The Overton Window

If you loved The Turner Diaries, but always wished that the racism and references to “ethnic cleansing” weren’t quite so overt, there may soon be reason to celebrate. It looks as though Glenn Beck, the teary-eyed patron saint of Tea Party movement, is working on what sounds to be a kinder, gentler version of the book so influential in America’s communities of hate. Here’s a clip from the Washington Post:

Fox News commentator Glenn Beck has indicated that his novel, due out in June, will portray America in the throes of civil war. In a recent appearance before about 8,000 supporters in Orlando, Fla., Beck described the book as “a story of America at a time much like today where the people are confused and they’re being lied to,” according to Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News, who attended Beck’s American Revival event.

Bunch reported that Beck told the gathering the story depicts the rise of a citizen’s organization called the Founders Keepers, “a group of people that just won’t give up.” What follows, Beck said, is “a battle and a civil war, and life is upside-down planetwide.”

On its Amazon page, the book is titled “The Overton Window.” Beck offered insight into his inspiration for the title on a Fox appearance during which he mentioned the book by a slightly different name: “We Are Americans: The Overton Window.” The term Overton Window refers to a theory developed by Joe Overton, a former vice president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, in which political ideas move in and out of a window of public acceptability…

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38 Comments

  1. EOS
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Can’t say that your not consistent Mark, however disillusioned your ideology might be. A significant number of Tea Party attendees are non-violent retirees pushing their grandchildren in strollers. There is no public record that anyone attending a tea party having been arrested for any infraction whatsoever. Police and FBI infiltrators have yet to uncover any conspiratorial plot to overthrow the government. They are not anti-government as much as they support a return to legitimate governance in accord with proper Constitutional constraints.

    But go ahead, keep posting tags that equate Glenn Beck and the Tea Party as racist, ethnic cleansers, communities of hate, and terrorists in the pattern of Warren Pierce and his fictional Turner Diaries. You may even convince a few misguided individuals. But I think the majority of your readers are significantly more intelligent than you give them credit for. They will rightfully interpret your smear tactics as a lack of substantive reasoned argument and as a legitimate fear that the majority of America opposes your views and will in the near future take America back from the present day lunacies.

    Exactly how much debt, loss of individual freedoms and decreased standard of living do you want to saddle your daughter with? Do you honestly think that our country isn’t significantly divided on nearly every political issue today?

  2. Freddy Mascv
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Now that the economy is beginning to show signs of recovery (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/04/best-jobs-report-in-long-time.html) hopefully we’ll start to see these teabags dry up and blow away in the wind.

    The thing that puzzles me is why these so-called “fiscal conservatives” and people enraged by unchecked executive power and government surveillance weren’t in the streets, frothing at the mouth, when little Georgie Bush was in the White House. That, after all, is when all of this started. I have huge problems with the Obama administration, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to join forces with a bunch of angry idiots who didn’t start thinking until a black man “took” the office. And, for what it’s worth, I think that Obama will eventually deal with torture, unlawful detention and warrantless wire tapping. It took Bush 8 years to put those things into practice, and it’s going to take Obama more than a year to undo them.

  3. EOS
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Freddy,

    Bush’s exorbitant spending, other than military, occurred mostly in his lame duck term with a Democratic controlled Congress. It is Congress that holds the purse strings. Bush would not have stood a chance at reelection if he had to run again and the fiscal conservatives are the very same people who overwhelmingly did not support McCain’s candidacy. Sure, Obama has been in office little more than a year, but he has managed to increase the national debt more than every other President in the entire history of our country combined.

  4. Stephen
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Hilarious. You crack my shit up, EOS.

  5. Lester Cart
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m looking for a coloring book version of the Turner Diaries. Do you know were I can find one? I have a number of nephews I think that it would be good for.

  6. Billy
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    “Sure, Obama has been in office little more than a year, but he has managed to increase the national debt more than every other President in the entire history of our country combined.”

    True, EOS…but he has also given us more healthcare than any other president combined. He also helped to save the auto industry, and our financial sector…and before you say, ” bullshit”…take a look…the sky hasn’t fallen yet, and the last time I checked, I was not forced to convert to islam, and none of my grandparents have had to go before a death panel, and my retirement fund actually has been making money insted of bleeding it. Strange…

  7. Brackinald Achery
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    You may even convince a few misguided individuals. But I think the majority of your readers are significantly more intelligent than you give them credit for.

