Justin Amash Goes Rogue on Trump
Justin Amash Goes Rogue on Trump
As the saying goes: “With friends like these, who needs enemies?” On Saturday, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash proved himself to be one of those “friends” as he called for President Trump’s impeachment.
Moreover, he is the first and only member of the GOP to do so.
He declared his reasons on Twitter, starting with this:
Here are my principal conclusions:
1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) May 18, 2019
Amash continued for another twelve tweets, discussing in detail how he came to his conclusions.
One fellow Michigan House member went into a Happy Dance. Rashida Tlaib asked Amash to “come find me… I’ve got an impeachment resolution you’re going to want to cosponsor.”
As I said above — with friends like these…
So why is Justin Amash going rogue on Trump and his fellow Republicans?
First of all, Amash considers himself to be the “only libertarian in Congress.” Moreover, in 2011 he supported Ron Paul for President, voted to cut military spending in 2015, and in 2018 was even the only member of the House to vote against a national suicide hotline. “It’s another good idea without a constitutional basis,” he explained.
So yeah, Justin Amash is a hard-boiled libertarian who actually walks the Constitutional walk. And if he believes that Trump has violated the Constitution, well, then we impeach.
But there’s more to Justin Amash’s call for impeachment than just the purity of government, in my opinion.
Our Marta, in fact, met Justin Amash at a GOP event some years ago, and here’s how she responded to Amash’s impeachment noise:
“Dammit, Justin. He’s a friend of mine and a great guy. Unfortunately, he’s adopted a scorched earth policy with regard to the GOP. He’s just become contrarian for the sake of being contrarian … “
Moreover, bad blood has existed between Amash and the White House for a while now, starting with the 2017 demise of Trump’s American Health Care Act, which would’ve been the replacement for Obamacare. Justin Amash was a member of the Freedom Caucus, who said that the act didn’t go far enough.
That angered Trump, who tweeted…
“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast.”
… whereupon WH social media director Dan Scavino — ever faithful to the President — called for someone to primary Justin Amash:
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) April 1, 2017
That led to the Office of Special Counsel admonishing Scavino that he violated the Hatch Act in tweeting that comment. Scavino then backed down.
“From the time the President was elected, I was urging them to remain independent and to be willing to push back against the President where they thought he was wrong. They’ve decided to stick with the President time and again, even where they disagree with him privately.”
But now there’s talk of the Libertarian Party asking Justin Amash to leave the GOP and run for President in 2020. As party Chairman Nicholas Sarwark said:
“There’s a lot of people who consider Amash to be the best congressman from the perspective of a Libertarian. They think he’s the best congressman for our goals since Ron Paul.”
So what does Justin Amash say to that?
“It’s more on my radar now because everybody keeps asking about it.”
Of course he does. And if he runs, he’ll be a more reasonable candidate than some of the other, well, colorful Libertarians who have declared their candidacy. Like Adam Kokesh, who keeps getting arrested. Or computer guru and fugitive John McAfee, who also seems to endorse, ahem, “whale-fucking.”
Justin Amash is definitely the sane one in that crew. But even if Amash runs as the Libertarian candidate, you know the result: he’ll lose. Unfortunately, he may take conservative votes with him.
Amash may think of himself as a knight wielding a sword emblazoned with the Constitution. But with his call for impeachment of the President, he’s playing right into the hands of progressives.
Thanks a lot, Justin Amash. With friends like you …