Monday, February 7, 2011

Beck at the tipping point?

I do not often quote Bill Kristol, the reigning conservative ideologue at The Weekly Standard. But unexpectedly, the columnist removed his favorite pair of rose-colored glasses and went all rational on us today.

Amazingly enough, it seems even Mr. Conservative himself is taken aback over Glenn Beck’s latest lunatic ravings (i.e., the Islamic caliphate is coming to your house to kill you). It’s not every day that we get a chance to witness the scales falling from Bill Kristol’s eyes.

Kristol writes:
"But hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s."

"Nor is it a sign of health when other American conservatives are so fearful of a popular awakening that they side with the dictator against the democrats. Rather, it’s a sign of fearfulness unworthy of Americans, of short-sightedness uncharacteristic of conservatives, of excuse-making for thuggery unworthy of the American conservative tradition."
Well, amen to that. Intriguingly, Time's Joe Klein thinks Beck -- whom he calls a "paranoid-messianic rodeo clown" -- is skating on thin ice at Fox News, employment-wise. Let's hope Beck encounters a crack and falls through, if only for the sake of more rational political discourse.

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