Glenn Beck: Bill Clinton defends Robert Byrd KKK history



Obama On Robert Byrd

GLENN: You see what they are doing to the Internet today. It is amazing to me. This should be an outrage everywhere, that Homeland Security is now banning what they deem controversial websites with the federal government. So if you are a federal employee, your computer will block certain websites. But there's no, there's no definition of controversial websites. I guarantee you GlennBeck.com will be banned. Guarantee you. That is your first step to becoming China. First the government bans controversial websites. Excuse me? Do not become a slave of the federal government. Don't do it. Please don't do it. You want to — here's something that I think should be deemed controversial and is not. Let me play the audio of what Bill Clinton said about Robert Byrd. Listen to this.

BILL CLINTON: A lot of people who wrote these eulogies for Senator Byrd in the newspapers, and I read a bunch of them, and they mention that he once had a fleeting association with

GLENN: Fleeting.

BILL CLINTON: the Ku Klux Klan and what does that mean. I tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and the hollows of West Virginia. He was trying to get elected, and maybe he did something he shouldn't have done.

GLENN: Stop, stop. Insult to West Virginia: You're just a bunch of stick cretins that only understand the Klan. Now, may I ask if the — if Robert Byrd, could you find out for me, Stu, how many years he was with the Klan? A fleeting association with the Klan. If my memory serves correct, it was significant association with the Klan.

PAT: Well, and he became a, what do they call it, Grand Kleagle. A Grand Kleagle is a — a Kleagle is a recruiter. A Grand Kleagle means something even more significant. And the guy was — I mean, up until 1946, writing to the head of the grand wizard of the KKK talking about how necessary it was for West Virginia and how it was needed more now than ever before in its history, and he wanted to be a big part of bringing it back in West Virginia and nationally. And, you know, up until 1964 even though he wasn't a member anymore, he was still filibustering the Civil Rights Movement.

GLENN: Look, do you remember what happened to Trent Lott for saying, I wish you were president?

PAT: Barbecued.

GLENN: They drummed him out.

PAT: Strom Thurmond was —

GLENN: Let's just give a little history on Strom Thurmond. Strom Thurmond was a racist, period. He was a racist. But he had a change of heart. Now, whether or not it was sincere, no man knows. Only God.

PAT: Like Robert Byrd.

GLENN: Hold on just a second. But Strom Thurmond was the first senator from the South to hire an African American to serve on a senatorial staff. The first in like, what, 1970, 1971? The guy took action steps.

Now, you are exactly right, Pat. Just like Robert Byrd, we can't know if the guy had an actual change of heart. And I'm not saying that we should judge him solely on his Klan membership that ended in the 1960s. Everybody makes mistakes and there is forgiveness. Everybody — listen to this: These are the same people that trash our founding fathers. They can't cut our founding fathers an inch of slack, not one inch. And yet they cut a Klan member slack and say he was just doing it for politics.

Let me ask you this: Which is worse? A guy who is stringing people up because he believes it, or a guy who's stringing people up because he's just trying to get elected? I mean, it's hard to choose between those two nightmares. Is there a difference between the two? "Hey, I'm only making this news to lynch somebody just to get elected. I didn't mean it." What?

This is a — this is a disgrace. Every American, every American, you cannot judge Robert Byrd. We don't know the man's heart. We have no idea. Did he actually change or not? We don't know. Give the man the benefit of the doubt. But to sweep his Klan membership under the rug as, A, fleeting, B, just about politics is obscene.

PAT: And to sweep the entire population of West Virginia under the rug with him by saying that he was a, backwoods guy from West Virginia, I don't remember the exact quote. But to lump the West Virginians in with him and that's how you appeal to them to get elected, that's despicable.

GLENN: Well, that's, what is it, bitter?

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: Race, white people? What was the bitter God fearing?

PAT: Clinging to their guns and religion?

GLENN: Clinging to their gods and their guns? Yeah. I mean, that's basically what he's saying. And didn't he say it about the people in West Virginia?

PAT: No, that was —

GLENN: Pennsylvania?

PAT: Pennsylvania, uh huh.

