Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Socialized Book Care

At CPAC last week, Glenn Beck encouraged his followers to educate themselves at our nation's socialized book care centers:

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I'm not sure how people can watch Glenn Beck's mental patient impersonation for hours at a time, but apparently some people do, and they take him very seriously. If you caught the recent NYT article on the teabaggers, you probably noticed that Beck and his 9/12 project came up disturbingly often:
Most of the people there had paid only passing attention to national politics in years past. “I voted twice and I failed political science twice,” said Darin Stevens, leader of the Spokane 9/12 Project.
He sounds like a typical teabagger to me along with the 66 year old Mrs. Stout who is taking a Twitter class... I'm derailing a bit here, but I had no idea such a thing was needed or I would have hired myself out as a private Twitter tutor. Moreover, I think the existence of a Twitter class suggests that many people have been left behind as the world progresses without them. They probably feel insecure and rush to catch up, but their efforts include bogus classes and Glenn Beck books... which they'll have to buy at Borders once they figure out that the libraries are a socialist thing.

Anyway, George Packer explained it better. Mrs. Stout represents a certain type of person we've seen throughout US history:
There’s nothing new about Mrs. Stout. She’s a familiar figure in American life, always latent, but coming to the surface in national emergencies. Richard Hofstadter described her mental world in detail. In the seventeen-eighties she lived in Sheffield, Massachusetts, during a period of tight credit and land foreclosures and was sympathetic to the farmers’ uprising known as Shay’s Rebellion that began there. In the eighteen-fifties she was a non-voting constituent of Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. In the eighteen-nineties she was the wife of a Nebraska farmer who joined the People’s Party and voted for William Jennings Bryan and free silver. In the nineteen-thirties desperate poverty drove her to fall for the simple solutions of Huey Long’s left-wing demagoguery, or Father Coughlin’s right-wing demagoguery, which often sounded similar. In the nineteen-fifties she listened avidly to radio personalities like Fulton Lewis, Jr., and Walter Winchell, thought President Eisenhower was a knowing agent of the Communist Party, and was a passionate supporter of Senator Joe McCarthy. In 2001 she knew that the Bush Administration orchestrated 9/11. In 2008 she showed up at Sarah Palin rallies.
And that's the problem. Teabaggers think the answer to their discontent can be found in militias, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin.

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