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No Left Turns

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Culture War and Liberty

James Poulos on how the cultural elements of the struggle between the sets of policies favored by say Obama and those favored by say Mitch Daniels are implicit but central.  It also illustrates why "liberaltarianism" is, at most, likely to play the role of courtier and minor advisory figure to social democracy.
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Discussions - 28 Comments

One of my sons sent me this link, http://www.boingboing.net/2010/07/04/econopocalypse-the-m.html which is the Marxist sociologist David Harvey explaining the "Crises of Capitalism" and the "Econopocalypse" with the humorous addition of the "Marxist animated whiteboard explanation". It's funny, but I offer it to suggest that even economics is subject to cultural preferences and interpretation. I don't know about you, but I follow the lecture saying, "Uh-huh, uh-huh" until he gets to the part about evil banks that are forcing people to use credit and, thereby, destroying civilization and fat financiers taking all the money in the world. Then I am just saying, "HUH?"

Yes, I guess I know which side of this culture war I stand on.

Thanks for the link, Kate! Have you read of any of Harvey's books? I strongly recommend "The Condition of Postmodernity" and "A Brief History of Neoliberalism."

But yeah, I know, No Left Turns and all that...

If you go "Huh??" as you watch this, what do you do when you see Glenn Beck taking to his now-famous chalkboard?

I have never seen Glenn Beck on TV. If he is as clever in what he does as the illustrator of that animated whiteboard illustration then I am really missing something.

It is nice of you to have written a comment that makes Pete's point so effectively. Since you mention Harvey's books, I take it that you appreciated not the cartooning in the presentation (like I did) but the cartoonish logic of David Harvey (which I did not).

Pete, I know a lot of young liberaltarians and am looking forward to seeing what happens to their worldviews when their circumstances change with things like children, property and the experience that comes with age. Somehow, I don't think those things will move them into the liberal camp.

Kate, maybe. On one hand liberaltarianism is a useful name name for a certain kinds of incoherent worldviews I've run across. I remember a very liberal aquantince who took an interest in the Libertarian Party but didn't change any of her policy views. I used to know a since retired guy who probably favors Obamacare, and cap and trade, but whould probably tell you he is a libertarian because he favors abortion. It is also a label for a kind of cultural resentment-fueled politics by a small group of libertarian-allied intellectuals and maybe some left-of-center thinkers (Matthew Yglesias comes to mind) who recognize surrender on the Left's terms when they see it.

For the resentment see

http://www.willwilkinson.net/flybottle/2009/02/16/the-hope-and-horror-of-liberaltarian-alignments/

My young friends dread large government from the Right almost but not quite as much as large government from the Left.

One thing interesting about the Tea Party folks I know and the little bits of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh that I have heard is that they are not really anti-intellectual. That is, they are not opposed to people who think nor to scholastic pursuits in an absolute way. They are "anti" the standard left-wing campus intellectual who looks at life the way that guy, David Harvey, does. That's the kind of intellectualism they are deploring, but I cannot read it as deep thought, either.

My young friends are socially liberal, not because they think abortion is good or gay marriage legitimate. They do not want government control of social matters as they see those things as not being the federal or even state government's business. If society accepts those things, then we just have to live with them. Otherwise, we should have a right not to associate with those people who live like that and they can live with the consequences of their lifestyle choices. It is a somewhat self-centered point to view, ut then the young are typically self-centered. Life and family grow people out of that. Anyway, it all seems a logical extension of the Right's insistence on small government -- "Don't tread on me."

Kate, there's not a huge difference between Beck on TV and Beck on radio, except that he says more outrageous things on his radio show (such as dragging Obama's kids through the mud even after he said families should be "off limits) and can do outrageous visual stunts on his tv show (like his ludicrous chalkboard "tutorials" and the pouring the gasoline on his intern skit to make some wrong-on-the-facts "point").

