Glenn Beck: Great review of Idiots



Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government


by Glenn Beck

GLENN: I'm just reading the I'm just reading the review from FrontPage Magazine of Arguing With Idiots. Have you seen this?

STU: Yeah, yeah, it's great.

GLENN: Holy cow. When I received a he writes, who is this? David Forsmark: When I received a review copy of the new book by over emoting radio TV talker Glenn Beck, I sighed and put it to the side. What put me off were the book's title, Arguing with Idiots, and the cover photo showing Beck dressed as a commissar making a funny face. It's not a commissar.

PAT: He doesn't like the book czar?

GLENN: No, it's the book czar, and he's telling you what book to buy. Let's see. Arguing with idiots is a waste of time, I thought one might as well have published a book called Exercise in Futility for Dummies or The Idiot's Guide to Banging Your Head Against the Wall– neither prospect appeals to me all that much. Besides, in the decade and a half since Rush Limbaugh sold millions of copies of his commentaries on issues of the day, enough talk show hosts have published books that reading them all would consume about 90% of my book reviewing time, and very few have proven to be worth the effort. But with all the heat generated by Beck in the last couple of months and the fact that I've defended him a few times from the likes of Keith Olbermann, my curiosity got the better of me. What I found was very surprising and worthy of my time. So here's the rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly of Glenn Beck's new book.

OLBERMANN: God forgive you.

GLENN: The book itself listen to this. The book itself is not just good. Much of it is really, really good.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: Shockingly good.

PAT: Wow.

GLENN: It reminded me of the kind of bestsellers that came out in the early 1980s, when free market thinking made its big comeback, aided by libertarian Robert Ringer's Restoring the American Dream on the pop thinking level, and George Gilder's Wealth and Poverty for the more philosophical reader.

But what much of the content of Arguing really reminds me of — and don't throw things at me — is the late, great Milton and Rose Friedman's classic of capitalism, Free to Choose.

PAT: That's what I was thinking, too. That's what I was thinking. I had the same thought in my head. When I read the book, I thought the same thing.

GLENN: I got Milton Friedman. That's what I'm thinking, yeah.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: Now, before anyone has a stroke or writes my editor in shock and disdain, I'm not saying Arguing with Idiots is in the league with the book that is one of the five most influential of my life.

However, I do think this book would have made Milton Friedman smile with approval. About two thirds of Arguing with Idiots updates the topics covered in Free to Choose. In fact, one could almost see chapter headings (if the arguing with idiots motif had not been adopted) similar to the titles “Who Protects the Consumer?” or “Who Protects the Worker?” from Friedman's classic. Arguing could have had a chapter called “Who Protects the Patient?” Instead, Beck chose to give the chapter a rather prosaic name, “Universal Health Care.”

That said, “Universal Health Care” is one of the book's most valuable chapters. Unlike some other segments, such as the one about the Second Amendment, Beck (and his team of writers and illustrators) does more than (very effectively) restate familiar arguments, Beck offers witty asides and on point illustrations (both literally and figuratively) while presenting a wealth of material that will be new to even well informed readers and veterans of the political commentary wars. Particularly terrific is a section on how innovative companies are meeting the demand for low cost insurance and changing the paradigm on how health care is delivered. This is something the current debate is sorely lacking from free market advocates, who too often are merely opponents of socialized medicine.

Back when the Friedmans wrote Free to Choose, private sector unions were still the major force in Democrat politics, with growing backup from the teachers unions. Industrial unions are greatly diminished now, and Beck takes on the even more insidious nature of public employees unions — particularly the SEIU and its ties to ACORN and President Obama.

Teachers unions also take a big hit, as they did with Friedman, with Beck arguing for freedom in the education system. His flow chart on how to fire a tenured teacher in New York City is priceless.

Like most libertarian leaning writers, Beck is best at economic issues, really good at arguing for the Second Amendment and other constitutional issues and weaker on social issues and history.

What are you However, as entertaining and informative as Beck's teacher tenure flow chart is “Presidential Smackdown,” an NCAA bracket type seeding chart for ranking the nation's presidents. It's a lot more fun than the usual kind of list put out by historians and apt to promote a much more detailed discussion than a mere one through 44 list.

Most people argue the number 7 seed William H. Taft's defeat of John F. Kennedy

PAT: He's actually going to argue the merits of the smackdown?

GLENN: And Franklin D. Roosevelt, seeds No. 2 and 1, respectively, is far too upset minded (Beck states correctly that the 16th Amendment passed under Wilson who he correctly eviscerates, but it was Taft who championed the Amendment and it passed shortly after he left office.)

STU: That's great.

PAT: He is taking issue with your seating process?

GLENN: Yes. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln certainly should have appeared in different brackets so they could finish first and second – but, hey, this only shows why the bracket method is both more fun and focused, and having Jefferson make the finals is in keeping with Beck's personal philosophy. Since I can't reprint any of the pages, blah, blah blah, blah blah, he goes on. He says the bad: Not all of the humor works, which is to be expected. The strange Mount Rushmore illustration at the beginning of one of the strongest chapters is unfortunate because it diverts some people this terrific section. Oh, I disagree. I stand by that Mount Rushmore. So then he goes on. You know, he doesn't like the idea the title is Arguing With Idiots. And then the ugly is the cover.

Look, I get it. It's a joke. Glenn Beck, the book czar, ha ha, and it's not even the goofiest costume Beck has donned since his live TV news gig.

PAT: That's true enough, true enough.

GLENN: But with the word fascist floating all around the place again and Jonah Goldberg getting the term aimed in the right direction, who the heck thought this was a good idea? Well, me. That would be me.

PAT: It's good arguing against it, though.

