Changing Times

by Stephen H. Miller on August 12, 2010

Last year, conservative superstar Glenn Beck said some truly stupid things about gay marriage, such as claiming it would lead to polygamy. Which is why it is so startling now to hear him refuse to condemn gay marriage, even as Bill O'Reilly tried to bait him into doing so:

O'Reilly: You are ignoring the profound change in the American family. ... Do you believe that gay marriage is a threat to the country in any way?

Beck: A threat to the country?

O'Reilly: Will it harm the country?

Beck: [Mockingly] Will the gays come and get us? I believe that Thomas Jefferson said if it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, what difference is it to me....

O'Reilly: So you don't. That's interesting. I don't think a lot of people understand that. ... Ok, gay marriage to you, not a big threat to the nation.

Beck has become more libertarian as he educates himself, and apparently now sees attacking gay marriage as needlessly divisive. A growing number of conservatives (though clearly not Bill O'Reilly and Cal Thomas) recognize that beating the anti-gay drum drives away independents whose support is needed to roll back the gargantuan, deficit-skyrocketing (see here and here) expansion of government (and government mandates) under Obama, Pelosi and Reid. And that's a positive development.

More. David Boaz cast as critical eye on Cal Thomas and his fulmination against freedom.

{ 32 comments }

Jimmy August 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

“More conservatives recognize that beating the anti-gay drum drives away independents whose support is needed to roll back the gargantuan, deficit-skyrocketing expansion of government (and government mandates)under Obama, Pelosi and Reid.”

And we’ll be there to remind those same said independents that W. never even flinched when signing every pork filled spending bill congress sent him from ’01 to ’06.

BobN August 11, 2010 at 11:45 pm

gargantuan, deficit-skyrocketing expansion of government (and government mandates)

It would be very, very difficult, if not impossible, for Obama to come anywhere near to Dubya’s profligacy. Over ten TRILLION dollars with that man’s name on ‘em. And that without even a fiscally sound reason to stimulate the economy. He’ll go down in history.

another steve August 12, 2010 at 12:27 am

Let’s try sticking to the facts, BobN. Here is a chart of deficits under Obama and Bush.

North Dallas Thirty August 12, 2010 at 12:28 am

And we’ll be there to remind those same said independents that W. never even flinched when signing every pork filled spending bill congress sent him from ’01 to ’06.

Which makes you look like complete and total hypocrites, given how you and your Obama Party members were constantly shrieking that said bills were too small.

And that without even a fiscally sound reason to stimulate the economy.

That’s odd, considering that you and your fellow Obama Party members spent his entire time in office shrieking that we were in a recession, and that the cure for recession is always more government spending, according to Obama Party members.

BobN August 12, 2010 at 1:04 am

If in your odd little world, another steve, the consequences of a presidency end when he leaves office, fine. It doesn’t change reality.

George Bush was certainly not alone in throwing this country into the shit pit it’s in, but he sure piled on a heck of a lot more of the stuff than he had to.

Jimmy August 12, 2010 at 1:14 am

“Which makes you look like complete and total hypocrites, given how you and your Obama Party members were constantly shrieking that said bills were too small.”

Not so Pony Fu**er, Democrats merely insisted on the novel idea of actually paying for the spending, which the GOP is still loathe to do.

Bobby August 12, 2010 at 1:49 am

Is Miller a regular viewer of Beck and O’reilly or is he getting his info from Mediaite? I’m a regular viewer of both, and I can tell you that O’reilly is no conservative. Bill has defended Obama on several occasions, he even defended the muslim-outreach by NASA!

Beck is more of a big picture guy, he even defended the 9/11 mosque as long as the funding for said mosque doesn’t come from terrorists and as long as the Iman doesn’t tell people to blow themselves up.

Of course, nowadays anyone can be accused of being right-wing, why just look at how our minster of propaganda, Gibbs, has been betrayed by his own people.

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/alan-grayson-robert-gibbs-should-be-fired-belongs-on-fox/

Arthur August 12, 2010 at 3:02 am

“Beck has become more libertarian as he educates himself”

David Barton, James R. Stoner and associates giving us Cleon Skousen’s view of history is not what any conservative should call an ‘education.’ This is Dominionism combined with the John Birch Society. Glenn Beck’s programs have turned into mess with an evangelical tent preacher’s emotional delivery and false history.

