David Weigel, late of the Washington Post‘s blog, now writes for Slate, where he posted, yesterday, about a possible “purge” at the Cato Institute. Personnel changes at Cato are of only scant interest to those not employed by Cato (or so it should be, partisan obsessions aside), but something Weigel wrote deserves attention:
At the beginning of his show this morning, Glenn Beck started ripping into the imam that all the talk-radio hosts love to hate, because the imam has (correctly) pointed out that the U.S. has killed many more innocent non-Muslims than al-Qaeda has.
Beck went on to defend the U.S. embargo against Iraq that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people during the 1990s, argued that we should have fought the Iraq war “full on” from the beginning (meaning we shouldn’t have been so squeamish — as if “we” were — about killing innocent people), and claimed that the current U.S. government is the only one in the history of the world that has ever fought wars in a manner that avoided killing civilians.
Last year, Beck promoted a rally in Washington to protest the federal government’s taxing and spending. This year, he’s holding a rally to glorify the U.S. military. Can there be any doubt that by the time the Republicans regain control in Washington, Beck and his many followers will be right back where all the conservatives were during the George W. Bush years? Only it will be much worse, because they’ll have much bigger, more powerful government at their disposal, which they will not reduce one bit. And one shudders to think of what the apparent growing extreme, irrational hatred of Muslims may lead to.
Unless, that is, Ron Paul and other true libertarians can steer the Tea Party movement onto the right track before it’s too late.
As a good first step, it’s time for everyone — including some people who should know better — to stop suggesting that Glenn Beck is any sort of libertarian.
(Cross-posted at LRC and my blog.)