goals and dubious 'achievements' of conservatism have produced over the past 30 years."

I answered your question the best I could, right now. You don't like that answer. Yes, I could be more specific, but I'm short on time and I don't think you're serious (sorry if I'm mistaken). To turn it around, do you really want to have to "prove" there aren't death panels in HCR or that Obama isn't a Kenyan socialist? Or does that get tedious?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I am trying really hard to think of anything I care less about than what Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin have to say about pretty much anything... I got nothing.

Thanks Greg, for taking the time to wade through their twaddle, so I don't have to.

Posted by: CalD | August 29, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Great analysis Greg. I was at the rally yesterday and I think you are spot on.

I would also point, however, that I think there is a secondary motive at work here that is common theme in Beck's philosophy. He is desperately trying to co-opt everything that liberals are proud of, from the Revolution to the Civil Rights movement. Conservatism's weakness has always been that they were on the wrong side of everything in American history. They were the Tories, the slave-owners, the defender's of the status quo. But Beck, through imagery and oratory, has claimed the Founding Father's, the abolitionists, and even MLK for conservatism.

Scary stuff.

Posted by: jbossch | August 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Radio talk rabblerouser Glen Beck.....

Wants To subvert U.S. Civil Rights Racial Equality history Led By Non-Whites ...
into a White Power and "Faith Rights" Political Party?

On MLK Lincoln Memorial historic Speech anniversary, no less?

Beck & Palin want to Turn a mostly white over 50 "Tea Party Right-Wing" ... into Faith Based Political Party of Exclusion for mostly White Social Conservatives and Religious Fundamentalists"?

"Beck is organizing Evangelical Leaders into a 'Black Robed Division'", for a national religious-political Crusade.

Fascism and intolerance "Are on the March"!

Posted by: rmcnicoll | August 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

"absurdly transparent demagoguery and resentment-mongering" is exactly right . Restore honor ? Translation : get that black man out of our White House , how dare he ! All of this crap orchestrated and financed by the neoconservative Reich wing / Republicans amounts to nothing but politics , here's the message : Dems and Liberals bad , Republicans , conservatives good . Put two blithering idiots together , they make incoherent meaningless " speeches " full of the magic buzz words , honor , patriot , God , values and principles , socialism , communism etc. etc. and the brainless eat the meaningless incoherent BS up like crazy . Beck , Palin and the fools who sucker for them are a disgrace and an embarrassment for this country , we are the laughing stock of the entire world and I for one am ashamed and embarrassed to admit that I am an American , today in particular . The Reich wing is really doing a number on this country , it's a tragedy that will go down in history , the fall of the USA .

Posted by: Koom | August 29, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I don't agree with Scott all the time..."

What?!?!? Quelle horreur!

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Scott -
""the wealthiest people, who by definition make the heaviest use of government services..."

How is that?"

Certainly it has occured to you, Scott, that there are complete governmental agencies and functions which are really ONLY utilitized by people with wealth. Things like copyright and trademark protections, patent protections, intellectual property rights, and so on and so forth.

Then there are the things that most of us use to at least some degree, but which are used more heavily by people who are generating profit off their "free" use. I'm thinking things like highways, ports, etc. Certainly these interests or those who own them pay some taxes, a portion of which goes towards construction and maintenance of roads, ports, etc., but the portion of taxes they pay is much, much less than the cost of their use.

Then there are the laws that are passed to lighten the burden on the wealthy captains of industry - here I'm talking about not only tax policies and tax breaks, but also about things like allowing gas drillers to destroy the watershed and holding them harmless.

What these guys PAY in taxes, regulatory fees, you name it may be the majority of all tax collections (and that's TAXES, not Social Security, not Medicare), but it's a steal of a deal when it comes to the benefits derived. They are getting more from the deal than they are paying in taxes. And furthermore, let me just note that pretending that "total portion of taxes paid" = "proof that they are OVERtaxed" is a pretty stupid argument when all these other factors are taken into account.

The system of law, taxation, and pretty much the apparatus of government is tilted in favor of capital vs. labor; wealth vs. average or below-average means. And it has produced exactly what you'd expect - a burgeoning concentration of wealth in a very few hands, and a growing population of people who can't keep up with providing for the basic necessities of life no matter how many jobs they work. Meanwhile, the investors are doing just fine - if their profit share drops, they just cut wages or fire people to bring it back up.

Posted by: JennOfArk | August 29, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

For people who couldn't care less about Palin and Beck, you sure are talking about them a lot.

Posted by: clawrence12 | August 29, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, I'd point you to Steve Pearlstein's more recent analysis, in fact from just this year:

"The latest data from the Congressional Budget Office show that in 2007, the top "quintile" -- the 20 percent of the households at the top of the income ladder -- took home 52 percent of the nation's after-tax income, with the top 1 percent of households earning 17 percent. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that from 1979 to 2007, the average after-tax, inflation-adjusted income of households in the middle of the ladder increased 25 percent; for the top 1 percent, it rose 281 percent.

What this reflects is a gradual hollowing out of the middle of the U.S. economy. David Autor, an economist at MIT, published a paper this spring clearly laying out that beginning in the 1990s, all the growth in employment and pay has come at the top and bottom of the skills ladder, while demand for middle-skill, middle-wage labor in both manufacturing and service companies has declined. This "polarization" of the labor force, according to Autor, is an international phenomenon, not unique to the United States, and is driven largely by globalization and new technology. And the trend has only accelerated during the recent recession.

As the rungs of the economic ladder grow farther apart, it's not surprisingly becoming harder to move up. Recent work by Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution suggests that rising inequality in the U.S. economy is leading to lower mobility. Sawhill and Haskins found that while people born into the middle class continue to move up and down the ladder, the top and the bottom rungs are becoming much "stickier," with those born there most likely to remain there. As a result, by some measures, the United States now has less class mobility than Canada, Germany and France."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/05/AR2010080506991.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

@Scott: "What?!?!? Quelle horreur!"

Heh. Gotta agree 100% with "In 2007 The top 1% of income earners in the nation paid about 40% of all incomes taxes collected. Are you seriously trying to claim that this 1% of people 'take' more than 40% of the services the government delivers? The bottom 50% of income earners paid less than 3% of all income taxes collected. Are you seriously suggesting that 50% of the population is 'taking' less than 3% of the services government delivers? Really?"

Concise and too the point. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

From a strictly realpolitik POV, part of me almost wishes Buffoon-a-Palooza hadn't turned out to be a relative fizzle. It might have gone farther in raising awareness of the sheer craziness of the radical right if it had turned out to be more newsworthy. Probably did get some extra mileage out of the timing or the event though. That I think may well aturn out to have been a major brain fart on Beck's part -- to the point that I could almost buy that it really was unintentional. Beck may be an idiot, but he has a circus promoter's instincts.

Anyway, the rest of me is happy enough to have my suspicions confirmed that the depth and breadth of Glenn Beck's nation is likely overstated in general. The fact that organizers of a recent event featuring Sarah Palin were forced to move it from a 3000-seat venue to a 600-seat auditorium due to lack of interest was probably another tip-off. But I wonder what turn-out would have been like if he'd done this a year ago, or even 6 months back.

Posted by: CalD | August 29, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The problem with hard core liberals is they only find hypocrisy in others.

"There is something happening when men and women in Des Moines and Davenport; in Lebanon and Concord come out in the snows of January to wait in lines that stretch block after block because they believe in what this country can be"
"You can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long political darkness - Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington"

Guess who's two quotes those were?

Posted by: Bailers | August 29, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

JennOfArk:

Brilliant analysis. Thanks for sharing it.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 29, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse


Bailers: Evidently Greg's "groupies" don't want to answer your question.

I heard a liberal pundit yesterday admit that Beck "hit a home run." Sharpton was speechless at his side.

Posted by: janet8 | August 29, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1: "Kevin, I'd point you to Steve Pearlstein's more recent analysis"

Thanks. And it is concerning, but I still suspect that the death of the middle-class is premature.

"The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities calculates that from 1979 to 2007, the average after-tax, inflation-adjusted income of households in the middle of the ladder increased 25 percent; for the top 1 percent, it rose 281 percent. What this reflects is a gradual hollowing out of the middle of the U.S. economy."

I don't believe that the super-rich becoming much richer much faster than the middle class, who is also getting richer, constitutes a "hollowing out of the middle-class". It may or may not represent a serious problem, but it's not the end of the middle-class. I think to some extent it's a moving of the goal posts, rather a substantial growing impoverishment of average Americans.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Good analysis, Greg, thanks. I'm glad I stopped by today.

Two quick points that jump out at me.

Palin may be the mother of a combat vet, but I don't see anyone trying to take that away from her. I respect the service of all of our men and women in uniform, her son included.

But I wonder if she's pondered the fact that her combat vet son is alive and well today and out of Iraq because President Obama kept his promise to the American people. And you know, she and her ilk can't take that away from him.

What Beck and Palin also can't take away from President Obama is the fact that he has done a great deal to restore American honor around the world. This is undisputed fact.

The world's view of America was at an all-time low under George Bush, and Barack Obama has made tremendous strides in restoring our honor overseas. That keeps us safer, and makes us stronger as a nation.

Posted by: elscott | August 29, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@ Bailers | August 29, 2010 1:00 PM:

One imagines that if you asked any of your friends they'd tell you that whoever said those things was obviously a soshulist. Probably a fer'ner too.

Also, if you changed, "in the snows of January to wait in lines that stretch block after block," in that first quote to, "on a lovely day in late summer for a picnic in the park," it probably loses a little something. ;-)

Posted by: CalD | August 29, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

'I heard a liberal pundit yesterday admit that Beck "hit a home run."'

Thanks for being so specific with that "liberal pundit". Totally convinced me.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 29, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if yesterday's orations by Beck and Palin will be considered essential to the American history curriculum in the year 2057."

About as essential as Father Coughlin and Aimee Semple McPherson's orations were.

Posted by: dozas | August 29, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@Scott - "the poster who", being myself of course.

You plaint wouldn't be compelling even if you held, during all those years you were living in England, that "England was the best country on earth". And you didn't, did you?

There are few notions kicking about in American culture/mythology which are more worthy of ridicule than "America is the best country on earth".

It's not merely that by any number of measures, such a claim is contra-indicated (particularly when tied to the "socialism" boogy-man as the fellow had done).

And it is not only that such nationalist claims are a predictable feature of nation-states which tend to the totalitarian (North Korea is the best country under heaven) or which have sought justification for dominance over other nations/cultures (as in Brit or Dutch claims from prior eras of how they were the best nations on earth - I've quoted some of this stuff before).

Perhaps most importantly the disadvantage in this species of nationalist myth stories is that it blinds citizens to phenomena and policies and behaviors which are making their lives worse (and commonly, the lives of others under dominion as well) because such things - within the circularity of this myth - simply cannot possibly be so.

The proper targets of ridicule include (see Twain) notions extant and prevalent in a land which held, make people stupid. And in the US, this is a biggy.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 29, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

@JennofArk....I second wbgonne's comments on your analysis. As a fellow small business owner like you I always enjoy your posts. They are well thought out and well written.

Now to inject just a couple of facts into these discussions. First Jenn has already pointed out the wealth distribution in our country is the worst since just before the Depression. Others have posted about our shrinking middle class. Scott C cannot argue these facts...he tries to point out that tax policy is not the reason for the unbalance...and Scott is obviously totally ignorant of the "Golden Rule"..."He who has the gold makes the rules"

Scott and Kevin again I suggest a must read for you...Norton Garfinkle's "The Gospel of Wealth versus The American Dream"
Garfinkel is a highly respected economist and doesn't just shoot his mouth off...he has plenty of appendices of Government statistic to back up his claims.

