Glenn Beck: There’s a Coup Going On. A Stealing of America.

Glenn Beck continues to impress in his ability to top himself with zaniness.  Today, he explained how “they” have all manner of plans to destroy America and make it more like Cuba.  And “they” may be getting away with it because “they” are so far ahead of us.

For those who can’t view the video or hear the audio, MediaMatters provides the transcription:

If I could just — if we could just be like Cuba. Let me give you the last piece of evidence that there is a revolution going on, and it is coming. It is — there is a revolution, and they think they can get away with it quietly.

They think they — and they — they — you know what? At this point, gang, I’m not sure, they may be able to because they are so far ahead of us. They know what they’re dealing against; most of America does not yet. Most of America doesn’t have a clue as to what’s going on. There is a coup going on. There is a stealing of America, and the way it is done, it has been done through the — the guise of an election, but they lied to us the entire time.

Some of us knew! Some of us we’re shouting out, you were: “this guy’s a Marxist!” “No, no, no, no, no, no.” And they’re gonna say, “we did it democratically,” and they are going to grab power every way they can. And God help us in an emergency.

I’m not sure who “They” are but I’m scared of them.

Seriously, to borrow from George Will, no serious person nowadays takes Glenn Beck seriously anymore.  While I was lamenting Barack Obama’s skill at running a presidential campaign without actually saying anything two years or more ago, it’s hard to argue that he didn’t make it clear that he wanted a government-run health care program.  (Although he’s likely to settle for something much, much less than that out of political necessity.) What, precisely, is it that “they” are doing — through the guise of an election — that was hidden from us?

For that matter, even aside from the Cuba hyperbole, it looks as if the Republican minority, through a combination of the hesitancy of the Blue Dog Democrats to go along with their party’s leadership and having successfully mobilized public fear of the the Democrats’ plans, will prevail in stemming the worst of it.  So what is it that Beck’s talking about?

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. steve says:

    I live in a very red area of a purple state. People around here watch Beck every night and think he is one of the few people telling the truth about things. For a lot of the people I know Beck, Hannity et al. are the ones who represent their thoughts and feelings. In your rarefied air I doubt you see this.

    Steve

    1
  2. James Joyner says:

    You’re right, Steve, I don’t see it!

  3. There’s soap to sell to the great unwashed.

    The sooner we can completely ignore Beck, Hannity, Olbermann, Maddow, et al, the better. Their schtick is little more than a rhetorical lighting of a bag of feces on the front porch and ringing the doorbell. Of course, they don’t even bother to run away anymore, instead preferring to stand there and taunt the homeowner with insults and threats to come back again tomorrow.

  4. Alex Knapp says:

    This probably makes me a bad person, but I’ve been finding Glenn Beck’s slow decline into madness to be uproariously entertaining.

  5. Gustopher says:

    I think you are writing off Glenn Beck as a harmless crank, when in fact he has a national platform on a “news” channel that gives him an air of authority.

    A lot of people get their news from the Glenn Beck show. He’s not a harmless crank spouting off crazy crap for entertainment, he’s a very dangerous crank hurting America.

  6. Tano says:

    “it’s hard to argue that he didn’t make it clear that he wanted a government-run health care program.”

    Obama has never advocated a government-run health care program. He supports a government-run health insurance program, which is a very different thing.
    And even that, only as an option in a landscape that will remain dominated by private insurance. And private care.

    Even you, James…?

  7. legion says:

    The more I see of Beck, the more I am reminded of Robin Williams… Specifically, that one concert movie of his from the (I think) late 80s, where he spent the entire show coked to the gills and sweating like a pig. Every clip I’ve ever seen of Beck looks like someone who goes through the same “pre-show rituals”…

  8. James Joyner says:

    Obama has never advocated a government-run health care program. He supports a government-run health insurance program, which is a very different thing.

    Right, right. I consider single payer — which is what Obama wants — a government program. Medicare is an “insurance” program and yet still thought of as government medicine.

  9. Steve Plunk says:

    As Charles points out Beck is simply the opposite of Maddow and Olberman. All of them are over the top and inclined to make mountains out of mole hills. I doubt we will see either side disarm.

