Glenn Beck Has A Scheme

Today was the big day for Glenn Beck’s “I Have A Scheme” rally on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech. The event was supposed to be non-political. Hopefully this means that former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who spoke at the event, is not really running to be president from 2013 until around 2014 or 5. Even beyond the cheap shot Palin took at Barack ObamaThink Progress presented additional reasons to question the non-political characterization of the event.

The speakers tended to confuse theocracy with heroism as they spoke of the later. I hope Bob Herbert is right that America is better than what we saw at this rally.

Many people, such as NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, were offended by seeing Glenn Beck try to claim the civil rights movement for the right. Considering that Glenn Beck has previously said that those who take what he says as gospel are idiots, and that Beck’s philosophy is opposed to everything King stood for, it is easy to laugh this off. Do they really expect anyone to believe that Martin Luther King, Jr. would be writing claims on a chalk board that Barack Obama is a socialist and Muslim?

Ignoring the possibility that they could get away with this would be a mistake. The right wing, whose rhetoric is far different from their actual policies, has shown an amazing ability to claim liberal ideas as their own to try to make their agenda sound more acceptable.

The right wing, which already trampled upon the Constitution during the Bush years, now wishes to throw out even more parts, including the 14th Amendment. They have long spread a revisionist history denying the support of the Founding Fathers for separation of church and state. They claim to be defending the Constitution while promoting a version of the Constitution created in their heads which would shock the Founding Fathers.

The right wing claims to support liberty, while supporting increased suppression of civil liberties and an increased role for government in the private lives of individuals.

The right wing claims to support free markets when they actually use government to protect special interests. They claim that politicians such as Barack Obama who are working to try to rescue the free market from the damage they caused it are socialists.

They claim to support small government and fiscal responsibility while the size of government and deficit has grown under their rule.

If Republicans can get away with these claims, don’t be surprised if they also convince their supporters that they are also supporters of civil rights.