2nd FACT....We are paying the lowest taxes since 1950. Because TPers are largely partisan hacks who argue fact free...it's socialism I tell ya...He's a Muslim...he's a foreigner...he's a closet terrorist..let's repeat and cap that fact for our TP New Confederate friends.
WE ARE PAYING THE LOWEST TAXES SINCE 1950!!

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/taxes/2010-05-10-taxes_N.htm

"Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman's presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found."

Arizonans are not being overrun by a crime wave caused by illegal immigrants or anyone else for that matter..despite the disgusting lies of John Kyl..one of the Senate's true mental midgets! The crime rate in Arizona has fallen for four consecutive years and their major cities like Phoenix are among the leaders in terms of safety for their citizens.

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/dataonline/Search/Crime/State/RunCrimeStatebyState.cfm

Crime rates in Arizona were falling well before Arizona passed this latest legal assault on immigrants and Latinos. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rates for both property crime and violent crime (including murder, assault, and rape) have fallen in Arizona in recent years.

Yet to hear the tpNewConfederates tell it our taxes have risen to such an onerous rate and the illegals have invaded Arizona and created a horrible increase of crime.

And so New Confederates tpers..why do you insist on FACT FREE debate...ahhh because as has been said before..."the truth has a liberal bias" That's why you NEED Faux News...an organization that will simply make stuff up and tell you what you want to hear..not the truth.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

2janet8 and bailers...How about we answer your question with a question...

"There is something happening when men and women in Des Moines and Davenport; in Lebanon and Concord come out in the snows of January to wait in lines that stretch block after block because they believe in what this country can be"

Are you referring to Obama's primary victory in 2008. Perhaps you are referring to the fact that Obama CRUSHED (by historical standards in an evenly split nation) your ticket.

And so to janet8 and bailers...keep shooting off your mouths about the future and we'll bring you back to reality...you guys got crushed in 08 but for you losers elections have no consequences because you are all like little children who have lost a game...the R mantra....waaahhhh I'm going to take my ball and go home.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse


ekscott wrote: "But I wonder if she's pondered the fact that her combat vet son is alive and well today and out of Iraq because President Obama kept his promise.."

Fact: Trig came home from Iraq in Oct 2009 after his one year tour had ended.

Although Obama, Dems and liberals will not admit it, the reason Obama is able to bring "some" of the troops home from Iraq is because Bush's "surge" worked.

I was not for the Iraq war or the surge, but the surge worked and I have the maturity to admit I was wrong. I'm also an Independent and not a hostage to anybody's ideology.

I call it as it is.

BTW, someone wanted to know who the liberal pundit was, I looked it up and it was Geraldo.

Posted by: janet8 | August 29, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"Certainly it has occured to you, Scott, that there are complete governmental agencies and functions which are really ONLY utilitized by people with wealth."

Actually no, it hasn't. It definitely is not true for the ones you mention. I personally know people who have copyrights and patents and they are hardly rich. Inventors apply for patents and writers/artists copyright things all the time without being wealthy.

(BTW...are you aware that one has to pay a patent fee when applying for a patent? Are you further aware that, until GWB's administration, 10% of all patent fees went into general government funds, which means that far from generic taxation paying for the patent office, quite the opposite was true?)

In any event, you make lots of assertions as if they are self-evident when in fact they are far from it. For example, speaking of the highway system you say:

"...but the portion of taxes they pay is much, much less than the cost of their use."

How could you possibly know that? In fact, a road is a classic "public good" precisely because it is pretty much impossible to isolate the benefit derived or the cost of use for any one individual user. Who's to say who got more "benefit" out of the road, the business owner who was able to deliver goods to be sold, of the consumer who was able to buy the delivered goods that he needs?

Again, you are simply asserting as facts things that you couldn't possibly know to be true.

"Then there are the laws that are passed to lighten the burden on the wealthy captains of industry...""

I have to say, if you think that anyone who makes over $250k a year (the demographic targeted by those opposed to Bush's "taxcutsfortherich") is a "captain of industry", you need to get out more.

"They are getting more from the deal than they are paying in taxes."

That may or may not be true of "the wealthy" (again, you have no way of actually knowing), but it is undeniably true for those 50% of people who pay no income taxes. And you do not want them to pay more, so clearly your concern is not that someone might get more benefit out of government than they pay for. Your concern is only that certain kinds of people do. That is pure bigotry.

"let me just note that pretending that "total portion of taxes paid" = "proof that they are OVERtaxed" "

I have "pretended" no such thing, so I not sure why you feel the need to note it.

"The system of law, taxation, and pretty much the apparatus of government is tilted in favor of capital vs. labor..."

Again, you make the assertion as if it were self-evident so no evidence is required. I see no evidence that this claim is a reflection of reality.

"Meanwhile, the investors are doing just fine - if their profit share drops, they just cut wages or fire people to bring it back up."

I'm guessing you have never run a business before, for yours is a fairly simple-minded notion of how a business becomes profitable.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

rukidding wrote:

"because you are all like little children who have lost a game...the R mantra....waaahhhh I'm going to take my ball and go home."

By that comment, now who's the little child?

Posted by: janet8 | August 29, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

janet8 You are correct that Obama had nothing to do with bringing the troops home from Iraq...however neither did Bush.

The Iraqis are the reason the troops are coming home...they forced these troop withdrawal dates/certain down our throats as they decided to reclaim their country after Bush's illegal invasion. The Bush administration was FORCED into accepting these dates against their wishes.

If you're going to "call it as it is" perhaps you'd like to get your facts straight first!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

janet8: "Although Obama, Dems and liberals will not admit it, the reason Obama is able to bring "some" of the troops home from Iraq is because Bush's "surge" worked."

The purpose of the surge was to create a space for political reconciliation between the Sunni, Shia and Kurds. That has NOT happened. In fact, there is no seated government in Iraq six months after elections were held earlier this year. To call the surge a success is pretty hubristic in the face of the uptick in sectarian violence over the last couple of weeks, and the extreme fragility of the Iraqi government at this point in time.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

As someone mentioned upthread, the heavy emphasis on Jesus *by definition* and with full intent, excludes other faith traditions (or lack therof). A smarter tack by them would've been to leave it out altogether if they were truly hoping for that historical homerun.

But, as we know, they are quite happy with their obsession with those who aren't "like them". Good luck with that, ya'll.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 29, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

dozas-

I see your point but, Father Coughlin and McPhersons' *are* instructive, if you get my drift...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 29, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@janet ""because you are all like little children who have lost a game...the R mantra....waaahhhh I'm going to take my ball and go home."

By that comment, now who's the little child?

I'm calling it as it is Janet!!! :-)

While you could certainly point to name calling of Bush...and the occasional bumper sticker in poor taste..."Somewhere in Texas a Village is missing it's idiot"

Here is the challenge for you Janet...IF YOU choose to engage in facts..

Point out any example of a prominent leader in the Dem Party approaching any Bush initiatives with the statement...if we oppose and obstruct it will be Bush's "waterloo". Point to any Dem elected leader who lied about pending Bush legislation like Palin's death panels..or Grassley's pulling the plug on Granny...demonstrable LIES Janet!!!!

Actually the Dems had the opposite problem.
They were accomplices to the Bush Administration LIES about Iraq...from WMD to being connected with 9/11...fortunately there were some Dems who saw through the Bush/Cheney fascade..and I'm proud to say one of them was the Dem Senator from Florida at the time.

No not childish Janet...simply as you might say..."calling as it is" The R's NEVER engaged in any attempt to solve this nation's problems...their ENTIRE effort has been an attempt to weaken and discredit Obama in a naked partisan grab for power.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse


On 08/28/1944, Last German Nazi troops in Marseille surrendered and Toulon cleared.

(Maybe Glenn and Little Sarah are trying to "Restore Honor" of Nazi Troops)

On 08/28/1957, Senator Strom Thurmond begins 24-hour filibuster against "civil rights bill"

(Maybe they are trying to restore honor to this racist senator, who liked republican party more than his own mother)

On 08/28/1883, Slavery banned throughout British Empire
(Maybe they are tryin to restore an honor to emberassed slave owners)

OR MAYBE THEY ARE TRYING TO RESTORE SOME HONOR OR WHATEVER IS LEFT OF IT TO REPUBLICAN PARTY. Well, if that is the case, they will need about 8 or 9 more rallies like this just before every elections, because democrats are in to stay for a looooong time, because there was a lot of garbage left over from republicans and it takes a while to clean it up.
Nice try Mr. Beck.

Posted by: BOBSTERII | August 29, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Scott..."Again, you make the assertion as if it were self-evident so no evidence is required. I see no evidence that this claim is a reflection of reality."

I think Jenn was giving you the benefit of the doubt Scott...you know that you had a brain and were willing to actually open it up. We realize where you come from Scott.
The R school that conflates poverty with laziness and believes America is a pure meritocracy and the wealthy need to be protected...

Again Scott are you aware that taxes are at their lowest point since 1950?

Since the deficit is one of the looming problems that both sides agree needs fixing are you suggesting that these MISTREATED wealthy individuals need to keep even more of their lucre even at the expense of our nations efforts to balance a budget?

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@Scott "I'm guessing you have never run a business before, for yours is a fairly simple-minded notion of how a business becomes profitable."

Yeah Scott that pretty much encapsulates the tone of your posts...GUESSING...and like this time wrongly...Jenn owns a small business...I own a small business...so tell us how hard you work to make payroll..cover expenses because Jenn and I certainly have some stories to share.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Well I see all the SHEEP have chimed in.

Folks, remember, Greg Sargent is a member of JournoList, an organization devoted toward promoting Barack Obama, and socialism.

That means a hatred of God. In people like Sargent's life, GOVERNMENT is God.

The only thing Beck and Palin are trying to do is get this country on the right track.

Sargent is a corrupt member of a subversive organization.

Like most on the left, he HATES America, and wants to allow the Obama regime to destroy it.

He, and Obama, will fail.

Posted by: gary4205 | August 29, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Greg Sargent is a member of JournoList"

YAWN.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Greg; I second Bernie's acclaim for your post.

"I wonder if yesterday's orations by Beck and Palin will be considered essential to the American history curriculum in the year 2057."

While I suppose your question was mainly rhetorical, I think it should be considered seriously. Will this be the moment when the United States inexorably turns toward fascism, where the plutocracy transforms so many citizens into Useful Idiots that the inertia will be impossible to withstand? Ultimately -- and probably imminently -- some of the problems we are so intent on imagining away will start to bite. An already angered and organized populace can be dangerous in many ways, especially if -- as you precisely demonstrate -- they are susceptible to demagogues, as they almost always are. By the way, the United States is not alone in rising ultra-nationalist and xenophobic movements.

Posted by: wbgonne | August 29, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Jenn--Thanks for the link to explain the Morans reference. It's funny.

This is an inside joke, though, and not everyone will know its derivation, so it can come across as an odd slam against Morans in general and, by extension, the Irish. Personally, I wish it would go away.

Posted by: AllButCertain | August 29, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I listened to Beck's entire closing speech. While I am not a fan of Beck, I have to admit he suspended his melodrama and craziness yesterday. He came across as normal and sincere in his remarks. Those are the good points.

