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  1.    #1  
    BARYE attended the CPAC conference. (as a former head of state, BARYE was of course an honoured guest, and did not need to pay).

    Of the various panels, presentations, and speakers I heard, the 2 most worth mentioning were that of Ron Paul, the former Presidential candidate and current Texas republican Congressman, and Glenn Beck -- the TV evangelist and self confessed former drunk, who has emerged as this generation's right wing jesus.

    Before Beck the keynote speaker came out, the ACU’s pollster went to the microphone to talk about the results of CPAC’s straw Presidential poll. When a large chart filled the giant projection screens that flanked the stage, a loud chorus of boos roared from the crowd -- and I understood who won the poll even before I looked up at the chart.

    Paul: 31%
    Romney: 22
    Palin: 7

    Strange I thought. The folks who voted in the straw poll were no longer, it seemed, the ones who occupied the main hall. Strange too that Palin polled so low.

    There was this queeer air of electric expectation and impatience in the minutes before Beck came to the podium. The hall was packed, the unoccupied seats few, and the buzz like something before a 30's Nuremberg rally.

    I confess I’ve not seen or heard much from Beck previously -- just his wackiest, most certifiable bits as shown on Countdown, The Daily Show, and Colbert.

    A blackboard was brought out a third the way into his hour's oration -- and for a moment I thought I was watching the reenactment of an SNL parody.

    He chalked the word “progressives” onto the board -- and described them as an alien contra-constitutional force that has essentially hijacked america. (echoing a theme annunciated by others at the conference too). The crowd roared. And despite how cordially I had generally been treated, I wondered if I could escape the hall without a yellow letter “P” being forcibly sown onto my garments.

    Beck is a charismatic and dangerous force -- a modern day Huey Long, Joe McCarthy, or worse. He is able to channel the right’s inarticulate inchoate rage in a way that may be often times factually farcical and inaccurate -- but which truly encapsulates the right’s delusional view of the world. Its a world whose troubles he says, can be traced to those he describes as the first progressives: Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR...

    Despite the fact that many on the left dismiss him as nothing but a clown, Beck is a figure who should not be underestimated or ignored.

    next: Ron Paul ...
    Last edited by BARYE; 02/21/2010 at 04:48 AM.
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  2.    #2  
    A quiet, distinguished older gentleman undramatically strode to the podium.

    He might have been an insurance investigator, a Walmart greeter, or a Vacuum cleaner salesman.

    The crowd erupted ecstatically.

    Young people literally stood on their chairs shouting their rapturous approval, loudly chanting: “End the Fed, End the Fed !!!”, “RON PAUL, RON PAUL !!!”.

    Interrupted by frequent applause, Paul articulated a political vision that can only be described as radically libertarian.

    He advocated for a world where america would immediately terminate its involvement in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, close all its foreign military bases, and end all its foreign entanglements.

    He talked about doing away with all economic regulation of the american economy, and of liquidating the Fed (The Federal Reserve Board).

    After his speech, Paul went downstairs to sign copies of his book: “End The Fed”. A line of mostly young folk wrapped around a couple of aisles awaiting a chance to get their book autographed and have a quick word or two with their hero.

    As BARYE was about 20 feet distant (exchanging pleasantries with someone who recognized him), something unexpected and truly bizarre transpired:

    A smiling GOP Chairman Michael Steele had come unannounced to Paul’s table. Paul handed Steele a copy of his book, which Steele blushingly held up.

    Steele then gushingly asked Ron Paul if he’d autograph it, which Paul gladly complied. (all true, BTW).

    next: economic anarchy...
    Last edited by BARYE; 02/21/2010 at 04:49 AM.
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  3. #3  
    Glen Beck "dangerous" ? I don't quite follow... He's just a talk show host and commentator. And not all that good, IMO - I never listen to him because Laura Ingram is on at the same time.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by jjeffcoat View Post
    Glen Beck "dangerous" ? I don't quite follow... He's just a talk show host and commentator. And not all that good, IMO
    I normally stay away from threads like these, because you're not going to convince people on a forum to change their mind about something, and quite frankly I don't really care too much about people I don't know's opinions on these sorts of things.