I do recall you saying that when you have listened to Beck you "agree with most (not all) of what he says."
http://nlt.ashbrook.org/2010/01/if-youd-have-told-me-a-year-ago.php#comment-67000

Interesting that you described him there as "an entertainer on the subject of politics"

While the corresponding visuals set to Harvey's brief lecture certainly add an element of entertainment to his words, Harvey is most definitely not an entertainer. Yet, sadly, when it comes to people's education on social and political matters (including Ashbrook students subjected to Beck when he was the keynote speaker at an Ashbrook memorial dinner), Beck's reach goes much, much further than Harvey's - despite Harvey's being obviously much, much more knowledgeable than Beck (who practically wears his lack of education as a badge of honor) on a wide variety of philosophical, political, economic, geographic, and social subjects.

I'd love to see Beck debate Harvey; wouldn't you enjoy Beck putting that Marxist in his place???

As for Beck's chalkboard antics (he uses an old-fashioned chalkboard for some reason; perhaps he thinks it imparts seriousness?), the best way to understand them is actually by watching Jon Stewart's epic parody of Beck (in "academic" mode):

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-march-18-2010/conservative-libertarian

All Beck would have to do to put Harvey in his place is to make him sound like a Marxist and since he already he is a Marxist -- what's the point?

Did I say that? "an entertainer on the subject of politics" Good for me. I still think so. I do like what I know of his politics far more than I do of what I know of your Mr. Harvey's. Mr. Harvey speaks of the need of capital in the economy and then he has fits about capitalists. Where is his capital to come from if not from private individuals who are capitalists? If you have an option other than the state, I'd like to hear it. I thought you said you had no problem with free markets or the capitalist system, except in a few minor details. Eliminating the capitalists does not seem like a minor detail to me.

The last time I heard about Beck he was having several fine scholars on his program, not to attack, but to instruct the public. You know far more about him than I do, but it seems to me that indicates he is correcting whatever lack of education he has in a salutary manner.

Craig, sometimes you seem a little unhinged on the Glenn Beck topic, and that is quite aside from the fact that you beat it to death, bringing him up in the most tangential ways. Why don't you just write hate mail to his program sponsors? That might do your effort to discredit the guy some good. I don't see that your private obsessions about conservative talk radio benefits your credibility here.

"All Beck would have to do to put Harvey in his place is to make him sound like a Marxist and since he already he is a Marxist -- what's the point?"

So, that would qualify as winning a debate, merely calling your opponent what they freely admit to themselves? Wow.
Well, I guess that WOULD equal a victory if the audience for the debate was strictly Beck's fan-base of tea partiers.

But if the implication is that the average American understands and loathes Marxism, then how did Obama - the guy who Beck continually reminds us is a racist Marxist bent on destroying America - get elected? I suppose that's when we get into the theories of how Obama's just a secret Marxist, dealing in wholesale deception! Well, maybe that's true, since I've yet to meet a Marxist who was pleased with Obama's presidency.

"The last time I heard about Beck he was having several fine scholars on his program, not to attack, but to instruct the public. You know far more about him than I do, but it seems to me that indicates he is correcting whatever lack of education he has in a salutary manner."

I guess that just translates to conservatives who have written some articles and/or books and who have had some connection with a college or university at some point. "The standard left-wing campus intellectual" would not count at all, I suppose.

"Craig, sometimes you seem a little unhinged on the Glenn Beck topic, and that is quite aside from the fact that you beat it to death, bringing him up in the most tangential ways. Why don't you just write hate mail to his program sponsors? That might do your effort to discredit the guy some good. I don't see that your private obsessions about conservative talk radio benefits your credibility here."

You're just making ad hominem jabs now. I have no more obsession with Glenn Beck than you, or he, or pretty much anyone here at NLT appears to have with Barack Obama (for starters). So, let's move on.

