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Somewhere, Samuel Adams is turning in his grave. No one invited him to this Tea Party, but it’s unlikely he’d want to join the rabble anyway. Besides, this movement may have already chosen a loud and visible leader to rouse them into action.

Fox News’s Glenn Beck gave the keynote address at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend, indicting “progressivism” in both political parties in front of a crowd of 10,000 angry conservative activists.

Why is Beck’s audience so pissed off? Because they’re listening to his bombastic, fear-inducing diatribes, and apparently, believing every word of it.

Beck spent the bulk of his speech blasting progressivism in all its forms, repeatedly equating it with communism and socialism. He provided some sensational sound bites — angry mobs love latching on to simplistic anthems to give their rally the illusion of purpose. (Sound bites, or lack thereof, are also the reason President Barack Obama is having difficulty communicating his policies to middle America.)

Beck’s carefully crafted words just might be the unifying cry for the pervasively growing, albeit fragmented, Tea Party movement the New York Times described as a “sprawling rebellion” last week.

“Progressivism is the cancer in America and it is eating our Constitution,” Beck said, scribbling the evil word on his trademark blackboard. “It was designed to eat the Constitution — to progress past the Constitution.”

Wow, progressivism sure sounds like a legitimate threat to our democracy, eating our Constitution and all that. Good thing the writers of our Constitution had the insight to include those sections about adding amendments as society changed to help the nation progress over more than two centuries.

Wait, that doesn’t add up.

Isn’t this the same “cancer” that secured the rights of workers, ensured women’s suffrage, fought for civil rights and provided the nation Social Security? If Beck had it his way, would minorities and women still be refused the right to vote? These groups were benefactors of the same progressivism — constitutional and societal — that Beck rails against.

What other great things did Beck have to say?

“We don’t have a right to health care, housing or handouts. We don’t have those rights,” he said.

Beck clarified that there’s a difference between the pursuit of happiness and happiness itself. Our Founding Fathers never wanted to guarantee our country happiness — that would be radical socialism. Instead, Beck reminded his audience that we are all in control of our own success by giving an anecdote about his lower-class childhood and how he worked hard to make his own way without a proper education by reading books at the library.

This is the same guy who claimed the snowstorms bombarding the East Coast this month were proof global warming was a hoax. What books was he reading?

Maybe he read up on how to create effective sound bites.

“America is not a clown show. America is not a circus,” Beck said to his eager audience at CPAC.

America isn’t, but you are, Mr. Beck. And your tricks are becoming old.

Too bad more people than ever are enraptured by your sleight of hand.

Dustin thinks Tea leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Suggest some better drinks at

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