The Young Turk's Cenk Uygur filling in for Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC again hosted a panel discussion on Glenn Beck's egofest of a rally in D.C. over the weekend and whether President Obama watched the thing or not. Former Air America radio host Sam Seder who I was very glad to see on the panel since I miss hearing his radio show stated the obvious about just who showed up at this rally and what President Obama would have learned from watching it... nothing.
Seder: There's nothing that Barack Obama was going to learn by paying attention to this rally. I mean the bottom line is these people, whether there was 80,000 or 150,000 people there, these are the same people who voted for George Bush. There's nothing new here with these people. They don't represent new voters. I went down on the Mall for five hours that day.
I can tell you that the average age of people were in their mid-fifties. They've voted Republican all their lives and for the most part they're basically fundamentalists; many of them were pushing the edge of basically... theocracy.
I think Sam was right in this segment. The President needs to be paying attention to what needs to be done to get the country moving in the right direction. Frankly I wish he'd pay more attention to his base. The people who showed up at Beck's event are never going to vote for him, they want more religion inserted into the government as long as it is their particular brand of religion, which makes me wonder how many of them even realize that Glenn Beck is a Mormon, and they're nothing more than the extreme right wing of the Republican base.
I don't think there's any amount of push back we could hear from the administration that is going to make that group feel any differently about him, or that he's not some socialist, Muslim, Kenyan usurper ready to take away all of their guns and that is going to destroy the country.
I'm quite sure as Chrysia Freeland noted that he is paying attention but has absolutely nothing to gain by admitting that he did and giving validity to the likes of Beck. And if he said anything the next thing would be the press hounding him to comment on what he thought about it and it would never end.
And note to Cenk -- I wouldn't be giving Beck too much credit. If a progressive radio host had the kind of exposure Beck's getting between his radio show and Fox News, I would guess they might be able to get this large of a crowd to show up as well if it was for a cause the base felt strongly about. Way more people showed up at the in D.C. when Barack Obama was elected president. And no one on the left has Glenn Beck's megaphone.