Each day I listen to random conservative talk radio shows to get a sense of the mood of conservative voters. And to get a heads-up on what the "Fox & Friends" morning show will be discussing tomorrow.
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The Inner Angst Of Glenn Beck
I continue to find Beck's radio show maybe the most interesting topic mix on conservative talk radio, although I also find it difficult to listen to for an extended period. Part of is just clarity. Because he has several voices in the studio with him (and they all sound somewhat similar), discussions can start to resemble some strange inner dialogue between someone's various personalities.
But Beck also the most unpredictable mix of topics in the genre. Today, he opened one of his hours with Texas State Senator Konni Burton. She has introduced legislation in the Texas House that would halt civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement to seize money and property without charging the person. Instead, she wants it changed to criminal asset forfeiture, which would delay any seizure of assets until the criminal has been charged with and convicted of a crime.
It's a reflection of Beck's libertarian leanings, but once again, I find myself bailing after about 30 minutes.
Rush And The Barack Obama Shadow Government
Rush Limbaugh has his own pet theory about Democrats and the Trump Administration. He continues to tell his listeners that the Democrats aren't a "functioning" political party. In fact, he says that the party only exists as a regional party that only thrives in five or so states. But Limbaugh says that the Democrat-friendly bureaucrats, journalists and judges are desperately trying to stop the Trump Administration. The struggling Democrats and their supporters are anti-Democratic and are much more dangerous to America than anything Michael Flynn may or may not have done.
And then it's back to the media. Rush simultaneously argues that the media is no longer powerful and is no longer trying to report facts and have thrown in the "Barack Obama Shadow Government."
This "Obama is secretly coordinating attacks against the Trump Administration" is an increasingly common theme on conservative radio. So is Limbaugh's other point. That the intelligence community is unelected and working against YOUR will. They are Obama's "embedded employees" and it's all driven by an inability of Democrats to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election. They will do anything "short of a military coup" to ruin Trump and reverse Trump's success.
It's the classic Limbaugh playbook. Start with a grain of truth (Democrats don't think Trump should be President) and use it as a starting point to construct this complex mix of paranoia, anger and condescending dismissal of critics. Limbaugh also uses the argument to triple down on his praise of Trump, claiming somewhat amazingly that the Donald is having amazing domestic policy success and every world leader that has met with him comes out of their meeting singing his praises.
Dennis Prager Talks Men And Women
Even at his briskest clip, Dennis Prager approaches every topic in the same way a snail approaches an open flame - slowly and in ever-decreasing circles. So tuning into his show randomly almost guarantees you're in for a long, halting set-up. In this hour, the theme is apparently men and women. But despite the addition of some audio clips from movies and the voice of his producer, I'm 15 minutes into this hour's show and I still don't know what the point might be,
If You Think Second Hand Smoke Is Bad
Dennis Prager doesn't believe in climate change. So much so that he has described it as "the biggest scientific hoax since the supposed dangers of second-hand smoke." Which should give you an idea of where he mind is at. I'm checking in on his show again and he's move on from the battle of the sexes to the evils of leftists. He's arguing today the difference between liberals and leftists is greater than the difference between liberals and conservatives. Which might seem like an odd claim to anyone who's ever listened to more than 20 minutes of his show.
He is just getting started, and although a Dennis Prager rant sounds more like a book on tape presentation than a passionate screed, he is very firm on his feelings about the Left. The Left injects itself into everything. It's the Left which is at the cause of Michael Flynn's resignation. The Left is willing to destroy any American institution you can destroy in order to bring down Donald Trump. To them, complete societal collapse is worth it if it hurts Trump.
It's pretty out there if you approach things factually, But this is a variation of the same theme you hear a lot on conservative radio. That no matter what Flynn might have done, what matters is that the Left is out to get Donald Trump. It's impressive message discipline, although I wonder how long it can continue in the face of so many basic governing mistakes that have been committed by the Trump Administration.