GLENN: But first of all, it's not a cover that will attract the unconvinced. For every one person who buys the book, a hundred browsers are apt to walk by, wrinkle their nose and associate Beck and his fans with the confrontational looking martinet on the cover.


But, you may well argue, how can you criticize the promotion strategy for the No.1 bestseller in the nation? Easy. Beck's audience is large and loyal, which is enough to get this book to the top of the list.


The material is good enough to convince doubters and presented entertainingly enough for the fan club to give and recommend to the uninitiated. That outreach is not made easier by the notion that giving the book to someone who doesn't yet agree with you is in effect calling them an idiot.

STU: I think basically what they are saying here is they love the book. The only problem they had with it was Glenn's appearance.

GLENN: No, no, I think what they are saying is they love the book but for you ready for this? But for those who judge a book by its cover, then it's a bad book.

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Harvard Law professor and lawyer on President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team Alan Dershowitz explains the history of impeachment and its process, why the framers did not include abuse of power as criteria for a Constitutional impeachment, why the Democrats are framing their case the way they are, and what to look for in the upcoming Senate trial.

Dershowitz argued that "abuse of power" -- one of two articles of impeachment against Trump approved by House Democrats last month -- is not an impeachable act.

"There are two articles of impeachment. The second is 'obstruction of Congress.' That's just a false accusation," said Dershowitz. "But they also charge him, in the Ukraine matter, with abuse of power. But abuse of power was discussed by the framers (of the U.S. Constitution) ... the framers refused to include abuse of power because it was too broad, too open-ended.

"In the words of James Madison, the father of our Constitution, it would lead presidents to serve at the will of Congress. And that's exactly what the framers didn't want, which is why they were very specific and said a president can be impeached only for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," he added.

"What's alleged against President Trump is not criminal," added Dershowitz. "If they had criminal issues to allege, you can be sure they would have done it. If they could establish bribery or treason, they would have done it already. But they didn't do it. They instead used this concept of abuse of power, which is so broad and general ... any president could be charged with it."

Watch the video below to hear more details:



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On Friday's radio program, Bill O'Reilly joins Glenn Beck discuss the possible outcomes for the Democrats in 2020.

Why are former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama working overtime to convince Americans they're more moderate than most of the far-left Democratic presidential candidates? Is there a chance of a Michelle Obama vs. Donald Trump race this fall?

O'Reilly surmised that a post-primary nomination would probably be more of a "Bloomberg play." He said Michael Bloomberg might actually stand a chance at the Democratic nomination if there is a brokered convention, as many Democratic leaders are fearfully anticipating.

"Bloomberg knows he doesn't really have a chance to get enough delegates to win," O'Reilly said. "He's doing two things: If there's a brokered convention, there he is. And even if there is a nominee, it will probably be Biden, and Biden will give [him] Secretary of State or Secretary of Treasury. That's what Bloomberg wants."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Friday, award-winning investigative reporter John Solomon, a central figure in the impeachment proceedings, explained his newly filed lawsuit, which seeks the records of contact between Ukraine prosecutors and the U.S. Embassy officials in Kiev during the 2016 election.

The records would provide valuable information on what really happened in Ukraine, including what then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter were doing with Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, Solomon explained.

The documents, which the State Department has withheld thus far despite repeated requests for release by Solomon, would likely shed light on the alleged corruption that President Donald Trump requested to be investigated during his phone call with the president of Ukraine last year.

With the help of Southeastern Legal Foundation, Solomon's lawsuit seeks to compel the State Department to release the critical records. Once released, the records are expected to reveal, once and for all, exactly why President Trump wanted to investigate the dealings in Ukraine, and finally expose the side of the story that Democrats are trying to hide in their push for impeachment.

"It's been a one-sided story so far, just like the beginning of the Russia collusion story, right? Everybody was certain on Jan. 9 of 2017 that the Christopher Steele dossier was gospel. And our president was an agent of Russia. Three years later, we learned that all of that turned out to be bunk, " Solomon said.

"The most important thing about politics, and about investigations, is that there are two sides to a story. There are two pieces of evidence. And right now, we've only seen one side of it," he continued. "I think we'll learn a lot about what the intelligence community, what the economic and Treasury Department community was telling the president. And I bet the story was way more complicated than the narrative that [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff [D-Calif.] has woven so far."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Carter Page, a former advisor to Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, found himself at the center of the Russia probe and had his reputation and career destroyed by what we now know were lies from our own intelligence system and the media.

On the TV show Thursday, Page joined Glenn Beck to speak out about how he became the subject of illegal electronic surveillance by the FBI for more than two years, and revealed the extent of the corruption that has infiltrated our legal systems and our country as a whole.

"To me, the bigger issue is how much damage this has done to our country," Page told Glenn. "I've been very patient in trying to ... find help with finding solutions and correcting this terrible thing which has happened to our country, our judicial system, DOJ, FBI -- these once-great institutions. And my bigger concern is the fact that, although we keep taking these steps forward in terms of these important findings, it really remains the tip of the iceberg."

Page was referencing the report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which revealed that the FBI made "at least 17 significant errors or omissions" in its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications for warrants to spy on Page, a U.S. citizen.

"I think this needs to be attacked from all angles," Glenn said. "The one angle I'm interested in from you is, please tell me you have the biggest badass attorneys that are hungry, starving, maybe are a little low to pay their Mercedes payments right now, and are just gearing up to come after the government and the media. Are they?"

I can confirm that that is the case," Page replied.

Watch the video clip below for a preview of the full-length interview:

The full interview will air on January 30th for Blaze TV subscribers, and February 1st on YouTube and wherever you get your podcast.

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