Did you happen to listen to Beck just about a month ago, when he - amazingly - enthusiastically promoted a book by rabid anti-semite and American Nazi Elizabeth Dilling? Maybe he would have had her on his show to "instruct" the audiences about the merits of the Nazis (and the dangers of the Jews and communists - oops, another nail in the coffin of the barstool theory of "liberal fascism") if she hadn't died in 1966.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201006040053

and here's more about Beck and Dilling from a former NLT blogroll blogger:
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/36486_Glenn_Beck_Promotes_Book_by_Antisemitic_Nazi_Sympathizer#rss

Beck really needs no discrediting (although what libertarian could argue with companies choosing not to support his show with their advertising dollars??), unfortunately for many in his fan base, I don't think there's a low he could sink to that would discredit him in their eyes.

[You'll LOVE my captcha words for this post - "immolate government" - is Grover Norquist hiding back there???]

I hope you get shot in the face with a bazooka.

No, Kate, you are the correct one. Beck certainly does have a number of thoughtful intellectuals on his show (for those of us who believe that obvious truth that there are conservative intellectuals) and has apparently read a good list of books educating himself on the Founders, Western Civ, and the Progressive movement. I would dare say he knows a helluva lot more history than the average talking head liberal on television.

So, Beck's promotion of Dilling - that's not a problem in the least, eh?

BTW, I also "believe" in such a thing as conservative intellectuals, however Beck has only hosted 1 or 2 of them, at best. And I don't think he'd be willing (able?) to take on any leftist intellectuals on his show. Bring on David Harvey, or Chomsky. That'd be fun.

Craig, I am serious, not making an attack.

I will absurdly note that Obama is our president. Especially as he is handling the office, it is mighty hard not to notice what he does and says. I can't really turn him off when I get tired of what he says or ignore him if I think he is wrong or loony (like that NASA's mission is to make nice with Muslims) as I can with a TV or radio personality. You don't ever have to think about Glenn Beck again and it will do you no harm. It will probably do you good. Equating NLT bloggers discussing the president with your ranting about Beck is not really reasonable.

Thank you, Tony.

Hal Holst, what the heck?

OK, Craig, though I wasn't talking to you, I'll respond. He's had a lot more than two intellectuals on the show, so stop the nonsense. He'll probably have a radical like Chomsky when Rachel what's her name or Keith O. have a conservative. Stop acting like liberals are open-minded individuals who don't just invite people on the show who mirror their views as you are implicitly accusing conservatives of doing.

In short, he's a smart guy who knows, and is learning, a fair amount of history. He does a pretty valuable public service showing how the Progressives betrayed the Founding and helped to create a massive bureaucratic state that is at odds with liberty and the American character. He probably knows a heck of a lot more history than your buddies at MSNBC and other liberal media. But he will be your favorite red herring regardless of what I say.

Tony you said that Beck's "had a lot more than two intellectuals on the show, so stop the nonsense. He'll probably have a radical like Chomsky when Rachel what's her name or Keith O. have a conservative."

Um, first off, did you SEE Rand Paul's appearance on Maddow's show? [Mr. Spilakios mentioned it in a recent post here at NLT, btw] Surely he's some sort of conservative (conservative libertarian)? And she's had more than a few others, but more importantly, she continually INVITES conservatives, and restates her open invitations to many of them, and they don't take her up on the offer. I'd love to see a list of the conservative intellectuals Beck has had. Pestritto almost certainly would count. Jonah Goldberg, on the other hand...

Kate, my point earlier was that no serious case for "obsession" was made by you, and that discussing significant public figures, be they politicians or those who critique them, is not obsessive. Everyone likes to talk about, dissect, and critique Obama, and that isn't necessarily a sign of "obsession." (although the often fact-free freakouts might be indicative of Obama Derangement Syndrome!). Just as my interest in the #1 face of news "analysis" on America's #1 cable news network, who can wave his hand and have 50K tea partiers take to the streets in DC (not a HUGE number, but still quite significant), is not obsession, either.