GLENN: Okay. I mean, parts of Pennsylvania are the same as West Virginia. I mean, it's the same, you know, kind of backwood toothless kind of clinging to your God and gun kind of people. I mean, they are — how would elites say it? Simple people? I would like to say they're normal people. Look what he's doing. He's saying the same thing about West Virginia and Obama has said about Pennsylvania. "You're just backwoods stupid people that are just freaked out by a different color skin." You know what? There are those people. There are those people. And there is the Klan.

How many times have I said over the last 20 years, stop playing the race card. Because racism exists and you're making it — you are a little boy that cried wolf. There is race — the Klan exists. The Klan shouldn't exist. We should all be against the Klan. All of us. I don't care where you live. But to say that it's okay because a politician can just use the Klan to get elected, oh, my gosh. You know what, I just, I happen to live in a devil worshipping community. Okay, all right, so I was worshipping the devil with them, but I was only doing it, you know, to get elected. Oh! Okay. Now I feel better. Good heavens!

STU: And to go back to the Trent Lott thing, I mean, Lott praised the political career in general of Strom Thurmond and said, well, what he really meant was this one specific policy when he ran for president. With Byrd Clinton is specifically excusing him from his one bad thing that supposedly wasn't that big of a deal and was fleeting.

GLENN: No, it wasn't and, yes, it was a big deal.

PAT: Yeah.

GLENN: But do we judge Robert Byrd only on that? No.

STU: It's a big — it's something you have to consider.

GLENN: It is a big part of Robert Byrd's past.

STU: The Washington Post reported that not only did he — you know, he was in the KKK. He recruited 150 other people to be in the KKK, and it was the head — one of his mentors at the KKK that urged him to first go into politics.

GLENN: So I ask you, who's the racist here? We're being called racist all the time. I would never excuse a person's KKK membership. I didn't excuse Strom Thurmond's past. But that doesn't mean you solely judge a man on that and it doesn't mean it with Robert Byrd. But you don't dismiss it as historic fact. And you certainly don't embrace and say, well, a politician can do that because he's just a politician, he was just trying to get elected. Who's the racist here? Hey, African Americans, how do you feel that the first black president said that it was cool that a guy was in the KKK because he was just trying to get elected? How does that make you feel? I mean, that is — now, here's what should happen. That story should be everywhere. It's not going to be. That story should be everywhere. Everyone should be universally disgusted by it and we just chalk it up in our memory that that's what Bill Clinton said, that's who he is, and we move on with his life — our life. We don't need to destroy anybody with it. We just need to remember it.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

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Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?

These days, when Americans decide to be outraged about something, we really go all out.

This week's outrage is, of course, the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy toward illegal immigration along the southern border. Specifically, people are upset over the part of the policy that separates children from their parents when the parents get arrested.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

Lost in all the outrage is that the President is being proactive about border security and is simply enforcing the law. Yes, we need to figure out a less clumsy, more compassionate way of enforcing the law, but children are not being flung into dungeons and fed maggots as the media would have you believe.

But having calm, reasonable debates about these things isn't the way it's done anymore. You have to make strong, sweeping announcements so the world knows how righteous your indignation is.

That's why yesterday, the governors of Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut declared they are withholding or recalling their National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border until this policy of separating children from their parents is rescinded.

Adding to the media stunt nature of this entire "crisis," it turns out this defiant announcement from these five governors is mostly symbolic. Because two months ago, when President Trump called for 4,000 additional National Guard troops to help patrol the border, large numbers of troops were not requested from those five states. In fact, no troops were requested at all from Rhode Island. But that didn't stop Rhode Island's Democratic governor, Gina Raimondo, from announcing she would refuse to send troops if she were asked. She called the family separation policy, "immoral, unjust and un-American."

There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

The governors of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all used the word "inhumane" in their statements condemning the Trump administration policy. There's so much outrage, we're running short on adjectives.

In a totally unrelated coincidence, four of these five governors are running for re-election this year.

I've made my position clear — separating these children from their parents is a bad policy and we need to stop. We need to treat these immigrants with the kind of compassion we'd want for our own children. And I said the same thing in 2014 when no one cared about the border crisis.

If consistency could replace even just a sliver of the outrage in America, we would all be a lot better off.

