Time's James Poniewozik -- full disclosure, he used to write for Salon -- has a great piece today on Glenn Beck's 912 project. The stated goal, according to Beck, is to "bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001. The day after America was attacked we were not obsessed with Red States, Blue States, or political parties. We were united as Americans..."
Poniewozik doesn't think Beck's really liviing up to that, and he slams him pretty good for it:
What he purportedly wants is to bring back our feeling of "unity." I remember that feeling. After 9/11, I remember hardcore liberal New Yorkers rallying behind Rudy Giuliani, saying nice things about President Bush when he spoke at the WTC ruins. I remember thousands of American flags being flown out of apartment and brownstone windows, not as political statements or in the you-better-prove-your-patriotism spirit of flag pins and Freedom Fries, but simply because we felt we Americans were all in this together.
So since March, what has Glenn Beck been doing to re-establish that sense of nonpartisan national brotherhood? Calling President Obama a racist, declaring that the government was bringing fascism upon us, asking his fans to dig up dirt on political figures he doesn't like, and predicting civil-war-like uprisings. Because that's how you bring people together ....
You want to bring back the feeling of national unity and civility, Glenn Beck? You could start by not using this tragedy as your personal political platform.
There will be a rally, in part about Beck's project and in part an outgrowth of the Tea Party protests from earlier in the year, in Washington, D.C. tomorrow. It could get pretty big, and Democrats are already working to raise the expectations for crowd size. We'll have on-the-ground coverage of it tomorrow.