Further, what I brought up about Beck was not "ranting." You mentioned my credibility (or the lack thereof, in your view) in your earlier comment. I wondered, in turn, if you thought Beck's blatant promotion of Elizabeth Dilling - clearly an anti-Semite and an Amerian Nazi supporter, at the very LEAST - compromised his credibility in the least. I think it ought to be a serious blow to his credibility, even among conservatives (of which you and NLT are supposed to be among the Respectable Right). Naturally, today's conservatives would appreciate Dilling's "calling out" of Communists and various "reds", but her clear and simultaneous hatred for Jews and admiration for (actual, German) Nazis ought to cross a line for the Respectable Right. Apparently it has not, even when Beck held her book aloft in his hand and offered strong praise for her. Beck promotes dangerous crackpots of yesteryear and that doesn't elicit so much as a shrug, but I take interest in what Beck says and I am the one with credibility issues?? Come on.

(Right, Kate, I know how this works - NOW you don't have time for all this silly blog commenting, you're busy! And besides, Jonah Goldberg taught you that fascism is a phenomenon of the LEFT, so it just can't be possible that a conservative such as Beck could be promoting a known American Nazi.)

I actually have to agree with Craig on this one. If Beck has endorsed the work of Elizabeth Dilling--and from the links he provides it would appear that he has--then he does not deserve the respect of any decent thinking person. I've actually read some of her stuff, and it's every bit as hateful as it's been made out to be. It's debatable whether she was actually a Nazi, but her anti-Semitism is indisputable, as well as far from subtle. What's more, her brand of far-out conspiracy-theory anti-communism helped to bring into disrepute even the perfectly defensible and respectable anti-communism of people such as Whitaker Chambers.

I've never been a Beck listener--except for a few times years ago when I first stumbled onto his show--but for me he's clearly crossed the line.

Dilling went to Germany in 1938 at the government's expense and attended Nazi party meetings - and clearly not to report critically on them. She was openly anti-Jewish and anti-Communist (big surprise, she loathed blacks, too) and praised Hitler on numerous occasions. A German magazine called her the "female fuhrer" of the US. She spoke at rallies of the German-American Bund, the biggest group of Nazi sympathizers in the US.

She was a Nazi at heart, if not, technically, on paper, and that's being infinitely more charitable to her than she was to all of the people in her idiotic books alleging to expose Communists around ever corner. Paraphrasing one of her critics, apparently just stepping off the curb with one's left foot was, to Dilling, proof of being a Communist.

I am sorry. I caught this reproof on the comments page. Time had something to do with my not coming to this thread, but getting tired of being beaten up about Beck had as much to do with it.

If Glenn Beck has embraced this person, Dilling, who was vile, then then I will heartily agree he is wrong about her. I'll take John Moser's word on her as truth. I have never heard of her before, I think. I can't imagine why Beck is giving her a hearing and he probably ought to account for that. However, I will also note that lots of people on the Left embrace Margaret Sanger, who was a proponent of eugenics, and her efforts at cleansing the human race have had far greater, more lasting effect on society than this Dilling woman has had.

I used to say I couldn't imagine how Beck fills up the time he has for talking. Apparently he does so by being somewhat indiscriminate in his choices for sources of ideas and material. Is he promoting the vile things Dilling said or wrote or has he found something anti-communist, but otherwise harmless in it's evident wording when taken out of context. Is he making Dilling out as saint for all that she wrote and stood for? I guess what I am asking is if he is being foolish or mendacious. Yes, I think it makes a difference. If he is being foolish, then you really ought write to him and set him straight. If he held the book aloft and praised it having read it, that is horrible.

However, I don't know that is true. You say enough specious things here that I feel free to have doubts about you on this one. Honestly, I dread the idea of having to listen to Beck all the time to see if he is embracing pro-Nazi antisemitism and racial hatred. That doesn't connect effectively to what I have heard him say. I haven't even "caught" him in many weeks because the last two times I did he spent a good twenty minutes of my car rides bemoaning the way people like you attack him. Seriously, that happened twice in one week. While I would put up with such maundering with a friend, It is boring as hell from a stranger.