William F. Buckley, Jr. is spinning in his grave.

Bobby August 12, 2010 at 9:21 am

There’s nothing false about the history Glenn Beck presents. I’ve checked out a lot of what he says on wikipidia and other places and it has turned out to be true.

Lori Heine August 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm

While I only watch O’Reilly occasionally, I have never heard him say anything anti-gay. From what I’ve read about him, he supports some sort of civil unions for same-sex couples.

He tends to use a bombastic, “big-headline here” sort of tone for some of the things he says. I always took this to mean he was a typical broadcaster, out to pump the ratings for all they were worth. He sometimes delivers updates on news about gays in this tone, but I never got the sense it meant he was anti-gay.

He had one nut on his show, a couple of years ago, who tried to claim there were marauding gangs of lesbians terrorizing children in the inner city, that they were armed with guns painted pink, and that they called themselves the Pink Pistols.

The Pink Pistols are actually an NRA-style gun-rights and shooting organization for gays and lesbians. Most of its members tend to be Right of center. I don’t know if O’Reilly pointed this out to that particular mouth-breathing kook, but I heard he laughed at him and ridiculed his claims.

North Dallas Thirty August 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Not so Pony Fu**er, Democrats merely insisted on the novel idea of actually paying for the spending, which the GOP is still loathe to do.

I love how you make it obvious that you really don’t put any thought or research into your statements, Jimmy.

Fortunately, Pelosi, Obama, and Reid have so surrounded themselves with lobotomized syncophants like yourself that they actually are starting to believe that their own press releases are truthful.

Jimmy August 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I do have a pretty good memory, Pf, and I remember W. having no problem fighting his imperialistic wars off of the books, setting the precedent for emergency spending. I’d say the present situation is an emergency, especially for someone out of a job. A second housing bubble is looming lest the federal government takes action. You go ahead and inhabit your ideological little world while the rest of us deal with reality, as best we can.

Jorge August 12, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Oh, here we go again with Stephen Miller labeling Bill O’Reilly an anti-gay conservative, despite extensive evidence to the contrary on both counts. Why couldn’t he actually be right the one time he sides with the left?

Bobby August 13, 2010 at 11:54 am

Jimmy, if America was to fight an imperialistic war then both Iraq and Afghanistan would be US States by now and instead of our military spending millions buying Iraqi oil we would simply get it for free, because that’s what empires do. They move into a territory, kill/convert the enemy, and take their resources.

This isn’t a war of imperialism, it’s a ware of liberation.

Jimmy August 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm

“This isn’t a war of imperialism…”

I watched Reaganite, Bruce Fein, on Napolitano’s show last night, on Fox Business (the judge may have been sitting in for Stossel). Fein, and the judge, are far more intelligent men than you and they decidedly disagree with you. If you are a libertarweeyan, you are a completely unprincipled one.

“Par for the course” , as we linksters (never) say.

Bobby August 13, 2010 at 11:29 pm

“I watched Reaganite, Bruce Fein, on Napolitano’s show last night, on Fox Business (the judge may have been sitting in for Stossel). Fein, and the judge, are far more intelligent men than you and they decidedly disagree with you. If you are a libertarweeyan, you are a completely unprincipled one. ”

—Aw, personal attacks, the preferred tactic of the left. Instead of proving me wrong about the non-imperialistic nature of this war, you change the subject. The guy who wrote the book about the American Empire was obviously using hyperbole. Anyone who has studied history knows what an empire looks like, the British certainly had an empire and whenever they went they imposed their values and customs. America has not done the same.

Jimmy August 14, 2010 at 11:03 am

“The guy who wrote the book about the American Empire was obviously using hyperbole.”

If it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. The US operates up to 800 military bases worldwide and has troops in over 150 countries. You want to have a cheap, semantic argument over something that looks pretty clear: the US has been operating as an imperialistic power since at least The Spanish-American War. The British Empire pales in comparison.

Jorge August 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm

The US operates up to 800 military bases worldwide and has troops in over 150 countries. You want to have a cheap, semantic argument over something that looks pretty clear: the US has been operating as an imperialistic power since at least The Spanish-American War. The British Empire pales in comparison.

