"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bill Bennett: Saturday Night Beck

We are still stunned and frankly outraged from the Beck speech last night and very much appreciate Bill Bennett's take on Beck's speech.

We had our doubts about Beck sometime ago but some people tried to convince us that Beck was the man and was going after Obama and that was good. His outing of Medina who is running for Governor of Texas as coming from the Ron Paul camp and willing to listen to Alex Jones and 9/11 Truthers made us consider that we might have misjudged him a 'little.'

Now we have to wonder about that interview with Medina if Beck got caught unawares and ended up accidentally outing her as giving credence to the 9/11 Truther movement. We will never know.

Republicans have been standing up in Congress for all of us from the time the session was called into order in Jan 2009. How Beck can even compare them to the Democrats is beyond us and shot his credibility. We had heard he leaned toward the John Birch movement who Barry Goldwater and Bill Buckley drove out of the Party and now it is time to do it again. They have no business at anything Republican.

Members of either party who go too far left or right are not helping this Country. Progressives and John Birchers fill the same space as far as we are concerned. Both groups are far from what the vast majority of Americans are which is center right. That's where America should be govern -- center right. Right now Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are part of the Progressive movement and out of touch with most Americans. We feel the same way about the John Birchers and Ron Paul Libertarians.

This article from Bill Bennett sums up what we were thinking of Beck saying both parties are alike. Not even close.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday Night Beck
Bill Bennett

There’s a lot to say about CPAC. This morning the major papers are highlighting Glenn Beck’s speech. I like Glenn a lot and I think he has something to teach us. But not what he offered last night.

Analogizing his own struggles with alcohol to the problems of our polity and in our politics, he said, “Hello, my name is the Republican party, and I have a problem!” “I’m addicted to spending and big government.” ”It is still morning in America.” ”It just happens to be kind of a head-pounding, hung-over, vomiting-for-four-hours kind of morning in America. And it’s shaping up to be kind of a nasty day. But it is still morning in America.” And, again, “I believe in redemption, but the first step to getting redemption is you’ve got to admit that you’ve got a problem. I have not heard people in the Republican party yet admit that they have a problem.”

Glenn is among the best talkers in the business of broadcast. I am not sure he’s a very good listener.

First, there is a good and strong tradition in alcohol and drug treatment that personal failings should not be extrapolated into the public sphere; that too often when this is done, conclusions are reached based on the wrong motives and, often, the wrong analysis. Glenn has made that mistake here and taken to our politics a cosmologizing of his own deficiencies. This is not a baseless criticism; they are his own deficiencies that he keeps publicly redounding to and analogizing to. It is wrong and he is wrong.

Second, for him to continue to say that he does not hear the Republican party admit its failings or problems is to ignore some of the loudest and brightest lights in the party. From Jim DeMint to Tom Coburn to Mike Pence to Paul Ryan, any number of Republicans have admitted the excesses of the party and done constructive and serious work to correct them and find and promote solutions. Even John McCain has said again and again that “the Republican party lost its way.” These leaders, and many others, have been offering real proposals, not ill-informed muttering diatribes that can’t distinguish between conservative and liberal, free enterprise and controlled markets, or night and day. Does Glenn truly believe there is no difference between a Tom Coburn, for example, and a Harry Reid or a Charles Schumer or a Barbara Boxer? Between a Paul Ryan or Michele Bachmann and a Nancy Pelosi or Barney Frank?

Third, to admit it is still “morning in America” but a “vomiting for four hours” kind of morning is to diminish, discourage, and disparage all the work of the conservative, Republican, and independent resistance of the past year. The Tea Partiers know better than this. I don’t think they would describe their rallies and resistance as a bilious purging but, rather, as a very positive democratic reaction aimed at correcting the wrongs of the current political leadership. The mainstream media may describe their reactions as an unhealthy expurgation. I do not.

A year ago, we were told the Republican party and the conservative movement were moribund. Today they are ascendant, and it is the left and the Democratic party that are on defense — even while they are in control. That’s quite an amazing achievement. But anyone who knows the history of this country and its political movements should not be surprised. America has a long tradition of antibodies that kick in. From Carter we got Reagan. And from Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama we took back a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, with midterm elections on the horizon that Republicans and conservatives are actually excited about, not afraid of.

To say the GOP and the Democrats are no different, to say the GOP needs to hit a recovery-program-type bottom and hang its head in remorse, is to delay our own country’s recovery from the problems the Democratic left is inflicting. The stakes are too important to go through that kind of exercise, which will ultimately go nowhere anyway — because it’s already happened.

The first task of a serious political analyst is to see things as they are. There is a difference between morning and night. There is a difference between drunk and sober. And there is a difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. To ignore these differences, or propagate the myth that they don’t exist, is not only discouraging, it is dangerous.

— Bill Bennett is the host of Morning in America, the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute, and the author of A Century Turns: New Hopes, New Fears.

Source: NRO Corner

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