Perhaps, therefore, I do not see how I have become responsible to you, Craig, for what Beck says when I listen to him less than you do. Nor do I see the bloggers on NLT as touting and elevating Beck on the front page, which would/might give you more scope for flogging him on the back page.

I think it's from Proverbs, "Sin is unavoidable when there is much talk, but whoever seals his lips is wise." Glenn Beck has put himself in a position where he is being paid for "much talk" and therefore sin is unavoidable. However, I think even if he could manage to open his mouth and be only ever conservatively wise in what came out, you, Craig, would still have a problem with him.

Kate, I brought up Beck because you mentioned your reaction to the David Harvey video (with the synched-up artistry) as "Huh?" and I wanted to know what you thought of Glenn Beck's chalkboard lessons. Seemed fair enough, especially in retrospect, since you referred to David Harvey's logic as "cartoonish." Have you SEEN Beck (again, the #1 guy on the #1 news network) go at it with his chalkboard?

I don't think I have "beaten [you] up about Beck" - just asked questions. But you questioned my credibility for bringing him up, called me "unhinged", and asserted that I've said "enough specious things here" (without actually citing any) - I don't get into the whole "I'm under attack!" schtick (see Beck, Limbaugh, etc. for that!), but really, who's the one being beaten up here?

"I do not see how I have become responsible to you, Craig, for what Beck says..."

I never said nor implied that, Kate. But as John Moser has nicely demonstrated here, serious, respectable conservatives need to decide if they should treat Beck as a respectable conservative, or someone who has "crossed the line" - as John put it. I just asked you if Beck was still a credible entertainer-educator even if he was openly touting a known Nazi sympathizer. If you look at his intro video to his "Glenn Beck University" program [which also runs directly counter to your previous claim here that Beck (and Limbaugh & Co.) "are not really anti-intellectual."], you'll see him recall, with some none-too-subtle pride, how he (thinks he) has schooled PhDs and professors about their gaps in knowledge (which is just silliness for anyone who's ever even skimmed, say, a history journal - no historian will be without such gaps) - so, how could Beck NOT know who he's promoting when he's cheering the good work done by Elizabeth Dilling ?? And, for that matter, if he's taking his role as seriously as he claims to be (entertainers don't typically start universities!), shouldn't he have checked her out beforehand (even her Wiki entry makes it clear that she's a dodgy figure)? The promotion of Dilling strikes me as inexcusable, any way you cut it.

"Nor do I see the bloggers on NLT as touting and elevating Beck on the front page, which would/might give you more scope for flogging him on the back page."

Let's not forget that Beck was honored at an Ashbrook dinner (where Prof. Schramm described him as "inspiring," "informative," and who "tells it like it is" and "cuts through the fog,") and, if I recall correctly, you told us that your husband went to DC for the Beck-initiated 9/12 rally. Beck's a significant figure.

Who is being beaten up here? Beck is, and maybe rightly so, or maybe wrongly so. I don't know. No, I have never seen more than a few minutes of Beck on TV. I think I indicated previously that I have never seen what he does with a chalkboard. Do I have to watch or listen to him faithfully to be a "respectable conservative"? No, wait, if I do listen to him I am not a respectable conservative? Which is it?

I don't care. Which is why I feel beaten up on the topic.

Beck is riding the wave of concern conservatives have about the course of the federal government. From what I have read about him in Forbes and the WSJ and other conservative sources, he is trying desperately to stay at the crest of that wave. If he can appear to be leading it, he can keep making a fortune doing so.

You try to discredit conservative concerns by discrediting Beck and work this guilt by association thing pretty hard. If you are doing so because you think Beck is such a significant figure in American politics -- I leave that to you. I think he is an entertainer about politics, as you note above. This means the fact that you go on about him the way you do makes you seem unhinged to me. If I were not a polite little old lady I would have written something as rude a Hal Holst comment and ignored you after that.

