Saturday, December 4, 2010

Glenn Beck's bare knuckle, smash mouth rhetoric punches civil discourse in the face

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Yesterday on Hardball, host Chris Matthews was discussing how conservatives fight for their candidates during elections. His guests were Roger Simon from Politico and political commentator, Ronald Reagan Jr. Listen and consider the ramifications of engaging in smash mouth, political discourse.

Selected quotations follow:

Roger Simon: I don't think the right wing is meaner than the left wing. I think they're just better at it.

Chris Matthews: Tell me why that's good...Why is it better to be nastier or to be more personal? We're talking personal issues here...The right-wing press said let's really stick it to [Charlie Rangel], and they did.

Simon: That's what the right-wing press does. They have more experience at it. Look, you talk about mean people. You talk about mean campaigns. You're talking about Willie Horton. You're talking about, uh...

Matthews: ...using race.

Simon: Yeah. You're talking about swift boat veterans. You're talking about real game changing things. Democrats don't have stuff like that. You're talking about mean guy. When Glenn Beck says, "Barack Obama is a racist. He has a deep seated hatred for the white people or the white culture...."

Matthews: There's not much like that on the Democratic side.

Simon: There's not. You get wry, sardonic witty people like Stephen Colbert, like Jon Stewart. Now I think they're more effective because they can persuade persuadable people, but they're in a whole different league than people who hit you in the face and keep hitting you in the face.

Matthews: ...You have a great memory for the details of evil....Stuff like Glenn Beck accusing a president, who is so ... whatever you think of his politics, this guy's so gotteh beyond the racial history, so good with everybody on equal terms...Clinton was pretty good, but this guy's better getting beyond race.

Ronald Reagan Jr: Yeah. Can you imagine if Nancy Pelosi called extending middle class tax cuts "chicken crap?" What would the right wing press do with that? I think there's a bigger issue here, and it's the Republicans are all together on their agenda. They're serving Corporate America; it's what they do. The Democrats, the leadership anyway, would like to serve corporate America. That's where the money is, and money is the path to power...but they're divided as a party. They have constituents and members who aren't down with that program....

Matthews: Does the end justify the means, Ron. You got the mike here. In other words, does the point of view...Does the purpose of social justice, the purpose of equity for a better America justify bare knuckle politics? Not just hardball, bare knuckle politics.

Reagan: Yes. Yes. Yes it does. If you're in a knife fight, bring a knife or bring a gun. If you're fighting for social justice, you do what you need to do to win. The Republicans are doing what they need to do to win in representing corporate America, so why not fight the same way?

Simon: But in the end, you only win the battles; you don't win the war. You have a more degraded America. You have an America that now we're worried about.

Matthews: Who's winning right now, the left or the right?


Simon: The right is winning right now....It's getting scary. Maybe I'm the only one in America who was scared when that guy showed up at a Barack Obama rally with an ... AR 15 semi-automatic assault rifle and it was not that big of a God, you can just imagine what's going to happen.

bare knuckled, smash mouth liar

Glenn Beck has proven that he's willing, able and ready to lie about whatever he feels like deceiving his viewers about. Does that mean that his detractors should fight fire with fire? This has been attempted with the satirical website claiming that Beck raped and killed a 19 year old girl in 1990. The point was to give Beck a taste of his own medicine.  Beck sued to have the site taken down and lost his case, so he knows about this claim. That hasn't stopped him from continuing to lie about things. Just recently has Beck lied about:
There is a petition online requesting that Rupert Murdoch fire Glenn Beck for his horrific, anti-Semitic lies about billionaire, philanthropist George Soros; but Beck seems to suit Murdoch's quest to misinform the public. That Beck undermines the credibility of the few legitimate journalists employed at FoxPAC doesn't seem to matter to the decision makers there. 

Rather than degrading this country by fighting fire with fire, by countering Beck's lies about "whatever" with lies about Glenn Beck, perhaps the public does need to know much more about Glenn Beck including what skeletons he may have hiding in his closet. As long as the information is based in fact and not gossip or unsubstantiated rumors, isn't it appropriate to take off the gloves and land a few jabs to Beck's fat mouth?

Before more people start swallowing Beck's lies,
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