Justin Amash Wants to Destroy the System that Created Trump - POLITICO

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  freewill  •  5 months ago  •  57 comments

By:   TIM ALBERTA (POLITICO)

Justin Amash Wants to Destroy the System that Created Trump - POLITICO
But critics fear his third-party White House bid will only serve to reelect the president.

I kinda like what this guy has to say, and he left the party for many of the same reasons I did.  Need to do some more research on the man, but might be someone who could challenge the 2 party lock on our system.  Somebody that perhaps both moderate Republicans, Democrats and of course Independents could get behind?  Civil, rational and reasonable thoughts welcome.  Nasty partisan bickering, not so much.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Magazine

2020

Justin Amash Wants to Destroy the System that Created Trump


But critics fear his third-party White House bid will only serve to reelect the president.

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Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

By TIM ALBERTA

04/30/2020 08:21 AM EDT

Tim Alberta is chief political correspondent at Politico Magazine.

Like so many Republicans running for Congress in 2010, Justin Amash, then a 30-year-old state representative from West Michigan, was disgusted with a president who had abused his executive authority, expanded the powers of the federal government and rung up historic amounts of debt and deficit. But unlike his fellow tea party conservatives, Amash wasn't fixated on Barack Obama.

"I got active in politics in part because of what George W. Bush was doing," Amash told me years later, retracing his political rise. "The Obama backlash, of course, started around the time of the tea party. But a lot of us blamed George W. Bush for Obama in the first place."

Amash didn't come to Washington looking for partisan warfare. He was more interested in fighting for the heart and soul—and future—of the Republican Party. It was an exhilarating time to be a hard-charging conservative. The Bush-era Republican Party, Amash believed, had become indistinguishable from the Democratic Party, two cogs in a broken machine that was responsive to the needs of only favored constituencies. Now, the ascendant tea partyers were poised to remake the GOP in their image. Failure would carry a steep cost. If Republicans could not redefine themselves and chart a distinctive path forward, Amash warned his freshman comrades, the rise of a third party was inevitable.

Ten years later, Amash, 40, is fulfilling his own prophecy. After defecting from the GOP last summer to become an independent, the Michigan congressman announced Tuesday night that he has joined the Libertarian Party and launched an exploratory committee to run for president.

The decision is both surprising and thoroughly predictable, the culmination of his decadelong assault on the two-party system. It didn't take long, after landing in Congress, for Amash to suspect that many of his tea party colleagues were opportunistic frauds whose only principle was the retention of power. His outlook grew darker by the day. His battles with Republican leadership intensified as his circle of trusted allies grew smaller. Once, in 2015, after a second failed attempt to oust John Boehner from the speakership, I asked Amash whether he worried that conservatives might accidentally give the gavel back to Nancy Pelosi. "Well," he smirked, "What's the difference?"

The only glimmer of light—the boldest line of demarcation between the Republican and Democratic parties—was his beloved House Freedom Caucus. Having co-founded the group in 2015, Amash viewed the Freedom Caucus,a cadre of some three dozen hard-liners, as a last gasp for limited-government Republicanism. Victories over the party's leadership—including the effective ouster of Boehner—were short-lived. Soon enough, Amash saw a new threat from within his party. After Donald Trump won the Republican nomination, I sat with Amash in June 2016, weeks before the GOP convention. "I think it'll be interesting to see what happens if Trump becomes president," he told me. "Will conservatives in Congress put up a fight? Or will they go along with violations of the Constitution just because it's a Republican president and because Trump has a lot of popular support?"

Three summers later, that question asked and answered, Amash declared his independence from the GOP. "The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions," he wrote in the Washington Post on July 4, 2019. "The parties value winning for its own sake, and at whatever cost."

That Amash later voted to impeach the Republican president placed an exclamation mark on his exit from the GOP. It also led the newer members of his fan club to believe that Amash was a Never Trumper, someone for whom removing the president from office is an all-eclipsing priority. Their surprise was evident in the reactions to Amash's tweet declaring his exploratory effort; as of Wednesday night, there were roughly 35,000 replies and counting, many of them hostile and even hateful in nature, some coming from the same people who cheered him just months ago as an exemplar of courage after his impeachment vote.

