Glenn Beck pulled off his big "Tea Bags Lite" rally today, which apparently had - at least by his claims - something or other to do with the legacy of Martin Luther King. And "restoring honor." Steve Benen tries to figure out what the content of this character's "I have a scheme!" rhetoric amounts to. Apparently, nothing that can be deciphered as coherent. Ultimately, it's a platform for inchoate fear and resentments - against Muslims, a black President, brown people from south of the border - and lining the pockets of Barnumesque hucksters like Beck and Palin, not to mention the shadow figures like the Koch brothers who are using these clowns as "populist" cover for their gospel of tax-cuts and de-regulation.
Post-Script: One of the best commentaries on this ugly phenomenon - other than Jon Stewart's running take-downs - is still THIS: Kazan and Schulberg's masterpiece, A Face in the Crowd (Andy Griffith's finest hour and a terrific performance by the late, wonderful Patricia Neal.) Here's the Amazon description, which fits Beck to a "T":
More timely now, perhaps, than when it was first released in 1957, Elia Kazan's overheated political melodrama explores the dangerous manipulative power of pop culture. It exposes the underside of Capra-corn populism, as exemplified in the optimistic fable of grassroots punditry Meet John Doe. In Kazan's account, scripted by Budd Schulberg, the common-man pontificator (Andy Griffith) is no Gary Cooper-style aw-shucks paragon. Promoted to national fame as a folksy TV idol by radio producer Patricia Neal, Griffith's Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes turns out to be a megalomaniacal rat bastard. The film turns apocalyptic as Rhodes exploits his power to sway the masses, helping to elect a reactionary presidential candidate.