Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Glenn Beck

So, Glenn Beck.

Some kind of 'conservative' commentator on Fox news, right?

Who watches this guy?

One of the blogs I follow ( I really forget which one) had a clip of him an LaPierre up, and I watched it.

OK, that man is seriously annoying. Seriously.

He could be saying the most brilliant piece of analysys ever seen on TV... I wouldn't know because I just cannot sit through him talking. It's like torture.

But I did manage to make it through four minutes or so. Nothing he said was particularly interesting, standard preaching to the choir stuff.

I see him quoted so much on left leaning blogs, never on any of the right leaning blogs. It makes me think; There is a theory on the 2A blogs that the vast majority of visits on the gun control sights are actually us looking to see what they are up to. I wonder if a sizeable portion of Beck's audience is liberals looking for something to make fun of?


TAO April 8, 2009 at 4:06 AM  

Oh, OMR, on one hand you say he represents standard preaching to the choir and on the other hand you say maybe he just exists to feed the interests of liberals...

I think he is just a warm up act....hes to emotional and not manly enough to be a main act...

(O)CT(O)PUS April 8, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

OMR: standard preaching to the choir stuff

Way too generous. My type of conservative Republican would be represented by Andrew Bacevich, a true intellect, but a man of his caliber would never be accepted by the party. I'd even vote for him.

How can you have a viable party with clowns like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh representing prevailing thought and opinion? You really need intelligent and respectable spokespersons to get my attention.

OpenMindedRepublican April 8, 2009 at 9:41 AM  

I dont' know.

I am beginning to think that I am closer to representing the prevailing opinion than Beck or Limbaugh.

They just represent the loudest opinion.

I think the difference between the two is why the Republican party cannot come up with a cohesive platform right now.

TAO April 8, 2009 at 12:03 PM  


I can tell that you are getting a little disappointed, its too early for you to be suffering mid life crisis...

Just keep thinking for yourself and eventually you will find someone and some party to agree with.

I cast my first vote ever for Gerald Ford, wasn't in the states to vote for Reagan, and then did not vote again till 2004...and that was an against GWB vote.

Like Octy says, Andrew Bacevich is a great guy and his book is awesome and I totally reccommend it.

Right now our political debate is stuck between 'blind hope' on one side and 'hate and anger' on the other...

No dialogue, no ideas, that is why I like your site...its an effort at practical ideas...so keep it up....

(O)CT(O)PUS April 8, 2009 at 2:02 PM  

OMP, what does concern me very much right is the steady drumbeat of incitement coming from pundits such as Glen Beck. Case in point, whipping up paranoia and hatred with claims like: "Obama's gonna take away your guns." (The claim has been disavowed by numerous administration officials ... but always falls on deaf ears, of course.)

There is no coincidence between this kind of incitement and the 1.2 million increase in gun registrations since Jan 20th ... and a noticeable uptick in mass murders this month alone ... including 3 police officers ambushed during the weekend by an "arm yourself" militia type.

Perhaps you have cruised the blogosphere lately and noticed the relentless chirp and scrapings of anti-Obama rhetoric ... as thick as locusts. This is not merely opposition ra-ra-ra cheerleading. In the comment sections, you find statements such as "locked and loaded" and "Obama won't even have one term." The Secret Service admits to a substantial increase in death threats against the President. This kind of fear-mongering rhetoric is irrational and reminiscent of 1930s Germany.

Perhaps you think my comment is an overreaction. I think not. Before you dismiss it entirely, please consider the way our friend, Jennifer, was horribly treated just for asking a thoughtful question.

An honest discussion of this issue can't come from my side of the isle. We are very often the object of vitriol and vituperation ourselves. It needs to be initiated from within the ranks of the Republican Party.

Red April 8, 2009 at 2:05 PM  

I don't enjoy Beck. I don't view many of the spokesholes on television, left-leaning or right.
Listening to someone regurgitate the news or party sound bites is redundant.

OpenMindedRepublican April 8, 2009 at 2:11 PM  

Octo - Can you find a link to where Beck says Obama is going to 'take our guns'? The one time I watched him was a clip where he was supposed to have said that and I did not hear that. Would like some confirmation.

