Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck's Enemies on the Right

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Writing in The American Conservative, Jack Hunter opines:

Warning that popular talk radio and Fox News host Glenn Beck was "Harmful to the Conservative Movement," Peter Wehner wrote on Commentary's "Contentions" blog in September: "he seems to be more of a populist and libertarian than a conservative, more of a Perotista than a Reaganite. His interest in conspiracy theories is disquieting, as is his admiration for Ron Paul and his charges of American 'imperialism.' (He is now talking about pulling troops out of Afghanistan, South Korea, Germany, and elsewhere.)"

Wehner is not alone in his criticism. When Beck told CBS News' Katie Couric, "John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama," fellow radio talker and New York Times bestselling author Mark Levin fired back: "to say that he would be worse than a president who's a Marxist, who's running around the world apologizing for our nation, who's slashing our defense budget … to say he would be worse is mindless … incoherent, as a matter of fact."

Beck has been criticized from both Left and Right for his melodramatic, sometimes conspiracy-minded, intermittently bizarre style. But his conservative critics seem most offended not by Beck's manner but by his deviationism. He won't stick to the ideological script….

During the George W. Bush years, Beck's politics were less differentiated from those of other radio talkers. He deferred to the Bush administration, promoted militarism as patriotism, and called the day's news along partisan lines. When Ron Paul received national attention for questioning America's interventionist foreign policy during a 2007 GOP presidential primary debate, Beck called Paul "crazy" and asked, "how did this guy get on stage?" At the time there were no complaints about Beck from the likes of Wehner and Levin—because Beck sounded much like them.

Hunter has his own problems with Beck, but he commends the Fox host for being "the only A-list conservative pundit willing to capitalize on the sentiments of Republicans disgruntled with their own party, and the only one to address the taboo subject of Bush-era foreign policy." You can debate whether that "only" is accurate, but the underlying point is on target. Love him or hate him, Glenn Beck is far more independent than Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, or even Bill O'Reilly. The popularity of his present incarnation shows there's a substantial audience for such heterodoxy. If we're lucky, it'll be a bellwether for a new trend in the cable news sphere: a greater willingness to stretch beyond the old categories of Red and Blue, into the wider spectrum of opinion that thrives online.

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  1. Whatever you do people do not contradict anything in this piece.

    1. I take it as a badge of honor when Jesse comes down from his writer’s desk and mingles with the regular people.

      1. I find it petty and common.

      2. Be you an officer or be you base and popular?

      3. Amazing that a reason writer wrote something positive about Beck that contained little snark.

        Folks may not like him there, but he is breaking more news than they are. And to rub salt in the wound, LoneWhacko is right and reason could have gone around with cameras asking tough questions like ‘can I count my ho’s as a tax deduction?’ and broke the Acorn story.

    2. Jose, your schtick was old the first time you did it. Drop it.

  2. Beck has been criticized from both Left and Right for his melodramatic, sometimes conspiracy-minded, intermittently bizarre style.

    Bingo. Just like Olberman’s holier-than-thou-stick-up-the-ass makes him come off as a joke, preaching to the choir, Beck’s antics do the same to him. At best he’s a somewhat smarter Chris Crocker.

    Please Glenn, stop calling yourself a libertarian. We don’t need that kind of help.

    1. Bah. Stupid joke name….the above was me.

      1. I just took a shit in your bed.

        1. Nah, that was Frank Reynolds.

          1. Shut your gorilla mask, lonehacko.

    2. Please Glenn, stop calling yourself a libertarian. We don’t need that kind of help.

      But you need help from the likes of Kerry Howley and Bill Maher? Good luck with that!

  3. funny thing is most real conspiracy theorists hate glenn beck and think he’s making them look bad, just like real libertarians.

    1. Beck has done some good things and I’m not going to try to discredit him. However, I don’t exactly buy his shtick, especially since Glenn Beck is afraid to just tell the truth.

      P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians. Dozens of comments here have shown that the phrase “fascist libertarian” isn’t an oxymoron.

      1. you’re an oxymoron, Lonewhacko. STFU.

  4. I sometimes listen to Beck over my lunch break. I don’t think he’s a libertarian, but I do think he’s actually trying to figure things out rather than being a pastiche.

  5. I do so enjoy belonging to a movement so broad, so powerful, that it can afford to throw out people who Aren’t The Right Sort, even though they are sympathetic to at least some of our broad principles.

    1. Point taken, but with a movement that already suffers from such a broad lack of understanding of what it is really about, Beck’s howler monkey routines aren’t helping.

      I could be wrong about that, but if I were a leftist, I wouldn’t want the “Ed Show” to be a prominent front man for my movement either.

      I’ll take more Penn Tellers and John Stossles, for all of their faults, thank you very much.

      1. Glenn Beck is far more independent than Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh,
        or even Bill O’Reilly

        But these people are entertainers, intellectually challenged clowns
        performing in a grand circle jerk.

      2. the “Ed Show

        It’s “the ED show”

      3. Penn is one man Teller is another. But then chances are you thought “And” was Sigfried Roys middle name.

    2. Like civil-liberty-minded liberals?

      1. I dunno, usually civil liberties groups get good play at reason while they’re on the right side of the issues, in the libertarian perspective.

  6. Democrats hate him, Republicans hate him and apparently libertarians hate him…God bless Glenn Beck…keep stirring the pot!

    1. The best way to judge a man is by his opposition.. So if the people who voted for Barney Frank, George Bush and Obama hate him then that makes Beck the enemy of my enemy. Thus an ok guy.

  7. I always enjoy Hunter’s commentary, and this is no exception.

    The only way to determine how sincere Beck really is is to see what happens when we have a Republican president with an aggressive foreign policy (God willing, we won’t). I’ve still seen Beck endorse that kind of stuff, which makes me think there’s a neocon strain still running through him.

