This morning on radio, Glenn talked about the importance of defining the real right and left in American politics. It might seem simplest to think of the right and left as Republicans and Democrats, but, as it turns out, the best right-left scale does not necessarily have anything to do with party lines.
“People think that, you know, the left is the Democrat and the right is the Republican. That’s not true. Everything is upside down and that’s just a lie,” Glenn said. “When you look at the real scale… On one side is anarchy and the other side is totalitarianism.”
When you look at this scale in terms of television coverage it becomes clear that whether you are watching Fox News or MSNBC, all of these networks are covering the same group of people. For example, people like John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Bill Clinton, and Chris Christie are accepted by all sides because, as Glenn put it, they are “an extremist on one end or the other… they go from one side to another.”
The fact that these men have a tendency of casting such a large net when it comes to what policies they choose to support, it becomes difficult to determine where they fall not on a right-left spectrum but on an anarchy-totalitarian scale.
“You know, we sat here at the chalkboard yesterday, Pat and I,” Glenn said. “I’m like, where does Chris Christie go? Where does he fit? Forget about left and right. Who does he fit with? I contend he fits with Bloomberg, Sunstein, Al Gore, and Newt Gingrich.”
Pat, on the other hand, had a slightly different interpretation of Christie. “He’s got some redeeming qualities and his redeeming qualities are really redeeming,” Pat said. “You know, look at the way we cheered for him at the beginning before we found out just how moderate he really is. But the things on which he’s good, he is exceptional.”
On the chalkboard Glenn used on last night’s 5PM show, Christie was placed next to Newt Gingrich on scale. “I think Chris Christie does do some really good things and I think Newt Gingrich does as well,” Glenn said. “But the bottom line is: overall they see themselves as a bit too progressive in their vision of what government should do.”
Based on chalkboard, the establishment of the Republican and Democratic parties are all muddled in about the same place, but the most important people, the people Glenn feels could be the future of the GOP, are on a different chalkboard all together.
“We should actually be down in the other scale, past the edge of the Republican Party. And I put the edge of the Republican Party with Rubio and Paul Ryan,” Glenn said. “Those guys are accepted into the tent of the Republicans but not all the time. They could, they might be good on freedom, you know, but they could easily be sucked in the other way, don’t you think?”
With Rubio and Ryan on the fringe of the establishment GOP, it will take people who fall to the right of them to actually affect any sort of change. “Then you move down the scale and you have Ted Cruz and Rand Paul… Then after that you have Ron Paul. I don’t really put Ron there, but I put his supporters there… And then, then you have Penn Jillette. I know he’s not political at all, but he’s the guy who I think is at the edge of that line of, ‘No, I’m a libertarian and I don’t care what happens” but he’s still reasonable. He still knows there has to be some sort of a framework to be able to hold things together… He’s not an anarchist.”
If the GOP’s comfort zone does not extend past Rubio and Ryan, as Glenn suggests, the race for 2016 is going to be a tough challenge.
“I think all these people, you know, you’ve got the, you know, the McConnell and the Boehner and the McCain and the Lindsey Graham and the Chris Christie. I’ve written those guys off. Written those guys off. We have 18 months before the political machine starts again. And if you really want to have a place at the table, I’m telling you now that Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and Rubio will either be destroyed by the machine in the next four years or sucked into the machine, one of the two,” Glenn said. “In the next 18 months, maybe even 12 months, we have to populate that area between Paul Ryan and Penn Jillette with people who we think will really stand, will buck the system and they don’t care.”
“You know, Ted Cruz said there needs to be a third party. I think there does. We have to have a new party,” he concluded. “I would love to be able to use the structure and the framework of what they’ve already established, but what they’ve already established is garbage. It doesn’t stand for anything. So I think we should start taking phone calls, I think we should start to these politicians.”