Thursday, October 1, 2009

The conundrum at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave: to respond to Glenn Beck or not?

From a political perspective, the proper response to Glenn Beck in the past few weeks would have been to stand by Van Jones and Yosi Sergant.

[I realize both had become political liabilities, but not even one-tenth the extent a political liability that being seen to cave into a talk show host creates.]

Now that Beck is going after Valerie Jarrett, the proper political response would be (a) for the White House to ignore him and support Jarrett, while (b) sending out some heavy-hitting political surrogates to take him on.

Having White House officials directly challenging Beck on an official White House website does not debunk Beck, it elevates him.

Hell, at this point he appears to be getting more of Barack Obama's attention than General McChrystal in Afghanistan.

At the same time it diminishes the power of the Presidency.

Why? Because it says, in effect, This man has developed such a following that his lies now require the official attention of the government in lieu of real things we should be doing.

Since trust in government, from both ends of the political spectrum, is running pretty damn low, that gives Beck's followers the idea that he is striking a nerve, and--ironically--tells President Obama's supporters exactly the same thing.

The problem for the Obama administration is that what would have been the right move for a campaign--responding quickly--is the wrong move for a sitting president.

Glenn Beck is a sick-freak-fad that can only become a phenomenon with staying power if his enemies treat him like one.

6 comments:

Delaware Watch said...

I read somewhere that Beck is a registered Libertarian. Do you know anything about it?

Anonymous said...

"This man has developed such a following that his lies now require the official attention of the government in lieu of real things we should be doing."

So, have you debunked any of these "lies"? If they're not lies, your impotent mini diatribe is a waste of time. Wait! You're a Libertarian (just like Beck?), so you're no stranger to political impotence.

Hube said...

I don't watch Beck nor listen to him; however, from what I've read, I can see nothing about him lying at least in regards to Van Jones. All he did was play clips of Jones' own words.

How is that lying -- or even the slightest bit disingenuous?

Mike W. said...

Having White House officials directly challenging Beck on an official White House website does not debunk Beck, it elevates him.

And that of course is exactly what Beck wants.

Anonymous said...

"And that of course is exactly what Beck wants."

Is anyone other than me surprised that Prof. Newton hasn't figured this out all by himself? He is certainly not that obtuse. I think he's gaming as a part of some perverted, masturbatory fantasy.

George Phillies said...

The people who appear on his program lend some of their credibility to Beck's claims of legitimacy.

A list could be generated.