    That said, if he’s really changing his opinion, I welcome it. He’s popular, his show is entertaining, and he’s always had guests like Penn, Stossel, and of course Ron Paul.

    I still say Napolitano is much better.

  8. fellow radio talker and New York Times bestselling author Mark Levin fired back: “to say that he would be worse than a president who’s a Marxist, who’s running around the world apologizing for our nation, who’s slashing our defense budget … to say he would be worse is mindless … incoherent, as a matter of fact.”

    Wait, is this Beck talking or Levin? Obama=Marxist: Check. Obama apologizing overseas: Check. Obama not supporting the troops: Check.

    Why doesn’t Levin just say, “Glenn Beck is an ugly doofus with a fat face and a stupid haircut who makes ad hominem attacks.”

    1. I don’t think Levin actually says anything. He shrieks it, in that weird puny nasally voice.

      1. I have heard about 5 minutes of Levin, what I took away from those five minutes was that it would be funny if he contracted syphilis.

        1. I heard him late at night once, awakened from a deep sleep by something hysterical coming from my radio. I thought his shtick was a gag at first. Then I realized that his hate-performance was very real. And yes, his high-pitched crescendo was as comical as it was unnerving.

          1. The thing that gets me about Levin and others is that they grasp and embrace libertarian principles — America’s founding principles — at some level. Hell, the guy has a bestselling book devoted to championing liberty.

            They just won’t ride it all the way. It’s still “Obama wants to take away your liberty AND your Medicare” in the same breath.

            These guys could actually be really helpful, serving a very crucial role at a crucial historical juncture, if they could just stop getting hard-ons for playing politics as sports.

  9. Because of Glenn Beck, my mom has taken to calling herself a libertarian. I haven’t figured out yet if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

    Disclaimer: anyone who uses this opportunity to make mom jokes discredits their arguments and reveals the true anti-intellectual nature of libertarians.

    1. Well I’ll never be half the man your mom was.

    2. They don’t just discredit their arguments, they concede yours.

      1. Your momma concedes yours.

        1. Dorothy Mantooth was a saint!

    3. That’s not what your mom called herself to me last night, dude. Hint: it rhymes with “butt slut” and…no wait, it was “butt slut”.

      1. Was she wearing a strap-on when she said this, Epi? Some ambiguity there … 😉

    4. Damn, Warty, I always thought you hatched.

      1. Where’s the contradiction?

  10. This snippet is definitely far more substantive and interesting than the one about the Iron Sheik.

    Whatever one thinks of Beck, I would argue that Wehner’s White House boss and the sellout congressional Republicans did more damage to the conservative movement than Glenn Beck ever could if his ratings were ten times higher.

  11. Warty, if facial tics were pizzas, your mom would have five pizzas that freak everybody out.

  12. If we’re lucky, it’ll be a bellwether for a new trend in the cable news sphere: a greater willingness to stretch beyond the old categories of Red and Blue, into the wider spectrum of opinion that thrives online.

    For exactly as long as focus groups show that such forms of punditry are popular, and not a second long.

    Beck is a media whore — my apologies to working girls everywhere for the insult.

    1. In Beck’s case, it’s as long as he has a top rated cable show.

  13. Patriotic libertarians don’t have much of a problem with Beck’s theatrics. It’s only internationalist progressives. They are not invited to the party.

    1. there are a lot of internationalist progressives masquerading as libertarians. If only we had a world govenrment and aboloshed us sovereignty, then we would be really free.

      1. Sort of like I heard Reid say this morning; a public health option will be there to protect competitiveness. He then went on to say that we have always been at war with Eurasia.

        1. Eastasia has always been our friend.

      2. What about internationalist libertarians? Central doesn’t have to mean “bigger.” For example, I’m in favor of an (eventual) world governing body: I just want it eviscerated and weak so I can keep an eye on them all at once.

        1. Get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub?

          1. Fuck yeah

        2. Put them all in the UN and send them to hell.

    2. Patriotic is a code word for gullible, isn’t it?

      Is all that bizarre to expect for recent converts to the faith to earn your trust and demonstrate some profundity before you parade them around as exemplars or, worse, leaders? Are libertarians joining the progressives in substituting star power for a track record?

      Think of how many evil lairs would have avoided self-destruction if only people were properly skeptical of recent arrivals who bore a suspicious resemblance to their former ideological enemies.

  14. “During the George W. Bush years, Beck’s politics were less differentiated from those of other radio talkers. He deferred to the Bush administration, promoted militarism as patriotism, and called the day’s news along partisan lines.”

    Why is “promoting patriotism” lumped in a list of pajoritives about Beck? Whenever liberals are accused of not being patriotic and really not liking the country very much they have a case of the vapors. Yet, “promoting patroitism” seems to count as an indictment in liberal circles.

  15. I think you misread that, John. The writer wasn’t saying that promoting patriotism is bad, but that promoting militarism as patriotism is bad.

    1. Far enoght warty My mistake. Good catch.

      1. Easy enough mistake to make. It’s not like there were words between “promoting” and “patriotism” in the quote that you copied and pasted.

        Oh, wait…

      2. Then again, I’m sure if a writer claimed Obama was “promoting Marxism as patriotism” your reading comprehension would suddenly improve.

  16. I agree with Beck that McCain would’ve probably been worse. We’d be fighting some additional war(s) by now.

    But I question Beck’s libertarianism in the same way I question Barr’s. Their conversions seem to be born more out of expediency and opportunity than true belief.

    1. He was right about McCain. McCain would have pushed Cap and Trade through. We would be at war with a shit ton of countries with McCain talking about how he hates war. Beck even pointed out a good reason for not liking McCain; the latter’s Teddy Roosevelt idolatry. When someone writes a history of this era Beck will be a bigger character than Limbaugh or Hannity.

