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Glenn Beck: A Case Study in What’s Ailing Conservatism

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

In between his purchases of gold bullion and road flares, his attempts to put one more gallon of water in his cellar, and the addition of twenty more cans of green beans for dooms day, Glenn Beck has recently taken time to criticize and perhaps even undercut the GOP.

For example, in his appearance on Freedom Watch with Andrew Napolitano last week, Beck said that President Obama and Newt Gingrich were both progressives, and that the only reason the Tea Party is supporting Newt over Obama is due to race.

Let’s examine these claims one at a time.

Why is Gingrich a progressive? According to Beck it’s because Gingrich liked Theodore Roosevelt. And as my friend Coach Turnbow would say, “The problem is, in Beck’s mind everything’s a zero sum game.” i.e., Beck seems to lack the ability to understand that Gingrich could like certain aspects of Roosevelt that weren’t progressive without liking those that were.

I, for one, love Teddy Roosevelt’s use of the Navy – the Great White Fleet – which he painted bright white and sent around the world so that our would-be enemies could see it and know that if they messed with America we would crush them. This was a precursor to Ronald Reagan’s use of nuclear weapons and “Peace through Strength.” Does that make me a progressive in Mr. Beck’s mind?

Nevertheless, just for kicks, let’s pretend that Gingrich is a progressive like Obama. Even if we do that, who would assume that the only difference between them is race?

Consider this: Darius Rucker and George Strait are both country singers. If I like Strait’s music more than Rucker’s, does that mean I dislike black people? (For the record, I like Strait and Rucker, which must really test Beck’s method of categorization.)

Currently, Gingrich’s support has waned somewhat in Iowa. But before it did, Beck hinted that he might support Ron Paul as a third party candidate if Gingrich received the GOP nomination. Does Beck understand how the primaries work? During the primaries, the people pick the candidate they like best. So what Beck is saying is that if the people pick Gingrich instead of Mitt Romney, he’s going to throw a temper tantrum and put his support behind a third party candidate to teach the GOP a lesson.

Note to Beck: As Rush Limbaugh has pointed out a million times, a third party spells a second term for Obama -- period.

Sadly, Beck knows that “voting third party on our side for whomever guarantees Obama a victory,” but he’ll do it anyway because he’s shooting from the hip again. He has come completely unglued and I can only hope his followers quit drinking the kool-aid before he leads them, and perhaps even the GOP, to another Jonestown.

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