Egomania on an unhealthy scale

EGOMANIA ON AN UNHEALTHY SCALE…. Glenn Beck’s “Restore America” event is itself an extraordinary display of self-aggrandizement. This deranged media personality picks the site and anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” speech to present himself as the leader of a grand movement that will save civilization. Beck even claims, out loud and without humor, to be acting as a vessel of God.

But that was before he released this video to his website, which takes the megalomania to a whole new level. It’s four minutes of head-shaking entertainment, and if you’re worried about your colleagues hearing you laugh out loud at the unintentional hilarity, you may want to wait until after work to watch it.

Ben Dimiero explained, “Beck humbly places the rally in the context of the moon landing, the Montgomery bus boycott, Iwo Jima, the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and other landmark historical events. It also not-so-subtly suggests that Beck is following in the tradition of Martin Luther King (which is a farce), Abraham Lincoln, most of the Founding Fathers, Martha Washington, the Wright Brothers, and other notable historical figures.”

Set against music trying a little too hard to be stirring, the voiceover tells viewers, “Every great achievement in human history has started with one person. One crazy idea.”

The message isn’t subtle — the one person is Glenn Beck, and the one crazy idea is Saturday’s ridiculous rally.

It concludes, “It’s time to restore America. Restore the world. It’s time to believe again.”

Atrios added, “The slightly interesting thing Beck is that he appears to be an insane megalomanic who is self-aware enough to be aware of that fact. It’s what allows him to be a huckster clown on top of it.”

I’d just add one related thought. I’m trying to imagine what the response would be among conservatives if, say, Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008 had tried to do something similar. Imagine if the campaign had organized an event at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of the “I Have A Dream” speech, and then released a video comparing the Obama-led effort to the Founding Fathers, the Moon landing, the civil rights movement, and the invention of airplanes.

Imagine if that same Obama campaign video told viewers, “It’s time to restore America. Restore the world. It’s time to believe again.”

The right would consider this egomania on an unhealthy level, and they’d be right.

And yet, here we are, with Beck, Palin, and 300,000 zealots showing up in D.C. on Saturday.