    2. to say that he would be worse than a president who’s a Marxist, who’s running around the world apologizing for our nation, who’s slashing our defense budget …

      Wait. Has Obama cut spending on anything, even defense?

      1. He has cut specific programs that have impacted the contracts of certain defense contractors. For instance the pullback of the eastern-european missile system affected several companies and resulted in many hundreds of layoffs. The budget reduction there will likely be completely filled with other programs under the rubric of security or stimulus or both.

      2. President Obama cut $100 million from the budget in his very first cabinet meeting.

        If he could manage that every single day from now on, he could wipe out the recent $4 trillion of spending in just under 110 years.

    3. A McCain election would have cemented the Republican Party’s trend towards soft socialism.

      As it is, we now have the Tea Party movement, which has been the biggest boon for limited government thinking in decades.

      Libertarian ideas are getting lots of exposure today. If McCain had won, they would be getting nil.

    4. But I question Beck’s libertarianism in the same way I question Barr’s. Their conversions seem to be born more out of expediency and opportunity than true belief.

      Beck, maybe. Barr, not so much. All Barr had to do to get a job and keep riding the gravy train was to keep pushing the same bs. Some think-tank would have picked him up. Of course, him repudiating the WOD 2 years before the election doesn’t help your argument either.

  17. I like Beck. I think he’s funny a good portion of the time. He seems spot on a fair portion of the time, questionable sometimes, and off the deep end rarely. I don’t think of him as specifically libertarian or conservative.

    Admittedly though, I don’t listen to him terribly often.

    1. Ditto. (Am I allowed to say that?)

      1. It’s ok, you can take back the word. You have courage.

  18. I do so enjoy belonging to a movement so broad, so powerful, that it can afford to throw out people who Aren’t The Right Sort,

    Yeah, RC. I’m a big-tent libertarian myself. About the only non-libertarian trait I have is not yelling about how so-and-so is NOT a libertarian.

    1. You are so NOT a libertarian!

  19. But I question Beck’s libertarianism in the same way I question Barr’s. Their conversions seem to be born more out of expediency and opportunity than true belief.

    Because everyone knows that appealing to a fringe that can barely break 1% at polling time is an opportunity not to be passed up!

    1. That is right. And don’t forget how many friends in newsrooms being a libertarian or conservative gets you.

      1. “I’m for small government” isn’t even a good line for getting laid.

        1. Maybe you should open with “Tell me your premises” instead.

          1. “Which scene in *The Fountainhead* turns you on the most?”

      2. I’ve got plenty of newsroom friends. At least they claim to be my friends. Oh, you think maybe…?
        WHaaaaaaaaaa!

      3. Um, John, he works for FOX. Being a conservative there isn’t exactly a handicap to your career.

        Being a libertarian at Fox might be a problem, but so far, he sounds more like a Donderotarian than anything else.

        1. it’s also a decent marketing tactic. it’s a differential. if beck’s appeal is in his idiosyncrasy, etc etc and so forth.

    2. The areas where Beck differs from libertarians are not insignificant. It’s not like the only differences are about legalizing ferrets and privatizing roads.

      Also, I seem to recall you poo-pooing the “liberaltarian” movement back when the Dems were making libertarian noises when they were shut out of power 2004-06 (coincidence?). Like Beck’s economic positions, your position on lifting the libertarian skirt for every passer-by seems to have changed on January 20, 2009.

      1. So what are these areas where Beck differs from libertarians? If they’re so not insignificant, I should think I would have noticed them, but I can’t think of anything terribly significant.

        1. immigration, the Patriot Act, the War on Terror, the TSA, warrantless wiretapping, the war on drugs, …

          1. I don’t know how he feels about immigration now, but he’s spoken out against pretty much all of those other things in the last few months.

            I’d bet the number of people on this site who have actually listened to Beck for more than like ten minutes couldn’t even fill my office.

            My office isn’t very big.

  20. if only Beck had the gonads to really speak truth to power.
    like calling out his boss Rupert Murdoch, who has been in bed with the Chinese Communists for years. Beck is a yapping pekingese held on Murdoch’s leash.

    “In meeting with Murdoch, Liu, also member of the Political Bureau and of the Secretariat of CPC Central Committee, appreciated the active work Murdoch has done in advancing cooperation with China’s news media.”
    –The People’s Daily Online, Nov. 10, 2006

    1. Wait – Murdoch and Obama are both communists? This conspiracy goes deeper than I thought…

  21. Ok, so what I’m reading here is, like so many turncoat conservatives (Yes, I call them turncoats) they “find” their libertarian roots when a liberal gets into office.

    To the conservatives criticizing Beck, it sounds to me as if they’re being more genuine than Beck: Keeping their big-government ideology and nation-building proclivities.

  22. “I do so enjoy belonging to a movement so broad, so powerful, that it can afford to throw out people who Aren’t The Right Sort”

    there’s a difference between being big tent and letting aggresively non-libertarian conservatives into our tent that hurt our idealogical rep so bad that snarky liberals can lump the rest of us in with them as it suites…hurting us in debate. i’ll be driving to school and there’s this am radio host called neal boortz who calls himself a libertarian but he’s for the patriot act and aggressive foreign policy. i’m sorry, hawks aren’t allowed in the tent, libertarians. i don’t want annoying liberals thinking i’m for the war in iraq cause the only libertarians they hear are guys like that or glenn beck or dennis miller. i’m tired of conservatives who are only against big government when a democrat is president and the only thing they have in common with us is the desire for low taxes.

    1. i’m sorry, hawks aren’t allowed in the tent, libertarians.

      Just so. We libertarians so dominate the political conversation that we don’t need any allies on things like taxes or cutting spending, if those allies don’t tow the lion on every single goddam issue.

