Glenn Beck is not a glass-is-half-full kind of guy. Whether it's the prospect of four years of Obama rule or a really bad case of hemorrhoids, Beck believes the worst is on its way.
But the recovering alcoholic-turned-Fox News host has a plan to get back at the bogeymen and witchy women. It's called We Surround Them, and it's peopled with folks who believe that the U.S.A. isn't the Wonderbread Wonderland it once was. For them, today's America is a nightmare world of thug lifers, bathroom stall lovers, curbside abortionists, free speech heretics, Wall Street Marxists, Democrats, and fifth-column columnists. I don't know about you, but suddenly I feel like Frankenstein's monster and the castle is surrounded by villagers armed with pitchforks and Blackberries. And I like it.
Last week, Beck introduced We Surround Them to Fox viewers. And around the country Beck girls and boys gathered to watch their dear leader unveil his plans to take back America from the ... well, I'm not actually sure who America needs to be taken back from.
Of course, joining We Surround Them is easy. Just go to the website, cough up your contact info, and promise that you believe in Beck's nine principles. Wait? Is that too tough? Fortunately for you, Beck's made joining the WST shocked troops even easier — you only have to believe in seven of the nine principles.
Most of the principles themselves are pretty standard God and country stuff like "America is good," "I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life," and "I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday." A few others are of a harsher, Ayn-Randian bent: "I have a right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results," "I work hard for what I have, and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable."
Sweet. Sign me up, but only if this means we can work toward a world where the check-out girl at the Food Pig is forbidden to ask customers if they want to donate a dollar to the Tiny Tim Miracle Foundation under penalty of a good spanking.
Speaking of principles, Mark Sanford's got' em. Which is why the governor announced that he would turn down stimulus funds if it meant that he had to use the money to create new jobs and help keep various state agencies running — schools, prisons, mental health facilities.
Well, now word is out that Sanford has seen what Beck is doing, and he's decided to form his own group. It's called We Confound Them, and it's designed to cause us to scratch our heads and ask, "Mark, what are you thinking?"
And like We Surround Them, We Confound Them has its own list of principles. Here they are:
1. You believe in stretching a dollar, even if it means putting it on the rack and giving the wheel a crank.
2. It's OK to waterboard that greenback if necessary. Call in Jack Bauer if you must.
3. The governor doesn't run the A/C in his house; you can't do it in yours.
4. Escaping poverty is easy if you're born into a rich family.
5. Thriftiness is marrying into an even richer one.
6. You can't rob Peter to pay Paul, but Mary can earn a living turning tricks.
7. Sticks and stones can hurt my bones, but whatever Jim Clyburn says won't hurt me.
8. When Glenn McConnell and Bobby Harrell invite you to go snipe hunting, thoughtfully decline.
9. Being a maverick means never having to compromise your principles to do what's right. Not even if your state has the second worst unemployment rate in the nation.