Ryan: Joe Biden, born to Wing Ding

Photo by Sean Ryan

Along the walkway off the dancefloor of the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa men in funny little black hats waved signs that said "QUIET PLEASE." An order that nobody even tried to follow.

You know that feeling? When you're at a football game on a Friday night, and the entire county is dark except the stadium, because everyone for miles is there? Or when your favorite team wins the greatest honor they are able to win. Or when you walk through Times Square for the first time, and all the approaching pedestrians seems like salmon leaping upstream.

For reference, I was in Spain in 2010, when the Spanish men's soccer won the World Cup for the first time in the country's history. I have gotten caught on streets in Germany and Spain during riots. I have been to lots of concerts.

Yet I was puzzled by the energy inside the Surf Ballroom that Saturday night in early August, for the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding.

The way people's faces grimaced or fists clenched or eyes bulged, and how they skipped around the outside of the dance floor like you would at a decent skating rink, and it was the first time in the campaign that I thought, "Now what in the hell is this about?"

*

The ballroom had the muffled feel of an old comedy club, the kind of setting built for music and dancing as practiced in the 1940s, or earlier. So everything, every sound, felt close. And warm, like a worn LP album through some giant old speakers. So far, it was the closest a Democratic rally had felt electric.

Chaos. Wild. Wild! The place erupted as Elizabeth Warren strutted offstage. At the bottom of the stairs, Joe Biden shifted from foot to foot, surrounded by a small entourage, all wearing "Biden 2020" t-shirts.

Nearly as wild and transfixing as a Trump rally. Which is maybe why everyone was so fired up. Like they were practicing a mean face in the mirror before they use it in a fight.

For this very reason, it felt more like a high school dance than a major rally featuring 20 of the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates, all in one place for the first time in who knows how long, as they vied for their chance to rule the world. Traditionally, that dream is ended in Iowa, by forfeit or defeat or preemptive removal.

Nonetheless, these were some powerful people. And one will become the Democratic candidate for President, then possibly President, for 2020-2024 — at least. Or the next one.

Any one of them could become President down the line. Or any number of indispensable positions. Five years is a long time in America, and nobody knows what's next.

But, for these candidates, future elections did not currently matter. What mattered were the media and the public. The locals.

Iowa is traditionally the Everyman State. Come to them with a solution that they can believe in, and they'll side with you.

Do they care about the middle parts of this country, all that land between the Oceans? How do they shape up as a person, as a potential boss? If they get the job, will they care about rural America? Can they shake a hand? Can they look you in the eyes? Can they leave the room and you feel their absence? How are the media reacting to them? Do they have a condescending tone? Are they putting on an act?

In Iowa, the candidates bring their answers directly to the voter, like door-to-door salespeople or traveling magicians.

Spectacle? you bet.

Pageantry? Big time.

In 2015, then-candidate Trump flew above the State Fair in a private helicopter, circling the stage as Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton gave her speech at the Political Soapbox. A lot of Iowans liked that. Many still do.

MSNBC:

A political Willy Wonka, Trump offered rides in his helicopter, which landed at a nearby baseball field, to randomly selected handfuls of Iowa children. 'Come here,' he said to the kids. 'Does anyone want to take a ride? It's nice, right? . . . Who wants to go first?'

Trump, they reported, "was out of his element here but undoubtedly in command."

*

Most of the audience had their candidate t-shirts on. There were candidate badges, too. And lawn signs. Banners. Bumper stickers.

A Springsteen song blasted through the speakers, a little too loud, almost clipping. The song riled Biden.

In his navy-blue suit he gripped the podium from each side. An American flag tassel hung limply over the top. Biden's eyes prowled for each person. A dual-frame mic stand held up two microphones. As backdrop, an American flag stretched two stories high and ran the length of the stage, nearly as big as the one at the Presidential Gun Sense forum.

Muscled and tattooed, men in bright yellow shirts that said "SECURITY" stood watch behind metal barriers. Can-lights shone down on the stage at various angles, held up by metal braces and elaborate rigging, a giant shining skeleton. At each side of the stage were six pole-mounted speakers in trapezoidal plywood cabinets.

