March 28, 2015

It's always fun to watch the right wing nuts go after each other in public, don't you think? And nothing could be more entertaining than watching Glenn Beck, friend to some real crazies, accuse Norquist of palling around with terrorists.

I think Grover didn't get the memo about refusing to have anything to do with people with funny Arabic names.

Beck asked Norquist to explain his connection to Sami al-Arian, a former college professor in Florida who plead guilty to supporting a terrorist organization and was recently deported by the Obama administration.

“The proof that I was tight with Arian was that he opposed the misuse of secret evidence, wanted to abolish it, and I came to believe that too,” Norquist said. “The second reason … was that he gave me an award for opposing secret evidence. Well the award went to quite a number of people, starting with [James Woolsey], the former head of the CIA.”

“So is Woolsey a good guy?” Beck asked Norquist.

“I think so, yeah,” Norquist responded.

“OK, because he thinks you’re a very dangerous man,” Beck said. “Our office has spoken to Mr. Woolsey and asked him about you. He believes you’re a very dangerous man.”

Beck also read a Wall Street Journal article from 2003 indicating Norquist’s connection to Arian may have been deeper than he admitted. The article said Arian visited the Islamic Institute’s Washington offices, which share office space with Americans for Tax Reform.

“Do you recall that at all?” Beck asked. “What was he at your offices for?”

“I don’t know, sir,” Norquist said. “I wasn’t there. Somebody claims he dropped by and left off a flyer or something. I couldn’t tell you, but it’s a rather thin read to make me a co-conspirator with the guy.”

“Just again, you’re so unlucky because I don’t have any terrorists that just stop by my offices, or who I take checks from,” Beck said. “Did you pay him back, Alamoudi? One was a loan; one was a gift.”

“I believe so,” Norquist said. “Khaled organized it. But if it was a loan, then it was paid back.”

“That’s right, I forgot that you weren’t really involved,” Beck said with sarcasm. “I don’t have my friends who run things for me take checks from terrorists, and I don’t have other terrorists come stopping by my offices to drop by literature. It doesn’t happen to most people. But I’m not you.”

I don't really care about the details behind this exchange. I assume Beck has no filters or fact checks in place, so that whatever he's saying only needs to sound scary, rather than actually be scary.

Grover Norquist has a habit of making strange alliances if it suits him, so none of this seems as untoward as Beck makes it sound. Still, it's awfully fun to watch them bicker with each other instead of aiming at us.

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