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Thread: Glenn Greenwald Calls Glenn Beck's Bluff

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    Glenn Greenwald Calls Glenn Beck's Bluff

    “I have not heard people in the Republican Party yet admit that they have a problem,” said TV and radio talk show host Glenn Beck, the final speaker Saturday night at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference in Washington. by Jack Kenny

    Glenn Greenwald Calls Beck's Bluff


    Jack Kenny | John Birch Society
    24 February 2010


    “I have not heard people in the Republican Party yet admit that they have a problem,” said TV and radio talk show host Glenn Beck, the final speaker Saturday night at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference in Washington. “I haven’t seen the ‘Come to Jesus’ moment in the Republican Party — Hello my name is the Republican Party, and I got a problem. I’m addicted to spending and big government.”

    The message resounded with Tea Party activists and other foes of “big government" among the estimated 10,000 people attending the conference. Beck lambasted Republicans nearly as much as Democrats for driving up the national debt, expanding an already bloated budget and growing a government that puts “a cap on success.”

    “We have a right to fail,” Beck said. “What we don’t have a right to is healthcare, housing or handouts.” But Beck, who can be a “compassionate conservative” at the right time for the right people, would deny the “right to fail” to corporate giants like AIG and Goldman Sachs. When the $700 billion rescue plan for the failed financial companies came before Congress, Beck was all for it — in fact he told his radio audience, it wasn’t big enough. And when not preaching against the evils of big government, he lends his vocal support to laws like the Patriot Act, with its authorization of warrantless searches and it’s grant of roving jurisdiction to the government to look over our shoulder at what books and videos we are buying at bookstores or borrowing from libraries. As Glenn Greenwald observed in his column Sunday, “mainstream” Republican conservatives at the CPAC carefully tailored their message to appeal to the libertarian leanings of the Tea Party movement.

    “Glenn Beck — who literally cheered for the Wall Street bailout and Bush's endlessly expanding surveillance state — now parades around as though he shares the libertarians' contempt for them,” wrote Greenwald, a former constitutional lawyer whose column is published daily on the liberal Salon.com website. Greenwald's criticisms of government officeholders and policies tend to cover a wide range of positions from left-liberal to conservative. He has faulted President Obama, for example, for abandoning a commitment to the public option component of the Democrats’ national health care plan. He has been highly critical of both Obama and the preceding Bush administration over our wars in the Middle East and the policy of permitting “enhanced interrogation techniques” on prisoners taken in the war on terror. And he has been a tireless critic of the Patriot Act and the Bush administration’s practice of “warrantless eavesdropping.” But Greenwald has also proved to be an astute observer of Republicans pretending to be foes of big government, while supporting an expansion of its powers. Unfortunately, the history of Republican administrations, From Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush supports his critique of the Grand Old Party.

    YouTube - Glenn Beck is a Neocon (Not a Libertarian)

    “This is what Republicans always do,” Greenwald wrote. "When in power, they massively expand the power of the state in every realm. Deficit spending and the national debt skyrocket. The National Security State is bloated beyond description through wars and occupations, while no limits are tolerated on the Surveillance State. Then, when out of power, they suddenly pretend to re-discover their ‘small government principles.’ The very same Republicans who spent the 1990s vehemently opposing Bill Clinton's Terrorism-justified attempts to expand government surveillance and executive authority then, once in power, presided over the largest expansion in history of those very same powers. The last eight years of Republican rule was characterized by nothing other than endlessly expanded government power, even as they insisted -- both before they were empowered and again now -- that they are the standard-bearers of government restraint."

    There are almost numberless other examples that could be cited over the past several decades. The creation of a cabinet-level Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services) was something Republicans successfully opposed during the Truman administration. It came to pass during the first term of Republican Dwight Eisenhower, at a time when Republicans still held a narrow majority in Congress. Granted, it was largely a consolidation of existing federal agencies, but it is hard to imagine a greater concentration of power in the national government than a Department of Health, Education and Welfare. What human activity could not be covered by one or another of those three words?

