Sometimes it seems as if Glenn Beck is in some sort of bizarre competition to one-up each nonsensical conspiracy theory he promotes on his TV and radio shows. Today, on the radio, we got one that's really out there.
Beck explains that unions are “ratcheting up” negative stories about the TSA in order to promote unionization, and refers to what he termed Obama's previous call for a “private army” being manifested in “a unionized TSA” which could bring such an army about.
This issue came up before when Beck previously distorted what Obama said to fearmonger about this issue, cherry picking a quote from Obama in order to make it appear that Obama supports “crazy things” like a “civilian national security force.” In the 2008 speech in question, Obama was discussing the expansion of agencies like the foreign service and AmeriCorps, not any sort of private army -- and definitely not one comprised of unionized TSA agents.
From Obama's July 2, 2008, speech in Colorado Springs, Colo.:
Today, AmeriCorps -- our nation's network of local, state, and national service programs -- has 75,000 slots. And I know firsthand the quality of these programs. My wife, Michelle, once left her job at a law firm and at City Hall to be a founding director of an AmeriCorps program in Chicago that trains young people for careers in public service. And these programs invest Americans in their communities and their country. They tap America's greatest resource -- our citizens.
And that's why as president, I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their efforts connected to a common purpose. People of all ages, stations, and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem -- they are the answer.
So we are going to send -- we're going to send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We'll call on Americans to join an Energy Corps to conduct renewable energy and environmental cleanup projects in their neighborhoods all across the country. We will enlist our veterans to find jobs and support for other vets, to be there for our military families. And we're going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered, and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy.
We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
We need to use technology to connect people to service. We'll expand USA Freedom Corps to create online networks where Americans can browse opportunities to volunteer. You'll be able to search by category, time commitment, and skill sets; you'll be able to rate service opportunities, build service networks, and create your own service pages to track your hours and activities. This will empower more Americans to craft their own service agenda, and make their own change from the bottom up.
In the middle of today's conspiracy, Beck notes that “some people say he (Obama) was talking about some diplomatic corps” and that “some people say it was Americorp” but that he doesn't believe him since “I don't know what the hell this guy is doing.” Except Obama did clearly explain the thinking behind a “civilian national security force” (he never said “private army” ), and clearly referenced expanding both those agencies in his discussion.
Perhaps Beck could try listening to what Obama actually said instead of distorting it? It's so crazy, it just might work.
Silly you, you thought people formed unions in order to collectively bargain with management on issues like salary, health care, and pensions. Thanks to Glenn Beck, you know that this is just a convenient smoke screen for a private army.
Are there other union-based private armies out there? Communication Workers of America? The NFL Player's Association (those guys are pretty strong...)? Definitely keep an eye on the American Postal Workers Union, they know where we live.
In the mind of Glenn Beck, you just don't know. The facts don't matter.