So I was listening to this shite on the way home from work yesterday - dirty work, yes, but sometimes you must scout the enemy's movements to see where he'll strike next - and I was simply astounded by how out of touch, clueless, and condescending both Fresh Air host Terry Gross and her guest, Princeton professor Sean Wilentz were towards Glenn Beck, the Tea Party, and the American people.
Punctuated with giggles, chuckles, guffaws, there could not have been a better example of what two elitists sound like when they are talking in a circle of like-minded individuals - there assumption being that the entire NPR listening audience was in agreement with them.
Well, perhaps not all, Gross Terry....here's a few excerpts from their smarmy little chat:
GROSS: Wilentz has an article in the current edition of the New Yorker titled "Confounding Fathers: The Tea Party's Cold War Roots." He asks why current Republican Party leaders have done virtually nothing to challenge extremist ideas in their party and a great deal to abet them.
...What interests me as an historian, is how Glenn Beck's version of American history...It's pretty much what the John Birch Society - that they've been teaching for 50 years.
It's a version of history that demonizes the progressive era, particularly Woodrow Wilson, sees it as the beginnings of America's going down the road to totalitarianism, which ends in Beck's version, with Barack Obama.
It's a version of history that is beyond skewed. One history professor said that, you know, it's not worth a pitcher of warm spit. But of course, that's what Beck expects us to say. He lives in a kind of, you know, Alice in Wonderland world....
So insofar as the Tea Party looks up to Beck, and there are polls that show that Tea Party members really do respect Beck more than anybody else, more even than Sarah Palin, and that they consider him not as an entertainer, the way that they describe Rush Limbaugh, but as an educator.... the things that he's giving out as the truth, which are just as wacko as what he's talking about.
I think what's happening is the Republican Party is willing to chase after whatever it can to get party back - to get power back and, you know, this is whats happening to the Republican Party. So instead of drawing lines, people are jumping over fences in order to look like they're in the good graces of these - of the Tea Party types.
Gross asks quite a few similar, leading questions:
GROSS: We're talking about his article in the current edition of The New Yorker, in which he writes that Glenn Beck and the Tea Party Movement are reviving ideas that circulated in the extremist right half a century ago, especially in the John Birch Society
GROSS: Can you think of another time in American history when there have been as many people running for Congress who seem to be on the extreme?
Mr. WILENTZ: Not running for Congress, no.
GROSS: So a question that you're asking in your article is how is it that the Republican Party managed to hold this kind of extremism at bay for decades.
Mr. WILENTZ: Right.
GROSS: And now that extremism is getting expressed in voting-booth politics.
Mr. WILENTZ: Mm-hmm.
GROSS: We hear candidates expressing these views. What's changed in the party that has opened the door to this kind of extremism?
And remember, your tax dollars pay for this...
But even more amusing than the mutual intellectual masturbation being conducted between Gross and Wilentz is how far out of touch they are with the reality of America, and who and what the people believe is extremist. Via JammieWearingFool, we return to reality:
Likely voters in battleground districts see extremists as having a more dominant influence over the Democratic Party than the GOP.
This result comes from The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll, which found that 44 percent of likely voters say the Democratic Party is more dominated by its extreme elements; whereas 37 percent say it’s the Republican Party that is more dominated by extremists.
The polling firm Penn, Schoen and Berland conducted the survey, contacting 4,047 likely voters by phone between Oct. 2 and Oct. 7. The margin of error for this sample is 1.5 percent.
More than one in every five Democrats (22 percent) in The Hill’s survey said their party was more dominated than the GOP by extreme views. The equivalent figure among Republicans is 11 percent.
This is a Democrat polling firm, no less.
The data surprised Democratic strategists and political experts in a campaign season when much media attention has focused on the battle between the GOP establishment and Tea Party-backed candidates such as Sharron Angle in Nevada and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware.
They said it suggests problems for a Democratic party seen as too liberal.
“That’s real trouble for Democrats,” said Jim Kessler, co-founder of the Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank.
“All the press coverage has been about how these Tea Party candidates are fringe ideologues, and there have been high-profile examples of them proving the point,” he added. “Yet, still at this moment, you have independents saying, ‘I think the Democrats are little more extreme than the Republicans.’”
Poor Terry and Sean. It's like they're sitting inside a warm house in the middle of December, and telling everyone that the weather is exactly the same outside - after all, they all agree it must be, because they say so - and opening the door and walking directly into a winter blizzard with a t-shirt and surf jams.
it's going to be a real confusing November 3rd for them as well...