"How much is Betsy DeVos spending (and paying you) to ensure all-important Michigan goes Trump? He can't win without it, his support won't grow, but you can steal the anti-Trump votes from Biden," wrote Cheri Jacobus, a former Republican strategist and prominent #NeverTrump activist. "57,000 Americans are dead because of Trump. How much did you sell your soul for?"

The dubiousness of these assertions aside—Amash has become estranged from the DeVos family because of his feud with Trump, and there is no evidence yet that his candidacy would hurt Joe Biden—the anger at his announcement suggests a serious misreading of the congressman. Amash has spent so much time fighting with Republicans in Washington that it's easy to forget he's not a Democrat.

"Make no mistake, the viewpoints held by Biden and the Democratic Party are far, far to the left of the viewpoints held by Justin Amash," says Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina congressman and the only other anti-Trump voice inside the Freedom Caucus. "This is a no-man's land Justin lives in. He doesn't think Trump belongs in office. But why would he want to throw the election to the Democrats? Think about the Supreme Court. Think about regulation. Think about these issues he really cares about. That makes no sense, either."

To understand Amash's motives for running, his allies say, one must accept that he views any other outcome—be it a Trump victory or a Biden victory—as disastrous. It's undeniably difficult to fathom how someone who views the president as a menace to the Constitution could see the man running against him as an equally existential threat. And yet, this is exactly who Amash is: someone who sees no real difference between the two parties, someone who feels stung by failing to change the trajectory of his former party, someone who is no longer a Republican but certainly not a Democrat.

"Personally, I think there's a huge difference between Trump and Biden. But not Justin," says Raul Labrador, the retired Idaho congressman who was Amash's closest friend on Capitol Hill. "People must be surprised to realize that Justin would rather see a Trump presidency than a Biden presidency, even it's a 51/49 proposition."

On Wednesday evening, I spoke with Amash about playing spoiler, the state of the two-party system and whether Trump's Republican Party is beyond salvaging. The conversation below is edited for length and clarity.

Tim Alberta: If you wanted to be president, wouldn't you have been better off staying in the Republican Party and challenging Donald Trump in a primary, mano a mano ?

Justin Amash: Maybe, but I had no plans on staying in the Republican Party. I was not happy with the Republican Party as I've made pretty clear. And I don't think the Republican Party is going to change anytime in the near future. It's changed its identity over the past few years and I really don't feel like it's a home for people who believe in classical liberalism, or what many would call constitutional conservatism. I think it's a place now for nationalism and protectionism—it's a place for Trump, basically.

Tim Alberta: Do you feel like the Republican Party is beyond salvaging at this point? And is that going to be part of your message to voters? Or do you think this is a phenomenon that only lasts as long as Trump?

Justin Amash: No, it doesn't last only as long as Trump, that's for sure. Is it beyond salvaging? I can't speak to the very long run, like what will the party look like in 20 years. If you're talking about the next decade or so, it's going to look very much like this party. I don't think you can underestimate the type of revolution that's happened in the Republican Party. And it's not even a revolution of principles; it's a revolution of tone. The tone has largely supplanted principles.

There are Republicans who agree with me on the principles—many, many Republicans. But even among many of those Republicans, when you go online—I'm talking about talking heads and politicians, for example—you find that they have adopted the president's style. And style and tone are very much a part of who you are. I don't think you can separate them from your politics and say, 'Well, my policies are good, but I'm going to be a jerk to everyone and be rude to everyone and harass people and ridicule people,' which is largely the style under Trump. I think you're stuck with that for a while. And that's not me. Everyone says some things in their life that they regret, but it has become a culture in the Republican Party. And it's very dangerous.