    During the Nixon administration the federal government became the caretaker of animal welfare as well, giving us not only the Environmental Protection Administration, but the Endangered Species Act as well. It is that law that has been repeatedly invoked over the years to prevent a farmer from plowing on his own land if he endangered the habitat of Kangaroo rat; stop the Army Corp of Engineers from reinforcing a dam because the work would displace the Elderberry long-haired beetle; and prevent the construction of a hospital on a site where it would intersect the flight of pattern of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly. Nixon’s legacy included, along with rapidly rising deficits, the nation’s first peacetime wage-and-price controls.

    Ronald Reagan preached the gospel of small-government conservatism as well as anyone, and better than most. Yet during his eight years in the White House, the annual budget doubled and deficits were roughly triple what they were when Jimmy Carter left office. Early in his first term, his budget director, David Stockman, forecast $200 billion a year deficits “as far as the eye can see.” And while “big-spending” Democrats in Congress deserve their share of the blame, the deficits were largely the result of increased spending, in everything from armaments to urban renewal, that the Reagan White House supported.

    Reagan had been preaching against farm subsidies, for example, since his days as on the speaking circuit for General Electric. But by the middle of his second term, he was boasting of how much his administration had increased support for agriculture. “No area of the federal budget, including defense has grown as fast as our support of agriculture, “Reagan said at the Illinois State Fair in 1986. (Note he was talking about “our”—his administration’s—support of those spending increases.) In that year alone, he said, spending on agriculture would be greater than “the total the last administration provided in all its four years.” The pledge to abolish the federal Department of Education, created during the Carter years, was forgotten until the next election, when it was time to put it in the party platform again.

    Today, the philosophical divide between the neoconservatives who dominated the administration of George W. Bush and the libertarian followers of Ron Paul remains as wide as the Sahara, despite the appearance of unity at the CPAC conference, where both factions reveled in their mutual disdain for the socialist agenda of Barrack Obama. As Greenwald rightly noted, the difference between Sarah Palin’s glowing support for America’s military adventures in an ill defined and seemingly limitless “war on terror” and Ron Paul’s determined non-interventionism can not be smoothed over with a few crowd-pleasing speeches. And when hawkish columnist/commentator Ann Coulter told the gathering at the CPAC conference she agreed with Ron Paul on everything “outside of foreign policy,” that, if true, still leaves literally a world of difference between two opposing views of America’s role in the world.

    In recent years, the quadrennial conventions of the two major parties have been mainly coronations of the presidential candidates and the harmonious adoption of a platform full of empty platitudes and promises. But the differences that remain between neoconservatives and libertarians in the Grand Old Party may yet provide some sparks when Republicans gather in 2012.


    SOURCE:
    http://www.jbs.org/jbs-news-feed/600...ls-becks-bluff
    ----

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    Inspired by US Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, this site is dedicated to facilitating grassroots initiatives that aim to restore a sovereign limited constitutional Republic based on the rule of law, states' rights and individual rights. We seek to enshrine the original intent of our Founders to foster respect for private property, seek justice, provide opportunity, and to secure individual liberty for ourselves and our posterity.



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  3. #2
    Great article JBS!
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  4. #3
    bump
    ----

    Ron Paul Forum's Mission Statement:

    Inspired by US Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, this site is dedicated to facilitating grassroots initiatives that aim to restore a sovereign limited constitutional Republic based on the rule of law, states' rights and individual rights. We seek to enshrine the original intent of our Founders to foster respect for private property, seek justice, provide opportunity, and to secure individual liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

  5. #4
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain

    "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."
    - Mark Twain

    "I'm Ron Paul, I'm a Congressman from Texas serving in my tenth term, I am the champion of the Constitution." 05/03/07 - revolution restarts

  6. #5
    Exactly what's going on here.

    "As Glenn Greenwald observed in his column Sunday, “mainstream” Republican conservatives at the CPAC carefully tailored their message to appeal to the libertarian leanings of the Tea Party movement."

    trying to bring folks under one tent!



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