    To answer our esteemed host’s question of what Beck is talking about let’s look at some common assumptions that are essentially true. The Left has dominated academia for close to two generations. The Left has influenced the media for a generation and movie making for much longer. The Left has also mastered the ability to disguise it’s goals while incrementally working toward them. It could be fair to call it a slow “revolution” and even a “coup” based upon the misdirection. Hyperbole? Of course. Madness? Of course not. Beck’s show is opinion and entertainment, not news.

    How many times did we hear of the Bush-Cheney coup? How often did we hear of the Constitution being “shredded” by the Republicans? Chimpy McHitler anyone? Beck is still well inside the mainstream compared to those accusations.

  10. kth says:

    Whatever you think of Olbermann and Maddow, they don’t have nearly the audience of Limbaugh and Beck, and consequently the Democrats are not remotely as beholden to the former’s audience as the Republicans are to the latter’s.

  11. Steve Verdon says:

    Obama has never advocated a government-run health care program.

    As James said, its not much of a distinction really. Once the government is paying all the bills then they dictate price and pretty much everything else at that point. In fact, this is often an argument for such a change in health care. Go with a single payers system and then dictate prices, viola the problem of health care costs solved (but not really).

  12. My biggest problem with Beck is that I think he’s insincere. Compared to the previous president, Obama’s faults are a difference of degree, not of kind. Yet Beck was a freverent supporter of Bush far too long to be credible as a small-government supporter.

    I have no doubt that all this ‘end of the Republic’ talk on Beck’s shows are solely due to the D after Obama’s name. As soon as Republicans have power again, his complaints will disappear even though nothing has changed and Beck will be back to telling us how we need to give up more freedom to the State so they can save us from all the monsters under the bed.

  13. odograph says:

    I actually got an email from an old co-worker. Since I think people are equal(ie. not a racist), I am actually a communist, since communism depends on people being equal.

    … is there something in the drinking water?

  14. odograph says:

    Go with a single payers system and then dictate prices, viola the problem of health care costs solved (but not really).

    Make those dictated prices into a voucher, and the market re-enters, right?

  15. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    If Beck is wrong, why is it he cannot get any answer to the questions he asks? Do you know who Van Jones is? How many Czars has Obama appointed and who is paying them what? To whom do they answer? Why does Obama want a civilian national security force equal in power and cost to the U.S. Military? Who are they going to protect us from? You can demean the man (Beck) but you really ought to be paying attention to the questions he asks while you can still ask questions.

  16. TangoMan says:

    I can see why no one is undertaking point by point refutations of Beck’s charges in that it is very difficult to refute his points when he uses actual quotes or video footage of his targets damning themselves with their own words.

    Obama has self-admitted communists as his czars and his diversity czar was praising Hugo Chavez for taking control of the media in Venezuela.

    I like to think of myself as a serious person and further I also like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t subscribe to the “it can’t happen here” vision of reality. That being the case until all of the serious people begin to actually engage in refuting the words of Beck’s targets, Beck scores a win with his charges. When I see serious people ignoring the specific evidence and pooh-poohing the Beck zeitgeist then I come to believe that they are clinging to a position predicated upon the “it can’t happen here” form of American exceptionalism, specifically, that no American President could ever have sympathetic feelings towards Marxism. Therefore, any charges to that effect must be coming from a crazy person.

    Keep in mind that I’m not speaking about Beck’s shtick, I’m speaking to the particular evidence that he has advanced that serious people are not engaging.

  17. Furhead says:

    I can see why no one is undertaking point by point refutations of Beck’s charges in that it is very difficult to refute his points when he uses actual quotes or video footage of his targets damning themselves with their own words.

    Apparently you haven’t noticed this, but most people have known this for a long time: take a quote out of context and you can make ANYBODY look bad.

  18. wr says:

    TangoMan — Glenn Beck says Obama is a communist who wants to put Republicans in concentration camps. And yet you and Zelsdorf insist that unless there’s point for point refutation, the Obama administration is tacitly admitting that this is all true.

    Beck does not need to be refuted, anymore than the crazy guy on the corner screaming that UFOs have taken over America. (Oh, wait, he used to be on the corner — now he’s on Fox!)

