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Jan. 5 2010 - 12:41 pm | 912 views | 1 recommendation | 23 comments

Glenn Beck mocks the ‘birthers’

[T]here’s always games being played behind the scenes at a talk radio show and on television and everything else. It is really, it’s very, I don’t know, it’s disappointing. Rush has called them on the games in radio behind the scenes, Rush has always called them seminar callers. But instead of being coy with the seminar callers or with you, I’m just going to expose the game that is going on. Today there is a concerted effort on all radio stations to get Birthers on the air. I have to tell you, are you working for the Barack Obama administration? I mean, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. ~ Glenn Beck

Here we begin to see the cracks in the Tea Party movement which Beck largely has pushed into the mainstream, a movement largely populated with Birthers who Beck is now, wisely, calling out.  This is emblematic of the problems facing any sort of oppositional movement driven mostly by manufactured fears and outrage. Outrage is far too dependent on a ready source of fuel, and while the president’s policy agenda provides a ready source, the real roiling anger is found in the most outrageous conspiracy theories. These movements draw the conspiracy-theory crowd like moths to a flame. Birthers are more than a fringe element to the Tea Parties.

Recall that the Ron Paul movement, however admirable Dr. Paul was himself, was rife with Truthers and other conspiracy nuts.  This was a major turn off for many of his more mainstream followers. Paleoconservatism and paleolibertarianism are ideologies that I have a great admiration for, but they are also bastions for white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and other less desirable elements of the American right. The same thing is happening in the Tea Parties. However self-sustaining a conspiracy theory may be, such theories are unsustainable in mainstream culture and politics. Glenn Beck recognizes this and recognizes the danger such a theory poses to the Tea Party movement he helped foster.

He’s too late, of course.  Any purge now will be a bloody one – and he has only himself to blame.


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  1. collapse expand

    OBama is hiding his birth certificate from the people…..that is all you have to know

  2. collapse expand

    You’re living in a dreamworld. The tea parties were–are–driven by rage at increasing taxation and the congressional appropriation of health insurance, and fear of massive deficits and the degredation of Medicare benefits.

    Of course, there are the usual obsessive extrmeists on the fringes of this and any other mass political movement, but the tea partiers have no central structure, let alone a leader.

  3. collapse expand

    The lunatic fringe exists in every political movement. That said, we don’t discredit the health care reform effort even though many lunatics in the movement want communism, not just affordable health care.

    I have always seen the core Tea-Party ideology as an anti-taxation, anti-big government sort of thing. These are valid points of view and yet, because of all these fringe groups, everyone is backpedaling away from them.

    Why?

  4. collapse expand

    My point in this post is not that everyone or even the vast majority of people in the Tea Parties is on the lunatic fringe, or are birthers, etc. only that because this element is a strong one within that movement, it will be a fairly large thorn in the Tea Party’s side when it comes to mainstream legitimacy down the road. This was the same problem William F. Buckley faced in building the modern conservative movement.

  5. collapse expand

    E. Kain-you are right (correct). However I would love to see the observation evasion that happens when someone being more objective that anyone who can’t spell it simply observes what most can agree is an unequivocal truth. If you can answer yes to the following question maybe you are not necessarily insane but inherently lower on the cognition meter, definitely. Call a spade a spade. While it is difficult in my opinion to deem anything a free and clear ‘fact’, we do have a societal construct which allows for an agreed upon consensus of what, over time, becomes truth or fact. If you willfully disregard known ‘truths and facts’, ie birth certificates, newspaper clippings, Don Ho playing a ukulele in the background of the hospital room the President was birthed in etc…you are officially an idiot.

  6. collapse expand

    That’s some balls, you discount a fastly growing portion of the American public who are exercising their rights to speak out about policies and politics that they disagree with. Do you just editorialize or are you supposed to be a journalist?

    • collapse expand

      nfrazza –

      Indeed. I discount the birther movement because it is ludicrous and immature and its entire mythos is based on fantasy. There is no fact to back it up.

      The Tea Parties have great potential to be a new voice in the American political landscape, but they should distance themselves from the birther fringe.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
      • collapse expand

        What I take issue with is not the fact that they are exercising their speech, but rather that they feel that they are entitled to their own facts. In America, and elsewhere, we are entitled merely to our own opinions. When you begin stating and regurgitating complete falsehoods that is when your movement begins to lose legitimacy.

        In response to another comment. See in context »
    • collapse expand

      See the NY 23rd district election. They have been safely red for 100 years. Living near there I can attest that it is almost totally rural. Watertown being the only real city. The Tea Baggers got their candidate to run in place of a mainstream Republican and what happened? It turns blue. That area has been redistricted to death to net as many Republican voters as well, but that STILL wasn’t enough to stop it from going blue once the Republican voters smelled what the Tea Baggers were cooking.

      Erik is right (pun very much intended). The lunatic fringe which now controls the Tea Party will not be able to keep their momentum.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  7. collapse expand

    “Recall that the Ron Paul movement, however admirable Dr. Paul was himself, was rife with Truthers and other conspiracy nuts. This was a major turn off for many of his more mainstream followers. Paleoconservatism and paleolibertarianism are ideologies that I have a great admiration for, but they are also bastions for white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and other less desirable elements of the American right.”

    This was exactly my experience. I am a moderate who liked Ron Paul’s stances on Foreign Policy, Civil Liberties and Monetary Policy, but the other folks who supported Ron Paul that I met were the ones you described.

    I mean, it was Ron Paul’s foreign policy that had Bill Maher declare “He’s my new hero!”. It is a shame those he trusts with his campaign don’t put an emphasis on his stances on the issues in which he could have the broadest appeal.

  8. collapse expand

    “stating and regurgitating complete falsehoods”
    Has a birth certificate been presented and verified?

  9. collapse expand

    Also, I had a good friend who was actually in charge of the Tea Party group in my area. He quit because he couldn’t reconcile the fact that they were being encouraged to protest the Stimulus like it was the holocaust, but didn’t receive the same encouragement to protest the bailout.

  10. collapse expand

    It’s a simple question. Is there a public record of the birth certificate and can it be verified? Please refer me to the facts… there is no conspacy theory.

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