Now, to the criticisms: this speech appeared to be mostly ad hoc. Beck wandered around touching on a number of ideas, exploring none, and making strange suggestions such as "take up your stick". I believe that Beck was trying to wind up the speech on a large applause line, couldn't get it, then called out the bagpiper to see it that would get a huge round of applause. Then he started talking again. As a speech, I'd give very low marks for lack of a theme, lack of action points, lack of memorable lines, lack of a conclusion, and mostly lack of preparation.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | August 29, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

My curiosity is peaked by the regulars. If the economic and political system is corrupted, when was it, if not corrupted, at least less so? I think First Princie arguments are time wasters for the most part, but I am interested in knowing if there was a "better" period in this Country?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 29, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues: "Now, to the criticisms: this speech appeared to be mostly ad hoc."

That was by design. This is what he said on his radio show:

"Only writing a few bullet points" for speech "so I don't get in the way of the spirit in case he wants to talk"

audio clip here:
http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201008250019

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@troll,

Seems strange to address you that way. What's a First Princie argument?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | August 29, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"You plaint wouldn't be compelling even if you held, during all those years you were living in England, that "England was the best country on earth". "

Sure it would. What would make it less compelling would be if, after choosing to settle in England I went around ridiculing Brits who thought that England was indeed the best country on earth, selectively choosing metrics in which Britain was less than what I thought was ideal to make the point. I didn't, and I wouldn't.

Unlike pompous intellectuals who turn up their noses as such pedestrian notions, I've got no problems with people who are proud of their country, their culture, their heritage, and wouldn't trade it for another.

Anyway, my point stands. Your vocal disdain for the US (as it is, not as you would have it be) stands in stark contrast to your conscious choice of places to live. In my time overseas, it was a running joke that the line of protesters outside any given American embassy was outmatched only by the line of people inside the embassy trying to get a US visa. You, it turns out, jump from one line to the other and back again.

"And you didn't, did you?"

Almost, actually. England has always ranked up there as one of my favorite countries in the world.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo,

Great handle. Some people can talk off the top of their heads and make great speeches, but there aren't many. And Glenn ain't one of them. I listened to the whole thing, and the only line I remember is take up your stick.

If Glenn telling us ahead of time not to expect much because he's going to "go with the spirit", he didn't get our expectations low enough. There was very little spirit there.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | August 29, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

janet8, in your hurry to rebut the rightful credit I gave our President for ending the combat mission in Iraq, you gave yourself away....

You write: "Fact: Trig came home from Iraq in Oct 2009 after his one year tour had ended."

Only a very close follower of Sarah Palin would be able to cough up that little personal family tidbit. And that means you can't really claim your unfettered independence from the conservative ideology, no matter how much you try to scold everyone else by claiming to "call it as it is."

Although kudos for trying. I always enjoy reading a conservative who is pretending to be reasonable on a well-known progressive blog in order to try to put those gosh darn liberals in their place. It's amusing, even though it's always obvious.

You just can't take this away from President Obama, no matter how many Palin family fun facts you recite. Ms. Palin's son may have come home last fall, but the reason why he didn't have to go back to Iraq for countless more tours of duty is because President Obama ended the combat mission. And yes, rukidding is correct about the Iraqis wanting us to leave, but the fact remains that President Obama respected their wishes and didn't try to subvert the original agreement.

Posted by: elscott | August 29, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Again, let's peal back the bark on this thing: Beck is just taking advantage of the Republican diasphora (i.e., from power). Super televangelist Beck gathered his diasphorites at his mega-church at the Lincoln Memorial, pure and simple. Instead of pitching his usual "red meat" sermon, he soft-balled it; he's no dummy, he had to do it this way. This is Beck's way of making a living; again, pure and simple. If anything, history will show his gig as a fantastic, opportunistic form of entrepreneurship.

Posted by: dozas | August 29, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

England and the U.S. are two of my favorite countries for many reasons have to do with heritage and language mostly. It isn't polite to spend much time pointing out the deficiencies of either country, and I wouldn't recommend going to a dinner party pointing out those deficiencies. But being polite is one thing--and being uninformed is another. There are deficiencies in both countries, there are ways that both countries could be better for their citizens, and there are other countries who measure higher on certain metrics and whose models can be used to improve our own country.

Let's not confuse mere civility for patriotism. There is a time for politeness and there is a time for truth telling. Human beings are complicated thinkers. We can be both polite and informed.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | August 29, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

12BarBlues: you are in the company of Dave Weigel, who tweeted yesterday:

"What did everyone think of the I Have A Stick speech? 3:41 PM Aug 28th via Twitter for iPhone"

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

@dozas,

Why did Beck have to softball his sermon? I couldn't have been more surprised to hear his meandering, almost meaningless, remarks, and wondering why did he do this.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | August 29, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"I think..."

The evidence of this board suggests otherwise.

(See, I can engage in cheap insults, too. And I'm betting I can be more creative about it, too. But I'm not particularly interested in that.)

"The R school that conflates poverty with laziness and believes America is a pure meritocracy and the wealthy need to be protected..."

Another left-wing mind reader. It must be very useful to be able to know what people "really" believe without having to pay any attention at all to what they actually say.

"Since the deficit is one of the looming problems that both sides agree needs fixing are you suggesting..."

No. I was "suggesting" exactly what I said. Read for comprehension.

"Yeah Scott that pretty much encapsulates the tone of your posts...GUESSING"

Hmmm. Well, when I am guessing about something, I say so. Which is why I said so.

"Jenn owns a small business..."

Then she should know how simpleminded it is to say that one can easily increase profits by simply cutting wages and/or firing people.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"BTW, someone wanted to know who the liberal pundit was, I looked it up and it was Geraldo"

Liberal? Seriously? Did you think that quoting Geraldo Rivera was going to sway us as some sort of progressive authority? Bwahahahahahaha!

Sometime around a decade ago I was speaking to a conservative that I worked with about Republican politicians that I could at least tolerate and I mentioned John McCain. His response: "Only a liberal would consider John McCain a conservative". So with a h/t to my coworker: Only a Fox News watcher could think Geraldo Rivera is a liberal.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 29, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

First Principles. Doh' my bad.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 29, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

And please, if there be any mercy in you, do not assign "Geraldo" to the Republicans. If you don't want him ok, but don't blame him on us. Let's just call him universally offensive and never mention him again

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 29, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

@Troll A better time in our nation economically would certainly include the 50's...you could also include the 60's..but perhaps the social turbulence of that period might disturb you.

Ahhhh yes IKE....Remember him Troll? I'm old enough to have attended grade school in those days...high school in the 60's. Back then the middle class was actually GROWING not shrinking...back then the top marginal rate was in the 90% range...that dropped to the 70% range in the 60's. BTW no less an expert on investing than Warren Buffett has laughed at Republican canard that these rates hurt our economy and stifled investors enthusiasm by pointing out he and other investors actually worked harder..not less to earn MORE to offset those rates.

The trashing of the middle class started with Reagans voodoo economics..the failed trickle down...we in the middle class know what trickled down...we all know what runs downhill don't we? Reagan cut the marginal rates to 50% and then 38%..Bush I whacked them all the way down to 28%!!!

Clinton raised them back to 39.6% and balanced the budget..created a surplus and we had a robust economy and nothing like the crisis G.W. gave us...he btw lowered them again to their present 35%.

http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php

If you follow the history of our economy you'll see that it has flourished in times of high marginal rates...and of course we know what has happened after 30 years of catering to the wealthy.

And so Troll yeah I can point back to far better times in our economy...BEFORE we started all these foolish tax breaks for the people who LEAST NEED THEM!!!

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"Let's just call him universally offensive and never mention him again"

Agreed. :)

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 29, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

FROM THE PRIVATE JOURNAL OF GLENN BECK:

=====================

Hmm... let's see... how can I take this conservative media pundit thing to the next level? My ratings and advertiser revenue are growing nicely. My book sales are doing great, and my alliance with Palin is really starting to pay off. Still, I need to kick it up a notch. Jingoistic patriotism is good. That always rallies a certain number of people automatically--but, there's a lot of competition over that in the political arena, plus the inevitable backlash against politicians whenever economic downturns hit their constituency. No, I need something that transcends politics, and frankly even nationalism, if I really want to seize the imaginations of all those disgruntled blue-collar red-staters who hate Obama (without really understanding why) and feel betrayed by the Republicans who allowed him to get into office.

Wait a minute... Religion! Ah, of course! Why didn't I think of that before? Nothing beats God when it comes to claims of truth and righteousness! There's always a fair percentage of people in this country that will flock to anyone on TV who invokes God--remember those televangelists in the 70's and 80's that made a killing? They've gone out of fashion a bit, but that's exactly what makes it a good time for a revival (so to speak). And God is ideal, too, for deflecting critics. You can always call claim persecution!

Yes. Yes, this God thing will work perfectly to grab some headlines, build a following, and push me to a new level of national prominence. It may come out that I was raised a Mormon... eh, but most Americans don't really know what that is, and any criticisms of the more conspicuously racist and, to be blunt, delusional aspects of Mormon beliefs can easily be dismissed as from elitist agnostic intellectuals, which my base already hates (again, without really understanding why).

Ooh... this is gonna be good! 8/28... here I come!

G.B.


P.S. - Dear Mr. Satan... your first installment of my soul has been transferred to you via my Swiss bank account. You will receive the additional installments once I have my own television network--as per our agreement--and Ms. Palin has been publicly disgraced after she's outlived her usefulness to me.

=====================

Posted by: mattmchugh_dot_com | August 29, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"Let's just call him universally offensive and never mention him again"

Me too. Remember when he did that weird cave opening thing? That and hurricanes is about all I think of when someone mentions his name.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 29, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Troll, we'll take that deal!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Scott the onus is entirely on YOU!!!

"Another left-wing mind reader. It must be very useful to be able to know what people "really" believe without having to pay any attention at all to what they actually say."

Difficult to know what you believe Scott that is true...because you never take the time to offer a constructive comment...only to make fun of progressive opinion. You routinely defend the indefensible...unlike Kevin who operates with an OPEN mind and can see the flaws and strengths of both sides.

Basically all you do is come here with your own cheap shots and snark..WTF do you think you're going to get in return?

And Scott quite frequently you are simply wrong or disingenuous or confused..for you to say..."Then she should know how simpleminded it is to say that one can easily increase profits by simply cutting wages and/or firing people."

I am 62...I have been an employee for small businesses..and large corporations as well as own a small business of my own along with my wife....what is SIMPLEMINDED
is you and your lack of real world knowledge....EVERY economist and certainly every businessman knows that one way for businesses to increase profit is to do precisely what you've just made fun of...cut expenses...and the greatest expense for the vast majority of businesses is labor!!! Scott that may have been the dumbest thing I've ever seen you post...whew!!!!

Obviously another way to increase profit is to build the better mousetrap...or to expand capacity in the face of growing demand...absent those two opportunities...virtually the ONLY way to increase profit is to cut expenses...again labor being the largest expense.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@matt,

While I can see the wisdom of your major argument, and I suspect you are right on, please know that Beck was not raised LDS. He converted as an adult and not that long ago.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | August 29, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Scott - as rukidding has pointed out, I do in fact run a small business - one that is growing radiply in this poor economy despite - though probably in part because of - the fact that we've set policies governing the bare minimum we'll pay our employees. However, I'm not Circuit City, to cite a famous example of a business that tried to up their profit margin by slashing wages, or Dell computer, who offshored much of their business in order to slash wages. The nature of my business is that it can't be offshored, even if it was the size of Dell, and the nature of who I am as a person doesn't allow me to pay people starvation wages, even though it means less money goes into my own pockets.