    They’re incurably ideologically delusional, and they lap that bullshit up. Time we just accept it and move on.

  8. EOS
    Posted April 6, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Billy,

    “True, EOS…but he has also given us more healthcare than any other president combined.”

    Let’s be clear, Obama has yet to increase anyone’s health care. But, if this legislation is not stopped by the courts, or next November’s elections, then a large majority of Americans will have diminished health care options at significantly greater costs. And younger Americans, who overwhelmingly supported Obama, will bear a disproportionate share of the costs. Those without insurance now are currently able to receive treatment in emergency rooms, but soon, will be eligible to get in line with everyone else and vie for the limited available treatments. That the sky hasn’t fallen yet doesn’t mean it won’t eventually.

  9. Peter Larson
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    “Those without insurance now are currently able to receive treatment in emergency rooms, but soon, will be eligible to get in line with everyone else and vie for the limited available treatments.”

    This is a bad thing?

  10. EOS
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Yes. Receiving medical treatment is preferable to receiving a number on a wait list. I would rather be able to schedule an appointment and see my doctor in a relatively short time when I am sick and suffering, than merely be given an appointment in the future. Millions more patients in the system without increasing the number of doctors, will lead to longer waits to see the doctor. Many doctors are already opting out of taking Medicaid patients because the reimbursement rates don’t cover expenses. And with the promise of further reductions in reimbursements it will get worse.

  11. Ty
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    There’s a great article on Alternet right now about Beck and his role in legitimizing the violence on the right. Here’s a section of it.

    http://www.alternet.org/story/146341/how_glenn_beck_helps_violent_right-wing_militias

    On TV and the radio, Beck rarely bothers to mention the militia movement by name. Instead, he’s simply co-opted their rhetoric as his own. He’s acted as a crucial transmitter, warning about Obama fronting his own private “army,” and urging followers to “start food storage.”

    Not to mention these previous militia moments:

    Beck asserts: “The second American revolution is being playing out right now”

    Beck says “what is ahead may loosen the bonds of society,” may end with “a French Revolution”

    Beck: “There is a coup going on … it has been done through the guise of an election”

    Beck: “You can’t convince me that the founding fathers wouldn’t allow you to secede”

    Beck: “[I]f we don’t have some common sense, we’re facing the destruction of our country… it’s coming”

    The truth is that the daylight separating the radical, anti-government militia movement from self-styled mainstream conservatives is growing dimmer by the day. Like the fact-free Obama birthers, the militia remains a radical subset that today’s right wing refuses to part ways with. That sad fact was highlighted when scores of far-right media voices initially downplayed the Hutaree arrests last week, or even defended the militia members and — disturbingly reminiscent of Waco — cast the FBI and the federal government as the over-reaching bad guys.

    And at Fox News, it’s not just Beck. The cable “news” channel’s militia-flavored message (beware gun-toting IRS agents!) has been as simple as it’s been relentless: Obama is destroying this country and he’s doing it intentionally. It’s not that people disagree with Obama and don’t like what they call his “liberal” policies as applied to the economy and health care reform, etc. Instead, the conflict is much more dire. Obama is not just misguided in this political and legislative agenda. Instead, Obama is the incarnation of evil (the Antichrist?), and his driving hatred for America, as well as for democracy, runs so deep that he ran for president in order to destroy the United States from within.

    Right on cue last week, Rush Limbaugh, who serves as sort of a militia godfather theses days, issued this back-against-the-wall warning: “Our country is being overthrown from within.”

    That’s exactly what militias were saying about Clinton back in the 1990s, as historian David Bennett recently noted:

    “I love my country but I fear my government,” one bumper sticker proclaimed in the 1990s. A small North Carolina group of “Christian” constitutional literalists proposed to “resist the coming New World Order” by “removing treasonous politicians and corrupt judges.” As today, they feared a liberal “tyrant” in the White House. At a gun rights rally in Michigan in 1995, a T-shirt called President Clinton a “Socialist-Marxist Comma-Nazi” …

    Sound familiar?

    Folks, we’re witnessing a militia rerun. Except this time, thanks to the likes of Beck and Fox News, the unwanted repeat is being broadcast nationwide.

