Saturday, September 19, 2009

Frank Rich: Glenn Beck's Wild 'Cosmology' is 'Scapegoating' Paranoia

This picture's from Gateway Pundit, "HUNDREDS RALLY AGAINST OBAMACARE At McCaskill's Missouri Office." It's one of my favorites from this summer's town halls. The woman's sign captures perfectly what I've been hearing over and over again all year: "It's not racism, you freaking idiots. It's patriotic dissent at this presidency and its disastrous policies."

That context is incredibly important in understanding the escalating accusations of racism among those on the radical left. As Carolyn Tackett has shown, groups like the Soros-backed Media Matters have alleged that President Obama is now in danger of being assassinated amid the success of grassroots activists in beating back the left's socialist tide. And as I noted earlier, we saw Charles Blow's argument that we're seeing "aversive racism," which is "a subtle but insidious form of prejudice that emerges when people can justify their negative feelings toward blacks based on factors other than race."

Wow. Take that to its logical conclusion and any opposition to what Obama actually does (a factor "other than race") is racist. Notice that, basically, you can't win: You're racist if you call the president a "darkie" and you're racist if you call the president "corrupt." Yep, we've had none other than former President Jimmy Carter say it's so. Of course, the meme would work better if networks like MSNBC weren't trying so hard to make the charges stick (remember Contessa Brewer arguing that is was racist for white people to show up to the town halls with guns - the only problem being that MSNBC edited the video to hide the face of the gunowner, who was black).

So, it's no surprise to see the New York Times' Frank Rich hop on the bandwagon with his latest screed, "Even Glenn Beck Is Right Twice a Day":

With all due respect to Jimmy Carter, the racist component of Obama-hatred has been undeniable since the summer of 2008, when Sarah Palin rallied all-white mobs to the defense of the “real America.” Joe Wilson may or may not be in that camp, but, either way, that’s not the news. As we watched and rewatched the South Carolina congressman’s star turn, what grabbed us was the act itself.

What made the lone, piercing cry of “You lie!” shocking was that it breached a previously secure barrier. It was the first time that the violent rage surging in town-hall meetings all summer blasted into the same room as the president. Wilson’s televised shout was tantamount to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. When he later explained that his behavior was “spontaneous” rather than premeditated, that was even more disturbing. It’s not good for the country that a lawmaker can’t control his anger at Barack Obama. It gives permission to crazy people.
And more, where Rich takes on Beck:

If there was a real hero to this crowd, it was the protest’s most prominent promoter, the radio and TV talker Glenn Beck.

Time put Beck on its cover this week. Man of the Year may not be far behind. Beck is not, as many liberals assume, merely the latest incarnation of Rush Limbaugh. He is something different. That’s why he is gaining on his antecedents — and gaining traction in the country’s angrier precincts.

Though Beck’s daily Fox News show is in the sleepy slot of 5 p.m., his ratings are increasingly neck and neck with the prime-time tag team of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and he has beaten them in the prized 25-to-54 demographic. It’s not just because he is younger (45). This self-described “rodeo clown,” who wells up with tears for dramatic effect, doesn’t come across as cranky or pompous, like Limbaugh and O’Reilly. A fervent Mormon convert and proselytizer, he is untainted by association with the old Dobson-Robertson-Reed religious right. Unlike Limbaugh, he bonds with his fallible listeners by openly and repeatedly owning up to his own mistakes, including his history of drug and alcohol abuse. Unlike Hannity, he is not a Republican apparatchik.

Beck has notoriously defamed Obama as a “racist,” but the race card is just one in his deck. His ideology, if it can be called that, mixes idolatrous Ayn Rand libertarianism with bumper-sticker slogans about “freedom,” self-help homilies and lunatic conspiracy theories. (He fanned Internet rumors that FEMA was establishing concentration camps before tardily beating a retreat.) It’s the same crazy-quilt cosmology that could be found in last weekend’s Washington protest, where the marchers variously called Obama a fascist, a communist and a socialist, likening him to Hitler, Stalin, Castro and Pol Pot. They may not know that some of these libels are mutually exclusive. But what they do know is that they need a scapegoat for what ails them, and there is no one handier than a liberal, all-powerful president (who just happens to be black).
All of this is getting tiring. As conservative/libertarians become increasing successful in restoring the nation's political balance to that of the country's founding, the entrenched radicals on the left and their 'moderate' enablers in the GOP establishment are resisting with everything they've got, no matter how depraved.

I got an e-mail today from the Tea Party Express, and they're response to the racist slurs is perfect:

It's important for us to realize that the very reason that they are attacking us is because we are making a difference - we have those who are advancing a Big Goverment, socialistic push for America's future on the defensive. And liked a trapped animal they are lashing out in desperation -- attempting to smear us in an effort to silence us.

More at Memeorandum, especially Power Line, "Are You A Racist?"

