A friend of mine sent me this, comparing Glenn Beck and Martin Luther King. Today, in case it passed you by,was the day Beck "restored America." Some 300,000 people were out on the Capitol Mall today to listen to speeches by the likes of Sarah Palin and Beck. (NYT story here; see this also.) The rally occurred on the 46th anniversary of Martin Luther King's renowned "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Which seems a lot further away actually. Back then, there was broad consensus on the major the accomplishments of the New Deal: the bedrock of our social welfare system, Social Security. Those people out there on the mall today, overwhelmingly white and over 45, want to dismantle this program. Along with Medicare, Medicaid, and the recently passed health care legislation. They are against taxes of any kind, except for the military, of course.
But despite the fact that this was the largest gathering of Tea Party people ever, the event was billed as "non-political." Indeed, Beck sounded more like a preacher then the airhead star from Fox News he actually is. The nation has been wandering in darkness, he said. But now it is turning back to God. In fact, God himself laid on his heart what he had to say, Beck claimed. (Apparently, God has decided that he's against all taxes. He's also anti-Obama. And in his spare time he commissions special-ops missions, according to one of the many political and military-favoring T-shirts in the crowd.) Palin was equally vaporous, as is her wont: "We must not fundamentally transform America, as some would want. We must restore America and restore her honor." Nobody in the huge crowd, which raised the loudest cheer of the day for her, stopped to wonder just exactly what this means.