Thursday, September 3, 2009

Glenn Beck: A Right-Wing Bill Ayers?

This is the gist of Bruce Bartlett's e-mail to David Frum:
I've been thinking lately that conservative elites are reaching a moment similar to that which confronted liberal elites in the late 1960s. At first they saw the rise of SDS, the Black Panthers and other extreme left groups as cannon fodder that could be used to achieve liberal goals. . . . But one day liberals realized that the extremists couldn't be controlled and threatened anarchy. . . . I think conservative elites today see the teabaggers, birthers and other kooks as cannon fodder for larger conservative goals the same way liberals originally saw student radicals in the 1960s. I think one day soon something like the Harvard library burning is going to make conservatives realize that these people present more of a threat than a tool for advancing conservative goals. . . . [Y]ou can’t pour fuel on the fires of peoples' emotions the way Glenn Beck does on a daily basis without getting an explosion at some point.
Hey, Bruce, I love hyperbolic analogies as much as the next guy, but . . . nah. Bill Ayers and Mark Rudd were never TV stars. They were not leaders of a populist mass movement.

The New Left was almost entirely a rebellion by spoiled brats, the impudent offspring of the elite. The anti-war radicals weren't even a majority of college students in the '60s, much less a majority of the entire Baby Boom generation.

Taxpayers raising hell at congressional town halls are not the same as 19-year-old punks burning draft cards. The Tea Party movement is not the new "Mobe" and Birthers aren't the Merry Pranksters.

In general, the Left is not the Right. It is therefore an error when the Left supposes that Howard Dean was their Goldwater and Obama is their Reagan, just as it is an error to confuse Sean Hannity's "Freedom Concerts" with Woodstock. At some point, the fundamental differences overwhelm the superficial similarities.

But thanks for giving conservative bloggers an excuse to link The New Majority. (C'mon, Dave, denounce me, buddy. "Unserious" is a good place to start. And inarguably accurate, too. But a full-out flame-war would be good for both of us.)


  1. The Left and the Right do not mirror each other. The comparisons don't fit.

  2. "4) Violence was integral to the 1960s left, and especially to the Black Panthers. On the right, so far there’s plenty of paranoia but thankfully nothing remotely like the cult of revolutionary violence that wrecked so many lives in the years 1965-1975"

    Wait I thought we WERE "courting violence"!

    I guess getting published bashing conservatives (and feeding left-wing hunger for hysteria) in The Week, Newseek etc. wasn't quite the successful career move he imagined. In fact it was a miserable failure.

    So Frum has decided to back off calling conservatives what he called them in liberal mags. Let's see if anyone notices yet another about face and if it proves successful.

  3. RS,

    Looking throughout the editors and writers of Frum's site, as a Conservative activist, I am appalled.

    From their writings and their standings, Frum's (so-called) NM is busy trying to integrate themselves with Liberals, not Conservative activits.

    And the scary part is, I once defended frum from Liberals who were trying to shut down HIS free speech at the LA Book festival back in 07.

    I will accept Frum's (so-called) NM when they circulate among the political groups and argue their case with Conservative voters.

    Until then, there is only one word for anyone who writes or supports Frum:


  4. Don't worry... If Frum does back off of bashing conservatives and actually starts to support him.. He'll stop getting invites to 'This Week', 'Meet The Press', and all those other policy shows.

    So it won't be long until he is back at it again. If anything else, just to be invited back on.

  5. Who would have thought the formula for Culture 11, wouldn't work again, huh, Robert

  6. One of the truist statements - Liberals hate their parents, and so much comes from just that. Glenn Beck is the Sam Adams of our day, which is to say he _is_ a firebrand, but does not hate his parents.

  7. Someone needs to put Bartlett back on the payroll. He'll keep
    attacking conservatives until they give him a job back -- this is all about Bartlett't being fired for criticizing Bush.

    Bartlett got his start working for Ron Paul -- with a start like that he needs to give the rest of us a brake. By Bartlett's own rules of guilty he should
    remove himself from the public debate.

  8. "At some point, the fundamental differences overwhelm the superficial similarities." Ouch... Mr. Bartlett gets pared.

    I'll not forgive the notion implied by Bartlett that [tea-partiers] represent some sort of an "extreme" or "radical" phenomenon. It tells us far more about Bruce and his ilk.

    RSM, if you want a flame war, make it with someone who brings something dangerous to the theatre. Let's have some real pyrotechnics. How about: Matt Welch, Nick Gillespie, someone over at Reason Magazine. Please.

    We've already *done* our time with the Squishies; They waddled out Bush and Rove and Safire and Gerson and Brooks and Frum... We got Obama and Pelosi and Ried and TARP. It's time to chose better enemies, man.

  9. I came home from my tours in the Southeast Asian War Games and stuck my nose into the antiwar movement. I was anti the way we were fighting the war, losing thousands of mostly great young men with no winning strategy on the table. Even a Corporal knows when we're losing.

    The lefty "leaders" of the antiwar movement cared nothing about the war, nor the men fighting it. They cared about pushing people around. As each one dies I want nothing more than to pee on his grave.