Glenn Beck spent the first half of his Fox News show today complaining that only 14 members of Congress had signed the pledge against violence he issued in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Beck professed not to understand why people didn't immediately line up to sign the pledge.
For an answer, Beck might want to look in the mirror. Beck has a long history of violent rhetoric with which people may not want to associate, and the pledge he issued contains a very thinly-veiled attack on President Obama and progressives.
On his show, Beck argued that signing the pledge should be a no-brainer and wondered what the hold up was. Beck imagined meetings where members of Congress and their staff discussed the pledge. He said, maybe the meetings consisted of people saying, "Are we going to sign the pledge? Are we against non-violence or are we for violence? I don't really know" and suggested that they were concerned with what their "constituents think of Glenn Beck. Do they hate him? Do they love him?"
But Beck may have only himself to blame for the low number of people who have signed the pledge so far.
For one thing, Beck politicized the pledge by including a line that is an obvious attack on his political opponents.
But also, Beck himself has a long history of violent and inflammatory rhetoric and people from either side of the aisle may not want to associate themselves with such a person at a time like this.
- Beck has fantasized about killing Michael Moore.
- Beck has fantasized about poisoning Nancy Pelosi.
- Beck has portrayed Obama and other Democrats as vampires and suggested "driving a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers."
- Asserting that politicians are addicted to spending, Beck stated: "When do we ever run those who are bankrupting our country and literally stealing our children's future out of town? Grab a torch."
- Beck has said that "to the day I die, I am going to be a progressive hunter."
- During his May 15 commencement speech at Liberty University, Beck told graduates that they "have a responsibility" to speak out, or "blood ... will be on our hands." His advice for graduates (as well as his daughter) included "shoot to kill."
Beck also routinely warns his audience that progressives plan to engage in violence. The examples are almost too numerous to list, but here are a few: Beck says progressives are engaged in a coup, pushing America toward civil war, engaged in revolution, and may "start shooting people" someday.
Beck can say he wants to bring people together here, but nothing in his record backs up that talk. Beck should not be surprised that people don't take him seriously when he routinely pushes conspiracy theories and inflammatory rhetoric.