Dissent, free thought, anything resembling courage or conviction to principles, rather than fealty to a central authoritarian figure will not be tolerated in today’s GOP.
I can say from firsthand experience with the frothing MAGA hordes that they have no real platform beyond agreeing with whatever Donald Trump says or does, no matter how nonsensical or damaging.
Today’s Republican Party has been entranced by the lure of fascist fantasies, and our current POTUS is their dream model for every oppressive machination to emerge from that otherwise ruinous worldview.
Either that, or the entire lot of our lawmakers in D.C. are spineless, career-obsessed cowards.
I’m inclined to go with the latter of those two options, with the exception of Michigan Representative Justin Amash.
Rep. Amash stands as a lone sentinel for the rule of law, and it has made him a target.
On Saturday, the Libertarian-leaning congressman took to social media to lay out his principal findings on the final report of special counsel Robert Mueller.
After a month of reading and applying the law, he determined that President Trump’s actions during the course of the Russia probe, as laid out by Mueller, met the threshold for impeachable offenses.
He did not call for Trump’s impeachment, as some outlets have said. In fact, he has put the onus of impeachment at the feet of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
What he did was simply give his opinion, based on his study of the report and his knowledge of our nation’s laws.
Anyone who has paid attention to the changing tone of political discourse in the age of Trump knew what to expect next.
Amash’s bold honesty, which flew in the face of his own party’s well-rehearsed lines of defense for their liege, was like poking a hornet’s nest.
The run-of-the-mill MAGA drones were out in force, with the usual, pointless pro-Trump banter, completely ignoring the context of what he said.
Then there were the professional trolls and co-conspirators within party leadership.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy scoffed (on Fox News, of course) that Amash only wanted attention, that he was a “lightweight,” and that it was what they would expect from him, given that he’s never supported the president.
You say that like it’s a bad thing, Kevin.
On Monday, while being questioned by reporters, Amash shot back that McCarthy was lying, but that it’s what you would expect from him.
Now we’re seeing a new move in the efforts to pillory Mr. Amash by his own party.
Amash, a Tea Party figure who has been in office since 2010 is also a member of the [once] conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Given the new age of Trumpism, it would appear the group is much less concerned with actual conservatism or the defense of our nation’s founding principles, than they are the protection of Donald Trump, no matter what.
That makes Justin Amash an anomaly, and one the members will not tolerate.
He must be brought to heel.
On Monday, the group united in condemning Amash’s brash stand on the rule of law.
Ohio Representative Gym Jim Jordan discussed the decision with reporters.
“We had a good discussion and every single member, I think now based on who was there and our board meeting was probably over 30 members, every single member disagrees and strongly with the position Justin took over the week, and we’re focused on the now,” he said.
“I mean, look, we’re focused on the fact that what the FBI did was wrong. We think that [Attorney General William] Barr’s handled himself exactly the way the American people want the Attorney General to handle themselves, and he’s going to get to bottom of all this.”
If you really believe that, it’s because you’re focused on a rabid segment of Donald Trump’s MAGA base, and not the actual well-being of our nation, or what the majority of our citizens feel.
They haven’t voted to boot Amash from the caucus, but don’t be surprised when that comes. He’s a real fly in the punch bowl, at this point.
Interestingly enough, the group is hanging everything on the FBI and alleged FISA warrant abuses – none of which has been proven to be the case.
“What concerns me is Justin was viewed as a leader, right, on protecting privacy rights first to First Amendment rights,” Jordan continued.
“We had a press conference like a year ago with Rand Paul, Sen. [Ron] Wyden all on concerns about civil liberties and how the FISA court operates and what can happen in this whole, you know, this whole area, and now Justin’s, on the other side and I just don’t understand that.”
Nothing Amash said should suggest he holds any different views, in regards to privacy. He spoke specifically to President Trump’s moves to obstruct an investigation.
Other members of the caucus, such as Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson pointed out that Amash has not attended a caucus meeting so far this year, nor has he held a meeting with the Liberty Caucus, which he chairs.
Given the horrendous turn those members have made from conservative stalwarts to Trumpian guard dogs, who can blame him?
“You look at it, no one’s been a stronger voice on the potential abuses of FISA than Amash. I mean, he’s a passionate guy on it. So a lot of us agreed, and I remember we were all at a big press conference right before the reauthoritzation of FISA which was right before all this stuff came out about all this stuff with Trump,” he told reporters.
“So to look at that and see him take the position he is, I mean, it’s shocking. And then I had no conversations with him about it. And I think that was another thing he just didn’t really talk to the group about it.”
He’s under no obligation to have his principles approved by a group vote. It’s called having a spine. You should get one for yourself.
“Everybody’s entitled their opinion, it’s just in this case, Justin is one solo voice and the rest of this group here says ‘you’re wrong,’” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) said.
Sometimes, it’s the individual willing to stand who is in the right.
This would be one of those cases.
And again, with feeling –
Justin Amash Conservative Review Liberty Score: “A.”
Justin Amash FreedomWorks Lifetime Score: “100%”
He’s proven to be more conservative and more freedom-minded than his detractors. That’s something everyone should remember while this public crucifixion is going on.