That was my initial reaction when I skimmed Bill Bennett's post over at National Review Online, in which the conservative talker, and former GOP Secretary of Education, took issue with Beck's CPAC speech this weekend. For the last 13 months I, along with lots of others, have been wondering when the supposed Wise Men of the GOP and the conservative movement would step forward and finally call Beck out for the kind of unhinged madness he propagates.
I've been wondering when people on the right who take politics and public policy seriously were going to summon up the courage and part ways with Beck as he spread his crazy, tinfoil hat, anti-government conspiracies, and denigrated the President of the United States as a racist, communist, socialist, Nazi dictator.
I've been waiting and waiting, but it's mostly been crickets. (That's like suggesting conservatives publicly disagree with Rush Limbaugh. Are you insane?)
So yes, my hopes were momentarily raised when I saw Bennett's piece because he watched Beck's CPAC speech Saturday night and Bennett did not like what he saw: [emphasis added]
There's a lot to say about CPAC. This morning the major papers are highlighting Glenn Beck's speech. I like Glenn a lot and I think he has something to teach us. But not what he offered last night.
And look at how the Bennett posted concluded:
The first task of a serious political analyst is to see things as they are...To ignore these differences, or propagate the myth that they don't exist, is not only discouraging, it is dangerous.
Wow. What Beck's doing is dangerous, wrote conservative Bennett.
But alas, Bennett's effort was no profiles in courage. Instead, Bennett's central beef with Beck -- the reason he's so dangerous -- was that at CPAC Beck suggested Democrats and Republicans are alike and they're both to blame the country's woes.
For uber-partisan Bennett, Beck finally crossed the line with that attack.