I think we can all agree, both on the Left and the Right, that children who have been caught up in illegal immigration is an awful situation. But apparently what no one can agree on is when it matters to them. This past weekend, it suddenly — and even a little magically — began to matter to the Left. Seemingly out of nowhere, they all collectively realized this was a problem and all rushed to blame the Trump administration.

RELATED: These 3 things need to happen before we can fix our border problem

Here's Rachel Maddow yesterday:

I seem to remember getting mocked by the Left for showing emotion on TV, but I'll give her a pass here. This is an emotional situation. But this is what I can't give her a pass on: where the heck was this outrage and emotion back in 2014? Because the same situation going on today — that stuff Maddow and the rest of the Left have only just now woken up to — was going on back in July 2014! And it was arguably worse back then.

I practically begged and pleaded for people to wake up to what was going on. We had to shed light on how our immigration system was being manipulated by people breaking our laws, and they were using kids as pawns to get it done. But unlike the gusto the Left is using now to report this story, let's take a look at what Rachel Maddow thought was more important back in 2014.

On July 1, 2014, Maddow opened her show with a riveting monologue on how President Obama was hosting a World Cup viewing party. That's hard-hitting stuff right there.

On July 2, 2014, Maddow actually acknowledged kids were at the border, but she referenced Health and Human Services only briefly and completely rushed through what was actually happening to these kids. She made a vague statement about a "policy" stating where kids were being taken after their arrival. She also blamed Congress for not acting.

See any difference in reporting there from today? That "policy" she referenced has suddenly become Trump's "new" policy, and it isn't Congress's fault… it's all on the President.

She goes on throughout the week.

On July 7, 2014, her top story was something on the Koch brothers. Immigration was only briefly mentioned at the end of the show. This trend continued all the way through the week. I went to the border on July 19. Did she cover it? Nope. In fact, she didn't mention kids at the border for the rest of the month. NOT AT ALL.

Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not?

Make up your minds. Is this an important issue or not? Do you care about immigrant kids who have been caught in the middle of a broken immigration system or not? Do you even care to fix it, or is this what it looks like — just another phony, addicted-to-outrage political stunt?

UPDATE: Here's how this discussion went on radio. Watch the video below.

Glenn gives Rachel Maddow the benefit of the doubt

Rachel Maddow broke down in tears live on her MSNBC show over border crisis.

Progressives think the Obamas are a gift to the world. But their gift is apparently more of the metaphorical kind. It doesn't extend to helpful, tangible things like saving taxpayers money. Illinois has approved $224 million to pay for street and transportation upgrades around the planned site of the Obama Presidential Center. The catch is that Illinois taxpayers will have to cover $200 million of that cost. For a presidential museum.

Eight years of multiplying the national debt wasn't enough for Barack Obama. Old fleecing habits die hard. What's another $200 million here and there, especially for something as important as an Obama tribute center?

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That's all well and good except Illinois can't even fund its pension system. The state has a $137 billion funding shortfall. That means every person in Illinois owes $11,000 for pensions, and there is no plan to fix the mess. Unless Illinois progressives have discovered a new kind of math, this doesn't really add up. You can't fund pensions, but you're going to figure out a way to milk the public for another $200 million to help cover the cost of a library?

It's hard to imagine who in their right mind would think this will be money well spent. Well, except for maybe Chicago Mayor and former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel who said, "The state's… investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent."

Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

The spending has already been signed into law, even though the Obama library has not received construction approval yet. Part of the holdup is that the proposed site is on public land in historic Jackson Park. That doesn't seem very progressive of the Obamas, but, you know, for certain presidents, you go above and beyond. It's just what you do. Some presidential overreach lasts longer than others.

Here's the thing about taxing the peasants so the king can build a fancy monument to himself – it's wrong. And completely unnecessary. The Obamas have the richest friends on the planet who could fund this project in their sleep. If the world simply must have a tricked-out Obama museum, then let private citizens take out their wallets voluntarily.

As the Mercury Museum proved this weekend, it is possible to build an exhibit with amazing artifacts that attracts a ton of visitors – and it cost taxpayers approximately zero dollars.