Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Rattled By the Stream

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I wrote an essay for Bad Subjects: Political Education For Everyday Life focusing on a reference to leftist icon Antonio Gramsci in Rush Limbaugh's second book, See, I Told You So. That piece received more play than most of my work has, getting republished in a newsletter devoted to all things Gramsci and, later on, being cited by Eric Alterman in his column for The Nation. It was therefore with heightened interest -- and self-interest, which is probably the same thing -- that I noted Fox News personality Glenn Beck's long commentary on the latest cause célèbre in the realm of radical publishing, the anonymously authored -- and French, naturally, as Beck wryly notes -- book The Coming Insurrection, whose English edition will be out shortly:

The fact that Beck goes on so long here makes it clear how badly the Right needs to find new leftist provocateurs to rile up its base and then link, by a chain of associations, to the centrists currently in power in the United States and most European countries. Just as it was no accident that Limbaugh's book brought up the Left's affection for Gramsci at a time when conservatives were eager to make Clinton look far more radical than he ever was or would be, it's pretty transparent why Beck is invoking a dense remix of 1960s-style polemicizing at the precise moment when Barack Obama is making it clear that he is not a revolutionary leader a la Mao or Che, but a politician whose strengths and weaknesses -- minus the tendency to overeat barbecue and [EXPLETIVE DELTED] -- are eerily similar to the last Democratic President's.
Tags: clips, history, media, politics

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