Now that we've disposed of what you've "guessed" about, are you going to honestly sit there with a straight face and try to claim that any of us as individuals use the roadways to the extent that large trucking firms do? Cause I kinda doubt that my little old Ford Mustang is chewing up the pavement yearly to the extent that the double-trailer loads weighing thousands of tons run by JB Hunt or any of the other big trucking firms are.

Posted by: JennOfArk | August 29, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Troll Yes we all accept the deal on Geraldo.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

@Scott Since you are so offended by my "assumption" that you would like to continue helping the wealthiest amongst us...

Let's get specific. What is your position on extension of the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthiest...with caveat that we both understand that D's and r's alike wish to extend the cuts...the D plan excepting those over $250,000.

I can clearly state I find this to be an insult to the American public who have just bailed out many of these Wall Street fat cats and not a few thieves.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Jenn YOU ROCK!!! :-)

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

There is some sweet footage of Geraldo getting knocked over by a wave during hurricane Ike when he was in Galveston. I could watch a loop of that for hours.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 29, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who has helped a company decide where to locate knows it includes many factors. In addition to the availability of an appropriate workforce, transportation is a biggie. It's not only the roads, which are supported to some degree by use taxes, but airports, rail lines, the inner-city road system (how easy is it get around town). Will my customers be able to find me?

Then there is the schools system at all levels. Not only primary education, but higher education (access to new trained employees).

Then there is entertainment--the presence of a stadium and major teams for example. Symphonies, opera, pop events, local culture.

Then, there is public safety--police and fire, and even public health and hazardous materials history.

A lot of this stuff is supported by taxes, but all of it benefits big business as well as individuals. Some of it is taxed (priced) to account for this, and some is not correctly taxed.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | August 29, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

And so to janet8 and bailers...keep shooting off your mouths about the future and we'll bring you back to reality...you guys got crushed in 08 but for you losers elections have no consequences because you are all like little children who have lost a game...the R mantra....waaahhhh I'm going to take my ball and go home.

Posted by: rukidding7
_____________________________

Ironic, how many times do I see comments about Bush (or even Reagan?) You couldn't have missed my point any more than you did. Greg here wanted to use the words from the rally to make his point they were being divisive and implying racism for using the same language that others have.

By the way, are you and Ethan disappointed your guesses of only 10K were so far off?

Posted by: Bailers | August 29, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"Scott the onus is entirely on YOU!!!"

The onus for what?

"Difficult to know what you believe Scott that is true."

Not if you listen to what I actually say instead of trying to turn me into the cartoonish conservative of liberal mythology.

"because you never take the time to offer a constructive comment...only to make fun of progressive opinion. "

I have written three or four posts to Jenn today, not one of which was "making fun" of anything. Whether my criticisms have been constructive or not is a matter of opinion, but of course if one sees any view contrary to one's own as "indefensible", I don't imagine any criticism will seem constructive.

"You routinely defend the indefensible."

Well, if you think something is indefensible it must be so. How dare anyone disagree.

"Basically all you do is come here with your own cheap shots and snark..."

Rubbish. Again, you will search my comments to Jenn vain for any evidence of that.

"And Scott quite frequently you are simply wrong or disingenuous or confused."

If you say so, it must be true. No need to explain how it is I am wrong or confused, right?

"EVERY economist and certainly every businessman knows that one way for businesses to increase profit is to do precisely what you've just made fun of...cut expenses...and the greatest expense for the vast majority of businesses is labor!!!"

I see. So then it is very odd indeed that all business owners don't just fire all their employees and let the profits roll in the door.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Jenn:

"I do in fact run a small business..."

Well then you should know that employees are generally essential to making profits. Simply firing them is not a cure-all for low profit margin.

"are you going to honestly sit there with a straight face and try to claim that any of us as individuals use the roadways to the extent that large trucking firms do?"

I have no idea how much "we as individuals" use a given road relative to a large trucking firm. But that is not the issue.

The issue was who benefits and how much from the existence of the roads. Certainly the owner of the trucking company benefits. But so do all of the truckers who are employed by the trucking firm. And so does the manufacturer of product X who uses the trucking company to deliver his goods. And so do all of the employees of the manufacturing firm who wouldn't have a job if X couldn't be delivered to buyers. And so does the owner of the retail store that sells X to consumers. And so do the employees of the retail store, as it helps provide them with something to sell to consumers. And then of course there are all the consumers of X, who would have to live without it if there was no means of delivering it, but now have access to X because of the road.

So who benefits most from the existence of the roads? I don't know, and neither do you. It is impossible to know. That is precisely why the road is a classic "public good". It is absurd to assert as self-evident that the "captain of industry" who owns the trucking firm is benefitting out of proportion to the taxes he pays but that the employee who makes X, or the employee who delivers X, or the employee who sells X, or the consumer who buys X, is not.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

Nice expample of a true public good. I think the complexity of who benefits demonstrates how hard it is to try and command an economy, or even come up with some sort of intervention (stimulus) that could effectively kick-start enough of the economy to overcome the detrimental effects any intervention is going to have on other parts of the economy.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 29, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"What is your position on extension of the Bush Tax cuts"

They should of course be extended and made permanent.

"I can clearly state I find this to be an insult to the American public who have just bailed out many of these Wall Street fat cats and not a few thieves."

I see. So by definition anyone who makes over $250k is a "Wall Street fat cat", not to mention a possible thief, who got bailed out?

If it is indeed the bank bailout that makes this an "insult to the American public" isn't it then necessarily also an insult to the American public to give tax cuts to people who work for banks who make less than $250k? Their jobs got "bailed out" no less than those who make more.

And speaking of the bailout, isn't it the taxpayer who got the short end? And who are these taxpayers? Well, gosh, it turns out that 40% of the bailout funds will have come from the top 1% of income earners anyway...precisely the people you are demonizing.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

"Nice expample of a true public good. "

Thanks.

"I think the complexity of who benefits demonstrates how hard it is to try and command an economy, or even come up with some sort of intervention (stimulus) that could effectively kick-start enough of the economy to overcome the detrimental effects any intervention is going to have on other parts of the economy. "

I wholeheartedly agree.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Roads may be a public good, but it would definitely be a public better all the way around if more stuff went by rail.

Posted by: CalD | August 29, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

All, I'm taking the next week off, but we have the excellent Adam Serwer coming in to guest blog:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/gone_fishing_okay_not_fishing.html

I really hope you'll help him to keep the ocnversation going, and all you do in that regard will be much appreciated. Thanks again for all your contributions.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 29, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"@zattarra: "What I want to know is why people like Beck and Palin hate me?" I missed the entire rally (haven't even seen a clip of it), so I don't know, but did Glenn Beck say he hated people like you? Or is recasting whatever demagogic stuff he did say as saying "he hated you" a return volley of justified demagoguery? ;) Posted by: Kevin_Willis"

Well, one might infer from his post that zattarra is Jewish, and might feel somehow rejected because, in spite of being at least as American as Beck and his evangelical Christian rant, from a supposed Mormon, (who don't like Jews), he has been told that He ISN'T, apparently American, as beck defines American.

I am Certain beck hates me, because I am a true leftist, who refuses to refer to himself as Christian, since I do know a great deal about my Christian beliefs, and what Beck has to say isn't anything I can find in the new testament.

Like Zattarra, I have my bona fides. I have eleven more years in U.S. military service than has Mr. Beck. I have a brother, a sister, and two brothers-in-law who are veterans of active service, as were my dad, the Navy Pilot, and my Mom, the WASP. My Wife's father was killed in arial flight in England before she was born.

My fathers brother and brother-in-law served in WWII, as did my dad. I can get all the way back to the French and Indian wars on My mother's side, and in virtually every generation the males got into a war on America's side at some point.

But I am not Mr Beck's America.

I am actually proud of not being part of his ASmerica, because My Amreica includes men like Sp4 Lawrence Joel, and the General (s) Davis, pere et fil, and Senators Inouye and Akaka. It has room for Agnostics and Baptists and Congregationalists and Dunkards. And Jews, Muslims, Black Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, and out right atheists.

But Mr. Beck says Americans must be like him. White, Republican, and Protestant. As I only qualify as one out of three, I must not be part of his America.

You see, when someone behaves hatefully toward you, you may properly infer that he doesn't like you one bit.

So Mr. zattarra has every right to feel hated.

And to say so.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 29, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Greg, enjoy your time off! You deserve it!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 29, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

ceflynline:

"But Mr. Beck says Americans must be like him. White, Republican, and Protestant. "

When/where did he say this?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

C'mon ScottC3, it's all code and dog whistles. Didn't you hear words like "and" and "the"? Words used by Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest. Either your ignorant or Disingenuous.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 29, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"The trashing of the middle class started with Reagans voodoo economics..the failed trickle down...we in the middle class know what trickled down...we all know what runs downhill don't we? Reagan cut the marginal rates to 50% and then 38%..Bush I whacked them all the way down to 28%!!!

Clinton raised them back to 39.6% and balanced the budget..created a surplus and we had a robust economy and nothing like the crisis G.W. gave us...he btw lowered them again to their present 35%."

Well, there's certainly a lot of liberal economic illiteracy and nonsense thinking expressed above -- ironically, 100% of it resentment driven -- but let's just take this gem.

First, ruk's facts are wrong, and we know what a stickler for facts he claims to be. Let's first note that the top rate was first reduced by Kennedy from 90% to 70%. But set that aside. The top rate was later reduced to 50% and ultimately 28% under Reagan, with one or two stops in between, iirc. Dramatic and sustained economic growth followed. Contrary to ruk, Bush I raised rather than reduced rates -- the top back to 31% -- and recession followed.

Now, despite ruk's claiming that rate reductions were "voodoo economics" that trashed the economy and the middle class, lauds Clinton for producing a "robust economy," a surplus, and no Bush-like crisis, by raising the top rate back to 39.5%. Then, he claims, GWB again destroyed the economy by slashing the top rate a whole 4.5% back to 35.

So, the question, ruk, is how was it disastrous voodoo economics that trashed the economy to cut the top rate from 70% to 50% and ultimately 28%, but sound policy to raise it only back to 39.5%?

Are you seriously claiming that the current 35% is disastrous "voodoo economics" that has destroyed the economy, while Clinton's 39.5% was sound policy that created a robust economy?

If Reagan's cutting of the rate from 70% to 50% was voodoo economics, how in the world could Clinton's 39.5% have not been voodoo economics?

How could Clinton have "created" a robust economy on what is by your own definition a voodoo economic tax policy?

In short, you make no sense. Your views are based on resentment and envy and are devoid of logic.

And we won't even go into the fact that there never was a budget surplus, or that Clinton left office having given us the bursting of the tech bubble and a recession.


Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Troll If you enjoy Geraldo getting his...and we all agree..who doesn't...then you should google geraldo gets his nose broken...remember when his sensationalist talk show was on...I'm not sure who his guests were..but everything suddenly went Jerry Springer and Geraldo caught a chair across the face.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Mcwing:

"Didn't you hear words like "and" and "the"? Words used by Jefferson Davis and Nathan Bedford Forrest."