Tim Alberta: You once joked to me that there's really no difference between John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi.And I'm curious if that same thinking applies to your decision to run for president. What's the difference between Republicans and Democrats? What's the difference between a President Trump and a President Biden?

Justin Amash: Well, there are differences in tone between President Trump and a potential President Biden. But I don't think that there are differences in the parties to the extent that people think there are. When you get on the wrong side of people on the left, a lot of it sounds like things I hear from people on the right. I mean, it's very similar. Everyone wants to immunize themselves and say that the other side is so terrible and our side is so good, and that's just not true. There are differences in degrees, but they're not that different in kind.

That's what created Trump. And I think people keep misidentifying the problem. What they don't recognize is that he's a creature of this system where everyone is hyperpartisan and hates each other and where they're told repeatedly, 'If you don't vote for our party nominee, you are selling out your family, your friends, your country to these people who want to destroy it.' And that's what both sides are told. The Democrats are told that and the Republicans are told that, and we got Trump precisely because people were told, 'You must vote for him or else. Don't worry about the fact that he's bad. Just vote for him. He'll be better than the other side.'

And now, we're hearing the same thing from the Democrats. 'Don't worry about any concerns you have about Biden. He has to beat Trump. That's the most important thing. Everyone just keep your mouth shut. Yeah, he's got a lot of issues. He's got a lot of problems. We don't like everything about them, but we're going to support him because he's better than Trump.' This mentality is really dangerous. And we need to fight it. I don't believe most Americans hold those views. I spend a lot of time talking to regular people. Most Americans are not partisans like that.

What you see on Twitter and Facebook and in the halls of Congress and at White House press conferences is not America. Most people are actually pretty kind, compassionate, they are not superpartisan. They're not superangry about people who have different views. They don't have a lot of choices right now because they're stuck with these two parties. And we've let a small group in each party control the entire system and tell us who's going to be our president, who are going to be our elected officials. And we have to challenge that. And I want to lead that effort right now.

Tim Alberta: But OK, to play devil's advocate—

Justin Amash: You always do.

Tim Alberta: This zero-sum partisanship you're describing in both parties, doesn't it feel apples-to-oranges given that you yourself voted to impeach this president? And given that there's a sense among many people, not just partisan opponents, that defeating this president at all costs is the priority come November?

Justin Amash: Oh, don't get me wrong. As I said before, I think that from a personality standpoint, I'd take Biden. I think Biden is a better person than the president—I mean, by all appearances at least. I can't speak to his personal life or any of that, but he seems to be a better person. But I don't think the differences between the parties are as stark as people make them out to be in terms of tone and approach.

Tim Alberta: You say they're not that different in style and in tone, but what about in substance?

Justin Amash: Well, both parties when it comes to the major issues follow the same line. And you saw some of that theater with the coronavirus relief packages, right? Where each side says, 'Oh, we really need this.' And the other side says, 'No, we want that.' And at the end of the day, they basically aren't that far off from each other. Even at the beginning of the negotiation, they pretend like they're really far off from each other. But basically, they have the system in mind where you'd have the Treasury secretary and the Federal Reserve handing out cash to the biggest corporations and taking care of the people who are well-connected and you'd have a more convoluted system for everyone else.

And part of the reason they make the system so convoluted is so that they can each get pats on the back from their respective constituencies. 'Thank you for the thing you did specifically for farmers. Thank you for the thing that you specifically did for airline workers. Thank you for the thing that you specifically did for truckers.' If they did something like, let's just send everyone some money, direct cash payments, as I suggested, universal monthly cash relief, there's only one constituency for that. That's the entire public. And they're not getting much out of that in terms of politics. But when they each can go back and say, 'Hey, I got something from the labor unions,' and someone else says, 'I got something for the farmers,' that's when they're winning a political point. That's the bottom line for what goes on in Washington. It's pretty sad. And we need a president who will stand up to it and expose it.

Tim Alberta: You come from a conservative district where you've never won more than 60 percent of the general election vote. But to be elected president in this environment, as polarized as things are, with the grip Donald Trump has on the Republican Party, you're going to need a lot of left-of-center voters to buy into your message. These are voters who are inclined toward Big Government policies. You are not a Big Government guy. What is your pitch to these people?