Yes I have read some of his work. I was, in fact, a student of his. His academic training was not in sociology but in geography. He has been notable for refusing to construct testable hypotheses and models and engage in any sort of empirical investigation, at a time when quantitative methods were having a quite fruitful period in academic geography. He is a spinner of discourses, and I seriously doubt a great deal of what he says could withstand fact-checking. (I caught one howler during the last public lecture he gave in these parts four years ago). Amply prepared, I suspect P.T. Bauer or Thomas Sowell or James Q. Wilson could blow some large holes in the man over the radio.

"Do I have to watch or listen to him faithfully to be a "respectable conservative"? No, wait, if I do listen to him I am not a respectable conservative? Which is it?"

Read the links I provided (that will not require you to spend hours watching Beck on TV or listening to him on the radio), as John Moser did, and either refute their significance (including the picture of him with the Dilling book in hand, and the video and audiofiles to go with it) or decide if you will continue to take Beck seriously as a leader in the conservative movement - whether you monitor his shows or not.

I'm not employing "guilt by association." It's not that Beck was seen at a party with Dilling (she's dead, for starters) or served on a non-controversial committee with her. He directly promoted her works. Her history is no secret. Interestingly, she has a lot of similarities with some of today's tea partiers and tea party promoters. She's also a prime example of how bankrupt Jonah Goldberg's "liberal fasism" notion is.

ArtDeco - I would be most interested to see a debate between Harvey and either of the economists or the political scientist you noted, to see if your suspicion would be born out.

BTW,

David Harvey was actually interviewed for the Mars Hill Audio Journal, but the producer of that serial does not engage in any kind of forensic exercises and does not do topical political commentary.

Dr. Harvey is not the sort of person you would have on an ordinary radio program. David Brudnoy might have made an appropriate antagonistic interviewer, but perhaps not. The other problem is that his intellectual framework is odd and esoteric and would need much more elucidation than would someone else.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_fallacy

http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#Guilt%20by%20Association

Guilt by association is a logical fallacy which is an attempt to make someone responsible for the beliefs or actions of others with whom they have some association, no matter how tenuous.

Kate is a conservative

Glenn Beck is a conservative

Therefore Kate is responsible for Glenn Beck, whatever he says and does, because they are both called conservatives.

No, thank you.

Kate's husband went to Washington DC for a protest on 9/12/09

Glenn Beck promoted the 9/12/09 protest on his radio program

Therefore Kate's husband went to DC on 9/12/09 because of Glenn Beck.

It just ain't so.

Glenn Beck quoted admiringly from a book written by Dilling (recently?)

Peter Schramm hosted a fund-raising dinner with Beck as speaker a few years back and said nice things about him.

Therefore, Peter Schramm endorses what Glenn Beck currently says about Dilling.

I would be really surprised to hear that was so. Have you any evidence?

Those are examples from your comments of the logical fallacy of guilt by association.

I will continue to take Glenn Beck seriously as a leader in conservative circles because he very evidently is such a leader. I won't be following him in the future any more than I did before, but I really couldn't follow him any less. If he is promoting the works of this reprehensible Dilling person, I heartily hope he repents of it. If that is his natural inclination, I hope his listeners have some discernment. I think they do, at least the Beck listeners I know do. None of them have suggested I read Dilling, for example.

I don't know anyone in the Tea Party who sounds like Dilling. How about some evidence on that one, while you are at it.

You guys talk about glenn beck like he is actually a person. I bet that is not even his real name, and i doubt he comes up with those sketches. he is an actor, a brand put on display to garner ratings. of course he is outrageous. respect and restraint, are not the attributes that get viewers. However, the team in charge of his show do understand something about the current state of certain groups now feeling disenfranshised and they are simply capitalizing on it. I used to hear him on the radio before he was even on CNN. His show was indistingishable from Limbuagh or Hannidy or any of the other mainline conservative shows. All the sudden he moves to foxnews at 5pm and he turns into Alex Jones, David Icke, and Bill Hicks rolled into one, if only he would talk reptilians then I would watch the show daily as it would be the funniest thing on tv. As it is, the show is sad because the writers bring up good points at times then wrap it all up in a bag of crap so that everything will have the stench on it at the end of the day.