    And anyone who claims to be “serious” and yets parrots Beckisms about all of Obama’s czars while conveniently forgetting about all of Bush’s czars merely proves what the rest of us already know — that there’s no such thing as a serious conservative anymore. They’re all willing to spread as much gibberish and lies as it takes to undermine the current president.

    Oh, and Stormy Dragon? That little letter next to Obama’s name that makes Beck et all crazy isn’t the one in the box marked for party. It’s the one marked race.

  19. […] can’t fathom just how far past the point of reason and sanity Beck is willing to go. As James Joyner says, “Glenn Beck continues to impress in his ability to top himself with zaniness. Today, he […]

  20. Stan says:

    Several of you seem to be saying that a single payer system is government run medicine. To me, a government run system is one in which doctors, nurses, and emergency medical technicians all work for the government. Apparently you disagree. Why? And if single payer is government run medical care, how would you describe the British health system?

  21. TangoMan says:

    Apparently you haven’t noticed this, but most people have known this for a long time: take a quote out of context and you can make ANYBODY look bad.

    School me then. What positive larger point is Obama’s Diversity Czar making when he makes this “out of context” point:

    “In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.

    “The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled – worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government – worked to oust him. But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.

    He’s characterizing the Venezuelan situation as “an incredible revolution” which is not a statement of fact but rather is an opinion. His critics didn’t attribute that opinion to him, they took his words at face value. How are these words being taken out of context?

    Obama, early in his career, ran for political office under a socialist banner. Applying Occam’s razor to this analysis, the most parsimonious explanation is that Obama feels comfortable with a Diversity Czar who praises Chavez’s actions in Venezuela rather than relying on some contorted explanation for why this Diversity Czar didn’t mean the words he uttered.

    Obama’s czars while conveniently forgetting about all of Bush’s czars

    Did any of Bush’s czars publish books advocating forced mass abortion? You’re trying to argue false equivalence, a czar is a czar is a czar. That’s just not so.

  22. […] Glenn Beck: There’s a Coup Going On. A Stealing of America. (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

  23. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Explain Mark Lloyd or Van Jones. How about the ideas of Rhamn Emmanuel’s Doctor brother. Read about their background. Jones was incarcerated in prison where he became a communist. We have a fu*king communist who has the Presidents ear. Lloyd talks about diversity in broadcasting. Investigate what they are talking about doing. Beck has asked some questions. Instead of attacking the messenger read the message. Take notice of history. The intelligencia is usually the first ones up against the wall. Some of you are very very safe.

  24. Gustopher says:

    Instead of attacking the messenger read the message.

    Once the messenger has been written off as an idiot and a fool, no one will ever listen to his messages in the future.

    In fact, it is even worse — if the messenger reports something, that thing will be dismissed as the ravings of an idiot and a fool, even if serious people are also saying it.

    And that is the situation Mr. Beck is in — even though he is privy to Obama’s secret plan to kill old people and bathe in their stale marrow, a large chunk of the population will ignore the threat because the warnings are coming from the crazy man.

  25. Stan says:

    For the first half of his life Ronald Reagan was a red-hot liberal. He voted for FDR four times, he was an ardent New Dealer, and he even headed a labor union. Zelsdorf, TangoMan, can you forgive him?

  26. Steve Plunk says:

    TangoMan, Along with your point I would certainly like an explanation from the Obama administration why they support the legally ousted former president of Honduras. A close friend of Chavez he has no business being championed by the United States. Why does our president feel so affectionate toward leftists? Obviously it is his leftist tendencies and those are scary to many of us.

    The fact remains Beck is extreme but not too extreme in today’s political environment. If President Obama can appoint people with such extreme views to his administration Beck can counter with some extreme views of his own.

  27. TangoMan says:

    Stan,

    You seem to be under the impression that I’m very worked up about Obama’s affiliation with a socialist party back in the early days of his political career. I’m not. What concerns me is how he governs. In the same light, Reagan’s early politics, when he had no public influence, don’t concern me as much as the political philosophy he held when he did have public influence. Reagan, like most conservatives, had developed a more robust moral architecture than liberals. You can’t fault a fellow for evolving. The problem with Obama is that he seems not to have evolved with respect to his vision of the world. He just immersed himself into the Chicago Nomenklatura.

