David Brooks always makes me think when I read his New York Times column. But with his latest column about Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and their impact on the Republican Party, I wonder if it will make his Republican readers do the same.
Brooks’s words jumped off the page. He writes in part:
Just months after the election and the humiliation, everyone is again convinced that Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity and the rest possess real power. And the saddest thing is that even Republican politicians come to believe it. They mistake media for reality. They pre-emptively surrender to armies that don’t exist.
They pay more attention to Rush’s imaginary millions than to the real voters down the street. The Republican Party is unpopular because it’s more interested in pleasing Rush’s ghosts than actual people. The party is leaderless right now because nobody has the guts to step outside the rigid parameters enforced by the radio jocks and create a new party identity.
The party is losing because it has adopted a radio entertainer’s niche-building strategy, while abandoning the politician’s coalition-building strategy.
The rise of Beck, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and the rest has correlated almost perfectly with the decline of the G.O.P. But it’s not because the talk jocks have real power. It’s because they have illusory power, because Republicans hear the media mythology and fall for it every time.
Protester at Glenn Beck's 9-12 March on Washington, D.C. Photo credit: Twitter.com/stephanietaylor
Welcome to Washington, Glenn Beck! Thank you for bringing your 9-12 nut jobs to our capital. Personally I hope you all relocate to the District on a permanent basis. That way you would no longer be represented in Congress since D.C. has no Senators and the D.C. Delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, has no vote in the U.S. House.
Then, my dear Glenn, your cries about not being represented in Congress would actually be true. Plus, as an added bonus, your vote would no longer be there to elect the birthers, racists and jackasses that are in Congress now.
Just be sure that, when you use our communist-funded subway system, you stand to the right on the escalators.
I have a new favorite YouTube Channel and it’s run by Gil Smart, columnist with the Sunday News of Lancaster, Pa. Mr. Smart also blogs here. (He’s on Twitter, but hasn’t gotten the hang of it.)
I stumbled upon Mr. Smart’s commentary about what historian Richard Hofstadter called, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” It’s worth a look.
After calling out Rep. Eric Cantor for his performance last week on C-SPAN where he appears to agree with a caller’s statement that, “true fascism that is happening in this country today [under President Obama],” Mr. Smart has some choice words for TV commentator Glenn Beck whom he names as “the high priest of the paranoid style.”
Check it out. I know you’ll like it. After all a fellow named Bill O’Reilly said of Mr. Smart, “The fact that the Lancaster News allows a guy like that to write a column is disturbing as well as ridiculous.”
Tonight on the Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert had this to say about that nut Glenn Beck and his 9.12 Project: “the 9-12 Project isn’t for people impacted by 9-11, it’s just for people building their careers on it.”
As example, Colbert reminded me of the time when Beck said he “hates” the victims of 9/11 and the victims of Hurricane Katrina, whom he calls “scumbags”.
At any rate, Colbert has started an effort to compete with Beck’s 9.12 Project. Colbert has dubbed his effort The 10.31 Project. He is calling on all Americans to go door to door and demand sugary treats from their neighbors on the evening of October 31.
I’m with Colbert! Let’s take this country back, America! (I’ve already marked my calendar and signed up Ana Marie Cox.)