Monday, March 22, 2010

Glenn Beck Distorts History, Attacks House-Passed Health Care Bill

Glenn Beck took to the airwaves today in full force to attack the House of Representative's passage of health care, and his show seemed to step up the hateful attacks and the blatant misrepresentations of American history. To put it plainly, Glenn Beck doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground, and while he thinks he has a doctorate in all things holy, he is really an ignoramus who takes pride in agitating those who cannot make decisions for themselves.

Just consider this video posted on Media Matters of Glenn Beck's show:

I painstakingly watching this clip to make sure I did not miss a single word for the sole purpose of pointing out just how stupid Glenn Beck really is. On his program, Glenn Beck states that he wants to point out some comparisons and walks over to his video screen that is displaying the famous painting by Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware. Beck then begins his obligatory praise of American greatness and the heroics of the Revolutionary War general and first American president, George Washington.

According to Beck the scholar, the Continental Army had nothing left, but lo and behold, George Washington pulled out his copy of Thomas Paine's newest pamphlet, The American Crisis.
These are times that try men's souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
These words, Beck insists, spoken by a true American hero, rallied the troops to go on and defeat the "Navy Seals of the planet," later to pledge "their lives, their fortune, their sacred honor," but in all of Beck's theatrics, he seems to have missed some important facts, as usual, that would poke hole after hole in his beautiful tale of selfless bravery, which in his eyes most likely leads to the essence of modern day Reagan conservatism, blended with Christian overtones, of course.

First off, I will give Beck some credit. Thomas Paine's pamphlet probably did boost morale, but I think the infusion of 2000 troops under the command of General John Sullivan might have given an even greater morale boost. In addition to the added troops, much needed blankets arrived on Christmas Eve, which would have probably aided in the general well being of the soldiers leading up to their Christmas Day fight, which brings me to my second point.

George Washington did not battle the "Navy Seals" of his time. He battled what boiled down to a bunch of conscripts. The British Empire had hired German troops to fight against the colonies. These troops were known as Hessians, because a sizable amount had come from Hesse-Kassel. These troops were not mercenaries in the traditional sense of the word. They were not skilled soldiers for hire, but mainly conscripts, debtors, or even petty criminals. Some were even forced into military service through the practice of impressment. These troops were hardly the professionals Beck makes them out to be.

Beck also makes the Continental Army to seem like a group of volunteers who are fighting for principles, but in reality, they were troops, who voluntarily enlisted, but were paid for their services. The "liberal" textbooks that Beck hates so much has been instrumental in improving the image of these people. Who wants to hear that this nation was fought with paid soldiers?Now a bunch of principled volunteers? That's more like it...

While these troops were suffering from poor living conditions, I would like to point out a little side note that contributed to the lack of supplies. While locals were sympathetic to the Revolutionary War, they opted to make a profit, selling their goods to the British, because unlike the Continental Army that paid with highly inflated certificates, the British paid in pound stirling. I only mention this because of Glenn Beck's constant hawking of gold and warnings of the impending doom of hyperinflation.

Beck's honorable freedom fighters then conducted a surprise attack on the Navy Seals, planning to attack on December 26th, the day after Christmas, hoping to catch the British and Hessians off guard, which it did. I am reminded of the surprise attack by the National Liberation Front for South Vietnam and the People's Army of Vietnam against Republic of Vietnam, the United States, and their allies during the early morning hours of January 31, 1968, known as Tết Nguyên Đán, the first day of the year on a traditional lunar calendar and the most important Vietnamese holiday.

What does Glenn Beck's bastardized version of Washington and the Continental Army crossing the Delaware compare to? Nancy Pelosi holding a gavel.


Glenn Beck points to a painting of Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. Beck states that the address was one of the most important deliveries in American history, aimed at uniting the nation, but in fact, while the Gettysburg Address did call for a more perfect union, it also called for the decrease in dominance of states' rights, which was one of the primary causes of the Civil War, or as Rep. Paul Broun calls it, "The Great War of Yankee Agression." If Glenn Beck remembered anything from history class, presuming he even attended, the Southern states wanted state sovereignty over the federal government so they could maintain their agricultural system based on slavery, among other things. Funny Beck references the Gettysburg Address when he is also constantly advocating states' rights, and what does Beck compare this address to? A picture of Nancy Pelosi holding a gavel.

Beck then attacks Pelosi, stating that Pelosi asserted "there was no real money exchanged for votes," but Beck claims that is false, insinuating the Speaker engaged in acts of bribery to pass health care legislation.

Next on Beck's parade of pictures was the Battle of Iwo Jima, which according to Glenn, soldiers fought and died over an "idea," but I was certain it was taken because the island's possession would grant American forces a strategic advantage over Japan, which, in the most simplest terms, would hopefully lead to the end of the war. What does this compare to? A picture of Nancy Pelosi, this time walking with he gavel.

Beck then talks about the first man on the moon. Not really sure how this compares, but he then transitions to the civil rights movement, showing a picture of the Greensboro sit-ins, pointing out that African Americans refused to get up, and asking what the Democrats have done. I guess refusing to allow people to die at the hands of the insurance industry or trying to protect people from financial ruin because of insurance practices isn't really important.

And what comes next? The conservative answer to everything - September 11th. He invokes the name of Todd Beamer, a passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 93 who attacked hijackers with fellow passengers, but dare he mention the ignored memo by the Bush administration containing a two-paged section called "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US." Had the warning been acknowledged, maybe Todd Beamer would have been alive today, but then Glenn Beck wouldn't have a dead American to claim as his own propaganda tool.

What does Glenn Beck compare the passage of the health care bill to? Pearl Harbor. St. Valentines Day Massacre. Neville Chamberlain and appeasement. Jimmy Carter. The Hindenburg. Glenn Beck calls the bill historically corrupt and historically partisan, but Beck has time and time again proven to be historically wrong.

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