David Frum is, once again, spot on. Writing about the ludicrous - and loopy - Glenn Beck and his fantasies of armed resistance against the Obama administration's "fascism", Frum points out how useful Beck is to Obama (and vice versa) and how poisonous he and his ravings are to the future of the Republican party:
Beck is a comedian at bottom, and he does not want to incite anyone to do anything except stay tuned through the following commercial announcements. But if the Obama press team had consciously designed an Exhibit A for their coming campaign of defamation against conservative America, they could not have asked for anything better than what Beck and the Fox network have provided them.
In fact, one can already see the shape of the tacit deal between Obama and the Fox team. The conservative network’s ratings have jumped handsomely since Obama’s election, while liberal MSNBC’s have slumped. From a political point of view, Fox’s behavior may seem manifestly self-defeating. But Fox is a business, and from that point of view its behavior is perfectly rational.
What is irrational is the failure of conservatives and Republicans to perceive the divergence between Fox’s interests and their own. Republican leaders should have put a hundred miles between themselves and Glenn Beck the first day he began dwelling lovingly on the possibility of right-wing armed violence in the United States. It’s a little awkward to do so now: that would look like falling in step with the Obama administration’s contrivances. But party leaders should quietly urge anyone with an (R.) after his or her name to keep as far away as possible from this unwitting tool of Obama administration spin.
UPDATE: Mind you, the nutjobs on the left are just as bad, as Radley Balko reminds one.