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Glenn Beck – Populist? February 25, 2010

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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It seems Glenn Beck has captured the bulk of my affections of late. Maybe it’s just me but I think I detect the beginnings of the ‘Great Separation’ starting to occur. I’m talking about the defining of Conservatism among conservatives.

Glenn Beck

It may have been Beck’s CPAC keynote speech on February 21, that finally broke the camels back. For the several years I have been listening/reading/watching Mr. Beck, I have witnessed his positions coalesce into a tighter and tighter ball—all glued together with the principles of the Founding Fathers and a strict interpretation of the Constitution.

His message, often delivered with the self-described aplomb of a rodeo clown, has finally been distilled so as to set itself unmistakably apart from mainstream conservatism. Beck’s bully pulpit, which grows in stature daily, has allowed his message to finally reach a critical mass.

The definition is ridiculously simple. Nine principles that are not negotiable, amendable or debatable.  (Hmmmm. If he added one more he’d have Ten Commandments.)

All of this wouldn’t amount to much if so many Americans were not so dialed into the whole idea. Beck has reminded us of the values that guided our Founding Fathers and the importance of not wavering; either for the sake of compromise or the chance of getting elected.

The recent attacks from fellow conservative pundits is proof Beck has drawn his line in the sand. Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Bill Bennett and the like are all squawking. Beck has called them out. The issues that usually define the degree to which one calls themselves a Conservative are not the ones in play here, i.e., abortion, gay marriage, etc. Rather, Beck is challenging the fundamental principles that define what he considers conservative values. Not the planks of the party’s platform but the very columns they rest on.

The coming months will be oh so important to the Conservative movement. It sounds strange to say it like this but I’m hoping the ‘populist’ Beck comes out the winner.

Glenn Beck – Alpha Dog February 23, 2010

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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Glenn Beck has been in the news a little more than usual this week. His keynote speech to CPAC on Sunday was 100% Beck—emotional, witty and even included what is becoming his trademark schtick, the chalkboard. It also stirred up the nest.

Glenn Beck

The morning after, I read Bill Bennett’s critique. Bennett is part of the Republican old-guard who see themselves as true conservatives and get mighty ticked off when somebody says they’re not. Beck called them all out in his speech on Sunday.

Now Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin have jumped on the bandwagon. Has Mr. Beck stolen too much of the righteous thunder from the other big guns of the airwaves? To what degree is Beck’s meteoric success having on the old dogs of conservative talk?

I will say I think his huge success across the mediums (print, radio, internet, cable and now live performance) has got all the conservative talker’s attention. Lets face it, Rush’s only media success has been radio and books—he failed on TV.

Beck has been derided by his critics for his style; a sometimes schizophrenic melding of comedic teacher and manic metrosexual, whose passion for what he believes in frequently leaks from his eyes. Theatrics aside, Beck’s message is solid. His attack on Progressivism has taken on the feel of a Crusade. I like that. The same way I liked George Bush’s ‘line in the sand’ comment. Beck’s beef with Conservatives is they aren’t towing the Constitutional line espoused by the Tea Party. The same beef I ultimately had with Bush.

The politics of ‘big politics’ inevitably corrupts and while the Republicans say they’re conservative they stray far too often for Beck. In an earlier post I talked about the chance the Tea Party movement would divide the Republican vote and ensure a Democratic victory in ’10 and ’12. This little secret is not a secret among the RNC or Beck or Rush or Bennett. The issue is, who’s going to blink first. Will Beck tone down his campaign? Will the conservative pundits relax and embrace the core of the Tea Party movement?

The franchise that Beck is building is still in its infancy. But with platforms like the CPAC speech and other big events planned in the future, his political clout is just getting stronger.

There’s a new challenger for the alpha dog in conservative commentary. The fun will be to see whose bite is as bad as their bark.