Posted on | February 6, 2011 | 49 Comments
According to every Serious Foreign Policy Pundit, it’s absolutely insane for Beck to assert that the Left and the Islamists are in alliance to bring revolution to the Middle East. However, as Donald Douglas points out, that’s what the Left is telling us:
The neo-Stalinist ANSWER homepage has the announcement, “Emergency demonstrations: Stop all U.S. aid to Mubarak dictatorship” . . .
Code Pink’s Jodie Evans . . . served as a top campaign fundraiser for Barack Obama, and now her organization is leading a fundraising operation for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: “Code Pink: Obama, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood Ally Raising (Tax Exempt) Money to Overthrow Egypt Gov’t” . . .
But don’t let yourself be distracted by mere facts. Bill Kristol says Glenn Beck is “hysterical” and it must be true because, after all, Bill Kristol is a Serious Foreign Policy Pundit and Glenn Beck is just . . . well, he’s just Glenn Beck, right?
And really, who is this Lisa Graas person who tells us about “Five Revolutions Backed by George Soros”?
“The Soros centre’s job in eastern Europe is nearly finished. Its main focus now is the Islamic world, Arab countries, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.”
Oh, that’s not a quote from Lisa Graas. That’s a 2007 quote by Dr. Kian Tajbakhsh, a consultant for the Soros-funded Open Society Institute.
Going back at least to William F. Buckley, Jr.’s famous article casting the John Birch Society out of the legitimate conservative moment, it has been understood that letting the fringe define the cause hurts it. Buckley correctly reasoned that Birch founder Robert Welch’s crazy and outrageous conspiracy theories were tainting the legitimate anti-Communist movement.
Similarly, the psychotic rantings of Glenn Beck invite ridicule on the rest of us. Legitimate points are inevitably countered by comparisons with absurd variants by Beck, Coulter, Limbaugh, and others who make a living stoking the fears of the base. This is, at best, a distraction from the debate and, often, makes intelligent discussion of the issues next to impossible because they’ve been preemptively framed by the loudest, most shrill, most hyperbolic voices.
How many times have we heard variations of this argument?
“Oh, Buckley purged the Birchers and therefore, we must now cast aside Uncouth Person X and distance ourselves from Populist Organization Y, because above all else, the Official Conservative Movement must maintain its precious respectability!”
If we had listened to that argument in 2009, there never would have been a Tea Party movement. Republicans would have rolled over and played dead and gone along with the whole Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda because it was not respectable to oppose Keynesian “stimulus” spending, cap-and-trade, nationalized health care, and so forth.
Now that “the loudest, most shrill, most hyperbolic voices” have succeeded in fomenting grassroots opposition, however, we are told that elected representatives must ignore the people who elected them and, instead, must heed those respectable voices who did nothing at all to help encourage the Tea Party movement.
Hey, let’s dump Ann Coulter because, after all, “the Age of Ann has passed,” right? She’s only the author of, what, five or six New York Times bestsellers?
Yeah, let’s get rid of Coulter because a bunch of bloggers said so.
Purge! Purge! Purge!
And keep right on purging until the only people inside the Big Tent are respectable Republicans like Mike Castle, Lincoln Chafee, Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist, and the motto of the Official Conservative Movement becomes, “Me, Too.”
UPDATE II: Please permit me to point out that, while any conservative who mentions the influence of George Soros is portrayed as a dangerous conspiracy kook, it is perfectly acceptable for liberals to demonize the Koch brothers as right-wing puppetmasters.
UPDATE III: Did I ever mention that you never want to make Dan Riehl pissed off at you?