Heh.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

On taking back America from "the other," Howard Dean, 2004 -- at the then-annual Take Back America conference held by the Democrats in D.C.:


http://www.winningbackamerica.com/

An excerpt from his hate-speech:

"So over the next few months we're going to partner with 21st Century Democrats, with the Progressive Majority, with SEIU, with AFSCME, with other groups, where we can come together not just to make sure John Kerry is the next president of the United States, but to make sure that if he is, that this is not just simply a weigh station in between right-wing presidents. That we are going to take this country back this time, and never again are we going to permit the extreme right wing of the Republican Party to tell us what to do. I am tired of listening to the fundamentalist preachers, and we're not going to do it anymore.

(Applause.)

"I'm tired of listening to Ralph Reed, and Newt Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh, and we're not going to do it anymore, because we built this country, and we're going to take it back for ordinary working Americans. We're going to take this country back, and it's going to take election, after election, after election, work after work, after work, and win, after win, after win. Take back America, we want our country back, and it's our country, we built it, and now in November we're going to take it back."

Greg, you lefties make this so easy. So easy.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 7:27 PM | Report abuse

@Scott & Troll: I gotta say, I think both you guys are hitting bullseye after bullseye today. Others may disagree (sorry, Ruk, and everyone else), but I think you're both doing conservatives proud. Wish I had more time to play in the sandbox today, but there's not much could add. Solid!

If only our elected Republicans were articulating conservatism so well. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

The "voodoo" in supply-side economics has nothing to do with any particular tax-rate; it has to do with the ridiculous claim that cutting taxes will increase revenue.

The problem with you all is that you conveniently forget that there's a left-side to the Laffer Curve.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 29, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Q.B. This has been a long term trend since the 50's...the reduction of the marginal tax rate and perhaps in your opinion (I'll let you speak for yourself) the coincidental shrinkage of the middle class and the redistribution of wealth that now has us at our worst since 1929.

I am not asserting that the actions of any single President has caused this...I am asserting that beginning with Reagan there has been a push to cut taxes for the wealthiest amongst us which has resulted in the gradual weakening of our economy.
Certainly deregulation along with tax policy contributed to this current disaster.

But I'll bite Q.B.

Let's begin with a fact.

"Data from the United States Department of Commerce and Internal Revenue Service indicate that income inequality has been increasing since the 1970s,whereas it had been declining during the mid 20th century. As of 2006, the United States had one of the highest levels of income inequality, as measured through the Gini index, among high income countries, comparable to that of some middle income countries such as Russia or Turkey, BEING ONE OF ONLY A FEW DEVELOPED COUNTRIES WHERE INEQUALITY HAS INCREASED SINCE 1980.

Q.B. How do you explain this phenomenon. Simple bad luck? Or perhaps the 8 years the Dems had the W.H. out of those 30 years. Tax policy and deregulation had nothing to do with it right? Oh I forgot it's those lazy arse middle class people who watched their productivity rise while the money went to the wealthy. These are FACTS Q.B. We're anxious for your interpretation.

And we're interested Q.B. if you even believe this worsening distribution is even a bad thing or nothing to worry about.

Let me give you a head start on that one so you don't think I ambushed you...

In a 2004 poll of 1,000 economists (from the AEA), a majority of polled economists favor "redistribution".[7] A study by the Southern Economic Journal found that "71 percent of American economists believe the distribution of income in the US should be more equal, and 81 percent feel that the redistribution of income is a legitimate role for government."

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Kevin.

I really don't have a lot more time for the sandbox, either. Another busy week coming, preparation to attend to.

Just glad to still have some work in the Obama economy!

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Scott you are pathetic..IMHO..and I'm sure others on this blog... and not worthy of a response but I'll give it one more try.

Any person who has had even a rudimentary accounting course knows that Gross revenue - expenses = profit. Again to increase profit then it follows that you must either increase the gross or decrease expenses.

But again Scott this afternoon Jenn ate your lunch...you came back with NOTHING of substance..just your usual BS on the art of debate....

But really Scott you have taken the moron award for the evening with this gem...

"I see. So then it is very odd indeed that all business owners don't just fire all their employees and let the profits roll in the door."

To which I simply reply...so then Scott it is very odd indeed that employers are not rushing out to hire as many employees as they can since they can simply increase profit by hiring those profit producing employees.

You have drug this debate into an intellectual sewer where you are trying again to defend an indefensible position.

Why do you suppose all these employers have laid people off..why do we have double digits unemployment..you mean they laid them off for fun? Or did they try to cut losses (another description for increasing profit).

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 29, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

ruk,

I will (and have to) try to keep this short.

1. You completely abandoned your original thesis and did not even try to defend it or answer the questions I posed about your claims about tax rates and prosperity. Case closed on that.

2. No, I do not believe that "worsening" income inequality is "bad." I am not a socialist, heavy or lite.

3. I believe, like most economists and even people with common sense and understanding of how the economy works, that increasing income disparities are simply a function of economic growth. The upper end of a distribution always has room to increase; the lower end does not. Economic progress inevitably expands the distribution, which you for inscrutable reasons find "bad."

4. Individual absolute and relative incomes are not static. Your resentment politics assume that they more or less are.

5. I could not care less that a poll of economists says they believe redistributionist policy is a "legitimate" government function. And trust me, I know more gold-plated Ivy League economists than the average person.

As to your comment to Scott that "But again Scott this afternoon Jenn ate your lunch," LMAO.

You and Jenn spouted the usual leftit inanities. She thinks the "rich" disproportionately use government resources because of the Patent Office.

LMAO!!! This is just plain idiocy to anyone who knows anything. And, no, I'm not wasting time explaining all the reasons why. Your brains are thoroughly washed in the detergent of resentment and socialism. Yes, I used that terrible word.

Her argument is a run-of-the-mill Marxist theory fed to undergraduates by Marxist professors. Sorry to have to say it again. You claim to be small business owners, but your economic and political beliefs are, at their core, Marxist theories. Read her argument and your carefully, ruk. You are even endorsing the classic Marxist labor theory of value. That's how you claim that profits = "redistribution" of wealth. It's Marxist twaddle.

And I don't by one iota of that rot.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Hmm, noticed one poor phrasing above.

It should say, the upper end of a distribution always has room to increase; the lower end does not have room to decrease.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 8:13 PM | Report abuse

"Dramatic and sustained economic growth followed. Contrary to ruk, Bush I raised rather than reduced rates -- the top back to 31% -- and recession followed. "

I was born in 1947, so I must have lived through Reagan.

WHAT sustained economic growth. Haven't you noticed when we get a new Bush generated low point, the previous low point was during Reagan's administration? The eighties were the worst economic times I can remember, including Nixon and wage and price controls. Reagan's administration was when the term jobless recovery gained traction. And Reagan succeeded in having a miserable job creation record while running $250 billion deficits, and buying totally worthless weapon systems like MX missiles. And having four Battleships at sea at the same time.

Bush eventually had to raise taxes because reaganomics was an absolute failure.

Other than that your Hero Worshiping needs a slight adjustment, Reagan, Bush, and the White House Treason commission, Iran Contra and all that.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 29, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Hmm again, still screwed that up.

The lower end of the distribution will never experience the same increase as the upper end, because the least productive people increase their productivity little with overall economic progress.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

"ceflynline: "But Mr. Beck says Americans must be like him. White, Republican, and Protestant. " When/where did he say this?"

Well, how about yesterday, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, in front of a disputable number of T-People.

Something to do with "Recovering America's Honor" and 'Turning back to God"

I have never done anything to dishonor America, and neither has Obama. And I don't need Glen Beck to give me his cramped version of God.

So, answer me this, just what is it the Obama administration has done that dishonored America so that beck needs to tell us how to regain its honor?

Posted by: ceflynline | August 29, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

schrodingerscat: "The "voodoo" in supply-side economics has nothing to do with any particular tax-rate; it has to do with the ridiculous claim that cutting taxes will increase revenue.

The problem with you all is that you conveniently forget that there's a left-side to the Laffer Curve."

I happpen to agree there is a "left-side" of the Laffer Curve. But are you arguing there is no "right-side"? That there is no Laffer Curve, in essence? Or just that the current income tax rates are now to the left of it?

ruk: I remember that particular Geraldo episode and thought he got off lightly. I also remember him getting the boot from Iraq for giving out troop location info. What a complete idiot. Geraldo, go back to sleeping with family members of murder victims.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 29, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

cefly, perhaps you were drunk during the 70s and 80s, as you appear to be now. I don't know what else could explain someone who fondly remembers 70s stagflation and thinks the 80s were jobless.

Sober up, is all I can suggest.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Liberals believe in the Laugher Curve, which says that government spending pays for itself and then some.

That's what is ridiculous.

If even the Obamunists didn't accept the truth of the Laffer Curve, they would just raise the top rate back to 90% and solve all our problems.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

"The problem with you all is that you conveniently forget that there's a left-side to the Laffer Curve.""

Actually the Problerm with the Laffer curve is that it was always drawn with the wrong axis on the bottom, and always drawn with no values given.

Laffer always drew it with the tax rates on the y axis, and revenues on the x axis, so it looked vaguely like a breast.

Drawn with the independent variable, tax rates, on the x axis and the dependent variabl, tax revenues, on the y axis left him with problems of values and scale. He always drew the curve as if the curve had Gaussian distribution, without any justification, and then always puit his taxation point to the rioght of the maximum point, again with no justification, especially since, the end points being fixed, 0 and 100 %, one would assume that the mid point would be 50%, which was always higher than the average marginal tax rate. SO, in essence he always seemed to forget that there was a left side to his graph.

He never put in numbers because as soon as he labeled tax rates his argument would totally fall apart. Draw a real tax rate vs tax revenue curve and reaganomics is quite obviously bogus.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 29, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for Beck, Palin, their easily-led rabble and sheeple, future history books will give about as much space to their Aug. 28 speech in DC as they do now, namely, none.

The attempt to hijack MLK's August 28 speech for their own repulsive ends came up a dud for Palin, Beck and their blithering lackeys.

History will not be mentioning both Aug. 28 speeches, only King's will still live in history, Beck's, not so much except as a media stunt that didn't pay off for those who'd like to rewrite history so that the Confederacy won the Civil War, a class and race based society Palin, Beck and their minions so fervently desire to impose on the rest of us.

Posted by: kingcranky | August 29, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

"cefly, perhaps you were drunk during the 70s and 80s, as you appear to be now. I don't know what else could explain someone who fondly remembers 70s stagflation and thinks the 80s were jobless. Sober up, is all I can suggest. Posted by: quarterback1 "

Stopped drinking to excess in 1975 when the Army lifted my clearance and deprived me of my motivation. Looked for work at various times in the sixties, seventies, and eighties. Reagan's administration was the worst time I ever had. Stagflation was a somewhat abbreviated phenomenon in the late 70's, which Carter would have brought under control with his balanced 1981 budget. He inherited it from Nixon, and like all economic problems couldn't immediately bring it under control, but since he reduced his Budget deficit each of his four budgets and had a balanced budget ready to submit in 1981, one must assume he was making progress. Note that Reagan's FIRST deficit was larger then carter's four year total.

Still, if ever there was a reason to drink, eight years of Reagan sure qualified.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 29, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

"If even the Obamunists didn't accept the truth of the Laffer Curve, they would just raise the top rate back to 90% and solve all our problems"

Interesting, informative conversation, but since qb has decided he'd rather attack people and call them names then try to engage honestly, I'm out of here for the evening. Toodle-loo!

