Glenn Beck's obviously been drumming his fingers in contemplation after his semi-successful 9-12 March on Washington: What to do? What to do next?
Aha! He knows! He'll organize them into a sustained movement to "save America." He'll call it "The Plan."
Beck unveiled "The Plan" on Saturday at a rally in Florida that drew about 25,000 people, and The New York Times was there:
Glenn Beck, the popular and outspoken Fox News host, says he wants to go beyond broadcasting his opinions and start rallying his political base — formerly known as his audience — to take action.
To do so, Mr. Beck is styling himself as a political organizer. In an interview, he said he would promote voter registration drives and sponsor a series of seven conventions across the country featuring what he described as libertarian speakers.
On Saturday he held a festive campaign-style rally in The Villages in Florida, north of Orlando, in which he promoted his recently released book, “Arguing With Idiots,” and announced another book to come next August filled with right-leaning policy proposals gathered from the conventions.
Mr. Beck provided few details about his plans for the tour, making it unclear if he truly intends to prod his audience of millions into political action or merely burnish his media brand ahead of a book release.
Mr. Beck did say the conventions would resemble educational seminars, and he emphasized that while candidates may align themselves with the values and principles that he espouses, he would not take the next step to endorse them.
In describing the conventions, he told the crowd on Saturday: “You’re going to learn about finance. You’re going to learn about community organizing. You’re going to learn everything we need to know if you want to be a politician.”
How does Beck intend to inspire this movement? Well, if the video from Saturday's rally is any indication, it's going to be done the way Beck has done everything so far -- scaring the crap out of people, shouting fire in crowded theater, and herding them toward the exits on the far right. He is, after all, our Fearmonger in Chief.
And anyone who buys into his crap is just another right-wing bedwetter.
Beck: I told you over a year ago, please read about the Weimar Republic. Read about the end of the Republic of Germany, Weimar, before it fell into the hands of the Nazis. We are facing the same kind of financial questions that they faced! It was unsustainable! And for the first time in American history we started to monetize our debt! That's when I told you, please read about Weimar, because they did it! And it ends the same way every single time it has been tried.
[Actually, there's no comparison: Germany had just been defeated in a World War and was suffering the effects of hyperinflation in the 1920s, conditions that clearly do not apply here. More to the point, if you actually do study the end of the Weimar Republic, you can see that the final collapse of the Republic occurred precisely because it attempted a "conservative experiment" along the lines that Beck is prescribing: From 1930 to 1932, "In line with conservative economic theory that less public spending would spur economic growth, [Chancellor Heinrich] Brüning drastically cut state expenditures, including in the social sector." This, as it turned out, only heightened the social unrest that gave the Nazis their chance.]
Beck: So as I tell you these things, know that there is hope on the other side. But we are about to walk through a wall of fire! We are about to be baptized through fire.
It's because we weren't protecting liberty. But let me tell you -- let me tell you we have a choice ahead of us. I see -- I see America as the people on a boat. The boat is the Titanic. We've had a crew and a captain who took this ship and rammed her right upside the iceberg. She's been takin' in water for awhile, all the while the captains, the crews, they've been comin' and goin' and they say, 'Don't worry, don't worry, it's the Titanic, it's unsinkable.'
Then we elected a new captain and crew, and they took that thing and they backed it up, and now they are ramming it into the iceberg! Now they're taking this ship and they're taking it and they're -- with health care, and cap and trade, and stimulus -- they're doin' the same amount of damage that all the other crews did, just faster!
All the while they're telling all the passengers, you just go back into your stateroom, everything's just fine, you go ahead in the salon. There's some drinks up there for you, you go listen to the music, everything's fine.
Let me tell you something. Each and every one of us are here, and wide awake. Each and every one of us are a passenger on this ship, and it's our damned ship!
Actually, Glenn, a more appropriate analogy is that we're all on that sailboat in Dead Calm and you're acting like Billy Zane. But whatever.
Beck then describes "The Plan," which he says is analogical to "lifeboats" on the Titanic: He says he's assembling a team of "experts" to help him shape a movement that will produce GlennBeckian electoral victories in 2010. (Obviously, that NY-23 experiment didn't turn out so hot.) These experts are being hired to work on policy areas such as the economy, the environment, national security, etc.
Beck: And what I've done, is I've found two really smart people in each category, two really -- oh, they just have all kinds of experience. And then I have coupled them with one rebel -- one radical. I hear that's popular to be a radical now.
But these radicals are not the radicals wearing the Che T-shirts. These radicals are the ones wearing the Jefferson T-shirts!
Hmmmm. You mean a T-shirt like this one?
Beck goes on to rant about how the "progressive movement" set "a ticking time bomb" a hundred years ago and it's about to go off. The coup de grace comes when he describes "The Plan" in the most grandiose terms -- as a "100-year plan" for the nation.
Beck: We need to start thinking like the Chinese, by developing a one hundred year plan for America!
But then, that wouldn't be American, would it, Glenn?