    Actually, today’s hysterical warnings are probably even more extreme than the last time a Democrat sat in the Oval Office. What’s disturbing is that instead of having to trade copies of The Turner Diaries, relying on grassroots fax networks, or traveling to gun shows to hear that kind of incendiary insurrectionist rhetoric (i.e. the president must be stopped!), haters can just turn on the highest-rated cable news channel.

    In a way, I wonder why militiamen bother to form groups anymore if Fox News is willing to embrace and broadcast their fervent, anti-government New World Order rants on a daily basis? The militia flourished on the fringes in the 1990s, in part, because those on the far-right felt like their government-hating message was being ignored. But today it’s celebrated and broadcast nationally. Talkers like Beck have trumped the militia movement. They’ve completely co-opted the message and made the groups increasingly irrelevant as Fox News cuts out the middleman — the militia groups — and hijacks their insurrectionist, government-hating rhetoric.

  12. Mr. X
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I humbly submit the following two links to EOS.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=565866

    http://www.prosebeforehos.com/image-of-the-day/03/28/the-odd-world-of-right-wing-rage/?

  13. EOS
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    O.K. Mr. X,

    But none of my objections to Obama’s policies have anything to do with the level of melanin in his skin, nor was the outrage of the left against Bush dependent on his race either. I supported some of Bush’s socially conservative policies, but not his economic policies nor his candidacy. My objections are principled and not a function of race. It is not a dichotomy: Either Obama or Bush – but a call for better candidates in either party or another party and for a government that plays by the rules. Race baiting stops any hope for dialog or progress.

  14. Brackinald Achery
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    It’s no use, EOS. We’re arguing with the drum majorettes of Yuri Bezmenov’s useful idiot parade. Facts are useless.

  15. Peter Larson
    Posted April 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    So you guys think that it’s the job of the emergency rooms to deal with the uninsured.

    Do you think that is a cost effective approach?

    Do you think that approach will save lives or improve the public health?

    I’m just curious, because that’s what EOS said, pretty plainly.

  16. Posted April 7, 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    That Beck article is great. Thanks, Ty.

  17. EOS
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Peter,
    That’s not what I said at all. Primary care treatment in emergency rooms is not cost effective, but it does provide prompt medical attention instead of months of waiting, followed by limited treatment options. In addition to emergency rooms, currently, those without medical insurance can also receive free medical care at a number of community health centers already subsidized by taxpayers. Do you think the county is going to roll back our millage rates when Obamacare is operational? Do you think limiting the health care treatment options for everyone will save lives and improve the public health? Do you think access to free abortions will save lives? Did you believe Obama when he said that he wouldn’t raise ANY taxes for those earning less than $250K a year? If Obamacare will save us billions of dollars in health care expenses, why is there now a need for significant tax increases to pay for this bill? Have you ever considered that there are numerous, cost effective ways to provide quality medical care to uninsured that don’t necessitate destroying the care currently provided to the more than 90% who are insured? Can you not acknowledge that Obamacare is necessary primarily to limit the health care options for those who have paid in advance for the duration of their lives, because the government cannot fulfill its obligations as promised? Public health care never considers the rights of the individual as a primary concern.

  18. Peter Larson
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Have you ever been to an emergency room?

  19. EOS
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Yes. And each and every time I received appropriate medical attention before I left.

  20. Peter Larson
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    And then what?

  21. EOS
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Nothing. ???

  22. Peter Larson
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    So I assume that you did not require hospitalization of any kind, yes?

  23. Kim
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    No, they just removed the concrete statue of Reagan from his ass right there in the ER.

  24. Independent Jones
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    hahaha! good one, Kim!

  25. Peter Larson
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Well, I’ll just get to the point. You did not have to be hospitalized, but 15% of all ER visits do result in hospitalization.

    I have two questions, just because I’m curious as to what the other side thinks.

    1) Who should pay for the ER visit for those who are uninsured, but for whom the ER must provide treatment?

    2) Who pays for the hospital stay (assuming that the uninsured patient is even allowed to stay in the hospital)?

    Also, who decides what the “limited treatment options for the uninsured” are post ER visit and who pays for them?

    Obviously this is only one part of the puzzle, but I’m always curious as to where the money should come from. Perhaps you can enlighten me? Like I said, I’m just curious.

  26. EOS
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    1) The uninsured person who benefited from the treatment should bear the responsibility for payment. If they can’t pay immediately, then they can set up payments over time.

