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Glenn Beck Is Thomas Paine, Except for Everything

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Colonial Williamsburg has a village idiot. Here he is:

Yes, it's something new: Xenophobic dinner theater.

You don't have to watch the whole thing. If you're white, and have an older relative you wish was dead, you know where it's going. A bore's litany of harrumphing clichés. The greatest generation didn't defend the Alamo just so a lot of special interests could overcrowd the emergency rooms. He's going to say "We the people" a couple more times. If you're waiting for "mad as hell," it's at 1:34 and 6:04.

You should check out his other videos. You've got to admire a guy who can say "the time for talk is over," and then go on for six more minutes.

I wish I loved anything as much as this racist gasbag loves the sound of his own voice.

And now the scary part: This video has been viewed two-and-a-half million times on YouTube.

The clod in jodhpurs who says he's Thomas Paine is actually a motivational speaker named Bob Basso. He's the author of Don't Let the Gerosofers Bite!, Never Wanted to Set the World on Fire But Now that I'm 50 Maybe it's a Good Idea!, The Job Should be Fun!, Lighten Up Corporate America! and Spill Your Guts! Many of his book titles end in exclamation points! It's like he's overacting even when he's just writing!

And that's okay, too. (Although I didn't know the tea bag tax protests had so much to do with deporting all the illegal aliens.) Bob Basso has heard quite a few things on the radio, and here they are again. But why drag Thomas Paine into it? Is it just because you want to wear the hat? Why not say you're the Quaker Oats guy?

What did Thomas Paine ever do to you?

Besides, Bob Basso can't be Thomas Paine. Glenn Beck is Thomas Paine.

Beck says he's been "rewriting" Common Sense. He's also made Paine the theme of his upcoming stage show. The one he describes as:

Fun for the whole family and it's common sense. This time we may be joined on stage by a slightly crazy Founding Father... who's got a few things to say!

You cringe and you never stop cringing.

Now, none of this means anything. Glenn Beck is just an asshole, and next week he'll announce that he's Sponge Bob and he lives in a pineapple under the sea. But before another sputtering doofus claims to be the author of the Rights of Man, he might want to check if they share a single belief.

Do you like estate taxes? Paine was pitching them in 1791.

How about progressive taxation? Paine wasn't just for it, he made charts and graphs.

Welfare? Absolutely.

Government make-work programs? Yep. Pay for them with the estate tax.

Public education? Yes, please.

International organizations? Paine said we needed them. Thought they might be useful for preventing wars after we disarmed.

Feminism?

If a woman were to defend the cause of her sex, she might address him in the following manner ... If we have an equal right with you to virtue, why should we not have an equal right to praise? ... Our duties are different from yours, but they are not therefore less difficult to fulfill, or of less consequence to society ... You cannot be ignorant that we have need of courage not less than you ... Permit our names to be sometimes pronounced beyond the narrow circle in which we live. Permit friendship, or at least love, to inscribe its emblem on the tomb where our ashes repose; and deny us not that public esteem which, after the esteem of one's self, is the sweetest reward of well doing. -- T. Paine

Compare and contrast:

OK, so anyway, I was talking about ugly people. Ugly people, if you're a guy, you can get past it. I don't think you can as an ugly woman. I don't -- no, I don't. If you're an ugly woman, I apologize. Oh, you've got a double cross, because if you're an ugly woman, you're probably a progressive as well. --G. Beck

Animal Rights Nuts?

Everything of cruelty to animals is a violation of moral duty. -- T. Paine

Religion?

Religion is under attack! -- G. Beck

Priests and conjurors are of the same trade. -- T. Paine

Clammy Tub Toys who Think Putting on a Tricorn Makes Them Thomas Paine?

I'm Thomas Paine. -- G. Beck

The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. -- T. Paine

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