Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Glenn Beck's Double Standard

Glenn Beck Fawned over Bush era Republican Rick Santorum while interviewing him even though Beck has called Bush a progressive and has criticized Bush's spending.

Yet, Beck prefaced a June 27th interview with Ron Paul by saying that he thought Dr. Paul was "wrong on a few things". The introduction as a whole was favorable to Paul, and Beck actually took a slight at Rick Santorum's opinion (or lack thereof) on auditing the Fed. (see video). continued below

But during a half hour interview with Santorum on June 23rd, Beck did not once criticize Santorum's big government voting record. Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind, Medicare Plan D, and many many other "compassionate conservative" schemes signed into law by George W. Bush. Why didn't Beck bother to mention his disagreements with Santorum's voting record?

According to The American Conservative's Jack Hunter:
Today, Santorum remains the personification of Bush Republicanism. Heading into the 2012 campaign, the former senator sounds more like the ghost of Republicans past, invoking Bush’s name more often and favorably than any other candidate, while seeming to hope his beating of the culture and foreign war drums might drown out his big government record.
If Beck were being consistent, wouldn't he at least question Santorum on his record?

Rush Limbaugh was also quite friendly to Santorum when he interviewed him, but Rush has never gone out on a limb and criticized Bush to the extent that Beck has. We know Rush is a sticker for the establishment GOP, but this is not the case for Beck, right?

It is painful to watch pundits like Glenn Beck say all the right things one moment and then forget them whenever a hallowed Republican like Santorum appears. The material on Beck's show would suggest that he is an avid Ron Paul supporter since Beck highlights heavily Fed's misdeeds more than any other FOX News host. Yet Beck fawns over Santorum and not Paul.

At least the judge, Andrew Napolitano, seems to be honest, that is, when FOX lets him on the air.

We would add that Santorum has said he was "the tea party before there was a tea party". But Beck once cheered on a Tea Party crowd to condemn the Bush style spending that Santorum once championed.

Santorum also conflicts with the tea party in other ways. Shortly before the 2006 election that he lost to Democrat Bob Casey, Santorum said that it would be worth it to lose his senate seat for being an apologist for the Iraq war. But the tea party represents grassroots beliefs. The urge to attack Iraqis who live thousands of miles away, across the vast Atlantic Ocean, that have never attacked you is not a grassroots impulse.

While Santorum answered some of Beck's questions on the Libya war, he used some rhetoric resonant of the Bush era and the excuses he gave for lingering in Iraq. Santorum told Beck: "I think we should get out of [Libya], but I don't think we can immediately pull the plug [because among other things] it would threaten to "destabilize NATO"--whatever that means.

Admid concerns that the benefits of government foreign aid are being gulped up by dictators like Mubarak, Santorum has called for more US foreign aid and has refused to cut any money from the defense budget. Believe it or not, many tea partiers want Defense cut and belief much of the Dept's activity is wasteful.

Santorum had previously stated that NATO should have imposed a no fly zone sooner(!) than it did. Santorum also faultily insuates that it is "Reaganesque" to attack Libya even though Libya has not attacked the US in any way whatsoever in the past 20 years.

So how could Santorum tell Beck he disagreed with the war if he had said we should have gone in sooner? He must have either lied to Beck after Beck pushed him to be against it or have changed his mind between since he supported it.

Santorum went on to tell Beck that he was concerned that the government was not doing enough to convince people of of the need to "win" in Afghanistan and Iraq. I'm sure that's what so many tea partiers are yearning for: propaganda in support of recreational wars.

Santorum also belittled Obama's unfulfilled obligation to get congressional approval for the war, and implied that the main task for Obama was to make clear the mission. Santorum wants a more articulate unconstitutional war, but an unconstitutional war nonetheless. Meanwhile, Beck allowed Santorum to pose as a constitutionalist.

Perhaps Santorum does, however facially, represent some social conservatives in the tea party since he is ardently pro-life, but according to Jack Hunter:
In positioning himself as the most socially conservative candidate, Santorum has been successful in spending as many taxpayer dollars as the Democrats by seeking right-wing refuge in his pro-life, pro-gun, and anti-gay-marriage positions. The problem is, “conservatives” of Santorum’s stripe rarely do much to actually advance these issues. Is America any closer to overturning Roe v. Wade? Do we generally have more federal gun laws today or less? Has homosexuality become more or less culturally acceptable? For most Republican politicians, social conservatism has always been more of a fashion statement than a mission statement. You even get the sense that politicians like Santorum know full well they can’t do much legislatively on these issues and thus enjoy the conservative cover it always provides them. A 10th Amendment revolution [that only Ron Paul would champion] in this country might give social conservatives more political victories than they’ve had in decades—but it would also mean the loss of a valuable election tool for Republican politicians [like Santorum] who not-so-coincidentally seem to always favor impossible-to-pass federal legislation.

Even if Santorum does give good lip service to social causes, it does not absolve him from doing the right thing fiscally. Some would even say that Santorum's votes for fiscal prodigality were downright immoral. Moreover, would it be okay for someone to rob you as long as they were pro-life? To be irresponsible with money? To make shady quid pro quo deals?

According to a column quoted by Jack Hunter:
“Reagan was a small government conservative who declared in his inauguration address that government was the problem, not the solution. There, Bush begs to differ. The essence of Bush’s big government conservatism is a trade-off. To gain free-market reforms and expand individual choice, he’s willing to broaden programs and increase spending.
These sorts of bargains are faustian because they make conservatives seem fiscally irresponsible to liberals.

In keeping with this faustian philosophy, Rick Santorum endorsed the liberal Arlen Specter over less liberal Pat Toomey in 2004 in return for Specter's vote on the Bush tax cuts and Specter's alleged pledge to support Bush's supreme court nominees. But there is no evidence to suggest that Toomey wouldn't have voted to nominate George Bush's selections Roberts and Alito. Santorum's little quid pro quo game resulted in the retention of liberal Arlen Specter who eventually was a key vote for Obamacare.

And yet, the impeccable Beck never even brought up any of this to Santorum, and seemed to gloat over him the entire interview. Does Glenn Beck actually believe what he professes?

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