This is the change we can believe in. The eight years of Democratic rule are over and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is now in power. The first two bills of the GOP Senate are authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline and placing sanctions on Iran.
Most conservatives are thrilled but the libertarian group FreedomWorks and radio host Glenn Beck are not among them. Beck claims, “McConnell is as big of a danger to our country as Barack Obama is.” He calls McConnell a “progressive on the right” and says he is not doing enough to stop Obamacare.
Beck has described himself as both a Tea Party conservative and a libertarian. Many people advocate GOP reforms but Beck believes the Republican Party needs to be replaced and frequently cites the implosion of the Whigs as an example. He says “we’re doomed” if the current two-party system continues. He describes both parties as “corrupt,” and claims “progressive Republicans” are a cancer “more interested in keeping their cushy jobs” than standing on principles.
• Beck strongly supported McConnell’s primary opponent and addressed a FreedomWorks rally in Kentucky. He repeatedly said the Senator was “Too liberal for too long.” After 30 years on Capitol Hill, McConnell has a 90% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, and it was 100% in 2013.
• McConnell has always been a strong Obamacare critic but he disagreed with the October 2013 government shutdown strategy.
• The House voted over 60 times against Obamacare, and McConnell was opposed on every opportunity Harry Reid allowed.
• The GOP tried the Ted Cruz plan and the House passed the continuing resolution he wanted. The government was shut down for 16 days. Despite predictions, no Democrats defected and the shutdown resulted in a two week paid vacation for 920,000 federal employees. It also helped Democrats win the Virginia gubernatorial race.
• If an Obamacare defunding resolution had passed the Senate, it would have immediately been vetoed by the President.
• After the government reopened the head of Heritage Action admitted it was never possible to defund Obamacare because of the White House and Democratic Senate.
Then why were they going around the country convincing well intentioned conservatives it was absolutely doable? Glenn Beck is still making the same claim today.
Gregg Hilton spent two decades as the Executive Director of the American Security Council. He is the former Executive Director of the Conservative Victory Fund, Director of Public Affairs for the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican National Committee’s liaison to the White House Political Affairs Office during the Reagan Administration. He has authored columns for Human Events, and the Washington Post called him one of the eight leading activists in the New Right. A prolific fundraiser, Gregg lives in Washington, D.C.