A Big Thanks to Glenn Beck!

Until he resigned from a White House job, I didn’t really know who Van Jones was. I think I had him confused with a 60s actor named Van Johnson (Yeah, I know. I’m old, okay?) I certainly didn’t know he’d written a book about eco-capitalism.

Jones quit his job for the reason most White House people do–he said something stupid on tape. The tape became a big deal because Glenn Beck went after him. Glenn Beck went after him because a group Jones used to be involved with, Color of Change, went after Beck for calling the President a racist, and yada-yada-yada.

So thanks, Mr. Beck! Without your help I would probably never have known about Green-Collar Economy! I’ve ordered a copy already.

Two weeks ago I got a Newsmax e-mail. Why do I get mail from Newsmax, a right-wing aggregator site with mostly-custom-made stories? It’s a short and stupid story: I filled out an online survey. Anyway, Newsmax had an urgent message from one of their “special sponsors,” a group called League of American Voters. They were carrying on because the League of Women Voters had sent them a cease and desist letter saying LAV had chosen their name to mislead the public. (League of American Voters, a new organization housed in a lobbying office in Washington DC, exists to try to stop health care reform.) They had a big button on their e-mail that said Donate. I took them at their word. I donated to the League of Women Voters. Never would have thought about doing that without the nudge!

This has got me thinking. Instead of just getting irritated when the right-wing pundits spout some irresponsible, inflammatory nonsense, I’ll just make a small donation to the advocacy group of my choice. It will have to be a small donation; otherwise these guys would bankrupt me in a month.

Imagine. Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks, Dick Armey’s lobbying group, deliberately misstated the number of people who attended Saturday’s 9/12 march in Washington. How about a nice donation to ActBlue to honor Mr. Kibbe?

The right tries to smear the National Day of Service? Then I think my local Volunteer Center needs a donation, courtesy of their cynicism.

Sarah Palin drops some ghostwritten lunacy on her Facebook page? Let’s see. . . National Organization for Women, or ProChoice America? That’s a tough decision.

If you are going to join me in doing this, practice safe donating. Be sure to find out if the deduction is tax deductible (if the agency is a 501 (c)3, yes; a 501 (c)4, no). Then, you may want to send the source of your inspiration a nice thank-you e-mail. I sent one to Glenn Beck, and one to the League of American Voters.

And if you’re like me you’ll have to set the bar pretty high or you’ll soon be out of money.

But imagine how much money these good organizations could get if we each donated $10 every time some wing-nut misrepresented the facts, or worse, just blatted out some wild statement with what a friend of mine calls “a reckless disregard for the truth.”

Beck, Kibbe, Palin and others are powerful resources, like gushing oil wells. It’s energy! Let’s use that energy! Let’s let them become the liberal fund-raisers they were meant to be!

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