"Kate is a conservative

Glenn Beck is a conservative

Therefore Kate is responsible for Glenn Beck, whatever he says and does, because they are both called conservatives."

- Never said that, never implied it. You're not "responsible for" what Beck says or does - at all. But when someone endorses a pariah nutjob like Dilling, then you need to decide if they're still a legitimate leader and/or educator (entertaining as he might be to some (somehow), he still fancies himself as an educator - that's why he's "offering" his Glenn Beck Univ. this summer)

" Kate's husband went to Washington DC for a protest on 9/12/09

Glenn Beck promoted the 9/12/09 protest on his radio program

Therefore Kate's husband went to DC on 9/12/09 because of Glenn Beck.

It just ain't so."

- Sorry, but your husband almost certainly would not have had an event to go to if it weren't for Beck's creation and promotion of this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9-12_Project

"Glenn Beck quoted admiringly from a book written by Dilling (recently?)

Peter Schramm hosted a fund-raising dinner with Beck as speaker a few years back and said nice things about him.

Therefore, Peter Schramm endorses what Glenn Beck currently says about Dilling.

I would be really surprised to hear that was so. Have you any evidence?"

Well, I'm not going to provide evidence for something that, again, I didn't state or imply. I ONLY mentioned Dr. Schramm's introductory praise for Beck because you asserted that NLT bloggers weren't "touting" or "elevating" Beck. I could have also included this evidence that NLT bloggers ARE doing just that (in addition to Hayward's WashPost semi-praise for him):
http://nlt.ashbrook.org/2010/02/glenn-beck-at-cpac-1.php

"I don't know anyone in the Tea Party who sounds like Dilling. How about some evidence on that one, while you are at it."

Um... Glenn Beck on a regular basis? Spouting his crazy conspiracy theories (FEMA camps, anyone?) and random junk - Obama hates white people, blah, blah, blah...

But I'm sure that you will continue your very interesting and complicated relationship with him.

You "will continue to take Glenn Beck seriously as a leader in conservative circles" but yet, you "won't be following him in the future any more than [you] did before, but [you] really couldn't follow him any less."

So, that's how you take your leaders seriously, by not really following them (in any sense of the word "follow") at all?

Wild.

"I hope you get shot in the face with a bazooka."

You must really be John Bolton - I'd recognize your kind of diplomacy anywhere!

(and what happened to the standards of civility being monitored/enforced here? Guess it only applies if the target is a conservative?)

Kate, I do realize that even if Beck accidentally came across an American fascist and promoted her for his current purposes (which are all but indistinguishable from those of the Tea Parties), that doesn't mean that there are many Nazi sympathizers within today's Tea Party movement. Few to none, I'd guess.

After all, it would be supremely hard to juggle the cognitive dissonance of embracing the evil guy that you need to use to compare to the current POTUS!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100714/ap_on_re_us/us_iowa_obama_billboard;_ylt=Ao0zFsiG5VCK.nitiM.MqzJH2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTNjdWtjcXVzBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwNzE0L3VzX2lvd2Ffb2JhbWFfYmlsbGJvYXJkBGNjb2RlA21vc3Rwb3B1bGFyBGNwb3MDNQRwb3MDNQRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3JpZXMEc2xrA2JpbGxib2FyZGxpbg--

The North Iowa Tea Party began displaying the billboard in downtown Mason City last week. The sign shows large photographs of Obama, Nazi leader Hitler and communist leader Lenin beneath the labels "Democrat Socialism," "National Socialism," and "Marxist Socialism."

Beneath the photos is the phrase, "Radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive."

Boy, ain't that the truth!

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