      1. So RC, are we just supposed to bite our tongues and grin when anyone who wants to call themselves libertarian says that the only good muslin is a dead muslin, or if God loved gays he’d have made half of them women?

        Do you really want to turn the movement into Thanksgiving dinner with your relatives?

        1. But you will take some crazy talking about how jet fuel can’t melt steal and we went to war in Afghanistan so Haliburton could build a pipeline.

          If RC relatives can’t get in, neither can your dirty hippie ones. A lot good that will do.

          1. I’m pretty sure jet fuel can’t melt steel.

        2. Further,

          Fuck you. Thinking that perhaps we might want to do something about the sizable number of people out there who seem to want to kill us is not saying “the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim”. If the starard is just to characterature the other side as much as possible, I guess you think we should just surrender, right?

        3. So RC, are we just supposed to bite our tongues and grin when anyone who wants to call themselves libertarian says that the only good muslin is a dead muslin, or if God loved gays he’d have made half of them women?

          I was under the misconception that we were to debate them on the merits of their positions. Silly me.

      2. RC is right. Opposition to Obama is the only qualification for being a Libertarian.

        You get to be a Libertarian! You get to be a Libertarian! EVERYBODY GETS TO BE A LIBERTARIAN!!”

        1. WE’RE ALL GONNA GET LAID!

    2. You ideological purists seem to be missing the point of politics, which is to make temporary alliances of mutual convenience in order to get shit done.

      If I have to sit down with Barney Frank, who is at least 99% wrong on everything, in order to get pot and gambling legalized, I’ll do it. If I have to break bread with Newt Gingrich, a tool of the first water, in order to get tax reform, I’ll do that, too.

      Anyone who won’t, won’t get anything done. The refusal to make coalitions and compromises is why libertarians are doomed to the freaky fringe.

      1. If Barney Frank were claiming to be a libertarian, you and I and every self-respecting libertarian in the universe had better speak out that he isn’t.

        There’s a difference between working with someone on the other side (and whom you both acknowledge is on the other side) who happens to have temporarily aligned interests on a single issue, and pretending that someone is on your side because you have temporarily aligned interests on a single issue.

        1. That’s different, because Barney Frank is a homosexual, and we all know gays can’t be libertarians.

  23. Maybe it’s just that I live in the midwest, maybe it’s just the type of people that I’ve developed friendships with, but I still haven’t met a conservative with big-government ideology and nation-building proclivities.

    1. I live in the midwest & all the conservatives I know believe in big-government ideology & have nation building proclivities.

    2. I predict that Cabeza de Vaca and Hugh Akston will disagree with aelhues just to be contrary. I base this on living in the Midwest and having many conservative friends, none of whom advance big-government ideology and nation-building proclivities. They hated Bush and they really, really hate Obama.

      1. Fail.

      2. I don’t know, maybe they live in Chicago, or another big city. Everywhere here in flyover land is not the same.

        BTW, BSJ, if you were attempting to post an intelligent response, and failed, maybe you should have skipped hitting submit.

      3. Here in West Texas, I would say conservatives (meaning: damn near everyone) were disappointed in Bush, hate Obama, despise big government, and believe the military is a nation-destroying, not nation-building, tool.

  24. The only thing I got from this article about Beck’s principles is that he doesn’t really seem to have any. Hating on Paul and loving militarism to loving Paul and turning on militarism at the drop of a hat. Sounds like he saw a market niche and decided to own it rather than actually believing any of it. NTTAWWT, but let’s call them like we see them.

    1. Maybe I’m naive, but I think he’s sincere.

      1. You’re naive. The man puts Vicks under his eyes to help him pretend to cry. He changes his ideological bent whenever it suits his ratings purposes. Which is admittedly impressive considering he seems blitzed all the time.

        1. I thought his Mormonism made him cry.

          1. No, it’s all the receptive anal sex.

    2. First off, as others have pointed out, pandering to libertarians may be a niche market, but it’s one teeny, tiny niche. I mean, if I were going to pretend to have political beliefs that I don’t actually have for profit, I wouldn’t choose libertarianism…Reason magazine certainly doesn’t seem to be rolling in deep piles of dough, after all.

      Second, if he did convert just for expediency (which given the above point doesn’t make much sense anyway), why would he take a libertarian stance on not just economics and war, but also the War on Drugs and other smaller issues?

      1. He didn’t convert. He’s using libertarian rhetoric to attack someone from the other party. Just like the fact that the unions clothed their card check bill in the language of “employee choice” and the socialized medicine pushers are offering a “public option” to “increase competition in the health insurance market”.

        The rhetoric of liberty polls extremely well. Where it all falls down is when the reality sets in that liberty requires (a) no free goodies from the government, and (b) tolerating other people doing things you don’t like.

        1. That doesn’t make sense. Why would he have to pretend to be libertarian to attack Obama? Plenty of other conservatives/republicans are criticizing Obama without changing their political title. Plus he could use libertarian rhetoric without claiming to be a libertarian, or even mentioning the word “libertarian”.

          I’m not going to argue that Beck’s conversion is or is not legitimate. I’m not Beck, I can’t read his mind, I don’t know.

          But I listen to the show fairly often, and he SEEMS sincere, and I can’t think of any particular reason he would pretend to convert.

          Anyway, you didn’t answer my question, but you nearly succeeded in distracting me enough that I almost forgot about the question.

          1. But I listen to the show fairly often, and he SEEMS sincere, and I can’t think of any particular reason he would pretend to convert.

            Market share. Profits. But, hey, if he’s saying libertarianish things now, even for all the wrong, insincere reasons, good on him.

            1. Again, what market share? What profits? Is there some new, huge clamoring for libertarian pundits that I’m not aware of?

  25. Oh yeah. As soon as there’s something to howl about, they open their mouth faster than Warty’s mom in a rest stop urinal.