The walls were a dark blue, like ocean at night, accented by the white pillars that divided the dancefloor from the walkways and the bars and the restrooms and the museum with so many signed guitars.

Rows of booths flanked the back, on this occasion occupied by journalists, huddles of them, turning each booth into a copse of wire and plugs and paper and computers. In front of them, a pathway to the bar that was always busy, all of it was, everywhere, then a line of cameras divided by a green railing. And men in funny little hats expected people to listen?

"Presidents," Biden said, "the words they say matter."

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

As the Senate prepares for former President Trump's second impeachment trial, many are asking whether it's constitutional to try a president after leaving office. Alan Dershowitz, lawyer and host of the of "The Dershow," joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to talk about the legal battles Trump still faces.

Dershowitz said he believes the Senate doesn't have the authority to convict Trump, now that he's a private citizen again, and thus can't use impeachment to bar him from running for office again.

"The Constitution says the purpose of impeachment is to remove somebody. He [Trump] is out of office. There's nothing left to do.
It doesn't say you can impeach him to disqualify him for the future. It says, if you remove him you can then add disqualification, but you can't just impeach somebody to disqualify them," Dershowitz said.

"The Senate can't try ordinary citizens. So once you're an ordinary citizen, you get tried only in the courts, not in the Senate. So it's clearly unconstitutional," he added.

Dershowitz, who served on Trump's legal team during the first impeachment trial, also discussed whether he thinks Trump is legally (or even just ethically) responsible for the Capitol riot earlier this month, and whether those engaging in violence could be considered "domestic terrorists."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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A new, shocking CBS News poll shows that the majority of Americans believe they're facing a new enemy: other Americans.

More than two-thirds of poll respondents said they believe democracy in the U.S. is "threatened," and 54% said "other people in America" are the "biggest threat to the American way of life," rather than economic factors, viruses, natural disasters, or foreign actors.

Will it be possible to unite our nation with statistics like that? On "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," Glenn and Stu discussed the poll numbers and what they mean for our future.

Watch the video clip below:

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Countless leaders on the left are now arguing that removing President Donald Trump from office won't be enough — they're now calling for the president's "cult-like" supporters to be "deprogrammed." And it's not just fringe politicians.

During an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher" last week, former NBC anchor Katie Couric said, "The question is, how are we going to really almost deprogram these people who have signed up for the cult of Trump."

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi questioned whether the nation needs "a 9/11-type commission" to determine whether President Trump was colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin "the day that the insurgents invaded our Capitol." Clinton also made sure to include her favorite "deplorables" in her unsubstantiated conspiracy theory:

"But we now know that not just [Trump] but his enablers, his accomplices, his cult members, have the same disregard for democracy," Clinton said to Pelosi.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and New York Times Magazine's Nikole Hannah-Jones agreed that there is a need for "millions of Americans, almost all white, almost all Republicans" to be deprogrammed and punished, during an MSNBC interview last week.

Now, a story from the Washington Post is also preaching that narrative and even added that we need more restrictions for conservatives on social media and in the broadcast industry.

"So now we have to be deprogrammed? We've heard this over and over and over and over again, for months," said Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday. He read through the shocking details of the Washington Post op-ed and discussed the extraordinary dangers of the latest anti-conservative movement in America.

Watch the video below:

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As calls for censorship and restrictions against conservative voices get louder, Glenn Beck said he feels an "awesome responsibility" to speak, not the words he'd personally like to say, but those he believes the Lord would want him to share.

"It's an awesome responsibility, and one that I am not worthy of," Glenn said. "I want to say ... what He wants me to say. And I have to listen very carefully, because I feel the same way you do. But that will get us nowhere."

Glenn said it's time for Americans who are awake — not woke — to come together, no matter which side of the political aisle you're on, and stand with the truth.

"We are the Alamo, we will stand. But we desperately, desperately need you," Glenn said. "We need the people who are awake — not woke — awake. You may disagree with us. We are your allies, not your enemies. And if you will not stand with us in our hour of need, there will be no one left to stand with you in your hour of need. We must all come together, anyone who is awake."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:

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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.