I have largely avoided gun control, because that is an area where I have particularly strong opinions, but I think I may not be able to do so anymore.

(O)CT(O)PUS April 8, 2009 at 4:04 PM  

OMB, if you go to YouTube and type in the search phrase "Glenn Beck - Guns," you will find several dozen videos on the subject. Here is one.

The issue I raise here is NOT about guns or control control. I have friends who are hunters and own guns; one of my co-bloggers is an avid right-to-own advocate. This is not one of my issues, one way or the other.

What I am talking about is INCITEMENT. To be more specific: scare-mongering, fear-mongering, inflaming public opinion with false claims and outright disinformation. Ya know, the kinds of things demagogues do. So lets NOT about guns but let's DO talk about INCITEMENT.

Recently, I sent TAO a very personal and private e-mail about an incident that happened where I live ... a wealthy and conservative community on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Most of my personal friends are moderate conservatives who switched parties in the last election.

(Contrary to what impressions you may have of me, I am NOT registered as a Democrat but as an Independent. In national elections, I tend to vote Dem; in local elections, I vote GOP.)

There are in my community some very belligerent right wingers who have made death threats within the past two months. One said to me: "Gardner has a bounty out on you, and if I ever find you here in the clubhouse, I will kill you myself." (Spoken after my mention of having daughter in the military - a Major in the US Army at the Pentagon)

Indeed! I filed a police report, and the matter is in the hands of the State Attorney General awaiting prosecution.

So let me repeat what I said earlier:

An honest discussion of this issue can't come from my side of the isle. We are very often the object of vitriol and vituperation ourselves. It needs to be initiated from within the ranks of the Republican Party.

NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHERE I AM COMING FROM? Apologies for shouting, but I cannot make it any clearer than that.

TAO April 8, 2009 at 4:23 PM  

OMR, I started blogging about six months ago, quit a couple of times and then started back up again.

I never claimed to be a social conservative, I truthfully believe that we all need to leave each other alone, mind our own business, or as I like to say, "Weed your own garden."

But I am conservative in alot of other ways but I differiente myself in the idea that big government is not our only problem, I think big business can be a tyranny also as a small business owner I am probably not all that objective.

When I started blogging I found all the conservative blogs and read them daily.....


Its the tone, its the hatred, its the anger....I enjoy Shaw, Truth, and Octy, oh and Patrick...

This bashing and grinding and distorting is going to have to stop or it is going to destroy any chance the Republicans have...even I am offended and I used to contribute to the Republican Party.

But like Octy I am an independent....As long as McConnell and Bunting are my Senators I will be voting against them....and I could care less the party affiliation of their opponents... :)

OpenMindedRepublican April 8, 2009 at 4:48 PM  

Octo -
I actually sat through the video you linked to. Af far as I can see, there are no factual errors in it that I can see, although the implicit link of Obama to what happened in New Orleans was unwarranted.

I am not at all certain that the whole problem is on the right side of the aisle.

Any discussion of gun control is met with the immediate response of "Obama's not going to take away your guns!" as though that is the entirety of the issue.

Part of the problem is everyone is focused on him, few discussions seem to include the concept that congress create new laws, not Obama.

Some of the new laws have some iffy stuff at the margins, but it is impossible to talk about without being painted as a 'wingnut'.

The right has no monopoly on closed midedness. When you read your favorite liberal blogs, watch how much the current trend is to blame the right in it's entirety for the craziest bastard they can find to quote. Now, there is certainly a purpose to watching the crazies, but to act as though they are the party is just dishonest.

As for the guy who threatened you, the problem is the 'crazy', not the 'right wing'. Anyone who threatens someone with violence for holding an opinion they don't like should be prosecuted.

I'm going to push the gun realated part of this onto a new post, up soon.

TRUTH 101 April 8, 2009 at 4:57 PM  

Beck and Limbaugh are entertainers and nothing more. They've found a good act and make lots of money. As a capitalist I commend them. Forgive me if I find people that take their routines seriously nuts.

