[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Glenn Beck yesterday had on both of the Republican candidates in the California Senate primary, the winner of which race will be facing Barbara Boxer. And both Chuck DeVore and Carly Fiorina worked hard to curry Beck's favor, though it isn't hard to figure out which one won, judging by Beck's headline: "Is Chuck DeVore the next Scott Brown?"
Both interviews were essentially explorations by the candidates of Glenn Beck's favorite theme, to wit, progressives are the root of all evil in American life. This was especially the case in the interview with DeVore, who actively stoked Beck's fetish about Woodrow Wilson:
DEVORE: Well, Woodrow Wilson and people like Frank Goodnow, about 130 years ago, saw the Constitution as a roadblock to their plans for perfecting government and for basically ushering in a paradise on earth. And instead of what was set up by Madison to be a separation of powers, with the legislative, the executive and the judicial, because the Founders understood that people like power. And that you'll end up with tyranny in your country if you can't separate the powers.Ah, nothing like a little eliminationism in the afternoon, is there?
BECK: I think the system is full of — it's riddled with a disease called progressive. If you've got cancer, no doctor says, yes start using filter tips cigarettes. They say no more cigarettes.
BECK: Progressives and the progressive idea are the cigarettes. So you tell me how to fix it.
Predictably, DeVore also revealed himself as one of those Patriot "tenthers" frequently promoted by Beck -- right-wing extremists who believe the Tenth Amendment gives states the ability to nullify federal law:
DEVORE: Well, first of all, we have to follow the Constitution. That's the very first thing that any lawmaker does when they get sworn in.As we've explained, these theories originated in the 1990s with the militia/Patriot movement.
BECK: This audience won't, but most people say well, where aren't we following the Constitution?
DEVORE: Well, where do we start?
I think a good obvious place is Tenth Amendment. As a state lawmaker, I find my powers as a state lawmaker being short-circuited at the federal level.
Fiorina, in contrast, was perfectly corporate even as she tried to assure Beck that she really was a populist:
Mostly she did this by joining Beck in the progressive-bashing:
BECK: Yes, I understand that. But here's the — here's the problem.Beck clearly suspects that Fiorina may have such "traits" as well. Which is why the teabaggers are all lining up behind DeVore.
We have — go back and read — I read it last night, Calvin Coolidge and his — first, his inaugural speech. OK?
He knew what the problem was. The problem was the progressives. The problem in Washington are the progressives. The problem in California, the progressives. And the progressives in the Democrat and the Republican Party.
FIORINA: Yes. And so —
BECK: Until you — until somebody stands up and says, "You know what, John McCain and Barack Obama had many of the same traits."