I have been a fan of Glenn Beck’s for the entire time he has been on FOX, but lately I have had a hard time listening to him repeatedly bashing the Republicans and George W. Bush. Apparently other conservative Republicans have as well. Glenn was the keynote speaker at CPAC Saturday night and he did more of the usual >>> blame and bash the Republican Party, but this time, some conservatives are speaking out …
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday Night Beck [Bill Bennett]
There’s a lot to say about CPAC. This morning the major papers are highlighting Glenn Beck’s speech. I like Glenn a lot and I think he has something to teach us. But not what he offered last night.
Analogizing his own struggles with alcohol to the problems of our polity and in our politics, he said, “Hello, my name is the Republican party, and I have a problem!” “I’m addicted to spending and big government.” ”It is still morning in America.” ”It just happens to be kind of a head-pounding, hung-over, vomiting-for-four-hours kind of morning in America. And it’s shaping up to be kind of a nasty day. But it is still morning in America.” And, again, “I believe in redemption, but the first step to getting redemption is you’ve got to admit that you’ve got a problem. I have not heard people in the Republican party yet admit that they have a problem.”
Glenn is among the best talkers in the business of broadcast. I am not sure he’s a very good listener.
First, there is a good and strong tradition in alcohol and drug treatment that personal failings should not be extrapolated into the public sphere; that too often when this is done, conclusions are reached based on the wrong motives and, often, the wrong analysis. Glenn has made that mistake here and taken to our politics a cosmologizing of his own deficiencies. This is not a baseless criticism; they are his own deficiencies that he keeps publicly redounding to and analogizing to. It is wrong and he is wrong.
Second, for him to continue to say that he does not hear the Republican party admit its failings or problems is to ignore some of the loudest and brightest lights in the party. From Jim DeMint to Tom Coburn to Mike Pence to Paul Ryan, any number of Republicans have admitted the excesses of the party and done constructive and serious work to correct them and find and promote solutions. Even John McCain has said again and again that “the Republican party lost its way.” These leaders, and many others, have been offering real proposals, not ill-informed muttering diatribes that can’t distinguish between conservative and liberal, free enterprise and controlled markets, or night and day. Does Glenn truly believe there is no difference between a Tom Coburn, for example, and a Harry Reid or a Charles Schumer or a Barbara Boxer? Between a Paul Ryan or Michele Bachmann and a Nancy Pelosi or Barney Frank?
Third, to admit it is still “morning in America” but a “vomiting for four hours” kind of morning is to diminish, discourage, and disparage all the work of the conservative, Republican, and independent resistance of the past year. The Tea Partiers know better than this. I don’t think they would describe their rallies and resistance as a bilious purging but, rather, as a very positive democratic reaction aimed at correcting the wrongs of the current political leadership. The mainstream media may describe their reactions as an unhealthy expurgation. I do not.
A year ago, we were told the Republican party and the conservative movement were moribund. Today they are ascendant, and it is the left and the Democratic party that are on defense — even while they are in control. That’s quite an amazing achievement. But anyone who knows the history of this country and its political movements should not be surprised. America has a long tradition of antibodies that kick in. From Carter we got Reagan. And from Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama we took back a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, with midterm elections on the horizon that Republicans and conservatives are actually excited about, not afraid of.
To say the GOP and the Democrats are no different, to say the GOP needs to hit a recovery-program-type bottom and hang its head in remorse, is to delay our own country’s recovery from the problems the Democratic left is inflicting. The stakes are too important to go through that kind of exercise, which will ultimately go nowhere anyway — because it’s already happened.
The first task of a serious political analyst is to see things as they are. There is a difference between morning and night. There is a difference between drunk and sober. And there is a difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. To ignore these differences, or propagate the myth that they don’t exist, is not only discouraging, it is dangerous.
— Bill Bennett is the host of Morning in America, the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute, and the author of A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears.
