Over the weekend, Fox News host Glenn Beck delivered a spirited speech to the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he attacked not only his usual villains — Democrats, Van Jones, and the New Deal — but also the Republican Party, which is supposedly becoming too progressive.
Beck may have received a standing ovation at the convention, but many high-profile conservatives have been less enthusiastic about his GOP criticism. Right-wing pundit Bill Bennett wrote, “The first task of a serious political analyst is to see things as they are. … And there is a difference between the Republican and Democratic parties. To ignore these differences, or propagate the myth that they don’t exist, is not only discouraging, it is dangerous.” The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund said that several Republicans “complained that Mr. Beck is indirectly encouraging third-party candidates to challenge them this year, threatening to divide the conservative vote.”
One of the most prominent voices to jump into the fray is popular right-wing radio host and author Mark Levin, who went on Facebook yesterday and ripped Beck:
I have no idea what philosophy Glenn Beck is promoting. And neither does he. It’s incoherent. One day it’s populist, the next it’s libertarian bordering on anarchy, next it’s conservative but not really, etc. And to what end? I believe he has announced that he is no longer going to endorse candidates because our problems are bigger than politics. Well, of course, our problems are not easily dissected into categories, but to reject politics is to reject the manner in which we try to organize ourselves. [..]
Finally, Beck is fond of congratulating himself for being the only or the first host to criticize George Bush’s spending. This is demonstrably false. … And as someone who fought liberal Republicans in the trenches when campaigning for Reagan in 1976 and 1980, I don’t need lectures from Beck, who was nowhere to be found, about big-spending Republicans.
On his radio show yesterday, Levin added, “Decide what you are. A circus clown, self-identified. Or a thoughtful and wise person. It’s hard to be both. You can’t wear the clown nose and not wear the clown nose at the same time.” He also told Beck to “stop dividing” conservatives at a time when there is unprecedented “unity” in the movement. Listen here:
Levin has been worried about Beck’s ascendancy for some time. In September, Levin repeatedly spoke out when Beck said that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) would have been “worse for the country than Barack Obama” as president, saying, “If you’re not going to be politically sensible and have a strategy and have an end-game, you’ll keep winding up on weekly magazines, you’ll keep making a lot of money, but in the end you won’t make a difference.”
Limbaugh also criticized Beck, saying, “I don’t know how you can say…that the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats. It would never occur to me to say that. I don’t know what the objective would be.”