    2) Same as number one.

    3) Treatment options for the insured and the uninsured should be determined by the patient and his or her doctor only.

    Many generous individuals or corporations may choose to make charitable contributions to help, but this should always be a freely chosen decision and not one made under coercion.

    When do I get a response to my questions?

  27. kjc
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    “Many generous individuals or corporations may choose to make charitable contributions to help, but this should always be a freely chosen decision and not one made under coercion.”

    haha. here’s to a society built on hypothetical generosity.

  28. Peter Larson
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Well, that’s about as unrealistic as I expected.

  29. EOS
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    What’s so unrealistic about personal responsibility?

  30. Peter Larson
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Here are the answers to your questions, although I’m wasting my time:

    “Do you think the county is going to roll back our millage rates when Obamacare is operational?”

    Was any county in Michigan ever seriously going to roll back millage rates in this economy? If anything, they will increase them to make up for shortfalls from state funding.

    “Do you think limiting the health care treatment options for everyone will save lives and improve the public health?”

    I really don’t know where you are getting this from. Maybe you could be more specific as to what treatment options will be limited. This is unnecessarily vague.

    “Do you think access to free abortions will save lives? ”

    Are you asking my opinion? Or are you referring to the recent health bill. There is no provision in the health bill for free abortions on every street corner. But, yes, in my opinion, I believe that free abortions save lives and I support government payment of abortions to women who request them.

    “Did you believe Obama when he said that he wouldn’t raise ANY taxes for those earning less than $250K a year? ”

    He actually reduced taxes for a wide swath of America. As for tax raising, that will be done through my local county and township when they raise millage rates because of dwindling state and federal funds. Truthfully, I don’t make enough to pay in federal. In fact, 47% of all households this year paid no federal tax.

    “If Obamacare will save us billions of dollars in health care expenses, why is there now a need for significant tax increases to pay for this bill? ”

    Maybe I missed it, but I have only seen tax cuts. I’d swear there was a Republican admin and Congress.

    “Have you ever considered that there are numerous, cost effective ways to provide quality medical care to uninsured that don’t necessitate destroying the care currently provided to the more than 90% who are insured? ”

    I see the current state of affairs as destructive to care in the US. I do not see how insuring more people will reduce quality of care.

    Maybe you are just worried about poor people competing with you for services? I suppose you think they are better off dead. Am I right?

    “Can you not acknowledge that Obamacare is necessary primarily to limit the health care options for those who have paid in advance for the duration of their lives, because the government cannot fulfill its obligations as promised? ”

    No, I can’t. You need to do some more reading.

    “Public health care never considers the rights of the individual as a primary concern.”

    You will have to define what “public health care” is. Like the VA? That’s an entirely publicly funded system. Like Medicare? A public insurance system that uses private providers. I’m not sure what you mean but the health bill does not provide for a British style public system like the VA.

    Alright, I’ve wasted enough time on you. Back to work.

  31. Chris Peters
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    You are a better man that I, Peter Larson.

  32. Edward
    Posted April 8, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Getting back to the subject of the post, I bet that Beck borrows heavily from the Turner Diaries. He’ll deny it, but I know that he’s at least read the book. I’d love to get him on a lie detector and ask him that.

  33. Camera Girl
    Posted April 12, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    There’s nothing illegal about having books, but I found it interesting that the Hutaree Christian warriors had the Turner Diaries and the work of Hitler.

    http://www.annarbor.com/news/bomb-manuals-suspected-steroids-seized-during-hutaree-raids-records-show/

  34. Kim
    Posted April 12, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Lest anyone think that’s why they were rounded up, it’s not. The FBI had someone inside who verified that bombs were being made.

  35. razin
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    This book has come out. I saw it at Walmart yesterday. Has anyone read it? Are the excerpts online?

  36. Virgil Shakefist
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Can somone reed this book to me?

  37. Posted August 4, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    It’s a very short book, Virgil. It just says, “Kill yourself if you hate Socialism” in a bunch of different ways.

  38. Ben Icar
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I two am lookingz for someone to reed this toome.

One Trackback

  1. By Glenn to the Mountaintop on May 16, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    […] how, a while ago, I was telling you that Glenn Beck was working on a novel that sounded suspiciously like a kinder, gentler version of the Turner Diaries? Well, that book, called “The Overton Window,” apparently isn’t the only thing […]

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