    1. I see a possible movie here –

      Conceived at the Glory Hole

      1. Ah, they are glorious, aren’t they?

  26. one of the few joys in being a libertarian in the age of obama is rubbing it in anti-war liberals’ faces about how obama didn’t turn out to be so anti-war. big name hawks like neal boortz, dennis miller and glenn beck calling themselves libertarians robs me of a little of that joy, dammit.

    1. As far as I know, Beck has never claimed to be a Libertarian. I’ve heard him say he’s becoming more libertarian every day or is libertarian at heart…and always saying with a little “l”.

      Geez…some of you guys are like a “Good Ole Boys” club…I like a phrase I heard Thomas Woods say…”Non Leftist”.

  27. Beck’s probably doing it just to differentiate himself from mainstream Republicans. Still it helps us to have people at least exposed to the word, interest in looking it up and finding out what it means.

    Hopefully it also means some of those people will progress further in a libertarian direction. Just getting people to identify themselves as “libertarian” is a huge victory. Once they do that, they feel compelled to learn about and adopt more libertarian positions.

    1. I would bet more than half of the really radical libertarians (anarchists like me)started by reading Rand. If people at least feel that it’s okay to explore certain ideas, many of them will drop all of their other statist mental baggage. As long as people are willing to question some of their sacred assumptions, things will get better.

    2. Bush claimed to be a believer in limited government on several occasions. A lot of f’ing good that did us.

      Frankly, both the purist libertarians and the big tent libertarians are being intellectually lazy. There’s a happy medium between denouncing someone as a statist because they don’t favor shuttering every public school in the country, and desperately welcoming any prominent person into the fold no matter how much they disagree with us or how suspicious their motivations are.

  28. I admire the fact that he is a drunk, (albeit “recovered”) and only a few steps from a straightjacket.

  29. If the major split between mainstream conservatives is going to be between Goldwater-ish libertarians and non-interventionist libertarians; I call that progress.

    Liked Mr. Walker’s take on Beck.

  30. I’m no fan or either Beck or Obama. This needs to be said though.

    Mark Levin fired back: “to say that he would be worse than a president who’s a Marxist*, who’s running around the world apologizing for our nation**, who’s slashing our defense budget*** … to say he would be worse is mindless … incoherent, as a matter of fact.****”

    * Obama is not a Marxist.
    ** Not really. He’s admitted that Bush has displayed a heavy hand in international affairs, which is true.
    *** Bullshit.
    **** “Fact” doesn’t mean what Mark Levin thinks it does.

    1. Levin doesn’t use “fact” in the strict sense of “something concrete and indisputably true.” He means “matter of fact” as a meaningless willy-nilly phrase like “cut spending.”

    2. Marxism- The political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the concept of class struggle plays a central role in understanding society’s allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society.

      What would you call him?

  31. I could be wrong about Beck, but it can happen. I was a “hardcore good Republican” pro Bush, pro Iraq, listened to Hannity, Rush etc. until I learned about Ron Paul in May of 2008. I did a lot of reading and have realized that I am a Constitutionalist and a libertarian. I try to educate folks daily. Sometimes people only know Democrat and Republican and slowly have little epiphanies.
    Maybe Beck is one of them. Just my opinion. Could be wrong and I usually am.

  32. i like in virginia and i know conservatives who still don’t have a problem with anything bush did (including members of my family alas). my dad will only admit bush maybe wasn’t so great in his 2nd term. i frankly never heard any real conservative backlash against bush untill 2006 and then when ron paul ran for president. more conservatives still can’t admit bush sucked and that’s going to hurt them for a generation at least.

    my case against letting glenn beck into the tent is the tea party stuff, which started off as ron paul activists starting a grass roots thing then glenn beck and fox jumped on board and turned it into a disgrunted mccain voter/redneck free-for-all. and msnbc and all the snarky left media made fun of all the hicks on tv on tax day complaining about the guv’ment. i went to the tax day protests and i’m anti-war, pro-gay rights, cool with multi-culturalism, a fan of the arts and so are my friends who agree who went with me. but my liberal friends who watch the news coverage of the tea party protests thought it was basically rednecks who hate that we have a black president, etc etc….

    this shit hurts us.

    1. What hurts us, t. j. (if that’s your real name), is that so many are like your liberal friends who uncritically suck down the lies and distortions of our enemies (such as the tea party coverage).

      1. The more promiscuous you are with accepting questionably libertarian people into the tent, the more fodder you’re giving to your enemies to lie and distort with.

        Just like Obama, who is not a communist or a Maoist, appointing such people into his administration gave his enemies material to use against him. It works both ways.

    2. People who are clueless and/or uncritical, have opinions. So what. Just because people align themselves with a political philosophy doesn’t make their position representative of others who actually take a moment to consider the issues. This goes for both the conservatives and liberals that you know.

      On a side note, you point out that you are, “anti-war, pro-gay rights, cool with multi-culturalism, a fan of the arts”. I’m just curious, do you suppose that you were in the minority on those issues? My impression, was that most of the people there just wanted the feds to leave us alone, as much as is reasonably possible. Although, I haven’t the slightest idea what being a fan of the arts has to do with anything.

  33. Stranger things have happened

    Karl Hess, who in my opinion was the greatest and probably most personally committed American libertarian, started out as an interventionist

    From what I?e seen Beck doesn’t have quite the same intellect as Hess

    1. Yeah — but Hess never had “Moron Trivia.”

  34. and glenn beck calls himself a libertarian all the time. not quasi libertarian or leaning libertarian on certain issues but a libertarian.

  35. Levin is just plain wrong. The incompetent marxist hasn’t got a chance to pass cap and trade, and it looks like healthcare is down the tubes as well. McCain in his quest to be a better president than Teddy Roosevelt, would get all kinds of disasterous programs passed.

