“A few brave conservatives reject ‘unhinged’ radio ranters” is how the headline read in Charleston’s Post & Courier for Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Dick Polman’s latest, in which he applauds Peter Wehner, David Frum, Lindsey Graham and other Republicans speaking out against the antics of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Michael Savage and “worst” of all – Glenn Beck – at whom Polman directs most of his ire. Polman also throws in Alex Jones and what he calls his “post-Beck schtick,” believing that the conspiratorial Jones is some sort of threat to civil public discourse.
I make the argument in a recent TAC piece that much of the anger directed toward Beck by conservatives is not simply because of his wacky style, but his habit of questioning conventional right-wing wisdom on foreign policy and daring to undermine the Republican Party. Lo and behold, writes Polman:
“it’s not just the tone that worries these conservative critics… Far worse is the fact that Beck and some of his brethren are just as capable of skewering the GOP, and inspiring fans to do the same. A few weeks back, he stunned many Republicans by declaring in an interview, ‘I think John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama.’ Why? Because ‘I think McCain is a weird progressive, like Theodore Roosevelt was.”
Of course, Beck is absolutely right about McCain in his comments, especially once one understands where the FOX host is coming from and his concept of the term “progressive.”
In applauding Frum’s attacks on Beck, Polman notes that he’s an “ex-Bush speechwriter who helped coin the term ‘Axis of Evil.”
After reading what seemed like Polman’s positive example of Frum’s conservative credentials, I couldn’t help but think – has anything Limbaugh, Levin, Savage, Beck, Jones or any other pundit ever said or done led to more destruction, tragedy and heartache than Frum’s infamous phrase?