Glenn Beck's Anti-Violence Pledge: A Transparent Trap For Democrats
Politico reports  that Fox News producer Virginia Grace is "reaching out to members of Congress to try to get them to sign on to the pledge denouncing violence that Glenn Beck unveiled on the air yesterday." In the email, Grace states that Beck will "publicize the list of participating members tonight on our show as a message of unity."
(As an aside, according to her LinkedIn page , before working for noted unifiers Glenn Beck and Fox News, Grace was an aide to then-Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and the far-right Club for Growth.)
It's pretty easy to predict what's about to happen. Democratic members of Congress, who likely realize that Beck is toxic, won't sign on to his letter; conservative Republicans, who love/fear Beck, will do so.
Beck will probably spend this evening's program alternatively feigning shock that any member of Congress would refuse to sign his pledge, and attacking them for their failure to do so, while praising the members of the Beck Caucus who have signed on. He will ask what in the pledge they could possibly object to. He will suggest that the real reason Democratic members of Congress won't sign on is because they refuse to denounce the Cloward/Piven strategy, or because they don't want to alienate their supposedly violent union allies. He will demand to know how anyone could possibly accuse conservatives of violent rhetoric when they are willing to sign his pledge.
In reality, Democrats will be refusing to sign the pledge for two reasons:
2) Part of the pledge implicitly slams virtually every Democratic member of Congress, along with President Obama, and conflates them with violent revolutionaries.
The pledge states:
I challenge all Americans, left or right, regardless if you're a politician, pundit, painter, priest, parishioner, poet or porn star to agree with all of the following.
- I denounce violence, regardless of ideological motivation.
- I denounce anyone, from the Left, the Right or middle, who believes physical violence is the answer to whatever they feel is wrong with our country.
- I denounce those who wish to tear down our system and rebuild it in their own image, whatever that image may be.
- I denounce those from the Left, the Right or middle, who call for riots and violence as an opportunity to bring down and reconstruct our system.
- I denounce violent threats and calls for the destruction of our system -- regardless of their underlying ideology -- whether they come from the Hutaree Militia or Frances Fox Piven.
- I hold those responsible for the violence, responsible for the violence. I denounce those who attempt to blame political opponents for the acts of madmen.
- I denounce those from the Left, the Right or middle that sees violence as a viable alternative to our long established system of change made within the constraints of our constitutional Republic.
I will stand with anyone willing to sign that pledge. Today I make a personal choice. I urge leaders of both sides and all walks of life to join me as all Americans joined hands on 9.12.2001.
Note how "those who wish to tear down the system and rebuild it in their own image" are just as bad as those who "call for riots and violence to bring down and reconstruct our system" and those who make "violent threats." Who has Beck accused of trying "to tear down the system and rebuild it in their own image"? Basically every Democratic member of Congress along with the President of the United States.
You see, according to Beck, Democrats, led by President Obama, have spent the last two years embarking on a mission of "fundamental transformation" of the United States. Pivoting off Obama's statement during the presidential campaign that "we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America," Beck has claimed that "fundamental transformation" means "collapsing the system as we know it and rebooting it as a progressive utopia." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/5/10, via Nexis] Beck has said this purported effort must be stopped in order to "save the republic." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 7/31/09, via Nexis]
In March, right before every single Democratic senator and the vast majority of Democratic members of Congress passed historic health care reform, Beck declared , "If this passes, the fundamental transformation of America is complete."
I can't imagine why anyone would accuse  Beck of "playing politics."