  36. He is now talking about pulling troops out of Afghanistan, South Korea, Germany, and elsewhere.

    Wait… pulling troops out of Germany is dsiquieting? WTF? Does he think that East Germany will overrun Berlin or something?

    1. Germany being so peaceful that pulling troops out is a viable idea is a wonderful development, for anyone who has studied the history of the early to mid 1900s.

  37. I am highly disappointed in the scarcity of Warty’s Mom jokes in this thread. COME ON PEOPLE YOU HAD A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

    1. Warty’s mom is so fat that she bent and broke Xeones’s dick while they were having sex.

    2. Yeah, me too. WTF?

    3. I see where Warty gets his sexiness from.

  38. The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.

  39. As a conservative (constitutional limited government type), I’d be 100% behind pulling troops out of Germany, Korea, Japan, Afghanistan, etc.. I see very limited value in maintaining an oversees presence outside of offshore. I believe we need to stop trying to use our military as a police force. We need to stop trying to help, without the specific request of a strong ally. We definitely need to get over worrying about world opinion.

    I have never been able to figure out what value we receive in payment for the the deployments, lives, and money we spend on permanent oversees presences. Liberals and anti-war types call to bring the troops home. I say they have the wrong focus. Let our military get their jobs done, but don’t leave them over there. If we decided that Iraq was the right place to be (mixed feelings on that), we need to complete the job and get out. Just like we should have with Germany, Japan, and Korea. We’re still in those three places, and no one is complaining about it. It baffles me.

    1. The problem is that for thousands of years countries invaded each other to acquire land or resources, since the end of WWII all wars waged by the US have been “police actions,” to depose a leader we don’t like, but having no interest in keeping. What is the precedent for the right time to leave in that situation?

  40. “People who are clueless and/or uncritical, have opinions. So what. Just because people align themselves with a political philosophy doesn’t make their position representative of others who actually take a moment to consider the issues. This goes for both the conservatives and liberals that you know.

    On a side note, you point out that you are, “anti-war, pro-gay rights, cool with multi-culturalism, a fan of the arts”. I’m just curious, do you suppose that you were in the minority on those issues? My impression, was that most of the people there just wanted the feds to leave us alone, as much as is reasonably possible. Although, I haven’t the slightest idea what being a fan of the arts has to do with anything.”

    most people are clueless and have opinions…and vote. you have to combat the general public’s percieved notions not shrug them off. especially the uninformed snarky left’s perceptions cause they are the ones that control the debate threw our mainstream media.
    i mentioned the arts thing and the other stuff to point out that i and my libertarian minded friends are not hicks and the opposite of everything i listed about myself is the popular stereotype cosmopolitan liberals like to characterize the tea party people as. i don’t think i’m in the minority of my ideologic base in thinking that way on those topics of course but if you watched the tea party coverage you’d think everyone there was a homophobic, racist, pat robertson/dubya lovin’ hawk according to msnbc, cnn, the daily show and bill maher. i just don’t think it’s a good idea to have libertarian ideas associated with unattractive steotypes.

    1. t.j., dude, around here we just say “Cosmotarian” and everyone understands.

    2. if you watched the tea party coverage you’d think everyone there was a homophobic, racist, pat robertson/dubya lovin’ hawk according to msnbc, cnn, the daily show and bill maher.

      Yeah, and if you don’t know going in that CNN et al. will go out of their way to smear and mischaracterize the tea partiers, then I don’t even know how to begin a conversation with you.

      1. As I said above, if you know the media is going to try to paint you in the worst light possible, then you’d better be doubly careful who you associate with.

  41. btw libertarians need to stop wasting their time trying to convert neo-con republicans and start going of the young left. young people decide their a liberal/democrat because they don’t like the christian right and the uber-hawks. thus making all other ideas that conservatives and libertarians agree about concerning small government, lower taxes, the free market seem just as unappealing. we have to get to them before jon stewert and npr do.

    1. Just a point of clarification/contention, they don’t like the, mostly fictitious, media imagined, religious-right, and their buddies the neo-cons, who are mostly liberals with a different political affiliation.

      As you said earlier, we need to combat these perceived notions, not parrot them.

      1. It’s true neo-cons are just liberals. And I’ve never met a true Scotsman.

      1. Shut the fuck up, Lonewacko.

    2. I dunno, I came from the young right. It works either way, provided you’re indoctrinated from youth to see what a POS one side is, and figure out on your own that the other side is basically worthless too.

  42. Maybe young people go to the Democrats because of the hipster pro-gay anti-war rhetoric, but they stay with the Democrats because of all the free stuff.

    Libertarian talking points for wooing the kids: “We like gays and hate war, just like the Democrats. And you enjoy paying for your own education, your own health care, supporting your lazy relatives and sick grandparents, don’t you?”

    1. Once they get a job they’ll realize the free stuff isn’t free.

      1. young democrat hipster types don’t get jobs. they’re career students, or go into nonprofit work, or are artists, etc. I imagine eventually they have to get a real job, but by then they’re no longer the young people we’re talking about.

  43. Beck’s a clown, and I can’t stand to watch him, but since the Left has bundled up all of its insane hatred of Bush, Cheney and Palin and focused it, laser-like, on him, he must be doing something really good.

    1. The left didn’t like Hitler, either.

      1. You must be joking! Hitler WAS a leftist! NAZI means National Socialism. He implemented national health care, confiscated guns, took over industries, and took over media that was critical. Very leftist.

        1. Really, if it weren’t for the whole Holocaust thing, Hitler would probably be a leftist hero now. Kind of like Mao and Che.

      2. But Hitler sure loved your boy, Dishonest Abe.

  44. Wow, this guy doesn’t know much about conservative talk show hosts. Rush, Levin, and Hannity criticized the Bush administration multiple times. Lets see, campaign finance reform, illegal immigration, education, bailouts, stimulus packages, and Bush’s labeling of himself – Compassionate Conservative. These are the most “independent” voices in America. Why are people not considered to be independent when their views are conservative?