Justin Amash: Most Americans, as I said earlier, are not very partisan. Most Americans hold a fairly classical liberal position.

Tim Alberta: But what do you base that on?

Justin Amash: Just interactions with people. This is the thing I've tried to get through, especially to libertarians over the years. Most Americans are fairly libertarian. They understand that the government that works best is the one that's closest to home. You might think of your family as a sort of government and everyone recognizes that their family is a government that works better than a government that involves all of your neighbors, which works better than a government that involves your city or county, which works better than state, which works better than federal, which works better than the U.N. Everyone gets that.

So, the question just becomes, which government should be doing which activities? And right now, the federal government is doing a lot of activities that it shouldn't be doing and it's actually making things worse for people. It's giving people fewer choices and leading to less happiness. It's been a benefit during this entire [pandemic] that Donald Trump is not in charge of all the states. Could you imagine if Donald Trump were in charge of all the states? Literally, in terms of closing down? When states are able to make these decisions, they can make better choices for their people.

We have issue after issue where the federal government gets involved and people understand that that's a problem and is actually hurting them. And you can talk to people on the left, for example, about marijuana laws and all of a sudden they say, 'Oh, no, no, no. That should definitely be left to the state. Don't get the federal government involved in any of that.' So, I don't think this is a challenging concept to get across. It's just a matter of getting them to see that they're with you.

Tim Alberta: How do you break down the widely held perception that this is a binary choice? How do you convince tens of millions of Americans that this is not a binary choice, that they're not throwing away their vote on you?

Justin Amash: I still have very low name ID when it comes to the presidential election, but I'm in a better position than a lot of people who would be running, from outside of these two parties. I have a better platform to do it. I'm in a position to make it interesting and exciting for people, for people to see that there is capability outside of these two parties—that in fact, the person running in the Libertarian Party is more capable than the people running in the Republican and Democratic parties. I think it's really important for people to see that. And when they see that they will start to change their views. I did not expect when I announced that immediately every Republican pundit or Democratic pundit out there was going to think, 'Oh, let's get behind Justin Amash.' But I do think that if you have me on the campaign trail for the next several months, people will start to see what I'm about. They will start to see that I'm a normal person, that I'm a capable person, and they will contrast that to the candidates of the major parties who at many times do not seem normal or capable.

Tim Alberta: How does that happen physically when, when there is no campaign trail, when everybody's locked in their houses and we've got quarantining and sheltering in place?

Justin Amash: Who's done more interviews over the past few days—me or Joe Biden or Donald Trump? I would wager that I've done more interviews. I'll be getting out there, speaking to people, doing TV, talking to journalists, getting stuff out on Twitter. I will have an advantage here. I'm in a position, given my age, where I think I have a little more capability, frankly, with social media and with this kind of stuff than these other two candidates. So, I think this presents an advantage for me over the next few months. And then when things open up, we can hopefully hold rallies and other things as well. But right now, I think they're sort of stuck and I have a bit of an edge in this environment.

Tim Alberta: Do you have some sort of vision for running a wildly unconventional campaign for these wildly unconventional times? Is there a strategy for you to break through where other third-party candidates have failed?

Justin Amash: The strategy is adaptation. Right now, we're in an unfortunate circumstance having this pandemic going on, but it does present an opportunity for someone like me to reach out to lots of people in ways that I would not have been able to otherwise reach them. And I'm maybe more accessible in this current environment than I otherwise would be because people are at home and they have an opportunity to check out social media and watch interviews. I wouldn't run for the presidency if not for the fact that I believe I can win. It's not for fun. It's not for messaging. I don't think that those are the reasons you run. I believe you run to win, and when you win, you can make the biggest difference. We've seen that with the president: He won and he transformed the Republican Party. When I win this thing, I can transform the political system.

Tim Alberta: But you would admit that there is no precedent for you winning.

