As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Has Someone Ever Criticized Your Tie And You Just Want To Slice Open Their Throat?"

I think Glenn Beck is delivering way too much information about himself in this clip:

BECK: So, the shooting in Alabama. Did you hear how they described this guy? I mean it was the typical, "He was a loner, he was quiet," oh really? But what they really described, when they really got down into it, what they said was, here's a guy who felt that he had been wronged. He didn't feel comfortable talking to anybody, he was disgruntled and everything else and then he went out and shot a bunch of people. As they were describing him and they said, you gotta go, now more than ever, you gotta start talking to people, you have to start connecting with people, because we're going into hard times, yada yada yada. As I'm listening to the description, first of all this guy's a psycho, clearly he's a psycho. But as I'm listening to him, I'm thinking about the American people that feel disenfranchised right now. That feel like no one is hearing their voice. The government isn't hearing their voice. Even if you call, they don't listen to you on both sides. If you're a conservative, you're called a racist, you want to starve children. Yada yada yada. And every time they do speak out, they’re shut down by political correctness. How do you not have those people turn into that guy?

O’REILLY: Well, look, nobody, even if they’re frustrated, is going to hurt another human being unless they’re mentally ill. I think.

BECK: I think pushed to the wall, you don’t think people get pushed to the wall?

O’REILLY: Nah, I don’t believe in this snap thing. I think that that kind of violence is inside you and it’s a personality disorder.

This is not an unfortunate attempt at a causal connection. This is Glenn Beck trying to justify himself to himself, with Bill O'Reilly (!) as the voice of reason. Since he's been put in his proper ideological box at Fox News, he has spiraled downward into this militia mentality ever faster. Today, he's doing his show from something called the Doom Room for a special called "You Are Not Alone."

Beck speaks to a small, strange, resentful movement at the far, far right of the spectrum that is emotionally unstable. There's clearly an audience for it, and increasingly the conservative movement is embodying it - note "the real problem is bisexuality, not mass murder" articulated by Rod Dreher - but it's notably dangerous. Beck is going to be leading a group out to the woods in Idaho and trying to secede within a month, I'm thinking.

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