“I am no longer going to throw my vote away by giving it to the party,” he vows, confirming Gingrich’s fears of independent challengers splitting Republicans in purple districts into conservative and moderate camps next year and handing the district to the Democrat. In fact, I thought of Beck and his “In or Out” litmus test (which he touched on briefly tonight) while writing this post last week. Given his activist ambitions, it’s easy to imagine him using his show to encourage and promote a variety of third-party congressional candidates, and while they’re unlikely to win, they could bleed enough votes from Republican nominees to make life easier for The One. Beck would shrug that off by claiming that there’s zero difference between the major parties anyway and, a la his assertion that McCain would have been worse for America than Obama, that another GOP loss next year might actually be good for the country in preparing the ground for his brand of libertarian Republicanism. Which makes this a perfect place to quote Doctor Zero’s rejoinder to him last month:

During the campaign, disgruntled Republicans often said it would be better to have Obama in office, showing everyone just how horrible Democrat policies are, than tolerate a RINO like McCain pushing the same policies in low gear, with bipartisan fingerprints. Glenn Beck’s slap at McCain is a retroactive expression of the idea that conservatism is just one crushing defeat away from total victory. Anyone who thought it was worth putting Obama in office, as some kind of object lesson for the American voter, gravely underestimated the amount of damage he could do. Look at how far we’ve sailed past the edge of fiscal sanity, in only nine months. It would take decades of careful, moderate reform just to get us back to where George Bush left us… and that wasn’t exactly an enviable position. Freedom is an endless voyage, while tyranny has far too many points of no return. The course we steered away from President McCain has taken us perilously close to those terminal waters.

One crushing defeat away from total victory, in perpetuity. A question for Beck fans, borrowing a line uttered here by the man himself: What is the endgame? There’s a sense I get from watching Beck that he thinks there’s a supermajority out there willing to return to Founders-style libertarianism if only he and other conservatives hammer the message hard and long enough. I don’t think there is. And if I’m right that there’ll always be at least 40 votes or so in the Senate and 45 percent among the population for progressivism, how does he presume to enact the libertarian agenda while confronting the realities of congressional compromise? In a perfect world, Doug Hoffman wins and all the purple districts break for “true conservatives” and all federal entitlements are repealed and the income tax is abolished etc etc etc. Assume hypothetically now that the world isn’t perfect. What is the endgame?