Justin Amash: There was no precedent for Donald Trump to win, either.

Tim Alberta: Well, except he was on a major-party ballot line.

Justin Amash: Yeah, I know. But there was also not an expectation that someone like him could pull it off. And there was no expectation for Barack Obama to win. He came out of nowhere. So there are examples like this throughout history where people were not expected to win, or it was an unusual campaign or an unorthodox campaign and the person came out on top. And I think we have that chance here.

Tim Alberta: Let's talk Michigan. Our state was decided by fewer than 11,000 votes in 2016—and that's with both Trump and Clinton taking less than 48 percent. How heavily does Michigan factor into your thinking?

Justin Amash: I obviously care a lot about Michigan. It's my home state and I'd like to do very well here. But I think it's a mistake for any candidate running, whether it's the major parties or the Libertarian Party, to run a strategy where you focus on particular states. You have to be popular and supported throughout the country. And when people hunker down in one state, what ends up happening frequently? They do well in that state and they do terrible everywhere else. That's not a strategy for winning; that's a strategy for being a spoiler. And that is not the intent of this campaign. I want to win the campaign. I want to improve my name ID everywhere and gain support everywhere. It's not going to be a one-state strategy or a few-states strategy.

Tim Alberta: On that note of playing spoiler: If you were to wake up on November 4, 2020, and Joe Biden has lost very narrowly, and you're studying the results, and you see all the data suggesting it was your candidacy that helped deliver a second term to Donald Trump—what are you going to think to yourself?

Justin Amash: Well, I would question the data because nobody can analyze data like that. There's no way to know how a third party or libertarian candidacy affects the other candidates. It's impossible to figure out. It's too complex, mathematically. Anyone who actually knows anything about statistics or math would tell you that you can't figure that out. You can't know because you don't know who would have turned out to vote if not for that other candidate, or if they would have supported the two major candidates regardless. You can't know that. So, I don't worry about that kind of stuff. My goal is to go out and win and change the system.

Tim Alberta: You've launched an exploratory committee to run for president, but it certainly sounds like your mind is made up. Is there any scenario where your exploring comes to a sudden halt?

Justin Amash: Well, I'm seeking the nomination of the Libertarian Party and I'm respectful of the process and I'm respectful of the delegates. I'm new to the party. I want to earn their support; I want to earn their trust. And that's why we're in this exploratory phase. If I'm able to earn the nomination of the Libertarian Party, then we can talk about the next phase. But for now, I'm committed to this race.

POLITICO


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Freewill
1  seeder  Freewill    5 months ago

And by the way @TiG the fetch function worked tremendously!  Thanks again!

Interested to hear other opinions of this gentleman.  Of course he still needs to gain the nomination of the Libertarian Party, so that will be interesting to watch.  Thoughtful discussion only please.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
2  Freedom Warrior    5 months ago

Amash is fucking clueless.  Not one thing he offered up in that interview is worthy of the Libertarian Party.

 
 
 
Freewill
2.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Freedom Warrior @2    5 months ago
Not one thing he offered up in that interview is worthy of the Libertarian Party

Not one?

Most Americans, as I said earlier, are not very partisan. Most Americans hold a fairly classical liberal position

This is the thing I've tried to get through, especially to libertarians over the years. Most Americans are fairly libertarian. They understand that the government that works best is the one that's closest to home. You might think of your family as a sort of government and everyone recognizes that their family is a government that works better than a government that involves all of your neighbors, which works better than a government that involves your city or county, which works better than state, which works better than federal, which works better than the U.N. Everyone gets that

So, the question just becomes, which government should be doing which activities? And right now, the federal government is doing a lot of activities that it shouldn't be doing and it's actually making things worse for people

While by no means a complete platform, I think he touches on some worthy basic concepts of Libertarianism.  But I agree, need to hear more about him.  He's certainly not clueless.  Why would you say that?

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
2.1.1  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Freewill @2.1    5 months ago

He said absolutely nothing in that segment that many Republicans have not routinely mentioned. 