    Secondly, the liberalism of the 30s-60s is a different animal than the progressivism of today. Politicians like Scoop Jackson would have no place in the Democratic Party of 2009.

  28. Stan says:

    TangoMan, I was not referring to Obama, but since you brought him up I have to say that I don’t think he’s particularly liberal. Any US government, including one led by John McCain, would have bailed out the banks, AIG, GM, and Chrysler, because economists of both parties felt that not doing so would lead to another Great Depression. If McCain had been President and if we wound up with a repeat of 1932, it would have meant twenty years of Democratic party dominance. In terms of the bailouts, I think he would have acted just as Obama did.

    We also would have had a big budget deficit under McCain, the difference being that it would have been driven more by tax cuts than by spending. I think that spending is more effective in stimulating the economy than tax cuts, and obviously so does Obama. This does not make me or him a socialist.

    As far as health insurance reform goes, I regard the present system as insane. As an example, when I was in my early 60’s I had a minor heart attack. If I had subsequently lost my job and was not able to find another with benefits, what would I have done? The high risk pool insurance in my state is prohibitively expensive, and that’s the only kind of insurance I could have bought because of my prior condition. That’s only one of the arguments against our present insurance system.

    It’s not up to me to tell people on the other side of the political divide how to frame their arguments, but I can’t help feeling that you’re acting as if your opponents are idiots or traitors. That’s OK if your only purpose is to get it off your chest, but it’s not so good at convincing people to change their minds.

  29. An Interested Party says:

    Hahahaha…is it any wonder that even conservatives like James Joyner point and laugh? All this scare talk of “Communists” and “Marxists” and “revolutions”, which may have worked wonders back in the days of Joe McCarthy, now seems like little more than the sour words of sore losers and deranged cranks who just can’t stand the fact that Barack Hussein Obama is the president of the United States…but hey, to all of Beck’s defenders, do keep trying to justify all the foam that is coming out of his mouth…I mean, if this is the face of the opposition, I’m sure the Obama Administration thanks you…

  30. Matt says:

    As Charles points out Beck is simply the opposite of Maddow and Olberman.

    I’m sick and tired of people spouting this stupidity. Point to one thing Maddow has said on her show that was wrong? I can’t account for Olberman but Maddow is in NO way similiar to Beck. Beck is almost completely a straight liar and rodeo clown where as Maddow presents the facts to back up her assertions.

    AS for health care I think the fact that we spend a WAY bigger chunk of our GDP on Health care compared to other nations shows our current system isn’t nearly as efficient as you’d like to pretend

  31. Patrick T McGuire says:

    Mark 6:4 “And Jesus said to them: A prophet is despised in his own country, and in his own house, and among his own kindred.”

  32. anjin-san says:

    I like to think of myself as a serious person

    You must be very, very lonely…

  33. anjin-san says:

    Reagan, like most conservatives, had developed a more robust moral architecture than liberals.

    You must be referring the the pretty much endless list of conservatives who have been caught boinking women who are not their wives. Anybody ever fill you in on Newt’s adventures?

    (I am not referring to Reagan in any way, he was someone worthy of respect)

  34. wolfwalker says:

    So what is it that Beck’s talking about?

    It’s difficult to explain. Well, not exactly. It’s difficult to explain it in a way that makes sense without sounding like you also believe it. Beck is an American Everyman. He honestly believes that there is a conspiracy afoot to destroy the United States that he loves, and turn it into an agent of a transnationalist world government run by the uber-rich for the benefit of the uber-rich. He believes that the leaders of both political parties belong to this conspiracy. (Those who say he was a fanatic supporter of Bush have clearly never listened to his radio show; he was almost as aggressive about opposing Bush’s domestic and financial policies as he is about Bush’s successor.) Beck has never learned the art of critical thinking, and he frequently gets suckered by demagogues who ask valid questions and then give answers to those questions that are quite thoroughly nuts. When those same demagogues manage to get something major right — as they did with the crash of the financial system last year — it only reinforces his belief that the demagogues are on to something important.

