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Earlier this week, the House of Representatives voted to kill a resolution to pursue impeachment against President Trump. The vote followed a resolution to condemn Trump following his tweets that enraged the left. The House got to vote on impeachment and this time 95 members all voted against killing the resolution, all 95 members in this 322-95 vote were Democrats. Not among them was Justin Amash who actually called for impeachment back in May in a 13 tweet thread.
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
“In fact, there were many crimes revealed by the investigation, some of which were charged, and some of which were not but are nonetheless described in Mueller’s report.” Justin Amash May 20th
If you recall these tweet came weeks before he decided to name a single of the several instances of impeachable activity, instead reverting to vague tweets about the nature of impeachment. Yet since May 18th, it has become increasingly obvious Justin Amash has no intentions on following through on his calls to impeachment. As a Representative in the US Congress, he has the power only 435 people in the country have. If he feels that it is his duty to pursue impeachment, which is a view he pontificated on Twitter, then anything short of bringing forward impeachment on the specific charges he eventually laid out is grandstanding. With so few Congressmen having read the Mueller Report, his words, Democrats would defer to him on this issue if he would only do what he said he would do. But Justin Amash was only grandstanding on impeachment. Otherwise why would he have voted to kill a resolution on pursuing impeachment, the very thing he called for?
What has Justin Amash done since May 18th?
He voted for a resolution condemning Trump, but the real answer is, he’s taken some time to brand himself. After support in his own district plummeted, on July 4th, he declared his independence from the Republican Party in an op ed in the Washington Post. Seeing as Independence Day is about America’s history not a day for politicians to politicize for their own endgame, this is perhaps the most egotistical way do just that. Maybe doing it on 9/11 is worse. As he all but comes out of the closet on a 2020 Libertarian or Independent Presidential Run, Justin Amash looks to rebrand Libertarianism, removing the populism Rand Paul embraced. Daniel McCarthy at Spectator wrote a really good piece on Amash illustrating this point.
What Ron Paul did was to counteract neoconservatism in the Republican party with libertarianism and populism. Populism proved to be more potent, but libertarianism itself contributed important elements to populism, including an articulate anti-interventionist foreign policy and a sense of class warfare as about power, not just wealth. Amash was never comfortable with populism, but libertarianism without it has no market at all. The Washington Post and the NeverTrump neocons share Amash’s animosity toward Trump and the populist right, but they share even fewer of his professed principles than Trump does. Ron Paul won despite losing; Amash teaches libertarians simply how to lose by losing.
In not even fighting for the very thing he parted from the Republicans over, Trump, he has already lost. His district has likely turned on him and his best political prospect is being a below average 3rd party candidate. All he’s left with politically are his principles which his grandstanding calls into question.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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