On radio this morning, Glenn spoke to Matt Kibbe of Freedom Works about the fight to defund Obamacare, the Republican primary in South Carolina for Senator Lindsey Graham’s seat, and the new reason for optimism in the conservative movement.
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has been leading a charge in the Senate to encourage fellow Republicans to block any continuing resolution that would fund Obamacare. But so far, many have been too scared to support the measure that could ultimately result in a government shutdown.
“So Mike Lee had this idea a couple of months ago that we should defund the president's healthcare system, and this is pretty much the last stop on this train. If it's not defunded here, it moves forward,” Glenn said. “They have done every unbelievable move they possibly could to delay this thing and to change the meaning of what they actually wrote. They've given everybody, all their cronies and all the people in Washington have special exemptions on this, but the American people are getting screwed. And [Mike Lee] says let's fund the government but not this. And this is the only power the Congress has. And the GOP is fighting this as hard as the progressive Democrats. Does he have a chance of winning here, Matt?”
“I think he does,” Kibbe said. “And I don't know what it is about the GOP. You know, maybe they have friends in the corporate community that would love to free ride on this new entitlement. Maybe they are just afraid. I don't know what it is, but we've got to push them from the bottom up. If you go to DemandaTownHall.com – which is the crowd source side where we're trying to force all members of Congress to actually speak to their constituents – it’s really exploding at this point. We've gone from zero to 156 events… So public opinion and grassroots activism is literally exploding on this issue right now… But like I always say, we've got to beat the Republicans on this before we can actually beat the Democrats.”
By visiting DemandaTownHall.com you will be able to find your district and see what kind of action is already being taken in your community. The goal is to hold members of Congress responsible by forcing them to interact with their constituents. Kibbe explained that Sen. Graham is famous for holding password protected tele-town hall events, so he can avoid answering tough questions from the people he represents.
Over the last several months, Glenn has been interviewing the various Republicans who are looking to challenge Sen. Graham in the upcoming primary race. “Do you think anybody in that race has a chance of beating him,” Glenn asked.
“Well, the interesting thing about South Carolina is it's an open primary. And think about what happened in Texas with Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz managed to keep David Dewhurst below 50%. That forced a runoff, and both the time and that straight up fight between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst made it almost seem inevitable. It was never inevitable,” Kibbe explained. “And the fact that we have three, maybe four challengers to Lindsey Graham could be a competitive advantage at this point because we want to keep him below 50% on June 10th, 2014. There's not an obvious successor. There's not that one Ted Cruz type candidate yet. But we have time to vet the candidates. And I think the challenge for our community is to make sure that we all focus on the common enemy and not start shooting at each other… I think both Lee Bright and Nancy Mace have lots of potential.”
One of the themes Glenn has been covering on radio this week is the idea that conservatives and those who believe in the Constitution are winning, in spite of the best efforts of establishment Republicans like John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
“I'm beginning to sense a change in the American people… And I'm sensing something new happening in America that a new position is being found of common sense and freedoms,” Glenn said. “There’s a new life about to be taken on with the freedom movement and it will include people on the left and the right. Are you sensing any of that?”
“Yeah, I think a lot of these issues that we've talked about for a long time are starting to resonate with people that just want to be left alone,” Matt responded. “And you see that whole civil libertarian aspect to these IRS abuses, to the idea that some people have to comply with ObamaCare and other people don't, that the ‘insiders’ are going to opt out of this, and all of the information they are going to use to selectively enforce that. I think that's a perfect storm that galvanizes people that are sort of instinctually libertarian left/right/center but have really tried to not pay attention to Washington because they have better things to do. They can't afford that anymore.”
From Ashton Kutcher’s speech about work ethic to Bono’s defense of capitalism, there have been high profile examples of people being united on principles and concepts that they may not have realized they had in common.
“And I think that's where most people live,” Glenn said. “When you really sit down and talk to them, most Americans are like, ‘Leave me alone. I just want to be left alone. I mean, I want some common sense laws and, you know, I want the government to run the military and everything else, but get out of my life.’ I think that's the way most people are.”