See also, Generation Patriot, "
You're Too Stupid To Argue Politics: Racism."


Jeffery Small said...

Good article.

You might be interested in taking a look at my response to Frank Rich's editorial at the New York Times Online.

You might also find my website of some interest.

C. Jeffery Small

Tom Degan said...

It always saddens me to see a "Child Left Behind" - all grown up. Glenn Beck would be a text book case. Back in the spring on his unintentionally uproarious FOX Noise program, Beck told his television audience:

"First they came for the bankers, and I did not speak up because I was not a banker. Then they came for the A.I.G. executives, and I did not speak up because I was not an A.I.G executive."

He then looked the camera dead in the eye and ominously told his clueless viewers that eventually "they" (He never specified exactly who "they" were) would be coming for them. It was a gross perversion of the famous Martin Niemoller poem. It was a none-too-subtle effort to compare the Obama Justice Department's prosecution of corporate criminals to Hitler's persecution of the Jews seventy years ago. Nice.

Recently he has been trying to pump up his brain dead masses by flatly stating that Barack Obama is a racist who hates white people. The fact that our president's lineage is fifty percent European and that he was raised by his very white mother and grandparents apparently never occurred to this jackass. Fill the people's minds with hate and fear; that's all that matters. Incredibly, it's working. An alarming percentage of the American people actually believe that Obama's goal is to turn the United States into a Socialist police state.


Most of us here in the states have an I.Q. higher than that of your average half-eaten box of Milk Duds - Really, I promise!

A few months ago I wrote on my blog that, being a tad crazy myself (in a lovable and endearing way, I assure you) I have the ability to pick up on the crazy vibe of others. Some people have a subtle, barely perceptible form of craziness - others have crazy to spare. Our boy Glenn is in the latter category. He likes to describe himself as the modern day equivalent of Howard Beale, the character played by the late actor Peter Finch in the 1976 film "Network". It's an apt comparison when you think about it:

He's mad as hell.

Tom Degan

Eric Dondero said...

You got some sort of evidence Tom Degan, that Obama doesn't hate White People?

All I've seen points to a distinct hatred from Obama for those of us from Anglo/European descent.

His comment about his "typical White Grandmother."

His coddling of out-and-out Racists like Rev. White.

His latest excusing of the Black Panther Party at Philly polling places on Election Day by AG Holder.

We may be looking at America's very first explicitly Racist President in Obama.

Oops, there was Carter, a man who put out attack ads against his opponent for Governor of Georgia in the early 1970s for being too closely linked with "those Blacks."

dave in boca said...

The "racism" card does work both ways, as Eric above notes. And Frank Rich is a posterboy for the descent of the NYT into ignorant raillery on its Op-Ed, also larded with the obnoxious ideology of a failed economist [which like the failed pol Gore, got the guy a Nobel] like Krugman.

It's throwing mud on the wall and seeing if it sticks. And Obama didn't go to his mom's deathbed, citing "scheduling conflicts," back in the late '90s. Think there's anything roiling beneath the surface of that aloof disdainful pose?

Everybody can find something about Glenn that rankles a bit, but he is obvously sincere and he does his homework far more thoroughly than Hannity for instance, and isn't a boorish host, like BOR. The other day, his dead-zone 5PM show equalled the audiences of both editions of KO & Maddow [not a mean feat] in just one hour. That's four hours of ranting condescending drivel equaled by one hour of a lot of economic stuff with real economists, not showmen like Krugman, there to explain how our economy is on the tipping point of implosion. It's called deficits.

And $9 trillion in new debt with a collapsing dollar [will Obama go along with the new UN "international currency?"]

On foreign policy, Glenn doesn't know much, but he does get into the GI tract of how the US economy is threatened by a government takeover.

dave in boca said...

Jeffery, read ur NYT comments and agree. Rich is all condescension and no substance. jonathan Chait is a joke. Rand & those like her might be prophets.

As an aside, my daughter is taking several courses on Russian and American history & poli sci at UMiami [Go Canes!] and when I read about Lenin's NEP in the early '20s and then the subsequent purges by Stalin, I see the development of the concept of "politically correct" which inexorably leads to political persecution through marginalizing the opposition by ridicule and finally leading to persecution because of the sheer ability to do so.

The paragraph of Obama's grave mistakes to date, especially prosecuting the CIA for SUCCESSFULLY defending the US while GWB did not investigate the Clinton DOJ for erecting a firewall between the CIA & FBI that led to UNSUCCESSFULLY averting a terrorist event that the Embassy bombings in '98 indicated were heading stateside.... An act of malfeasance and Gorelick was on the Board investigating how 9/11 happened. What a sick joke. I would have included the missile shield debacle as well, but NYT readers are such a perverse crew in general that it would be a shout of sanity in a House of Bedlam.