 
 
 
Freewill
2.1.2  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Freedom Warrior @2.1.1    5 months ago
He said absolutely nothing in that segment that many Republicans have not routinely mentioned.

Recently?  Not even this?

Maybe, but I had no plans on staying in the Republican Party. I was not happy with the Republican Party as I've made pretty clear. And I don't think the Republican Party is going to change anytime in the near future. It's changed its identity over the past few years and I really don't feel like it's a home for people who believe in classical liberalism, or what many would call constitutional conservatism. I think it's a place now for nationalism and protectionism—it's a place for Trump, basically

Or this?

I got active in politics in part because of what George W. Bush was doing," Amash told me years later, retracing his political rise. "The Obama backlash, of course, started around the time of the tea party. But a lot of us blamed George W. Bush for Obama in the first place".

Which elected Republicans have routinely disagreed with the direction of the party or the current policies of the party in the way that Amash has?  Maybe some of us who were Libertarian leaning but registered with the Republican Party thought that way, but certainly the vast majority of current elected Republicans towed the party platform without exception even as it morphed into what it is now.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
2.1.3  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Freewill @2.1.2    5 months ago

That's not the context of my comment. The point was with respect to representing the Libertarian Party and the underlying philosophy not about disagreeing with the GOP.  Plenty of D-Bags to perform that role.

 
 
 
Freewill
2.1.4  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Freedom Warrior @2.1.3    5 months ago
The point was with respect to representing the Libertarian Party and the underlying philosophy not about disagreeing with the GOP

Ah OK, good point, sorry I misinterpreted.  In what ways do you think what he has said so far is not representative of the Libertarian Party or its underlying philosophy?  Certainly his intent is to vie for the Libertarian Party nomination, so it will be interesting to see how he approaches the party and its potential candidates in the coming weeks and months.

 
 
 
cjcold
2.2  cjcold  replied to  Freedom Warrior @2    5 months ago

Funny how libertarians can't even seem to agree about a platform.

 
 
 
Freewill
2.2.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  cjcold @2.2    5 months ago
Funny how libertarians can't even seem to agree about a platform

I don't think there is anything odd about that.  Libertarians are a diverse group, it is no surprise that their ideas about a fixed "platform" might differ.  R's and D's (voters) are also somewhat diverse, it's only the politicians who end up towing the party line almost exclusively.  Why do you think R's and D's have been losing registration numbers to independents in a big way over the last 10-20 years?

If Amash is right about anything, it is that people are tiring of RNC and DNC polarized and entrenched views and bitter partisan animosity. Most people vote on the issues that are most important to them, not what the RNC and DNC wants to force down their throats so that they can remain in power.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3  FLYNAVY1    5 months ago

I'll listen..... See what he has to say on the issues.

 
 
 
Freewill
3.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3    5 months ago
I'll listen..... See what he has to say on the issues.

Same here.  Thanks FlyNavy1.  I am assuming you are/were in the Navy?  I'd like to thank you for your service if I may my friend.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.1.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Freewill @3.1    5 months ago

Thanks for your taxes....!  I got paid to do a lot of really cool things. 

There were some really ugly times, but I'd still do it all over again if I could.  

In general I think that the concept of libertarianism is fatally flawed in that it does not have any checks and balances against the motivator of human greed.  At least nobody has outlined an approach to me that does to date.  I'll still listen to Amash, learn what I can and move on....

Happy Friday. 

 
 
 
Freewill
3.1.2  seeder  Freewill  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.1.1    5 months ago
In general I think that the concept of libertarianism is fatally flawed in that it does not have any checks and balances against the motivator of human greed.

What sort of checks and balances against the motivator of human greed did you have in mind?  I've seen no socio-political structure or ism in human history that can eliminate human greed.  The ultimate expression of human greed isn't just monetary wealth, but the desire to dominate and bend others to ones will in order to maintain one's status or power.  Dominance hierarchy is a trait we see in every animal species on earth including human beings.  One might say it is human nature.

