“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Eugene Robinson: Even Beck can’t mar King’s legacy
The majestic grounds of the Lincoln Memorial belong to all Americans — even to egomaniacal talk-show hosts who profit handsomely from stoking fear, resentment and anger. So let me state clearly that Glenn Beck has every right to hold his absurdly titled “Restoring Honor” rally on Saturday.
But the rest of us have every right to call the event what it is: an exercise in self-aggrandizement on a Napoleonic scale. I half-expect Beck to appear before the crowd in a bicorn hat, with one hand tucked into the front of his jacket.
That Beck is staging his all-about-me event at the very spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his immortal “I Have a Dream” speech — and on the 47th anniversary of that historic address — is obviously intended to be a provocation. There’s no need to feel provoked, however; the appropriate response is to ignore him. No puffed-up blabbermouth could ever diminish the importance of the 1963 March on Washington or the impact of King’s unforgettable words.
Lincoln and King will always have their places in American history. Beck’s 15 minutes of fame and influence are ticking by.
Joan Walsh Beck has a scheme
Promote Palin at an event he says isn’t political, on a day he says he didn’t know was the MLK speech anniversary
(But) my friend Melissa Harris-Lacewell cautioned me and Chris Matthews against giving Beck and Palin too much credit for winning people over to their crazy racial views. She’s right: It’s increasingly clear that the Tea Parties and Palin power are just more exciting names for an old political phenomenon: the aging, white, anti-government Republican base. They have more acolytes than I wish they did but fewer than they’ll need to transform the country, especially if Democrats remember what they’re fighting for in November. Harris-Lacewell also compared King’s incomparable words to the word salad normally tossed by Palin, and that made me laugh. Put the “I Have a Dream” speech side by side with whatever Palin says Saturday, and you’ll create instant civil rights believers among whoever reads through both.