I wasn’t even going to say anything. Not being Beck fans, my entourage and I (I roll deep) opted to start cocktail hour early instead of listening to his speech. But all day today I was asked two things: did Ron Paul really win the straw poll (I refer you to Patrick Ruffini), and what I thought of Glenn Beck. What I think is that he’s an assclown. As for his speech, two things based on excerpts.
One, a speech full of applause lines that most of us agree with anyway doesn’t impress me. “The Republican Party has lost it’s way.” No shit, RNC Chair Michael Steele will even tell you that. After sitting through a few days of serious speeches by serieous people – Marco Rubio compelling narrative, Mitt Romney’s economic recovery, Tim Pawlenty on how to govern as a conservative in a blue state, Newt Gingrich just being his awesomely awesome self – hearing him say the most basic beliefs of conservatism as if he’s the first person to think of him doesn’t empress me.
The other thing is his whole schtick on how there isn’t any difference between the two parties, and how there should be a third party because the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats. For this, I refer you to Redstate.com’s Erick Erickson, not some who is known for carrying the GOP’s water for them…
But we have to have a very careful caveat here: the GOP has not been good on spending and portions of economic policy. We cannot make it, however, a blanket statement. As Glenn Beck said last night, “One party says it will tax and spend. The other party says it won’t tax and will spend.” We have to be careful in our zeal to clean up Washington not to take that for more than what it is. We have to be careful in our zeal to clean up Washington not to take that for more than what it is.
Therein lies much of the concern. There is real angst that some people are agitating for a third party because of what they see as an unrepentant GOP. And the fear is that Glenn Beck is feeding this. I hope he is not. I would have to part ways if that were the case. History shows that neither the most popular third party candidate, Teddy Roosevelt, nor the richest, Ross Perot, were ever able to get elected. All they did was get the Democrat elected.
It is the GOP that wants to cut the costs of health care through expanding the free market. It is the GOP that wants to fight the enemy instead of compromising with them. It is the GOP that wants to upend our failing public schools and make them actually teach instead of function as a retirement home for teachers union employees. It is the GOP that stands in defense of freedom against tyranny. It was, for example, the GOP that stood with Honduras against Hugo Chavez while Barack Obama gave a full throated embrace of the communist dictator and the thugs of South America.
So that’s what I think of Glenn Beck’s speech. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go back to being over him.