  45. The article implies that Beck all-out worshiped Bush and damned Paul. Until, magically, Obama was in office.

    In reality, Beck largely turned against the Bush Administration years before left office, and actually came around to Paul during the campaign season, to the extent he held an entire show-long interview with the guy.

    In short, “Fail.”

  46. Beck is a libertarian? I gotta come up w/ a new label for my views now…

    1. I’ve been calling myself a LocoFoco for some time now.

      http://www.facebook.com/pages/…..5640371107

      It’s a handy alternative. Keeps out the riffraff.

    2. Feminist market socialism?

      1. I like the Feminist Market part.. how about.. Hot Feminist Market Liberalism

  47. beck has not called himself a Libertarian, but has said he is becoming more Libertarian. Also he is figuring all of what he is presenting to the viewers a week or sometimes days before. When bush was in office he condemed him on many issues including immigration, education, abandoning the freemarket princibles to save the freemarket, etc. I know all of you had a problem with him on those issues as well. As for the people that think he has just flipped because obama became POTUS, even though he turned on these RINOS and Leftist before that, thats what you call a turning point. Its when someone realizes alot of what they thought they knew turned out to be crap. Just like what Newt is doing in NY, and how that left of center McCain(who is my AZ senator, and he sucks) would have takin this country down the same path just on a row boat rather than a jet like obama is doing. Now i admit i thought i was a liberal myself about 3 years ago, fortunately i saw the light and now read as much as i can so that i have the arsenal to fight this machine, thank you Rand, Jefferson, Washington, Skousen, etc. And whether you agree with his methods or not, i have to thank Beck for opening peoples eyes to the Libertarian movement back to our values and princibles that actually make this country so great. So Beck, you are a clown and you would admit it, but your on the right path and we do stand behind that journey.

  48. Over 150 comments for a post about an “it” boy? Wow, the pop cult of celebrity never ceases to amaze.

    1. Er, not to get too meta on you here and mess up the whole sanctimony bit, but what we’re actually talking about is someone who is demonstrating substantial influence in the political sphere. That he’s a “celebrity” is sort of the point in the first place, but not in the sense that you’re dismissively describing it.

      1. Guess I just prefer reasoned intellectuals to histrionic cry babies. I will admit to having watched him at an airport for about ten minutes — the extent of my experience with him. I make no apologies for dismissing him as a “it” boy in much the same way that that Downey guy from the 80s was an “it” boy whom I’m sure was showered with accolades for the “substantial influence” he had. Step away from the television and think about it.

    2. ACORN!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Fox has Napolitano, Stossel, and Beck. I am so happy that libertarianism is getting exposure. Beck seems to present himself as intrigued by and more and more persuaded by libertarian principles. His huge audience might similarly be, by degrees, intrigued and persuaded. By chance, John Stossel just finished and exchange with O’Reilly before a huge audience regarding the health care debate in which he did libertaranism proud. Many viewers! I think purists who comment here should leave some room for those who come to libertarianism issue by issue and, within an issue, step by step. To the extent you are so absolutist, you could be off-putting and dismay those who might fairly put the question as to whether you awoke one day a libertarian, fully formed, or yourself grew into being one.

    1. Fox has Napolitano, Stossel, and Beck. I am so happy that libertarianism is getting exposure.

      And even more fortuitously, the masses are learning their libertarianism from Ron Paul and Glen Beck, and certainly aren’t learning it from the Cato Institute!

  50. I have listened to Beck off and on for a number of years and I believe his latest explorations into his libertarian leanings are genuine. The scary socialists in the Obama admin has made him take another look at the Ron Pauls and the Napoliatanos of the world. He has seen the light and is fumbling toward it in his ham fisted way and is finding some interesting, creepy creatures in the dark along the way like Van Jones and Lindsay Graham.

    Beck has an enourmous audience and even though he does have a bizzare sarcastic sense of humor and some off-putting on air tears, he is exposing a lot of people to thinking about the Constitution, the Fed, the Debt, etc., etc. and this can only lead more people to libertarian solutions. He is genuine in his convictions if a little wide eyed at his new turn. A better educated Beck could be a huge ally. Send him some Hayek, Rothbard, and of course some Ron Paul to read!

  51. In defense of Beck, I find myself in the same position as him (minus the TV and radio shows, book deal, and an email news letter with more readers than the NY Times). I was a semi-Republican conservative. It was not Obama which started our current transformation towards Libertarian principles, it was Bush. We learned from Bush to start disregarding the parties, because they are both parts of the same progressive ideal. One is simply a nationalist progressive party, and the other an internationalist progressive party.

    Whether you call us Libertarians or not isn’t relevant. What matters is that it was our own side that taught us to be skeptical. This is why Beck is calling for politicians to clean up their own parties instead of just blaming the Dems.

  52. Part of Beck’s deal is entertainment. He is over the top at times, but watch his show a few times and you get a better feel for him.

  53. This Glenn Beck inspired video is hilarious:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPd_djDQTRI

  54. Personally, I love Glenn Beck. Only those not held to their lies (like many bloggers here) will even try to dispute him. Those in the public eye like the media and the White House don’t even try. They know he’s right. They just hope the people (like many bloggers here) are too dumb to know it.

  55. he seems to be more of a populist and libertarian than a conservative

    Am I the only one who considers populism and libertarianism mutually exclusive?

  56. Glenn Beck’s got big problems, it seems.

    According to one parody site, Glenn Beck may have been involved in the rape and murder of a young girl in 1990.

    Now I don’t believe that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. It’s hard for anyone to think that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990.

    But some people may be asking the question.

    And those people deserve answers, I think.