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 29, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

That cfly was the biggest bunch of nonsense about the Laffer Curve I'v ever seen.

Flipping the axes makes . . . no difference. duh.

Put his taxation point to the right of the maximum . . . literally gibberish.

Here's a discussion of the curve by Laffer, from which it is obvious cfly is talking pure bs.

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2004/06/The-Laffer-Curve-Past-Present-and-Future

Hint: Using terms like Gaussian distribution when you are talking patent nonsense doesn't fool anyone.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

"Again to increase profit then it follows that you must either increase the gross or decrease expenses."

The trouble, which of course you must know, is that the two variables are not independent. Changing one can often impact the other. In fact, in a highly efficient business, altering one will most certainly have an impact on the other. Sure, a business can fire some of its sales people in order to decrease expenses, but then sales will fall as well, leading to lower gross revenues. So does that lead to higher profit margin? Not necessarily. It depends entirely on whether the negative impact on revenues is less than the effect of lowering expenses.

Which was precisely the point of my original objection to Jenn's simplistic formulation of the big, bad, uncaring "captains of industry" who, according to her, can easily maintain their profit margins during tough times by simply firing people. This is outrageously simple-minded.

In fact, to the extent that a business can indeed maintain its profit margin during bad times simply by firing people, it is an indication of how inefficient it had been in the past, paying people to do work that did not add value to the business. (Now that is being generous and beneficent...paying people more than they are worth!)

"You have drug this debate into an intellectual sewer where you are trying again to defend an indefensible position."

Yada, yada. It appears, based on your response, that you haven't the slightest idea what position I am actually defending. Which is indicative of another problem I alluded to earlier...you don't listen to or think about what I actually say.

Everything I say goes through some weird ruk warp machine and gets transformed into a caricature of what people like you imagine conservatives to think (in this, you are not alone), resulting in you lobbing insults like "pathetic" and "moron" and "indefensible". It's not entirely clear why you feel the need to pretend that I am stupid. Perhaps it is some intellectual insecurity on your part, or maybe it's easier for you to declare me stupid than to bother with countering my points with logic or actual thought, least of all considering the possibility that I might, egads, correct. I don't know. But whatever it is, it is hardly facilitating anything other than flame throwing, which is ultimately what you tend to reduce most conversations to. And that is too bad.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder if yesterday's orations by Beck and Palin will be considered essential to the American history curriculum in the year 2057."

Only in Texas.

Posted by: TedFrier | August 29, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Kevin:

"I gotta say, I think both you guys are hitting bullseye after bullseye today."

Thanks.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 29, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Aww, schrodingerscat has hurt feewwwings. And can't refute my argument.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

@qb: I meant to mention you, too, with the good arguments (better without insults).

"Just glad to still have some work in the Obama economy!"

I'm just glad to have work myself, though I have noted before that I think naming economies after presidents, no matter how you think that economy is performing, is something of a misnomer. As it turns out, so far, I've personally done under Obama than in the previous 8 years of Bush. Before that, I was doing better under Clinton than I subsequently did under Bush.

But there are a lot of factors that go into the overall economy, and to an individuals circumstances.

@ScottC3: "It's not entirely clear why you feel the need to pretend that I am stupid. "

Well, I don't know, but my general experience has been that people tend to judge your intelligence by how closely you resemble them (or what they aspire to) in the areas of their life that they hold most important. And if politics is their raison d'etre, then you have to be a nuclear physicist and a neurosurgeon in order for them to admit that, except for your eccentric insistence on disagreeing with them about politics, you're still pretty smart. While I generally try to avoid this, I feel that emotional ping (reading some of your comments today, for example) where I say to myself, "Wow, this person agrees with me on several important issues. He must be pretty smart!"

The other interesting thing is I have no trouble seeing what you're saying, but I'm just sure Ruk or Jenn actually get what you're saying. And I don't mean that they disagree--I think to some extent there are assumptions and presumptions and context that lead them to take some things the wrong way, or put the emphasis on the wrong part, in regards to actually understanding what you mean.

As Stephen Covey always says: seek first to understand, then to be understood. Way, way easier to say than to do, as it turns out. :)

Very little sleep last night, so I'm rambling. Apologies, all.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 9:21 PM | Report abuse

edit: * don't get what you're saying. And not on purpose, or anything, they are just misunderstanding.

As I may have mentioned, I didn't get much sleep.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 29, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Did the author mean the title to be "Beck and Palin strive for hysterical immorality"?

Posted by: merrylees | August 29, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why Beck and Palin don't talk about tangible ideas for returning America to leadership in math and science? Just returning to one area that they're speaking of isn't going to necessarily return greatness. We are competing against countries such as China and China is competing with us. And they (China) are focused on math and science.

And my comments aren't intended to be anti-religious.

Posted by: ATL_Pilot_1 | August 29, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

@ quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 9:08 PM:

Awe, whassamatter buddy? Bad kitty not giving quawtoobacks enough attention? You lonely without kitty? Poor quawtoobacks.

Posted by: CalD | August 29, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

They say they want to restore the sense of supremacy to real-American values. This was all said before. It was said by middle-class Civil War veterans from Pulaski, Tennessee on December 24, 1865.

Posted by: whocares666 | August 29, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

They say they want to restore the sense of supremacy to real-American values. This was all said before. It was said by middle-class Civil War veterans from Pulaski, Tennessee on December 24, 1865. CHEERS!

Posted by: whocares666 | August 29, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Scott said: "selectively choosing metrics"

Do get real, Scott. The metrics noted (life expectancy, murders per capita, percent of population in jail, drug use and addiction, happiness, or sales of killing machinery out into the broad world) are what a rational person would consider of rather significant importance re that "bestest" thing.

But, go ahead. Pick another set of metrics.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 29, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Krugman post from nearly two years ago, Oct 2008.

"October 10, 2008, 1:43 PM

Not about the financial crisis

The crisis isn’t the only scary thing going on. Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage. It’s not just a mob phenomenon — it’s visible in the right-wing media, and to some extent in the speeches of McCain and Palin.

We’ve seen this before. One thing that has been sort of written out of the mainstream history of politics is the sheer insanity of the attacks on the Clintons — they were drug smugglers, they murdered Vince Foster (and lots of other people), they were in league with foreign powers. And this stuff didn’t just show up in fringe publications — it was discussed in Congress, given props by the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, and so on.

What it came down to was that a significant fraction of the American population, backed by a lot of money and political influence, simply does not consider government by liberals (even very moderate liberals) legitimate. Ronald Reagan was supposed to have settled that once and for all.

What happens when Obama is elected? It will be even worse than it was in the Clinton years. For sure there will be crazy accusations, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some violence.

The next few years are going to be very, very tough."

I've previously recommended that folks pick up Krugman's The Great Unraveling, a collection of his early columns and read it, now many years later, to weigh how often this fellow gets things right.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 29, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

And, if no one has mentioned it, there's the fun arson case at the Mosque construction site in Tennessee... coincidental, I'm sure.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 29, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

Historical immortality LOL , yeah , the most successful fraud and BS artists in history thanks to a country full of ignorant pea brained simpletons . What a disgrace and embarrassment !

Posted by: Koom | August 29, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Talk about demagoguery.... Oh no! The US is being taken over by people who are championing Faith, Hope, and Charity! . We have to stop them before they march all the Liberals into the gas chambers. LOL RUN. Panic now. The Christians are coming! The Christians are coming!YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAa!

Posted by: pstephano | August 29, 2010 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Drugs, in league with foreign powers, secret oil deals, Nazis (both figuratively and literally), treason, bombed the WTC, flew Saudis out to avoid justice, etc., ad nauseum. Halliburton and Diebold vote fraud conspiracies, "stolen election" and illegitimate President.

All and much more was said about Bush and the Bushes. Ah those were the days, when Michael Moore was Democrat mainstream, Al Gore screamed of treason, Dan Rather ran ran with patently phony documents pawned off by a professional and lunatic Bush hater. Stories about GWB the drunk and Laura Bush the negligent killer.

Sheer insanity.

Never saw Krugman's angst then.

Posted by: quarterback1 | August 29, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Restoring "honor"? What honor was ever taken away that now needs to be restored? I wish these folks talked with a smidgeon of specificity.

Personally, I think we lost some honor when we started holding people without charge, without public evidence, without the ability to contest their confinement, all on the executive branch's say-so. Kind of violates the basic principles of this nation. But hey, maybe that's just me....

Posted by: dasimon | August 30, 2010 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Is this what has become of intellectual liberal journalism, obsessing over and writing every other column about Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News? I mean, I know you guys need page hits but this is ridiculous? How about writing some stuff about elected Officials, and those who hold all the POWER in Washington (you know... the Democrats?). But I guess speaking truth to power suddnely went out of style as of January 20, 2009. I dare every left leaning Journalist at the Washington Post to try and go one week without mentioning Palin, Beck, Limbaugh or Fox News. Good luck with that...

Posted by: hastoglis | August 29, 2010 10:17 AM

*******

Wapo is only left leaning when they write something you don't agree with. Grow up, that's what journalism and debate are all about,not whining when some guy writes something that isn't within you political sensibilities. The Post is a great news source and if you could tear yourself away from Faux News, you might learn something that enlightens you to other interpretations of things. I'll bet you never complain about those calling Obama filthy names and accusing him of things he has never done. I'll bet you liked those teabagger posters of him with the bones through his nose and wearing jungle gear.
See, we all have to look what is being said, shown or written and wonder why people are so vicious and hatefilled. No newspaper is going to write only what you want to hear, this is why when you are grown up you will learn how this works.
Fritz...

Posted by: papafritz571 | August 30, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

These two messianiacs (n.) are lucky that there is no garbage collection on Saturday in D.C. I hope all those fruitcake-and-hot chocolate actors they hijacked from Williamsburg in their Colonial Era costumes were released unharmed.

Look, you assemble peaceably? Check. You speak knowing you're protected under the Constitution? Check. You advertise that "this" is NOT a political event but it's held in the nation's capitol? And it's a "come-to-Jesus" deal? Whoa...

Ding, ding, ding...is that red herring I smell? The Great White Shriek and Cougar magazine's centerfold of the century...wait...(crickets chirping) I caught myself. He's greasing the crowd with G_d and she's squeaking about the Boy Scout creed. Conflict of interest. Which one is covering for the other? Politics over the baby Jesus? Or is the Eternal Light blinding the electorate?

Dr. King's day in '63 was about change. Political? Yes. Social? Yes. Philosophical? Absolutely. Wasn't advertised as anything else. Peaceful, hopeful, and meaningful to all of America wherever Black and White shared space and time. Iconic? Yes. Necessary and bold? Yes. Did it need to be held in Washington? Yes.

I cannot say all of the same about the two zipper-heads. It was political despite the snake-charmer down from his cross. She's retired, remember? She quit on her state. But she's been elevated to this Huey Long-ish image and she's perpetually accounted for every daggone day in all newspapers in the Political Section. Again, this wasn't a political thing? I'm confused. God and government. Gotcha. Check.

Why not hold it in....Kansas? Alaska? Michigan?

Posted by: kickoradell | August 30, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

My favorite observation re: Mr. Krugman is that he's predicted 11 out of the last 2 recessions, and that the current crisis slipped right by his prognistycal powahzzz.

As to his social/cultural commentary, pretty much indistinguishable from what one can consume at any lefty shop: Boiler plate Euro-envy w/ a dash of snottery.


