Blogging from Phoenix- Mormon media pundit Glenn Beck seems convinced another ObamaÂ conspiracy is a foot,Â his latest theory, President Barack Obama is intent on building a secret private army.Â According to Beck this post modern version of the Hitler youth is called AmeriCorps.
Currently 500 or so members of AmeriCorps serve the state of Arizona, job-related tasks of AmeriCorps members include graffiti removal, tutoring, grant writing, tree planting, trail building, tax assistance and teaching, AmeriCorps is non-partisan with a long list of prohibited activities created to maintain the integrity of the program.Â
In a much-publicized episode of Glenn Beckâ€™s show he dressed in lederhosen, stood on his desk and recited an AmeriCorps pledge.Â In this â€œsecret army seriesâ€ he compares National Service members to anarchists and socialists failing to mention that the pledge recited by AmeriCorps*VISTA members is the same oath sworn to by many federal employees, including all U.S. Senators and is printed below.Â Â Â Â Â
Â I, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend The Constitution of the United States against all enemies, Â Â Â Â Â Foreign andÂ domestic; I will bear true faith and allegianceÂ To the same; that I take this obligation freely, without anyÂ Mental reservation or purpose ofÂ evasion; and I will well andÂ Faithfully discharge the duties of theÂ office on which I amÂ About to enter. So help me God.Â
Beck’s focus seems to be on one branch of the service, the National Civilian Community Corps, perhaps because it is the smallest and least funded of the three main AmeriCorps branches. NCCC members fight wildfires and played a significant role in rebuilding and restoring the Gulf Coast after the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe.Â They receive a small living stipend, limited medical coverage and housing at various dormitories in the communities they serve.Â
In the course of a couple years Beck has become the most popular and influential voice of post cold war conservatism, democrats continue to see him as a gift that keeps giving as both political parties begin gearing up for the 2010 midterm campaigns.
In districts where swing votes will determine victory, The DNC is already preparing ads that will color republican candidates as members of a party lead by the Grand Poobah of wing-nuts. Glenn Becks popularity may actually bolster the democratic majority in congress despite the historical trend of midterm elections favoring the minority party.