Beck Catches Obama Being Unpatriotic

From the department of twisting words way beyond their meaning, we have Glenn Beck‘s response to these lines from President Obama’s Wednesday deficit speech, which refer to the guarantees of social security, medicare and unemployment insurance:

We are a better country because of these commitments. I’ll go further – we would not be a great country without these commitments. 

To the attentive ears of Beck and his lieutenant Stu Burguiere, this is the same as saying the USA wasn’t a great country until 1965. They hear the president portraying the modern social safety net as a qualification for national greatness. It follows logically, therefore, that America wasn’t great until the last major piece (Medicare) was in place. Following this line further, the United States could not hold its head high prior to the system of social insurance. Framers of the Constitution? Not so special.

Nice try, guys.

In order to make their argument, Beck and Burguiere have to ignore the obvious point that these questions are judged in light of their historical times. It makes perfect sense for President Obama to say that in our present time, no great nation would cut loose the people fighting the toughest odds — with no implication that the same standard of social guarantees applies to our entire history.

That’s the trap for this brand of conservatism. Does their idea of progress leave no room for the evolution of government to keep up with the times? Is it really all right there in the Constitution and the amendments? This is just gauzy nostalgia dressed up as principle.

The far-right likes to claim this is a debate about American exceptionalism. No, it’s a debate about American infallibility. The idea that the United States is based on certain ideals and plays a special role in the world is shared across a pretty wide political spectrum. The notion that we have no room or need for improvement is hotly contested. And Glenn Beck isn’t the only Fox News demagogue who wants us to focus on the former question, rather than the latter.

Let me cite another bit of 18th Century wisdom, Samuel Johnson’s famous remark that self-righteous patriotism is “the last refuge of scoundrels.” If the right wing believes America was better off a century ago, before income taxes, labor unions and the New Deal, fine let’s debate that. But let’s not confuse the belief in progress with the rejection of history and tradition.


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Photo credit: Gage Skidmore


carlee trent
carlee trent6 years ago


Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Wish there where a law that criminalized lies in media and the sanctions where hard on the prepetrators and facilitators of such falsifying of facts. Then Beck and his croonies would be sharing a cell with the people they fear the most.

Susanne R.
Susanne R6 years ago

Headline: Beck Catches Obama Being Unpatriotic

And the world catches Beck being an idiot. The man is not a scholar; he's an entertainer. He doesn't report facts; he makes them up. In fact, he doesn't even report. He dances, prances, scribbles, points and yells. It's sad that there's actually a market for what he's selling.

Shirley M.
Shirley Marsh6 years ago

Take care Americans - vote Republican and you'll be putting a group of seriously impaired, intellectually challenged people in charge of what was once one of the great nations of the world, and turning back the clock at least 200 years! And heaven help the rest of the world as well - they'll have their fingers on the nuclear button!

Russ L.
Russell L6 years ago

It amazes me how so many know so much about everything and everyone. Most know nothing about anything but think they know everything. Do any of you really care about anything or want to learn or grow beyond who you are? Most of you sit on your fat ass drive around in your 5 MPG cars saying you care. Hate everyone that is not like you and blame everything on your government or corporation but will not do a damn thing to help anything going on. It is easy and lazy to blame and not take any responsibility for your actions. What you buy, who you support what you do when no one is watching. What a bunch of hypocrites and cheaters. Hidden bigots and closet candy bar eaters. Think and DO something!

Ernie Miller
william Miller6 years ago

When are people going to listen to politicans and buisness people and start thinking for them selves instead of listening to idiots on the TV and Radio who just twist and spin peoples words to spout their own ideology.

Paul B.
Paul B6 years ago

I love the way many of you bring up GE all the time. They pay no taxes because Immelt is Obama's buddy, on his ecomonic counsel, big contributor and supporter... just look at how far MSNBC will go to support Obama even when he is totally wrong, lies, etc.
That is your Chicago thug politician at work for your best interest. Only if you have something of value for him will you any attention. the only reason he is catering to you rhetorically is because he needs to get re-elected. Otherwise you would never even enter his radar screen. You would become more of a dictraction than anything else.
He cares less about you and your needs than any President in recent histroy. OBAMA IS ALL ABOUT OBAMA... that is all. He is loving the limelight, hates any criticism of any kind... big chip on his shoulder. All the very obvious traits of a true narcissist. Someday you will realize I am right... hopefully not too late.

Paul B.
Paul B6 years ago

Donald... you obviously are totally unaware of anything factual about Beck. Never racist, and he is leaving because he has bigger plans ahead, not to be constrained by the limits Fox can provide him. Two among other mistatements you have made.
You are a LONG way from getting rid of him, in fact you might never be free of his influence. Don't you just love it.
Besides, why, if most of you admittedly NEVER watch FOX, do you care if he is on or off the air??? Just because you don't like him, why do you care?
It's like most things Liberal, if you don't like it, nobody should either, and you will do what you can to stop me from liking it. Because it's BAD for me??? Who are you to make that decision for me???

Elitist, controlling Liberals, that is why.

Barbara U.
Barbara U6 years ago

Under the 13th amendment of the constitution, African Americans were considered 3/5 a person. Times change and our laws should change accordingly. If conservatives had it thier way, we would be stuck in the dark ages.

I'm so angry with the Right, thier non-issues which they try to justify with scare tactics, spinning the truth, etc. Jon Kyl, R, AZ, stated that Planned Parenthood uses 90% of its funds to perform abortions, total lie. Then in his recant he said "the statement wasnt meant to be accurate." These people are masters of deception to suit thier agendas. When is the rest of the United States going to realize this and make a stand?

The far Right have ruined this country and gotten us in a hole so deep, I fear we will never dig ourselves out of it. Lowering taxes for millionairs, Big Corperatons like GE not paying income taxes because they sent all our job overseas. While the working/middle class struggles to buy necessities like groceries or pay thier electric bill.

The Right will not hear of taxing the wealthy, those people who would not even feel it.

And the Democrats, not speaking up and explaining and defending thier policies for fear of loosing thier seats. It's disguesting.

People like Glen Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, would never have existed if it werent for Reagan repealing the Fairness Doctrine that kept media honest and balanced. Canada has similar laws, because of these laws, Fox News is prohibited from broadcasting there. That speaks vol

Donald B.
Donald Burnison6 years ago

Glen Beck appeals mostly to those who are agenda driven, racist, or just uneducated about the facts of life and whos' morals are like some streets (ONE WAY). Bottom line he was kept by Fox as long as he made money for them, but not long after he lost over 300 sponsorss (money) he was dumped. Even Rupert Murdock will not pay for a political ideologue who does not make money for him. There are many racists out there, but Fox only wants those who can turn a trick.