(O)CT(O)PUS April 8, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

OMB: I am not at all certain that the whole problem is on the right side of the aisle.

To be perfectly honest, political bashing is a bipartisan endeavor. Both sides do it with equal aplomb. In case you have not noticed, I put up a recent post called "Hit and Run Politics" wherein I criticized a video made by Senate Democrats designed to bash Republican on economic issues. This is what I said:

What does this video hope to accomplish? Will shaming Republicans result in more cooperation, or inflame and further polarize our body politic? Is this a way to make friends and win votes?

Despite what you may think, OMR, I do try to keep a balanced perspective and cool the rhetoric.

The Dems have their fair share of crazies, but these tend to be harmless crazies. The GOP, I must say with extreme regret, have more than their fair share of violent crazies, white supremacist crazies, gun-toting crazies, racial segregationist crazies, hatred venom-spewing crazies, wedge politics crazies, etc, etc.

I am sure your reading this gives you no comfort, but if you want your party to be successful (and believe it or not, I want your party to be more successful), these are elements within the GOP that you will have to deal with ... sooner or later, like it or not. And it will have to come from you, not me.

OpenMindedRepublican April 8, 2009 at 7:27 PM  

The Republican party has tried to distance itself from the crazy white supremacists, but we just can't shake them.

It's like having something stuck to the bottom of your shoe.

They are vaguely closer to our party than the Dems, so we get blamed for them. We don't want them, but there it is.

I have for some time felt that the biggest mistake the Republican party has made in my generation was to cede the civil rights leadership to the Dems. If the R's took the front in working on civil rights, they would pull a lot of moderates, and they'd deserve it.

I have some ideas on how this can be done, I'll post them when they are well enough thoought out to survive 'peer review'. (I'm going to miss GHB for this one, would have like to have seen hi thoughts.)

(O)CT(O)PUS April 8, 2009 at 9:21 PM  

OMR: I have for some time felt that the biggest mistake the Republican party has made in my generation was to cede the civil rights leadership to the Dems.

Now you are talking my language. Had the GOP taken a leadership position on this issue, I would call myself a Republican; but I have been steadfastly disappointed with foot dragging and obstruction by Republican leaders on civil rights and equal rights.

Gay rights, another disappointment. At no time in the history of our country, has it ever been suggested that the Constitution be amended to discriminate against any group, to limit rights instead of expand them. Yet, recent attempts to amend the Constitution have reversed the trend to extend rights to disenfranchised groups.

Gender rights, another disappointment. The Lilly Ledbetter law should have had overwhelming bipartisan support. It didn't. The only crossover votes came from Snowe, Collins, Murkowsky, and Specter. If the GOP stood against discrimination and injustice, I would call myself a Republican. It has not.

Perhaps this failure of the GOP is what offends me most of all.

(O)CT(O)PUS April 8, 2009 at 9:33 PM  

OMR: (I'm going to miss GHB for this one, would have like to have seen hi thoughts.)

Postscript: I miss GHB too. In the brief correspondence that we shared, he noted that his son served 2 deployments in Iraq. I acknowledged his post by noting that my daughter served 3 deployments, and the anxiety of parents being mutually felt ... especially the missing place at the table during every holiday and family milestone. Thus was our human moment.

Please note, however, where the harassment of GHB came from. Not to rub salt in the wound, the harassment did NOT come from my side of the partisan divide. I acknowledge that you were kind and supportive towards GHB (for which I am grateful), but how do explain the horrific ridicule that came from Obama haters?

OpenMindedRepublican April 8, 2009 at 9:54 PM  

He was inflammatory and frankly racist in his writings. In one post he actually complained about "painting all African Americans with a broad brush" and then three paragraphs later blamed all white people for slavery, apartheid, and the jailing of Nelson Mandela.

I always tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, that once he had vented his anger he would say something more productive. Oddly, the only post he ever put up that made a distinction between all whites and racists he removed almost immediately. It showed up on my reader and then it wasn't up on his blog.

I was never quite certain if he was being so inflammatory to draw readers, or if he just wasn't articulating well.

