The Cardinals are in town this weekend for a series against the Nationals, which I usually would manage to resist mentioning (Go Cards!). But this is also the weekend of Glenn Beck’s big Aug. 28 rally, and the St. Louis paper is reporting that Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and star first baseman Albert Pujols (who has a chance to win the Triple Crown this season, which hasn’t been done since Carl Yastrzemski pulled it off in 1967 — but I digress) will be attending. Pujols is being honored at the event, and La Russa is introducing him, the paper reports.
I got over my sports heroes being way more conservative than I am a long time ago (Roger Staubach, who could do no wrong when I was a kid, is a Republican). So while I feel a twinge of disappointment, what really jumped out at me is that La Russa says he and Pujols agreed to appear because it’s a non-political event. “I made it clear when we were approached: I said, ‘If it’s political, I wouldn’t even approach Albert with it.’ I don’t want to be there if it’s political,” La Russa told the Post-Dispatch.
On what planet is a Glenn Beck rally in the National Mall on the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech that features Sarah Palin not political? Beck claims that he didn’t plan for the event to be on the MLK speech anniversary, but it’s not a coincidence, according to Beck. It’s “divine providence.” It also happens to be the same weekend that FreedomWorks, one of the driving corporate/Republican Party forces behind the tea party movement, is holding its convention in DC.
The title of the event is “Restoring Honor.” According to Beck: “This is going to be an iconic event. This is a moment quite honestly, that I think we reclaim the civil rights movement.” Reclaim the civil rights movement? Beck also says, “If you come, I believe this may, maybe in 100 years from now or 200 years from now, I believe this will be remembered as the moment America turned the corner.”
The ostensible purpose of the rally — notwithstanding those comment from Beck — is to honor America’s troops, and some of the proceeds from the event are going to go to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which is a legit charity. That’s apparently given the rally enough of a nonpartisan gloss to, as much as it pains me to say it, dupe the likes of La Russa and Pujols.
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.