Well, with you highlighting our extensive military presence around the world, it seems to me the alternative is the United States does not have a military presence in the rest of the world, and commits to continue not to have a military presence outside its borders. What happens then?

This is a question that’s been on my mind for many years. I am so glad I’ll finally be getting an answer to it.

Jimmy August 14, 2010 at 4:58 pm

“What happens then?”

An assumption can be made that such a vacuum would be filled, but I wonder about that. Who could afford it, and to what ends? China just signed a trade deal with Taiwan that essentially ensures China will never invade, so that justification goes away. Do the we image that our troops on the DMZ really matter should North Korea decide to commit suicide? This old Cold-War thinking is just that, old.

Jorge August 15, 2010 at 11:24 am

An assumption can be made that such a vacuum would be filled, but I wonder about that. Who could afford it, and to what ends?

I’d start with the powers that are already growing in this environment, then the ones whose growth we are impeding. As for to what ends, I’d look at those powers that desire regional and/or global power.

China just signed a trade deal with Taiwan that essentially ensures China will never invade, so that justification goes away. Do the we image that our troops on the DMZ really matter should North Korea decide to commit suicide?

Don’t you think the cost-benefits analysis of such invasions change should the US commit to no longer being active in that part of the world? Take us out of the picture entirely. Put Russia, China, North Korea in. Look at Latin America, the Middle Eastern powers, nation-states and otherwise, and the westernized nations of the EU and Japan. What about Africa (whoops, forgot all about it). What do you say happens?

This old Cold-War thinking is just that, old.

You thought it up, not me. I was thinking of different enemies entirely. First thing you thought up was “what if invasion”, not “what if peace.” That’s the mysterious piece that is missing. Should I have asked Dennis Kuscinich? I think after all these years of being asked the question his answers tend to get a little better.

Jimmy August 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

“First thing you thought up was “what if invasion”, not “what if peace.” That’s the mysterious piece that is missing.”

The Libertarians and Paleo-Conservatives, Like Pat Buchanon, stress that the US should not be in the position of serving as planetary police-force. On this, we agree.

What we have come to see is that the imposition of our military show of force in certain waters of the globe are more of dog and pony show when a nation, China, can cyber-attack at will. It’s a brand new day, and we’re still enthralled with yesterday’s mirage of a good guy/bad guy view of the world.

North Dallas Thirty August 15, 2010 at 7:31 pm

I do have a pretty good memory, Pf, and I remember W. having no problem fighting his imperialistic wars off of the books, setting the precedent for emergency spending.

Oh, so you don’t like “off the books” liabilities?

Then why are you endorsing and supporting it, Jimmy?

Next up, BobN:

If in your odd little world, another steve, the consequences of a presidency end when he leaves office, fine. It doesn’t change reality.

Those were the rules established by the Obama Party. Obama himself said that nothing that ever happened during Bush’s administration was the fault of the Obama Party or Bill Clinton.

Now EVERYTHING that happens during the Obama administration is Bush’s fault. Isn’t that amazing? Bill Clinton’s consequences ended the instant he left the White House, but Bush’s seem to live on in perpetuity.

Jimmy August 15, 2010 at 8:12 pm

“Oh, so you don’t like “off the books” liabilities?”

I like them when taken on for the right reasons. It’s not a matter of what I like.

“Mendacity is a system we live in,” said Brick. “Liquor is one way out and death’s the other.”

Bobby August 15, 2010 at 10:04 pm

“The US operates up to 800 military bases worldwide and has troops in over 150 countries.”

—So what? The US got PERMISSION from all those countries to have all those bases. You think Julius Caesar ever got permission from anyone? You think he asked the Judeans if they minded statues of him all over Jerusalem?

Besides, the reason we have bases all over the world is because many countries are too cheap to take care of their own defense. Costa Rica doesn’t even have a military thanks to us, and the NATO countries? How nice for us to protect them from the Soviets.

America is not an empire, it’s a world policeman. Did America not return the canal to Panama? Did America kept Grenada after liberating it from a communist government? Look at our relationship with Puerto Rico, we haven’t forced them to become a US State, we actually let them vote on what kind of status they want, and they always vote the same way.

