In his passionate keynote address at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference), Fox News host Glenn Beck drew parallels between his struggles as an alcoholic and the GOP's "addictions" to big spending and big government. "It is still morning in America," Beck said. "It just happens to be kind of a head-pounding, hung-over, vomiting-for-four-hours kind of morning." Beck, closely aligned with the Tea Party movement, dismissed both major parties as profligate: Democrats "tax and spend," he said, while Republicans just spend. Is Beck's controversial 12-step rhetoric apt, or absurd?
Glenn Beck is a loose cannon: Despite Beck's claims to the contrary, says Bill Bennett in National Review Online, "many" Republicans, "from Jim DeMint...to Paul Ryan," have offered "real proposals" for addressing the GOP's recent problems with overspending. Party members are much better off listening to these voices than to Beck's "ill-informed muttering diatribes that can’t distinguish between conservative and liberal."
"Saturday night Beck"
Conservatives can get what they want — by fixing the GOP: "The GOP still does have problems" with fiscal restraint, says Eric Erickson in Red State. But the fault lies almost exclusively with the party's Senate leadership which refuses to uphold "Republican principles." That said, the party will right itself in time to capture the surge of conservative sentiment sweeping across the country.
"The good, the bad, the discordant, and the unconfortable"
Maybe Americans favor the GOP's big-spending ways: Despite Beck's calls for a low-tax, Tea Party-style agenda for Republicans, says conservative blogger Ryan at Hot Air, "it is not clear" that such a strategy would go over well with the American people. According to a Pew poll, very few people actually support cutting government spending for things like Medicare, Social Security and the military.
"Bennett vs. Beck"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- 4 strategies for organizing your money, based on your personality
- Why the West should accept ISIS as a sovereign nation
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
Subscribe to the Week