WE DON’T NEED BECK TO ‘RESTORE’ OUR ‘HONOR’…. Deranged media personality Glenn Beck will headline a rally on Saturday, which he says is intended to “restore honor” to America. Funny, I didn’t realize American honor had disappeared — or that we were dependent on a self-described rodeo-clown and his easily manipulated minions to “restore” it for us.

Regardless, Beck chose the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream Speech” for his get-together, and if that weren’t quite audacious enough, Beck is also holding his rally at the same location — the base of the Lincoln Memorial — where King spoke. (Even one of Beck’s Fox News colleagues thinks the choice of locations is wrong.)

Wait, it gets better. Beck not only considers himself a modern-day MLK — he says he and his followers can “reclaim” the civil rights movement for themselves — Beck also considers himself as a vessel for the Almighty. The media personality explained on his radio show two weeks ago that his rally is being orchestrated by God to unleash revival upon America. The Restoring Honor event, Beck said, “is Divine Providence. This is the Lord’s hand at work. This is a miracle.”

This is a delusional, Messianic freak.

But it will likely be a huge success anyway. When organizers applied for their permit with the National Park Service, they said they expect 300,000 people to attend. That may very well happen.

Conservative activists, meanwhile, promise that the rally will show their unity and voice, as last year’s 9/12 event did. Jamie Radtke, founder of the Federation of Virginia Tea Party Patriots, predicted an event as much as twice as large as last year’s, based on the number of buses that local tea party organizers have chartered. The Richmond Tea Party alone is sending 15 buses — up from seven last year, she said. […]

Beck, the third-highest-rated radio personality, has promoted the event relentlessly to his enormous audience. FreedomWorks, the tea party group that staged 9/12, is lending its organizational muscle and grass-roots network.

The numbers don’t translate to merit, necessarily, and even if turnout falls short of expectations, Fox News will simply announce that 17 gajillion people showed up anyway.

Either way, the event itself will shine a bright light, once again, on hysterical right-wing zealots and their bizarre leaders. The party that’s been taken over by the extremists is feigning ignorance.

Operatives at virtually every Republican committee in Washington claimed little or no knowledge of the event.

They might well have cause to be squeamish: Beck has accused Obama of reverse racism and of having “a deep-seated hatred of white people,” and his plan to celebrate the lessons of the civil rights era creates the possibility of confrontations. It could also result in damaging imagery, similar to the photos that emerged from some early tea party gatherings, which Democrats could use to paint Republicans as extreme. That may explain why the event is being met with near-total silence by Republicans.

“In general, people coming to Washington, being organized and active is a good thing,” said Doug Heye, a spokesman for Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele. “But I gotta be honest with you — I don’t know about any Glenn Beck event.”

Democrats aren’t passing up the chance to tie the GOP to the rally. “Republicans for well over the past year have firmly embraced the tea party and some of these right-wing fringe groups that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have rallied around, and these are becoming serious campaign liabilities in the general election,” said Ryan Rudominer, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The fact that they’re trying to plead ignorance is just completely absurd.”

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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.