    And until Glenn Beck clears the air, and proves he did not rape and murder a young girl in 1990, I think those questions might continue to exist on parody sites.

    Glenn Beck has not denied that he raped and murdered a young girl in 1990; moreover he’s tried to silence those who’ve merely been asking the question.

    What is Glenn Beck hiding?

    1. beck is not hiding anything, he has addressed this issue and didnt have to specify. He is in proceedings to have those involved prosecuted. And you should be intelligent enough to leave that obviously fake website alone it will only make an ass outta you like it just accomplished. You even said at the begining of your comment that you dont believe it, so why would you give that monster more food to grow. Lies do nobody any good and just destroy. Are you in the back pocket of this administration, i hope not, cause there out to destroy beck too. But thats ok because it just shows how desperate they are.

      1. chris:

        Glenn Beck’s lawyers are trying to eliminate speech of people even questioning whether he raped and murdered a young girl in 1990!

        And he’s NOT trying to prosecute those raising the questions; he’s going to a UN BODY – THE WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (!!!) – because he knows he doesn’t have a case.

        Glenn Beck has previously talked about murdering famous people (see http://1990truth.org/), so it’s not much of a stretch of imagination to think that maybe, just maybe, he did more than talk about such horrendous crimes.

        Don’t you think we should know the truth?

        I just want the truth to come out, and nobody who calls themselves a conservative should be afraid of the truth.

        So let’s see what evidence exists – both for and against – as to whether Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990 before we rush to judgement, OK?

        1. you prove my point by defending an issue you know not to be true, for the simple fact that you know that site is a hoax. So why should anyone give the any sort of validation to a lying POS? And if you keep on pushing this issue your are part of the lie. So knock it of TROLL!

          1. I’m sorry but I DON’T know whether it’s true or not that Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990.

            How could I?

            Even if the site claims it’s a parody, it’s still an open question until it’s proven otherwise (that is Glenn Beck’s own standard of proof you know).

            If he were anyone else, he’d WANT us to question whether or not he raped and murdered a girl in 1990! It’s just like he wants us to wonder whether or not Anita Dunn “worships” Mao Zedong.

            Nobody’s lying for asking the question, and until we have answers, the questions remain, even if they were posed on a parody site.

            1. ok since you cant seem to understand that if someonne wants to smear a person all they have to do is make a website stating that they did something immoral/criminal. If your so interested if its true or not, do some homework and reasearch it yourself. I did that already which is why i cant stand people that try to give this lie more credibility. I agree that the best disinfectant is the light of day. But to further the disgusting, non-factual smear is not helping anyone. I wont argue with you anymore, but please do your own research before you bring this issue up anymore and if you dont find any reason to believe it let it go.

              1. chris:

                The website in question doesn’t actually SAY Glenn Beck committed any crimes, it merely said the questions should be considered.

                I thought this website was “Reason,” which considers things, uh, reasonably.

                Now while it’s true that Beck’s enthusiastic talk of murdering people sounds like the talk of someone who might have raped and murdered a little girl in 1990, we can’t know for sure until we see the evidence.

                And it’s not a lie to ask such questions – they’re just questions, although we have to ask that if Glenn Beck is really so innocent, why is he trying to shut down websites that merely ask the question?

                Now, me, I still don’t think Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990, despite what some might say.

                But let’s at least examine the evidence, (even if the evidence is only from a parody website) and let’s be extra careful about letting Glenn Beck near children until we know the answer, if only because he’s been so happy talking about murdering people in the past.

                ( See here: http://1990truth.org/ for links to some of Glenn Beck’s more bloodthirsty rants.)

                1. Very funny, Chris has no sense of humor?

                  1. sure i have a sence of humor, but how would you like to be unjustly accused of raping and murdering a girl in 1990. Ive still yet to see any evidence of this being true. I just dont see the point of feeing the lie, it shows what happens when someone assumes it could be true. They look like an ASS.

  57. We the people have been sucking up to the fed.gov.And they forgot they work for us.we for got that they work for “WE THE PEPOLE”.i my self they all need to be impeached be cause they say be responsible and they go crrrrrraaaaazzzzzzzyyyyy
    I say stop all spending….”…..”…
    write a bill that bans the Lobbyist.and lots quit giving or money away. all of us need to stand up and make them hold to there word and if they don’t show theme the chicago way.”bat bat” we can blame the dems,or we can blame the reb. ooorrrr we can blame our slaves
    we are all to blame because we don’t hold theme to there word .. bottom line the dems and the reb do not tell the truth and how’s fault is that???

  58. Jay Rockefeller votes yes on health care,,he will not get my vote

  59. Glenn is bringing alot more to light than the gov’t wants know …sometimes you have to be sarcastic and cynidcal to get the point across…it is time we as a country stop spending $$ we don’t have…Seems like most of america has their heads in the sand..one day you will wake up to a new country you don’t like

  60. Beck has criticized Bush from the beginning and was the only mainstream outlet for Ron Paul during the 08 race. He may not be a pure libertarian….. but he is close enough for me.

  61. At the current rate of obamination by the demonicrats there won’t be a Constitution to defend in 2010. Internal bickering at the level demonstrated in these blogs serves only to support the fascism that is raining down out of Washington with little resistance inside the beltway. It takes every anti-union, anti-trial lawyer, anti-socialist, anti-healthcare and all for Constitutional Republicanism to save this nation for a total loss of this last bastion of Freedom.

  62. This is simple. Beck gets two or three more times the viewership every night than the Libertarian Party has membership. Stop fighting it, and put your arms around it. It’s like a Jehovah’s Witness chancing upon the door of house full of people saying “Jeez, I’m pretty obsessed with your religion, but I have some reservations”. Then, the Jehovah’s Withness says “You’re not a purist believer” and storms away. Don’t force quasi-libertarians away, bring them in and make them true Libertarians. Why is this rocket science?

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