    But in this case, I just had to express my opinion on Beck and a couple other things. I'll fully admit that I'm a very liberal person. But I have some very intelligent friends who are liberals, and very intelligent friends who are conservatives. The problem with Glenn Beck is not that he's conservative, but that he's a crackpot who further promotes / encourages ignorance.

    Between his fervent supporters and Palin's supporters, I just don't get the anti-intellectualism that's happening in the country right now (and frankly started by George W, but it's grown exponentially lately). Being intelligent isn't a bad thing, but the drivel that comes out of Beck and Palin treats it as if it is. Regardless of what side you're on, we've got too many problems right now that need real thought and real solutions... even if we don't always agree on what those problems and solutions are.

    Now, I've got nothing in common with Ron Paul's platform, and pretty much disagree with everything that comes out of his mouth. But he's still a very intelligent man, with well-reasoned ideas and actual positions on issues. That is what we need more of, not the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins of the world.
  5. #5  
    maybe you should watch/listen to beck's show before dismissing him so lightly. besides that, much of what beck said yesterday is true
  6. #6  
    I have listened to him, he's just not my cup of tea. Don't care much for Hannity either.. Strony preferLaura, Rush, Boortz, and Levin. Savage is Ok in small doses, but he gets tiring after a while.
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  7. #7  
    I agree with you, BARYE. It's a mistake to underestimate Beck. He's tapped into a wellspring of rage and fear, & is fanning it quite effectively. He and other are drawing battle lines over what constitutes "American" (including a prominent member of Congress suggesting that other Congreemen should be investigated for un-American activities, which is scarily familiar).

    I don't agree with Ron Paul on a number of issues, but I believe he is a very smart, earnest gentleman who takes well-reasoned positions, without appearing to pander to the most negative elements of the current conservative movement. It's a bit sad to see him have to face a primary challenge from the current tea party wing.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by streetskooler View Post
    maybe you should watch/listen to beck's show before dismissing him so lightly. besides that, much of what beck said yesterday is true
    Much though was not -- though I'd have to relisten to his speech to give you too many specifics.

    One that comes quickly to mind is his ignorant interpretation of the events that lead to the Great Depression, and the effects of the economic policies of FDR and Coolidge. To his audience Beck is the professor dispensing "facts" and knowledge that the evil "progressives" have been keeping from them.

    I grant that Beck has a Palinesque cleverness about him. I admire the way he's simultaneously able to transform liabilities and weaknesses into strengths. Immunizing himself from the revelations that he was a self destructive uneducated drunk -- now that story becomes a metaphor for his understanding of the world and how government should respond when people need help or things go wrong.
    Last edited by BARYE; 02/21/2010 at 06:51 PM.
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  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by jjeffcoat View Post
    Glen Beck "dangerous" ? I don't quite follow... He's just a talk show host and commentator. And not all that good, IMO - I never listen to him because Laura Ingram is on at the same time.
    He's dangerous for the reason's Bujin mentioned -- that he's able to voice, amplify, and give the patina of reason to the rage on the right.

    I genuinely don't mean to distort this thread, or insult you or anyone else -- but Glenn Beck really reminds me of the keynote speaker at that rally in Nuremberg. That leader was able to articulate the ennui, anger, and alienation of the german people and channel those emotions into a truly destructive movement. Beck could have that same potential.
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  10.    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Bujin View Post
    I agree with you, BARYE. It's a mistake to underestimate Beck. He's tapped into a wellspring of rage and fear, & is fanning it quite effectively. He and other are drawing battle lines over what constitutes "American" (including a prominent member of Congress suggesting that other Congressmen should be investigated for un-American activities, which is scarily familiar).

    I don't agree with Ron Paul on a number of issues, but I believe he is a very smart, earnest gentleman who takes well-reasoned positions, without appearing to pander to the most negative elements of the current conservative movement. It's a bit sad to see him have to face a primary challenge from the current tea party wing.
    Well said Bujin.

    I am amused by Paul's effect on young people. They are utterly transmutated by his words and ideas.

    Even the very lefty friend I was with was favorably affected by Paul.