Jimmy August 16, 2010 at 2:36 am

What is becoming clear is that the same factor that contributed to the Roman Empire’s collapse works to weaken the US. The cost of maintaining the empire’s outposts is too high, sapping resources that would be more productive if used elsewhere, like developing sustainable energy to ensure American independence.

Bobby August 17, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Our military expenditures are a joke compared to what we spend on social security, medicare, education, and everything else. Of course, democrats only want to cut the military, they think throwing more money at schools improve education, if that was true, DC schools should be the best in the nation and not the Spike Lee movie they are.

Jorge August 18, 2010 at 8:29 am

Look at our relationship with Puerto Rico, we haven’t forced them to become a US State,

But we have massacred peaceful protesters.

NOT a good example, Bobby.

Jimmy August 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm

“Our military expenditures are a joke compared to what we spend on social security, medicare, education, and everything else.”

Look at any basic pie chart of the federal budget and wallow in your lying hackdom. They’re a joke alright, as are you.

“Of course, democrats only want to cut the military, they think throwing more money at schools improve education, if that was true, DC schools should be the best in the nation and not the Spike Lee movie they are.”

Why then do conservatives believe no money ever thrown at the military industrial complex is a waste and always makes things better?!

Bobby August 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm

“But we have massacred peaceful protesters.”

—When did we do that?

“Why then do conservatives believe no money ever thrown at the military industrial complex is a waste and always makes things better?!”

—Because conservatives love defense. Would you buy a house without a lock? Would you protect your family without a gun? If we don’t have defense, we’re vulnerable. It would be so easy to think that the middle east is far away, but thanks to dirty bombs, virtually open borders with Mexico, huge coastlines, and enemies who hate us because Islam teaches them that we’re infidels that deserve to die, we’re more vulnerable than ever.

Jimmy August 19, 2010 at 12:13 am

“Because conservatives love defense.”

We all love defense, let’s get real. You’re going tell me that significant waste cannot be found in the federal defense budget? How many defense contractors (whores) are actually welfare kings whose sole survival is due to a bloated and unjustified defense budget? I’m willing to bet whatever that figure is, it would fully fund any number of legitimate current federal programs. The putrid double standards you operate in, one has to be impressed with them, I’ll say that much.

Bobby August 19, 2010 at 3:01 pm

“We all love defense, let’s get real. You’re going tell me that significant waste cannot be found in the federal defense budget?”

—-Is there some waste there? Perhaps. but what about the $19.6 BILLION in earmarks?

http://www.cagw.org/newsroom/releases/2009/earmarks-rise-to-196.html

What about the funding of programs like this?

# $3.8 million for the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy in Detroit;

# $1.9 million for the Pleasure Beach water taxi service in Connecticut;

# $1.8 million for swine odor and manure management research in Ames, Iowa;

# $380,000 for a recreation and fairgrounds area in Kotzebue, Alaska;

# $143,000 for the Greater New Haven Labor History Association in Connecticut;

# $95,000 for the Canton Symphony Orchestra Association in Ohio; and

# $71,000 for Dance Theater Etcetera in Brooklyn for its Tolerance through Arts initiative.

Why is the Canton Symphony Orchestra getting $95,000? If the symphony isn’t popular enough to make a profit, perhaps it should be closed or maybe they should raise ticket prices, but don’t tell me government has a responsibility to fund the arts.

The same with the: “$1.9 million for the Pleasure Beach water taxi service in Connecticut.” This is crazy, if a water taxi is a profitable idea then there’s no need for Uncle Sam to fund it. In fact, here in Fort Lauderdale we have such a thing, I’m never gonna ride it because it’s too expensive for me, but I would be outraged if I knew they were getting taxpayer money.

So you see, the $19.6 billion in earmarks and other wasteful expenses outside the military is what’s breaking us down. However,

Jimmy August 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Earmarks? That horse is so far out of the barn it’s over in the next county. No mention of earmarks was made by conservatives until the Dems took congress in 2006, and you know this. No veto threats came from the White House from 2001-2006.

You can’t bring yourself to address the nearly $1 trillion off of the books spending wrung up by Emperor Shrub.

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