Human beings will die without oxygen. Yet breathing pure oxygen will kill you as certainly as taking strychnine or cyanide. Someone should remind Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Congressman Justin Amash of this – and maybe his voters.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Amash declared that “Contrary to Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.”
In opining that President Trump has committed impeachable offenses, Amash is all alone among GOP members of Congress, disgracefully echoing the very worst, most socialistic Democrats. And it gets worse, with Amash accusing Attorney General William Barr of lying to protect the President.
It’s ironic in the extreme for someone who fancies himself a purist libertarian, with an absolutist interpretation of First Amendment freedom of speech, to call a distinguished, two-time AG’s considered opinions lies, simply because it suits his purposes to disagree.
So absolutist is Amash on speech that shortly after Trump’s election he couldn’t restrain himself from responding to the President-elect’s tweet condemning flag burning. “Nobody should burn the American flag,” Amash wrote, repeating Trump’s words exactly, then adding: “but our Constitution secures our right to do so. No president is allowed to burn the First Amendment.”
The ratifiers of the Bill of Rights in 1791 would have held open the door of the prison cell as law enforcement incarcerated someone desecrating Old Glory. No doubt Amash would accuse them too of burning what they brought into being.
Republican in Name Only
It’s actually debatable how “Republican” Amash is, he having described himself as “presenting a vision for America that is different from what these two parties are presenting.” Son of a Syrian-born mother and a Palestinian refugee father, Amash staunchly opposed Trump’s travel ban on countries that are terrorist threats, as well as voting against reauthorizing the Patriot Act.
The now five-term representative attracted the ire of House Intelligence Committee ranking Republican Devon Nunes of California, who five years ago infamously called Amash “al-Qaida’s best friend in the Congress.” Nunes and Amash’s fellow Michigander Rep. Mike Rogers, both of whom have chaired the intel panel, actually both gave money to the unsuccessful GOP challenger in Amash’s 2014 primary. But Amash has been heavily backed by the oil tycoon Koch brothers, who are nary too fond of Trump, and other free-market doners. He beat back that challenger with 57 percent of the vote.
It is unquestionably useful to have members of Congress whose commitment to free-market principles is unbending, who go all out in opposing corporate welfare, are disturbed by the federal government’s powerful surveilance abilities and worry their use will extend beyond the global war on terror and trample the Constitution, who condemn Common Core and national education policies that would politically indoctrinate toddlers if we allowed it. Congress would be less than what it is without Rand Paul, R-Ky., for instance – but this sentiment might recalibrate if, say, a Paul filibuster against state spying powers was blamed for a future terrorist attack.
In the case of Amash fanning the flames of impeachment, however, you just have to ask: “What do you really think you’re doing, Congressman?”
One thing Amash is apparently doing is feathering his own nest. He and family members have a large interest in Michigan Industrial Tools, which utilizes cheaper Chinese factory labor. Trump’s trade confrontation with China may significantly increase the Amash firm’s costs, or force it to relocate elsewhere – perhaps even Michigan.
A Libertarian Enabling Socialism
What will the folks back home in Grand Rapids think of the free market champion who helped cripple the presidency that generated about 50,000 jobs in Michigan in 2018, with 36,000 more expected this year, and 26,000 in 2020? What will they think of their congressmen when he helps impeach a President who gave the state 4.1 percent unemployment in 2018, the current 12-month average a record low?
What, indeed, will they think of the pure libertarian who let the far less politically-skilled and charisma-challenged Mike Pence face Joe Biden in the 2020 election, and very possibly lose? Or worse, one of the 22 various shades of socialists standing right behind Biden, ready to take his place as the Democrats’ nominee?
If Justin Amash keeps doing what he’s doing, he really will get to see what he complains about: a President burning the Constitution.
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