    Paul coincidentally, left the hotel at the same time as me and my friend. My friend spontaneously walked with Paul to his car, talking to him. For the rest of the night, my friend could hardly stop talking about Paul.
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  11. #11  
    I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.
    --William F. Buckley, Jr.--
    Noted Author, Founder and Publisher of National Review, and Intellectual
  12. #12  
    He's dangerous for the reason's Bujin mentioned -- that he's able to voice, amplify, and give the patina of reason to the rage on the right.
    Rage, indeed. I guess I don't see this "rage" you are talking about...
    jim
  13. groovy's Avatar
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    #13  
    Well, BARYE, you've certainly managed to include all of the prerequisites for a good hit piece: link a viable candidate to a controversial right-wing radio host, throw in some salacious details about the latter's chemical abuses, give the candidate some back-handed compliment while portraying him as more or less insignificant, paint the crowd in attendance as mindless idolizing drones, and toss in some national socialist and McCarthy references for good measure. Mission accomplished.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    Well, BARYE, you've certainly managed to include all of the prerequisites for a good hit piece: link a viable candidate to a controversial right-wing radio host, throw in some salacious details about the latter's chemical abuses, give the candidate some back-handed compliment while portraying him as more or less insignificant, paint the crowd in attendance as mindless idolizing drones, and toss in some national socialist and McCarthy references for good measure. Mission accomplished.
    I completely agree but minus the sarcasm.
  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by jjeffcoat View Post
    Rage, indeed. I guess I don't see this "rage" you are talking about...
    jim
    I felt and heard it. It was as tangible as vomit on the floor of a Mardi Gras saloon, or as pungent as the crap at Iowan hog factory.

    The country is wallowing with unfocused rage -- people have lost their jobs, their homes, their farms, their communities -- the rage is a throbbing angry bruised black thumb that's been hammered by distant powerful unseen forces.

    What's interesting is that the people at this meeting were not (from what I could tell) the victims of junior's economic cataclysm. The people at this conference came hundreds of miles, stayed in expensive hotels, and paid hundreds of dollars for entry.

    Their rage had to with Obama's illegitimate Presidency, "his" deficit spending, "his" bailout of the banks, the GMs -- his "progressive" social ideas and programs, his anticipated increase in taxes the rich would pay.

    Their rage was palpable, nonetheless.
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  16.    #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    Well, BARYE, you've certainly managed to include all of the prerequisites for a good hit piece: link a viable candidate to a controversial right-wing radio host, throw in some salacious details about the latter's chemical abuses, give the candidate some back-handed compliment while portraying him as more or less insignificant, paint the crowd in attendance as mindless idolizing drones, and toss in some national socialist and McCarthy references for good measure. Mission accomplished.
    I'm confused as to who you're referring --

    If you are speaking of Beck, I am saying he is more significant than is generally perceived.

    (otherwise I have no complaint about your categorization...)

    BTW -- the "National Socialist" words and references suffused Beck's presentation. It would be a misrepresentation to not include it in discussing him.
    Last edited by BARYE; 02/21/2010 at 03:25 PM. Reason: adding the last line
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  17. #17  
    So disagreement with the current administration's policies constitutes "rage"?
  18.    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by jjeffcoat View Post
    So disagreement with the current administration's policies constitutes "rage"?
    no -- disagreement with its policies is natural, understandable, and legitimate.

    The rage to which I refer is something emotional, irrational -- based on fear and ignorance -- not facts, not actual history.
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  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by jjeffcoat View Post
    So disagreement with the current administration's policies constitutes "rage"?
    Disagreement with policies can be an appropriate subject for debate: people can have well-reasoned policy disagreements related to the role of government, etc. That sort of conversation can lead to compromise and productive outcomes.

    When people in a position of influence (either the media or political figures) compare the current administration to n*azis, accuse them of setting up concentration camps run by FEMA, state they want to hang political opponents or investigate them for unAmerican activities, or are going to "clean my guns and get ready for the big show", then it does indeed cross over into rage, and leaves no room for compromise.
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  20. groovy's Avatar
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    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    I'm confused as to who you're referring --

    If you are speaking of Beck, I am saying he is more significant than is generally perceived.

    (otherwise I have no complaint about your categorization...)

    BTW -- the "National Socialist" words and references suffused Beck's presentation. It would be a misrepresentation to not include it in discussing him.
    I was speaking of Paul and the Wal-Mart greeter reference. Can you tell us what, specifically, were the similarities you noticed between the Nuremberg rallies and the CPAC conference?
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