Sunday, August 7, 2011

The three stooges of Beck's morning zoo radio program convey profound ignorance again

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On his MSNBC show, The Last Word, host Lawrence O'Donnell brought in one of the co-chairs of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, former Senator Alan Simpson to discuss the possible make-up of the 12 member "super Congress" that will be charged with writing a deficit reduction plan as the second part of the debt reduction deal passed into law last week. The following morning, Glenn Beck addressed Senator Simpson's comments about Grover Norquist.

First, via MSNBC, listen to what Beck and his crew chose to respond to:

The following is what Beck and his two stooges (for wealthy Americans) said on his morning zoo version of talk radio. Via Beck's website, the video's title is "Who is Grover?" They didn't know?!?

Beck's profound ignorance

Two questions come to mind listening to these three stooges. 1) Who,  in their right mind,  takes any of this nonsense seriously?   2) How can any informed person consider Glenn Beck, who hadn't heard of Grover Norquist a week earlier, anything but profoundly ignorant? This morning zoo version of political commentary supremely conveys why Beck's biography is aptly entitled, Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance. This is hardly the first time that Beck's ignorance has been documented here, and it is not likely to be the last.

Another quick example will demonstrate just how little Beck stays informed about current events. On the Monday, July 19th, 2010, when the rest of the media was discussing the unfair firing of USDA employee Shirley Sherrod because of the deceptively edited video of her speech to a chapter of the NAACP posted on Andrew Breitbart's blog, Beck ignored the story that day to open with an important story that was, by then, over 7 months old!

 the blind leading the blind

So who is Grover Norquist?

Grover Norquist at Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2010.

Neither Beck nor his follow stooges convey in the clip that Beck provided on his website any useful information about who Grover Norquist is. It's clear that they do not like Senator Simpson questioning his background and funding. In an interview with Senator Dick Durbin on The Daily Show last Thurday, Norquist and his pledge is discussed in an interview by Jon Stewart about taxes and the federal budget.

Listen to this via The Daily Show:

Mr. Stewart made a correction when the interview was over. Norquist is not with The Club for Growth but is instead with Americans for Tax Reform, an organization he founded at the request of President Reagan. Beck knows that Norquist is on his side, protecting millionaires like Beck and billionaires from having to pay any more of their income in taxes, and that's why he and his sidekicks mocked the conservative Simpson for wanting to have Norquist investigated.

Why Norquist matters

You would not know it by listening to Beck's morning zoo commentary, but the Republican fear of Norquest is keeping Congress from functioning normally. The extent of his influence can be seen on a clip from the Rachel Maddow Show on August 1st when guest host Christopher Hayes discussed the debt ceiling compromise legislation in comparison to debt reduction legislation of the past. Watch this via MSNBC. It's a bit lengthy, but it is excellent, and it gets at the heart of Norquist's influence in Congress without actually mentioning his name. It also describes a way forward that ignores Norquist's reactionary tax pledge.

The reason this recent debt reduction agreement has 0% revenues included in it for the first phase (shown during this segment as a bar graph) is because many Republicans have signed Grover Norquist's pledge to never raise taxes. If he and the millionaires and billionaires he is protecting continue to have their way with tax levels on the rich, which are near 50 year lows, then the government will eventually go bankrupt and/or the American middle class programs will be destroyed. That is precisely Norquist's goal. In his own words, "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." Who thinks like this? Reactionary extremists like Beck, the Koch brother billionaires, their Tea Party minions and other libertarians, who are trying to destroy the welfare of the American people and drag the United States back to the 19th Century, think like this. 

Even though most people in Beck's audience will depend on government programs for student loans and social security programs after they retire, etc., Beck's gift for reactionary propaganda blinds many of them to the reality of Beck's extremist ideals. Beck is a masterful rodeo clown distracting millions from the inconvenient facts of the constitutional duties of the federal government. According to the Preamble of the United States Constitution, the federal government's role is to, among other things, "promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." Beck's cherry-picking manner of propaganda focuses on the "Blessings of Liberty" and ignores "the general Welfare." At least, that is, when he is actually being serious.

Before more people start tuning into Beck's reactionary, yellow propaganda
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