Howard Dean pulled off the rare twin-trashing this morning, dumping on both Glenn Beck and the people who respond to his message. He began by calling Beck crazy, saying he has "a few things the matter with him up here, up in the head there." Later, he compounded the calumny, calling Beck a "racist" and a "hate-monger." So who were the hundreds of thousands of people who attended the rally and the millions more who watch and listen to Beck? Why, according to Dean, they're "lost souls."
New York Times columnist Charles Blow had set the vitriolic tone during the show's first hour, accusing Beck of "hiding behind a cross" and participating in a "rhetorical assassination" of Pres. Obama.
HOWARD DEAN: You know, I think, it was kind of a Tea Party type of event. You know, 300,000 people is a lot of people to have on the Washington Mall, but in terms of who, how many people vote, it's not a very big crowd. I don't know what, I think that Glenn Beck has got a few things the matter with him, up here, up in the head there. So I just don't know what to make of it. I mean, it's a lot of people.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So, I didn't know. He's a doctor. You're a psychiatrist.
And later . . .
DEAN: What I see is, these folks are kind of, and I don't mean this in a mean kind of way, but they're a little like lost souls in the sense that they really do, they're at sea, the country's changed a lot, they don't, they're in the middle of a horrible economic downturn which has probably affected a lot of them personally. So they follow this guy who is like Father Coughlin from the 1930s. He's a racist, he's a hate-monger.
And here was Blow earlier . . .
WILLIE GEIST: You had a column Saturday about Mr. Beck's rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of the I Have A Dream speech. You said it incensed you, you called Beck the anti-King. Just lay out your criticism of Glenn Beck.
CHARLES BLOW: Well Beck is an incredibly divisive figure, and no amount of him wrapping himself in the flag and hiding behind a cross is going to scrub his history of the things he has said and done. And he is part of what I see as a rhetorical assassination of a good man.
Wonder when Charles ripped the Dissent is Patriotic sticker off his bumper?