Glenn Beck wraps up CPAC with a vintage tour of paranoid history and melodrama





There was really only one way the weird conservative carnival called CPAC 2010 could end Saturday night: with Glenn Beck stalking around the stage for an hour, scribbling paranoid wordplay on his trademark chalkboard, praising Calvin Coolidge and giving dramatic readings of a poem by a bona fide Socialist to stir an overflowing, anti-government crowd into a frenzy....

Beck spends a lot of his time on his TV show talking about the 1920s; his CPAC speech was no different. It didn't take long before he had scrawled the real menace's name onto his chalkboard: "Progressivism." Woodrow Wilson and his allies have their tentacles deeply wound around today's politics, it seems; after all, liberals call themselves progressives, and if Wilson's bunch can be discredited, so can modern liberalism. QED! "After the Progressives got into office with Woodrow Wilson... he gives us the Fed -- how's that working out for us?" he said. "Then he gives us the -- let's remember this, America -- progressive income tax." He drew the word out into three or four extra syllables' worth of S's, sneering as he drew his theories out in chalk. "Everything's changed since the Progressives came," he said.

And if Wilson is the bad guy, Calvin Coolidge had to be the hero. Beck roused the crowd into a lengthy ovation for tax cuts Coolidge advocated nearly 90 years ago, which brought the nostalgia at CPAC to new highs. He mocked the media, accusing reporters of some sinister conspiracy to cover up the fact that the Roaring Twenties were good. And then suddenly he was jumping back to the modern day, bashing U.S. bond sales to China. It was hard to follow if you were trying to find any logic to it all, but that didn't seem to be a problem for many of the people in the room. It certainly wasn't for Beck....



comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list