ONE DEVIL, KNOWN BY MANY NAMES
Politico's Ben Smith notes that Glenn Beck took to Twitter yesterday to proclaim that a blogger at Chicago Boyz is a blogger at Chicago Boyz is "The ONLY guy to actually get it!" -- "it" being Glenn Beck's August 28 rally.
The Chicago Boyz poster says, among other things:
Beck is attacking the enemy at the foundations of their power, their claim to race as a permanent trump card, their claim to the Civil Rights movement as a permanent model to constantly be transforming a perpetually unjust society.
He is nuking out the foundations of the opposition’s moral preeminence....
To Adam Serwer, Beck's agreement with this sentiment is a sign that he's deeply cynical about what he's doing vis-a-vis race. Adam says:
I've actually written something similar before, that the point of trying to invert the actual history of the civil-rights movement is to deny the American left a foundation of its moral legitimacy. My take, though, was that the right was embracing it out of an inability to cope with the reality of being on the wrong side on the most significant internal moral conflict in American history. Apparently for Beck, it's more cynical politics than simply being unable to deal with historical fact.
I don't think I'd call it cynical exactly.
My view is that, to Beck and his compatriots, The Enemy -- the big one -- is liberalism/the Democratic Party. (To righties, there's no real difference, except that liberalism is bigger than just the party and even more evil. Right-wingers attack the downtown Manhattan Islamic cultural center not (as I've said before) because they hate Muslims, but because they hate, and want to destroy, liberals and Democrats. Right-wingers attempt a hostile takeover of the King legacy because (again) they hate and want to destroy liberals and Democrats.
The Chicago Boyz blogger says:
Beck is building solidarity and cultural confidence in America, its Constitution, its military heritage, its freedom. This is a vision that is despised by the people who have long held the commanding heights of the culture. But is obviously alive and kicking.
Beck is creating positive themes of unity and patriotism and freedom and independence which are above mere political or policy choices, but not irrelevant to them. Political and policy choices rest on a foundation of philosophy, culture, self-image, ideals, religion. Change the foundation, and the rest will flow from that. Defeat the enemy on that plane, and any merely tactical defeat will always be reversible....
Ronald Reagan said we would not defeat Communism, we would transcend it.
Beck is aiming to have America do the same thing to its decaying class of Overlords, transcend them.
Beck is prepping the battlefield for a generation-long battle.
We are "the people who have long held the commanding heights of the culture." We are "the enemy." We are the "decaying class of Overlords."
Everything Beck, Palin, Limbaugh, Murdoch, the Kochs, Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich, et al. do is aimed, ultimately, at us -- powerful, omnipotent us.
It's pathetic, but that's the way it is.
As I said in an old post:
Remember the exchange in The Exorcist: Father Damien wants to tell Lankaster Merrin, the elderly demon-fighting priest, about the many devil-personalities he's encountered in Regan MacNeil, and Father Merrin responds: "There is only one." To these people, there is only one Antichrist responsible for all the woes of America, and its name is called Liberalism.
MORE: Jonathan Chait says,
I think the idea on display is not exactly racism. It's the notion that race is a Democratic trump card, that Obama won in large part because of his race.
I'd say it's the notion that race is an enduring liberal trump card. Right-wingers are going after all the liberal trump cards they can -- hence the incessantly repeated right-wing talking point that FDR's New Deal was a failure; hence the attacks on Social Security as a soon-to-be-bankrupt Ponzi scheme; hence Beck's own attack on progressivism as a cancer on the body politic that's gone untreated since the Wilson administration.