(photo: he almost cried)
We sat eating a soggy turkey sandwich and sweating like pigs at a table near home plate on Safeco Field waiting for Glenn Beck.
It took a while.
We were graciously invited to lunch at the Beck event by the famous former conservative blogger, Piper Scott, who's leveraged his bloggerdom into a paying job with the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, the venerable right-wing cabal for whom the event was a fundraiser. (They invited Beck in February when his presence was expected to draw but 1800 souls. Beck's success in making himself the most controversial man in America, worked well for them, with over 7000 reportedly in attendence. "There is a God," Piper Scott told us with spiritual intensity).
Behind us in the stands were the hoi polloi, the t-shirted tea-baggers, the blue-jeaned conservative nihilists, the razor-cut kids, and the aged "I'd-rather be-pissed" boomers of the populist right to whom the needy, screedy homespun Glenn Beck is hope and change. They and they paid $25-35 each for the wearing silly shirts for for freedom. Dino Rossi was there.
(The Gadsden flag is the Stars & Stripes, "Right-wing Protesters' Model." Hawked at every conservative event these days, ($5) and featured on one of Beck's book covers, the yellow "Don't tread on me" flags with the rattlesnake are far more versatile for tea parties, town halls and demonstrations. One protester told us: "I can shove this flag up your liberal ass, whereas, I couldn't be that disrespectful with Old Glory."
After a some spirited "ask$,"by EFF suits; which included for boo inspiration. a clip of Governor Gregoire on the Jumbotron snarling like Margaret Hamilton. Also the inevitable, requisite, pro forma tributes to veterans and Dave Boze (KTTH m-f, 3-6p) in a white shirt and tie ingratiating himself to the elderly crowd with his respectful introduction, Beck finally bounded out. (Boze's shirt and tie choice has rightie-world buzzing that he, in deference to his Bonneville/LDS bosses, and admiration of Glenn Beck is converting to Mormonism. Stay tuned).
(Boze in his good boy shirt)
Beck came out in shirt sleeves, and delivered a Beckish speech full of platitudes and exhortations of patriotically correct do-gooding and glad-hands for everyone in sight. He got that catch in his voice a couple of times making us think he was going to cry, but he motored on, (see photo above) and we didn't get the pathetic sob we were all praying for.
He's an effective speaker, and knows his audience. Mysterious was his badmouthing of Theodore Roosevelt, a hero to most Republicans. Beck (and his political inspiration, the long dead Mormon crank, W. Cleon Skousen blame him for the income tax, and hold the national parks against him as a sort of socialist scheme. He was a scary "progressive," he said.
It didn't make much sense, but it didn't matter, the crowd cheered with the rise his voice, and the timing of his punch-lines.
We scooted out fast in order to scoot up the freeway to Mount Vernon where the protest action was heavy.