    To put it another way, Beck is a living example of a political principle I learned long ago, in relation to Weimar Germany and 1840s Europe: when there are real political problems, but the existing power structure refuses to face them, then extremists will fill that gap. Normal people are teased and tricked into following the extremists, because only the extremists are talking about the real problems and offering solutions. Beck is just such a person: neither smart nor stupid, definitely not insane, just a victim of a worldview that demands he makes sense out of what he’s seeing, and the only ones who are giving him sensible explanations are extremists. So he repeats what they say without analyzing it first, and before long he sounds as nuts as they do.

  35. TangoMan says:

    Point to one thing Maddow has said on her show that was wrong?

    Pat Buchanan states the following:

    I believe everybody should get a chance to excel and be on the United States Supreme Court. But if I look at the US track team in the Olympics and they’re all black folks, I don’t automatically assume it’s discrimination. I will say, I think maybe those are the fastest guys we got, that maybe they’re the fastest guys in the country, maybe they’re the fastest in the world. If they’re all, or, Olympic team in hockey is eight white guys from Minnesota, I don’t assume discrimination.

    The next day Maddow characterizes Buchanan’s statements as follows:

    Pat also said, quote, the US track team in the Olympics, they’re all black folks. Uhm, the US Olympic track team is not all black, folks or otherwise (stated while showing photo montage of team members). Also the US Olympic hockey team is not all from Minnesota either, which he also said.

    Maddow engages in racial demagoguery, slanders a guest, does so without him being present to correct her slander, and accomplishes this by constructing a strawman to argue against. Buchanan clearly states a hypothetical and Maddow characterizes his statement absent any reference to it being a hypothetical.

    She’s on par with Beck and other outrageous mouthpieces.

  36. Mark 6:4 “And Jesus said to them: A prophet is despised in his own country, and in his own house, and among his own kindred.”

    Proverbs 26:4 “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”

  37. G.A.Phillips says:

    Take notice of history. The intelligencia is usually the first ones up against the wall. Some of you are very very safe.

    lol, yup…

    Any of you even watch the 5 part series where this is coming from, the answer is no. Do you care that most of Obama’s czars advisers are whack jobs of the highest order,the answer is no.

    When Beck tells you to take notes and do your own investigation, did you, the answer is no.

    Comparing the likes of Maddow and Olbermen to Beck? the answer is no. LOL..

    She’s on par with Beck and other outrageous mouthpieces.

    no my insightfully articulate friend, she is on par with Obama’s advisers, are you feeling me?

    You must be referring the the pretty much endless list of conservatives who have been caught boinking women who are not their wives. Anybody ever fill you in on Newt’s adventures?

    lol, at least they know better and say it’s wrong. Rule 4 every other post A.S.?

  38. Bill H says:

    “Right, right. I consider single payer — which is what Obama wants — a government program. Medicare is an “insurance” program and yet still thought of as government medicine.”

    First, single payer would indeed be a government program. It would not be government healthcare, merely government payment for private healthcare.

    Second, the fact that Medicare is “thought of as government medicine” does not mean that it is government medicine. Sheesh. It government payment for private medicine.

  39. floyd says:

    The heath care straw-man is obvious here.
    Beck does not mention health care in the above quote.
    He does however mention the obvious fact that….
    “Some of us knew!” “this guy’s a Marxist!”

  40. […] Glenn Beck: There’s a Coup Going On. A Stealing of America. (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

  41. FedUp says:

    You folks better wake up and realize that although Beck might act weird he hits on many issues that the Obama Admin simply does not respond to. Just how many czars need to be appointed before you wake up and realize that as soon as health scare is passed the coup against America and all she has stood for and for over 200 years now will be complete?

    Even Putin warned what Obama was about to start, Marxist socialism, did not work for his country. Now what could he have meant by that I wonder?

    While you play like you have no idea what anyone like Beck is saying one day after all this smoke and all these mirrors clear I hope someone remembers your comments and then reminds you in person and I hope it’s Beck himself.

    Now wake up and act like you have some sense. I for one do not wish to explain to my grandchildren how America used to be. Do you?

  42. […] Glenn Beck: There’s a Coup Going On. A Stealing of America. (outsidethebeltway.com) […]