Rush Limbaugh Pans Beck’s Speech
‘What I Would Have Said At CPAC’
Rush Limbaugh sees a difference between the two parties. He doesn’t lump them in one big stewpot. Yesterday, Limbaugh panned Glenn Beck’s CPAC speech.
Via Rush Limbaugh.com:
I certainly would have mentioned Obama a lot. And I would have mentioned Harry Reid, and I would have mentioned Pelosi, and I would have mentioned the Kennedy seat being won, and I would mention the trouble that Barbara Boxer is in, and I would mention the trouble that the Democrat Party in general is in, and I would say that the Republicans have not joined the Democrats in any of this destruction. The Republican Party has — because of you, because you let them hear from you — not gone bipartisan. They have not joined this failure. In fact, there are people in the House (from John Boehner to Mike Pence, to Eric Cantor, to Paul Ryan) who are doing everything that they can. Jim DeMint over in the Senate, Tom Coburn over in the Senate, these people, especially now don’t deserve to be bashed or lumped in a generalized way with all the bad apples in Washington because all of them there are not bad apples.
These people really, I think, deserve some attaboys. I happen to think that. You know, these guys that I’ve just named, they’re really, really, really going against instinctive grain, operating the way they are. It’s so much easier for you if you just go along. Your life is so much more enjoyable there if you just go along. The media will like you, the Democrats will pretend they like you. Now, these guys are resisting all of that, and I’m going to call ‘em out. I would have identified, by name, those who are undermining this country, and I would have held them to account for the radical policies that they are seeking to impose upon us, and I would have identified the source of those radical policies: And that’s Barack Obama and Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and whoever else you want to name on the White House staff or in the Democrat Party, or any union head. Because that’s who we’re up against. It was just, I thought, great opportunity to keep the momentum going rather than put the brakes on.
I would have tried making people laugh. I’m pretty good at that sometimes because I would have been having fun. I know I’d have been having fun. I’d have fed off the audience energy. Who knows what else I would have come up? I mean, I didn’t know what I was gonna say last year ’til I got up there and started speaking. I never know what I’m gonna say. Sometimes I go out with five or six little outlines, but other than that, I don’t know. This is the Conservative Political Action Committee. It’s not some group of Libertarians. I would have defended conservatism and I would have promoted conservatism and I would have reminded people conservatism is the solution. Conservatism is the answer for this country’s problems and challenges that we face. Nobody’s out there defending bad Republican policies.
The point at this stage is to support the conservatives in and outside public office. I certainly would not have ignored the other team on the field, the Democrats. They’re the only reason we’re in this mess. The Democrat Party is the only reason we are threatened with the things we’re threatened with. The Democrat Party. Solely. They own it. There’s no evidence I see of anybody colluding with the Democrats on this health care business. There’s not one Republican vote in the Senate for it. In the House there was one, I think, from the guy in Louisiana and he said he’s not going to do it a second time. I woulda had a real tough time not talking about cap and trade, Card Check, Miranda rights for terrorists, tax increases, breaking the bank of the American private sector. It would have been very difficult for me to be critical of Dick Cheney.
But to each his own. There are motivations for people who do what they do — and I, as a highly trained broadcast specialist, I think I know what’s going on and why various people are doing what they’re doing and taking positions that they’re taking. But the best way to insure that Obama succeeds is to think that we need a third party. All the momentum that we’ve got going right now is just going to hit a brick wall if a third party starts, particularly on the basis that there’s “no difference between the two parties.” I guarantee you there’s not a Republican I know, elected or unelected, that would propose anything Obama has. They haven’t joined him. We are at this great crossroads in our history because of people who hold a particular ideological point of view. I don’t care what you want to call them. I call them liberals because that’s what they hate and that’s what they are and that’s what the American people reject.
…One year after the inauguration of Barack Obama there is a conservative ascendancy within the Republican Party, and it needs to be encouraged, not beaten down. It needs to be inspired. We need to thank them and join them.
Mark Levin Comments on Beck’s Speech