Posted by: tao9 | August 30, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

I've been saying for quite a while that Sarah Palin is too Hitler-esque, and she is DANGEROUS. Now it seems that Glenn Beck has joined her in her quest to 'restore America'. Unfortunately for America, Sarah Palin IS trying 'transform' us into her perfect society.
She continues to make these speeches as if she and she alone, knows what is 'best' for the country. She consistently ridicules the current government at all levels, in places that do not in any way concern her; she is trying to 'fill' the government with her "chosen" people; she talks about 'restoring' America to "moral values" which she and her family do not exemplify.


The media is foolish enough to continue to spread this dangerous woman's "message" across the country, and she has abused that privilege. The media has allowed Sarah Palin's ego to get out of control, and she should be stopped---NOW!!!!! We are headed for another Hitler-esque 'cleansing' by Sarah Palin, but from which direction it will coming, we do not want to find out.

SHUT SARAH PALIN UP BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!!!

Posted by: momof20yo | August 30, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Here's a quote that I've gleaned from the Beck:

"Because we don't have teeth. Well, it's time to find our teeth and sharpen our teeth and we're going to do it."

I'm sure some of Beck's supporters would tell him that it's easy to find those choppers. They're right next to the bed in the glass where he left them. I wouldn't reccommend taking a file to them though, that could result in some expensive dental "restoration".

CB in Hamburg

Posted by: chrisbrown12 | August 30, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

@bernielatham: "What it came down to was that a significant fraction of the American population, backed by a lot of money and political influence, simply does not consider government by liberals (even very moderate liberals) legitimate."

Wow. I think Krugman was pretty dead on with that (of course, there is definitely a portion of the American population, backed by much of the media and academic classes, that simply does not consider any government by conservatives (even very moderate ones) as legitimate.

Still, Krugman had that nailed. Well, you know what they say about stopped clocks. ;)

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | August 30, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

tao said: "the current crisis slipped right by his prognistycal powahzzz."

Boy, I'd love to know where you got that notion, tao. Seriously. Where did you read this?

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin - Your post above reflects something you've been doing a bit lately, that is, drawing parallelisms. But it's a rhetorical move and has value only as that. As an analytic tool it is often worse than useful in that it obscures and does not illuminate. As soon as you set up such a parallelism, differences must disappear as a simple function of the device used.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"The metrics noted...are what a rational person would consider of rather significant importance re that "bestest" thing."

Ah yes. Anyone who deviates from The World According To Bernie is banished to the realm of the irrational.

"Pick another set of metrics."

Well, one could use GDP as a measure, where the US out-produces the next closest country by more than 2 to 1. Or one could use charitable giving as a measure, either in the public sphere where US taxpayers out-give the next most benificent country by more than 2-1, or as a measure of private giving, where numbers are harder to come but one estimate puts it at over 3 times as much as the next nation. Or one could point out that the US is and has been far and away the primary sponsor of the world's largest international peace organization, the United Nations, where the US alone covers almost over 20% of the operating budget, over 25% of the peacekeeping budget, and all in contributed over $6 billion to the organization last year.

But a metric more to the point of my original would be the fact that more people across the world immigrate to the US than to any other nation, and even more want to. According to a Gallup poll, about 700 million people want to migrate to another country, with 24% of them desiring to move to the US, more than any other nation. In other words, when it comes to actually making real world decisions about one's own life, as opposed to the abstract theorizing of pompous intellectuals, the hoi polloi vote with their feet. How ironic that some of those feet turn out to be owned by those very same pompous intellectuals.

Thanks for the vote, Bernie.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Beck has defined himself at last: he's the first of the grandly self-aggrandizing racists of the 3rd millenium. Nice to meet you, Glenn. Now we know who you are . . . . Oh, and by the way: on taking us "back" to the America you claim to know and love? No thanks. I lived in the south during the civil rights era, and never ever want to go back there. You and Palin need to peddle your snake-charming somewhere else.

Posted by: sailmaker1943 | August 30, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"As an analytic tool it is often worse than useful in that it obscures and does not illuminate."

Sure it illuminates. You just don't want what is being illuminated...your inconsistency/partisanship/lack of objectivity...to be illuminated.

I'll also note that you've made the above assertion to me too, many times in the past, yet you never manage to identify the relevant distinctions that are supposedly being obscured. Generally, I've come to see, the distinction is nothing more than that Bernie approves of one and doesn't approve of the other.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse

zattara wrote:

"What I want to know is why people like Beck and Palin hate me? I'm religious. I live in "Real America". I'm an American. Son of Americans. Grandson of Americans. Great Grandson of Americans. Heck, my wife is a Daughter of The American Revolution. Why do these people hate me and mine?

Is it because we're not Christian? Or we believe the government can help people? Or believe as the Torah has taught me that we look out for our neighbors and the least among us?

So why to these people am I not an American? Or better yet why do these people believe that when they speak for what America wants or America needs that they speak for me?

Who appointed these narcissists and demagogues the judges of what makes an American? And why would anyone who truly believes in American exceptionalism believe in the words of these people corporate shills? Are there that many scared people in America?

I'm a middle class, middle aged, white, religious, Midwestern living, New York City raised, fourth-generation American - please may these people stop claiming they speak for me. And please people, don't believe these people speak for all of us."

Worth re-posting in its entirety.

I share much in common with you, zattara, except that I was actually born in the mid-west, raised evangelical Christian, and still view life and God through the prism of that religion's point of view.

You, not they, speak for me: "Who appointed these narcissists and demagogues the judges of what makes an American?"

These are the same people who shrilled "Unamerican!" when some of us questioned the appointment of a president by the Supreme Court. But now it is somehow more American to refuse to accept the will of the people in an uncontested election? President Obama didn't just win the electoral college votes, but the popular vote as well. There is no question but the will of the American people was done.

But it didn't please the Koch brothers and corporatists and so they raised up a media army of professional and foolish "little" people who have the time and money to go to tea party rallies.

The tea partiers are fighting for those same people who will surely take their very last dime from them, then chew them up and spit them out like so much rubbish.

"There was a young lady of Niger,
Who smile as she road on a tiger.
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside
And the smile on the face of the tiger.

It's sad.

Posted by: martymar123 | August 30, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

"US taxpayers out-give the next most benificent country by more than 2-1"
Not per capita.

GDP? As China and India outpace the US, will that make them the "best" country?

Contributions to UN? This one is, I think, an important measure of a nation's sense of communitarian/humanitarian responsibility and US involvement here is a good which I don't think anyone would debate. Well, you surely would, but still, I'm on the side of this as a big plus.

As to immigration, economic considerations are surely the key factor here (as is the case with European countries) but along with that is the West's more liberal social and political traditions and institutions. But if you're honest about this one, you'll have to ask yourself what percentage of those in Africa or Central America or wherever are actually knowledgeable (outside of having seen BayWatch and Dallas) on TV?

I linked a Tomasky piece last week where he, as a proviso in the piece, stated his opinion that Western traditions of law, liberty, freedom of thought etc were better than other cultural options. I think so too (though obviously, cultural bias is an undeniable element here).

But in your present zest to insult anyone who argues a different view than you hold, you again avoid addressing much that is substantive. Do cultural groups/nations build myth structures about themselves? What role do these myths play? How are they advantageous and when are they disadvantagous? How does this apply to the US historically and modernly?

That's interesting stuff. Your insistence that your mommie can beat up my mommie is rather less so.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Douthat's column this morning is another disappointment. Some of you guys will recall that I cheered his choice for the NYT arguing that we need to listen to those conservative voices which haven't fallen over the edge into ideological rigidity. But I've been disappointed by much of what he's done.

In today's piece, he seems to simply refuse to dig in (rather as I thought Broder also failed in his last column). It's as if you've hired a building inspector to check over a house and you get his report which says, "The house is green".

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Godwin alert! Godwin alert!

"Wall Street has turned on Mr. Obama with a vengeance: last month Steve Schwarzman, the billionaire chairman of the Blackstone Group, the private equity giant, compared proposals to end tax loopholes for hedge fund managers with the Nazi invasion of Poland."

And there's this:

"So what will happen if, as expected, Republicans win control of the House? We already know part of the answer: Politico reports that they’re gearing up for a repeat performance of the 1990s, with a “wave of committee investigations” — several of them over supposed scandals that we already know are completely phony. We can expect the G.O.P. to play chicken over the federal budget, too; I’d put even odds on a 1995-type government shutdown sometime over the next couple of years.

It will be an ugly scene, and it will be dangerous, too. The 1990s were a time of peace and prosperity; this is a time of neither. In particular, we’re still suffering the after-effects of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, and we can’t afford to have a federal government paralyzed by an opposition with no interest in helping the president govern. But that’s what we’re likely to get."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/30/opinion/30krugman.html?hp

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Those "final solution" solutions can pose a difficulty during negotiations...

"U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley condemns Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's 'inflammatory' statement that all Palestinians should perish." http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-rabbi-s-offensive-remarks-harm-peace-efforts-1.310930

Interesting addition to the story I posted last week of the actor's boycott in a settlement territory. It looks like the government funding (which Netanyahu threatened after the boycott) is perhaps not designed to forward the arts but to give an impression of Israeli ownership...

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/stalin-s-commissar-in-the-pmo-1.310974

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

If this country turns to Beck and Palin for Christian exhortation, then Christianity as the Bible defines it is lost. I put the blame on erstwhile Christian leaders, who rather than play their role allowed their (Republican)politics to taint their message. Today, a Franklin Graham cannot speak to a whole host of people, because he has this niche of 'acceptable' people that excludes a big segment of the populace that's looking for answers.

For shame!

Posted by: Jose5 | August 30, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

@Jose5 - Yes. There's a version of Christianity now ascendant that is one my Mennonite grandparents would not recognize.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"But if you're honest about this one, you'll have to ask yourself what percentage of those in Africa or Central America or wherever are actually knowledgeable (outside of having seen BayWatch and Dallas) on TV?"

I see. It's good enough for knowledgeable Bernie, but others must be ignorant to want to come here.

"But in your present zest to insult anyone who argues a different view than you..."

I don't think "anyone" means what you think it means. Besides, coming from someone who ridicules people (or perhaps it is limited to Americans?) simply because they declare their country to be the "best", that's a bit rich.

"That's interesting stuff."

It could be, I suppose. But so is your cognitive dissonance.

"Your insistence that your mommie can beat up my mommie..."

Is this what I have been "insisting"? Really?

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Daniel Halper, writing on Beckapalooza, gives us this sentence...

"While Beck’s rally emphasized belief in God, Obama’s generally emphasized himself as a savior of the American people"

A reality-based observer would note that his is absolutely backwards, of course.

But this guy is talking in a different sense and from a different framework of ideas. Or, to use the cliche, he's talking in "code".

The suggestion is that Beck's claims are selfless. That is, Beck isn't counting on himself to do or change anything - he's counting on Divinity to push/guide/inspire/manage him and his words actions in line with God's impenetrable wisdom.

But in contrast, the author suggests in this framing, Obama actually has the lack of humility and of faith such that he actually thinks that he (with his ego and pomposity and degrees and community organizer books) can actually change things himself! He is his own idol that he worships.

Just how sick such a framing is I'll leave for you guys to measure.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

sorry, here's the link... http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/beck-palin-faith-hope-and-charity

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

There is a sinister and Godless force trying to take over America. It is Beck, Newt, Palin, Limbaugh and their cultist. To paraphrase Pogo, "They have net the enemy and it is them."