But when you put out such hate, you cannot be surprised when it comes back to you.

I defend him because I believe that he has a right to his say, and because I believe in showing courtesy when visiting others.

And I guess because I was really hoping that there was more than just hate there.

(O)CT(O)PUS April 8, 2009 at 11:22 PM  

OMR: I defend him because I believe that he has a right to his say, and because I believe in showing courtesy when visiting others.

I have the exact same feelings; but for me, it was more than mere courtesy. GHB and I are contemporaries, and I was active in the civil rights movement and remember the atrocities that took place in the 1960s. Civil rights workers, both black and white, murdered by the Klan. So I know where he is coming from and chose NOT to challenge GHB considering the traumas that we lived through … lasting a lifetime.

Yes, GHB, I admit, did reach for incendiary bombs, but for reasons personal to me, these did not offend. GHB is entitled to his history … all of us are!

When I was a college student in the 1960s, I had black friends who would sometimes call me "Whitey" and "Honkey" and I would return the joke: "What did you call me, son?" And then there would be a exchange of mother jokes as in: "Yo mother was beaten with an ugly stick" and I would fire back: "And yo mother was dragged from under a bus."

Back and forth, all in fun. When one gets into the rhythm of it, one takes no offense. You see, I knew where GHB was coming from. Been there, done that.

For a man who lived through the civil rights era, the idea of having a black President is more than a transforming experience. It is the struggle of a lifetime come true, a validation so deeply felt, it cannot be described in words. But then the trolls moved in, hounded him … hell-bent on demolishing him.

Let me ask you this: Were the trolls after GHB, or after something else? Perhaps GHB was merely an easy target, an easy surrogate for post-election resentment? The Internet is full of feral attack dogs. If not GHB, then who else? Do you see my point?

OpenMindedRepublican April 8, 2009 at 11:46 PM  

In truth, I see your point but disagree with it.

I do not accept the notion of attributing motives to people other than the ones they state, at least when their stated motives match their actions.

When people claim a motive that does not match their actions, I start to wonder...

But in general, I do not believe in 'mind reading'.

Really, he kinda trolled himself, you know what I mean?

However, that does not justify the way people spoke to him. A civil statement of disagreement is one thing, the nastiness thrown at him was something else.

I find that I have conflicting opinions where he is concerned.

I like to see differing views, and I am largely immune to offense.

On the other hand, I pretty much believe that people deserve the obvious consequences of their actions.

In truth, what he was saying could only end the way it did.


Had he taken that kind of speach to other people's blogs, I do not think I would have felt any need to defend him at all.

But anyone who read what he wrote was there because they chose to be. They could have just left.


As you can see, I am a little conflicted on this one.

I guess the truth is I didn't really like him much. But that was not a reason to sit by and let him be attacked.

(O)CT(O)PUS April 9, 2009 at 12:03 AM  

OMR: I guess the truth is I didn't really like him much. But that was not a reason to sit by and let him be attacked.

Actually, I did like him. Haven't you ever met a lovable curmudgeon before?

OpenMindedRepublican April 9, 2009 at 12:33 AM  

Maybe I just didn't get to know him.

(O)CT(O)PUS April 9, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

OMR: I do not accept the notion of attributing motives to people other than the ones they state, at least when their stated motives match their actions.

Ahh, but you miss one of the sublime challenges and complexities of life. Why do we have in our language words such as “stealth” and “guile” and “subterfuge” and literary devices such “metaphor’ and “symbolism?” Why do you suppose there are pathological liars and criminals whose motives are always hidden, and words like “sleuth” to describe the process of finding them out. If you insist on “literalness,” you miss a lot.

Maybe here is a fundamental difference in the way conservatives and liberals think. The liberal possesses a keen sense for parsing out the “bull” that lies imbedded in the words. When “$h!t” happens, the liberal says, “I told you so.”

On the other hand, the conservative, who does not believe in “mind reading,” ends up missing a lot. When “$h!t” happens, the conservative gets caught with his pants down, while the liberal snickers: “I told you so.”

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