Justin Amash and the myth of Tea Party conservatism

Did anyone even know who Justin Amash was until a few weeks ago? Outside of veterans of the old Ron Paul scene, that is. Old (or in my case former) comrades of eternal Paulism will remember that Amash was elected to Michigan’s third congressional district in 2010, the same year that Rand Paul won his first Senate election in Kentucky.

After nearly a decade of quietly voting against federal aid for Flint — less than two hours from his district — and opposing virtually every meaningful attempt to protect the environment or regulate the financial industry that came his way, Amash is in the news because he thinks that President Trump should be impeached. His evolution from unknown congresscritter to liberal folk hero took a long time, but it was almost instantaneous.

On Monday evening Amash resigned from the House Freedom Caucus, a group he helped to found in 2015. The Freedom Caucus was meant to be a kind of successor to the old Tea Party-era Liberty Caucus (with which it is often confused and of which Amash is now, hilariously, still chairman), a vehicle for “open, accountable and limited government, the Constitution and the rule of law, and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans.” In practice this means not believing in climate change and dismissing GOP efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act as “Swampcare” presumably because they would have allowed too many people to continue receiving Medicaid.

Lots of Republicans talk this way. Only Amash is silly enough to believe any of it. This was quietly acknowledged on Tuesday afternoon when Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, was asked whether Amash should also leave the Republican party. “Justin Amash can determine his own future, but I think in a philosophical basis, he’s probably …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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