Posted by: kycol2 | August 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"I see. It's good enough for knowledgeable Bernie, but others must be ignorant to want to come here."

Scott. Here's a perfect example of why you've become far more of a jerk than someone worth discussing issues with.

Rather obviously and to the point, someone who grew up in a culturally and historically similar Canada and who (like some 70% of us) lived close enough to the US border to receive radio and TV signals from there (and as a young man, there was only one Canadian TV channel broadcasting along with one American channel we could get) and who has studied American history in some detail for half a century is in a far different position than someone who grew up in a village in Mozambique or El Salvador.

You've become mostly intent upon tossing out insults and doing so with some species of intention that ain't much laudable.

I'm not going to bother with you anymore. As John Stewart and chorus recently sang so beautifuly to Bernie Goldberg, "Go Phuckk Yourself".

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

There is a sinister and godless force trying to take over America. It is Beck, Palin, Newt, Limbaugh and their cultist followers. To paraphrase Pogo: They have met the enemy and it is them.

Posted by: kycol2 | August 30, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Wingnut Welfare news from everywhere.

Addington moves to top spot at Heritage.
http://dailycaller.com/2010/08/27/heritage-picks-up-former-cheney-aide/

And here's Jane Mayer's piece on the fellow... http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/07/03/060703fa_fact1

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Bernie:

"Here's a perfect example of why you've become far more of a jerk..."

I was trying to provide a perfect example of what you often do to those with whom you disagree, throwing the most offensive interpretation on their words/actions possible. So if I'm coming off as a jerk, I guess I succeeded.

"I'm not going to bother with you anymore."

I know, I know. You've told me that...many times.

Posted by: ScottC3 | August 30, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Weimar Republic ( established in 1919 in Germany to replace th e imperial form of government. I Following World War I, the republic emerged from the German Revolution in November 1918. In 1919, where a new constitution for the German Reich was written. It was adopted August 1t. Germany's period of liberal democracys, leading to the ascent of the of Adolf Hitler in 1933. The constitution became irrelevant; 1933 is usually seen as the end of the Weimar Republic and the beginning of Hitler's Third Reich.
In its 14 years, the Weimar Republic was faced with numerous problems, including, political extremists on the left and the right and their paramilitaries, and hostility from the victors of World War I. However, it overcame many discriminatory regulations of the Treaty of Versailles, reformed the currency, unified tax politics and the railway system.
In 1919, Adolf Hitler joined the committee of the German Workers' Party (Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or DAP) and thus entered politics.
Hitler never held a regular job and aside from his time in World War I, led a lazy lifestyle, from his brooding teenage days in Linz through years spent in idleness and poverty in Vienna. In 1919 at age thirty, Hitler immediately began a frenzied effort to make it succeed.
The German Workers' Party now featured Hitler as the main attraction at its meetings..


In February of 1920, Hitler urged the German Workers' Party to holds its first mass meeting where he outlined the Twenty Five Points of the German Workers' Party, its political platform, which included: the union of all Germans in a greater German Reich; rejection of the Treaty of Versailles; the demand for additional territories for the German people (Lebensraum); citizenship determined by race with no Jew to be considered a German; all income not earned by work to be confiscated; a thorough reconstruction of the national education system; religious freedom except for religions which endanger the German race; and a strong central government for the execution of effective legislation.
"A fire was kindled from whose flame one day the sword must come which would regain freedom for the Germanic Siegfried and life for the German nation."
When the stock market collapsed on Wall Street on Tuesday, October 29, 1929, it sent financial markets worldwide into a tailspin with disastrous effects.
The German economy was especially vulnerable since it was built upon foreign capital, mostly loans from America and was very dependent on foreign trade. www.thehistoryplace.com
Does anyone but me see the parallel between this history ,the Tea Party,& Glenn Beck? History can and does repeat itself!! WAKE UP AMERICA!!

Posted by: bahminj | August 30, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Another very good piece by Tomasky on mutual civic obligation...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/aug/30/barack-obama-glenn-beck

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The patriotism of working diligently to ensure that your President fails...

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_08/025438.php

As Limbaugh said a week into the Presidency, "I hope that Obama fails". Limbaugh and compatriots are, of course, not mere hopers.

And yup, Limbaugh is still today portraying Obama as a Muslim.

Posted by: bernielatham | August 30, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Ah yes another article that lazily carries forward the same old liberal doctrine of, “attack and demonize” those with effective opposition ideas. This is disappointing. No elegance in the author’s approach to demonizing. If the author’s definition of a demagogue is "one who will preach and/or practice doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots" it appears the author is the demagogue here and not Beck or Palin.
*******************************************
"Effective Opposition Ideas"?

Effective in what way? Name one single policy proposal put forth at the rally that is practical and politically achievable that will significantly improve either the economy, the nature of our Mideast military entanglements, global solidarity against radical Islamic terrorism or the delivery of cost-effect health care.

If you cannot do that, then I suggest that the shoe of demagoguery fits Beck, Palin, et al just fine.

Posted by: st50taw | August 30, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

An excellent summation of this weekend's event.

Posted by: Rachelva | August 30, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Who died and made Glenn Beck the Messiah?

Posted by: bs2004 | August 30, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Good piece Greg.. Your words continue to high-light the ultimate message of hate and resentment that these loons are trying to use to stoke a race war here in the US. Although their goals are larger than just the US, they are trying to start somewhere..

We have to remember that these clowns DO NOT make the rules and never will.

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | August 30, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow, grasping at straws aren't you?

One can make a chocolate cake political if they spin the words just right. Lord knows democrats are professional spin misters.

Posted by: stvjo | August 30, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I’m unclear who exactly is trying to take away from Palin the fact that she raised a son who served a year in Iraq. But I doubt it is anyone on the left. More likely it is the perpetual caucus of bush-servants who’ve been plotting a JEB (old enough to have enlisted and served in ‘Nam but didn’t, heaven forbid!) run for the WH to fix the failed legacy of his father and older brother and set the stage for HIS son, George P., to his own pre-destined presidential legacy in a few years. Making the statement that she raised a combat veteran son certainly distinguishes Palin in a most positive way from those two icons of what it used to mean to be a Republican woman: Barbara Bush and Nancy Reagan.

To be fair, of course, Palin also managed to raise a daughter who like totally ignored mom’s entreaties about abstinence (and birth control) before marriage.

Posted by: ImaDem | August 30, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

To clarify -- "you" are "they". That's clear to "us".

Posted by: minority | August 30, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Glen Beck and Sarah Palin: somehow America was better in the past then it is now. They can't really say what was better though. Was America better all the way thru the 1960s when "seperate but equal" was the law seperating the races? Was America better thru the 1920s when women could not vote? Was America better thru the 1970s when blacks and whites could not marry in some states? Was America better when there was a military draft and the Vietnam was raging? Was America better when it went from a balanced budget under Clinton to the highest debt ever under Bush? This country is much more honorable now than it ever was. These two know that they can say whatever they want and sell more books. The same people who take religious advice from Glen Beck think the President is a Muslim. These people want to send America back in time to when white christians dominated the society.

Posted by: MysticMan | August 30, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

A lot smaller than Woodstock... and a lot less relevant. In 10-20 years, 70% of the Beck-0-Rama attendees will be dead, along with the memory of the event.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | August 30, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

minor blip. beck is irrelevant.

Posted by: Waffle1 | August 30, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Good Grief! How nutty is this. What gives Beck and Palin the right to preach to anyone.
It's time to relegate these to to obscurity where they belong.

Posted by: OhMy | August 30, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

"Hint: Using terms like Gaussian distribution when you are talking patent nonsense doesn't fool anyone. Posted by: quarterback1"

Hint: Since you obviously don't have a clue about analytic geometry, or have decided that you don't accept mathematics as a useful tool, you obviously can't place Gaussian Distribution in a mathematical disproof of the Laffer Curve.

Laffer always draws the curve with his tax revenue point to the left of the maximum point, because if he drew it to the right of the point his drawing would show that reducing the tax rate decreased revenues.

His entire fraud never used numerical values because, were he to put in values it would always disprove his thesis.

He assumes, with no justification, that the curve is Gaussian, (that is, looks like a bell), when in more likely is some exponential/logarithmic combination curve, like a general diode curve in electronics. He can't use that curve, though, because IT would obviously disprove his thesis.

When you have a sound understanding of analytic geometry, come back. But since I have your measure as a mathematician, I won';t be reading, or answering, your posts from now on.

You just aren't worth the time.

Posted by: ceflynline | August 30, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The far right GOP are absolutely full of delusional greedy snake oil salesmen. They breed them. They have taken over the churches to0 and thus many people have left the church for this very reason. Instead of instruction on God or his Son or how to be a be humble and content and how to help the poor, they get the GOP agenda/propaganda message which is a distorited twisted version of what Christ taught. This is the apostacy that must take place before the Anit-christ makes his appearance and he (Anit-Christ) will have these people in his pocket. The GOP is dibolical and dangerous but do not follow them under any circumstances. They are the blind leading the blind.

Posted by: Janet1 | August 30, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Sheesh, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Ann Coulter. Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley must be cringing in shame in their graves.

Posted by: GayChristian | August 30, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I misread the headline, I thought it said 'immorality', which is kind of amusing.

Posted by: DrWho2 | August 30, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing about Beck and Palin is that they turn the new far-right fascism into a total joke. When politics go past little silly publicity stunts, the nation is take a good look at these clueless mentally unbalanced people who have zero viable ideas. Good thing health care passed...their followers will be able to access medication, especially after their disappointments in November.

Posted by: revbookburn | August 30, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Do you have to be an idiot to be in any position of authority in America. We are
all on the Titanic and we are all upset on the next song to be played. Everyone claims they are in perfect harmony with our founding fathers and great leaders but we continue to produce idiots in all leadership positions. Our country can best be described as WE DON'T ALLOW A MINOR ISSUE LIKE INTELLIGENCE TO GET IN THE WAY OF DECISION MAKING.

Posted by: wcsmith129 | August 30, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Do you have to be an idiot to be in any position of authority in America. We are
all on the Titanic and we are all upset on the next song to be played. Everyone claims they are in perfect harmony with our founding fathers and great leaders but we continue to produce idiots in all leadership positions. Our country can best be described as WE DON'T ALLOW A MINOR ISSUE LIKE INTELLIGENCE TO GET IN THE WAY OF DECISION MAKING.

Posted by: wcsmith129 | August 30, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Greg provided a very thoughtful and well presented analysis of the disgraceful spin Beck is attempting. He's a lightweight, but there's nothing lightweight about his intent. Thanks for kicking it off Greg.

Kevin and Scott are pretty smart fellas, but no match whatsoever for Jen. Guys, give it up. She knows what she's talking about inside and out. You two are comparative pretenders and have not reconciled your philosophy with actual historical results.

The meek may inherit the world, but not while the rich have a say in it!

Jen wins this argument with facts and cohesion hands down.

Btw, I'm a businessman and, having built 4 companies (3 successfully), the added 3% tax won't change our goals or my vacation plans one iota.

Posted by: gchogle | August 30, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

The Palinites and Beckites are scary; very, very scary.

These demagogues represent the Talibanization of the American right wing.

Posted by: gschultens | August 30, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Mortality should target Beck & Palin.

Posted by: whocares666 | August 30, 2010 11:43 PM | Report abuse

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