Friday, April 05, 2019

Glenn Beck's Overton Window Chapters 16-20

More of this stupid book. We still don't get to concentration camps. What even the hell is this book about?

Chapter 16

Some guy named Stuart Kearns from the FBI shows up to ask for one of the people who got arrested. Glenn Beck's ghost writer plays it like it's a big mystery who he's here to see, but I guessed right away it was Danny Bailey, so I won't even pretend it was suspenseful. Stuart is a kind of a jerk, and I don't know if we're supposed to know he's a jerk or think he's a world-weary tough guy. He's been married like six times, he doesn't get along with other law enforcement officers, blah blah, all the cliches.

Anyway, he reads Danny's files, and we find out Danny's back story, which is also filled with cliches, except that Danny has been investigated by a Joint Commission on Terrorism for things he'd said on his "ham radio show," which, seriously, oh my God.

Also, Stuart ruminates about how, these days, "even the most liberal of politicians" are fine with "preventive detention" for terrorism suspects, which he then goes on to define as "indefinite incarceration" for "thought crimes." This makes me hopeful that we're about to get to the concentration camp part of the book, but nope.

Chapter 17

Instead, Stuart and Danny take a plane ride together. It's a chartered plane, so Stuart can smoke. Apparently this is important, since the Ghost Writer spends a couple of pages on it. (I think the point is that non-smoking planes are an infringement on AMERICAN LIBERTY, but who knows.)

Then Stuart tells Danny that they want him to do something. I am entirely confused about what. I think infiltrate a Terrorist Group? I don't know, because most of the rest of the chapter is spent watching a video Danny made where he dressed up like Colonel Sanders and talked his way into some Congressman's office. This is supposed to prove something, or maybe it's supposed to be funny? It sets up the really hilarious punchline that ends that chapter.

"That's good," Stuart says.

"Oh, Stuart," Danny says, "that's not just good. That's finger-licking good."

(Me: Oh, my God.)

Chapter 18

Back in Noah's palatial apartment, he wakes up to the scent of bacon cooking. Molly has made him breakfast, as a good women does. (And of course it's bacon. What is it with conservatives and bacon?)

There's a charming little breakfast scene where she's too stupid to do the crossword puzzle, so he has to help her out.

Then they go for a walk in Central Park, and stop for coffee, and she asks him what his PR firm would suggest for her group, Patriots R Us. He gives her the usual dumb talking points Conservatives are always suggesting -- a flat tax, Immigration Reform so that The Good Immigrants Can Come and Not the Bad Ones, Cut Spending.

Then he asks what her Patriots R Us Group meant by "saving the country." Saving it from who? he asks.

And she says, very meaningfully, "You know."

Suspenseful music.

Noah claims he doesn't know. She points out there was a meeting at Noah's daddy's firm yesterday. Noah agrees, but says he wasn't there, which sure isn't how I remember that chapter, but okay. Molly asks him to find out what happened.

No, says Noah.

Fine, then I'm leaving forever, says Molly, and gets up and walks away.

Chapter 19

Noah caves, and takes Molly into the Bat Cave through the Sekrit Back Entrance.

Yeah, I'm not kidding. The Most Powerful Man in the world has a Sekrit Back Entrance to his office, and the motherfucker isn't even guarded. You go into it through a department store elevator.

That makes perfect sense, Glenn Beck's Ghost Writer.

Once they're up in the Bat Cave, that's not guarded either. They just walk right in, and all the notes and PowerPoints from the meeting all still lying around the meeting room, as it would be, for a Top Sekrit Meeting like that.

So they power up the PowerPoint and read through the Top Sekrit Plans.

At one point, the Power Point helpfully Explains what the Overton Window is, which is lucky, since Molly is too ignorant to have ever heard of it. Noah explains, with examples.

“And this Overton Window, it’s used all the time?” 
“All the time, everywhere you look. We never let a good crisis go to waste, and if no crisis exists, it’s easy enough to make one. Saddam’s on the verge of getting nuclear weapons, so we have to invade before he wipes out Cleveland. If we don’t all get vaccinated one hundred thousand people will die in a super swine-flu pandemic. And how about fuel prices? Once you’ve paid five dollars for a gallon of gas, three-fifty suddenly sounds like a real bargain. Now they’re telling us that if we don’t pass this worldwide carbon tax right now the world will soon be underwater."

Then the PowerPoint reaches the real dastardly plan:

  • Consolidation of media outlets to a new internationalism.
  • Gather all power to the Executive Branch!
  • Reinforce collectivism and Social Justice!
  • Expand the malleable voter base by granting voting rights to certain groups like ex-felons, migrants, and Puerto Ricans! Label dissenters as racists!
  • Set beneficial globalization against terrorism, climate change, debt crises, and human rights
  • Abandon the dollar! Adopt an international currency!
Abandon the dollar! It's demonic!

Then they come to the end of the slides, which is one single phrase: Casus belli.

"Oh noes," Molly says, and flees.

Chapter 20

Outside, and I kid you not, they see a storm is coming. Noah once again hails a cab, because he's not the son of the richest and most powerful man in the world, and they drive around talking about this huge secret while the cab driver definitely doesn't eavesdrop.

Noah says the Casus Belli hasn't happened, so she should just calm down.

She says it has -- the financial collapse is the Cause of War. (Remember this book was published in 2010, so written in 2009, just after the financial collapse of 2008. The Big Talking point among Conservatives then was that Obama was destroying the world with the Bail-out.)

“They’ve doubled the national debt since 2000," Molly said, "and now with these bailouts, all those trillions of dollars more—that’s our future they just stole, right in front of our eyes. They didn’t even pretend to use that money to pay for anything real, most of it went offshore. They didn’t help any real people; they just paid themselves and covered their gambling debts on Wall Street.” 
Noah says they'll be okay, meaning he will be okay, since he's his daddy's boy, and that since he loves Molly, she'll be okay. But Molly says no one will be okay.

We are now 50% of the way through the book.

I am starting to think we are not going to get to the concentration camps in this book.

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