Republican Party stands by while Glenn Beck and the birthers spread their poisonous lies


We’re responsible for what we tolerate. If I stand next to a friend who slanders you and say nothing, then I’ve accepted that slander and am responsible for it. John Boehner Told David Gregory on NBC’s Meet the Press that he believes Obama’s a Christian, born in Hawaii, but if a third of Republicans believe different, that’s apparently OK with Boehner: “It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think.”

Why not, Mr. Speaker? You’re complicit in the lies if you don’t challenge them.

And Glenn Beck says that a giant conspiracy comprising Obama, the Egyptian demonstrators, the Muslim Brotherhood, the communists, and the AFL-CIO is dedicated to creating a new caliphate that will govern all of Europe and the Middle East under Sharia law. And Americans, he beseeches, wake up before it’s too late.

We haven’t seen the polls or focus groups yet, but you can bet that a third of Republicans will swallow it, hook, line, and sinker.

The Republican Party has one adult, Bill Kristol, who publicly rejects Beck’s conspiracy rant:

Hysteria is not a sign of health. When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s.

To their great credit, National Review editor Rich Lowry and Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly also rejected Beck’s hysteria. But where are the elected Republican officials who know better? They appear to be willing to let Beck’s theories spread through the electorate, trusting that it will produce anti-caliphate votes for the Republicans in 2012.



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4 Responses to “Republican Party stands by while Glenn Beck and the birthers spread their poisonous lies”

  1. Jack Marshall Says:

    I don’t think it is Boehner’s job—at all—to confront the Birthers. For one thing, it doesn’t do any good. For another, I don’t think it is the responsibility of the Republicans to embrace that groups as their own. They are Republicans because they are Birthers; they aren’t Birthers because they are Republicans. I would welcome a condemnation if he or another GOP leader chose to do it, but I don’t see tacit approval if he doesn’t. As for the Muslim issue, 1) it shouldn’t make any difference and 2) if Bill Maher thinks Obama is really a Muslim, why is this a Republican responsibility either?

    I’ll do more on this on Ethics Alarms. Gregory was out of line.

  2. Ethics Bob Says:

    Hmmm, why would you welcome a condemnation? Could it be because you think it would be the right thing to do? Me too.

  3. Are GOP Leaders Obligated to Condemn Doubters of Obama’s Birth and Beliefs? | Ethics Alarms Says:

    […] Ethicist Bob Stone agrees with Gregory, and also thinks GOP leaders have an ethical obligation to set Glenn Beck straight regarding some of his conspiracy theories, arguing that Boehner and other Republicans are “complicit in the lies if you don’t challenge them.” […]

  4. Jack Marshall Says:

    The fact that it would be the right thing to do is a far cry from saying it is wrong not to do it, or that the GOP has an obligation to do it. They don’t. I level all my guns on this one here, Bob. get ready to duck!

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