BECK TACKLES CALIFORNIA…. David Neiwert reports that Fox News’ Glenn Beck told his national television audience yesterday that wants to remove California from the United States. It was quite a tirade:

“OK, there’s something driving me to the edge of insanity, makes blood shoot right out my eyes, and that is California.

“California today, they voted against offshore drilling. Not on their land, or their shore, no. They also voted last week to raise emissions standards because it’s too smoggy there and they care about the trees. Also, uh, in the stimulus, we found out today, it appears as though Hollywood can get a, um, bailout, from you and me, because nobody’s going to see their movies. Hmmph! You’d think maybe they should just make better movies, and then we’d all go. But no no, let’s bail them all out.

“The Civil War taught us that, apparently, U.S. states can’t secede from the Union. I’d like to test that one again maybe sometime. But what I’d like to know is if the Union has the right to kick out states. Because if so, I’d like to take a star right out of our flag, and California is it.

“From eco-warriors running the state and ruining it to Hollywood projecting their family values and politics on the U.S., and illegal immigration driving them into bankruptcy, the Golden State drives me out of my mind, and I don’t think I’m alone.”

So, Beck is finally willing to concede that he’s on “the edge of insanity,” and has been driven “out of his mind.” He blames California for his condition; I blame the fact that he’s a radical loon.

In either case, I’d just add that Beck’s anti-California crusade has been going on for quite a while. In October 2007, the state had to deal with a series of devastating wildfires that burned 420,000 acres and destroyed nearly 1,200 homes. Beck, at the time with CNN, told his viewing audience that Americans shouldn’t feel too bad for the victims, because those affected by the fires aren’t patriotic enough for him: “I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.”

But yesterday’s rant was just about as offensive. There’s a political mainstream in this country, and those who call for the elimination of entire states from the Union usually fall just outside that mainstream.

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Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.