Perhaps the best way to check or balance that nature is to agree to create institutions that best preserve the freedom and liberty of the individual to control their own destiny rather than being controlled by the greedy or the powerful.  Perhaps a constitutional republican democracy premised upon minimal central power and the protection of individual rights and liberty?  This country was founded on such Libertarian concepts or principles.  Principles that recognize human nature but work to limit the extent to which it can be used to dominate or control other individuals. Historically the consequences of human greed or dominance hierarchy are much more horrific in societies that did not champion individual rights, freedom, and liberty.   

The motivator of human greed will always be there, unless we someday evolve beyond it.  The key is to limit the potential repercussions of it on other individuals and society as a whole. I think the concept of classical liberalism has done that about as well as any other system in human history.

Happy Friday. 

Thanks!  You too!

 
 
 
squiggy
4  squiggy    5 months ago

“It's impossible to figure out. It's too complex, mathematically. Anyone who actually knows anything about statistics or math would tell you that you can't figure that out. You can't know because...”

He has his excuses in place. The voters are too stupid for this stuff.

 
 
 
Ender
5  Ender    5 months ago

Didn't read it all yet but working on it. A couple of first thoughts...

Him and his teaparty ways were pissed at Bush and not necessarily Obama?

In what world? They never once that I remember went after him. It was all against Obama.

Then you have the fact that, if I remember correctly, he was a founder of the freedom caucus. A bunch of ultra conservatives.

The only major disagreement that I cans see he would have with republicans is the spending aspect. They all seem to want to spend money now.

I also don't see how he can call the parties the same when there are clear policy differences. It seems like he is using that as an excuse to come out as Libertarian, which he most likely has been all along.

 
 
 
Freewill
5.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Ender @5    5 months ago
I also don't see how he can call the parties the same when there are clear policy differences

I think where he is coming from on that is, as you say, the similarities in spending and in growing the size and reach of the Federal Government.  Both continue to try and grab more power for the Executive Branch.  Both are beholden to large campaign contributors and are more interested in power rather than what is best for the people.

To the extent that he still pushes some of the extreme social views of the tea-party movement, I agree a closer look is warranted.  But if he has developed into more of a small government, live and let live type Libertarian who believes in bringing people together rather than tearing them apart along ideological lines, then he is worth further consideration IMHO.

 
 
 
bbl-1
5.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Freewill @5.1    5 months ago

"beholden to large campaign contributors."  Yes.  And that is why Citizens United is so important to so few.  And Supply Side Economics is the engine that creates the wealth necessary for Citizens United.

As far as 'extreme social views.'  Nothing more than a catch phrase for expanded government power over citizens personal lives with religious views used as the excuse.

 
 
 
Ender
5.1.2  Ender  replied to  Freewill @5.1    5 months ago

I will just never agree with (the extreme more so) Libertarian views.

Sometimes less is not better.

Thinking about it I think I misspoke on him maybe always being a Libertarian as I see him as more of an ultra conservative purist.

I agree about hearing about his social views. Those will most likely show where he is swinging at the moment.

 
 
 
Freewill
5.1.3  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Ender @5.1.2    5 months ago
I agree about hearing about his social views. Those will most likely show where he is swinging at the moment.

Yep.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
5.1.4  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Freewill @5.1.3    5 months ago

I align myself with what were known as "Goldwater Republicans"  

True fiscal conservatism, strict separation of church and state, and much more tolerant of social differences.  That all started to disappear in the early 1980s, and has been getting worse ever since.  My last Republican vote for president was for Bob Dole in 1996.  

 
 
 
evilgenius
5.1.5  evilgenius  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @5.1.4    5 months ago
I align myself with what were known as "Goldwater Republicans"  

As do I.

EDIT: John Mccain claimed to be a Goldwater Republican and I was looking to vote for him in the 2008 until he did that hard tack to the right to win the Primary. That was due to Tea Party groups that Amash was also part of at the time. This is where the "freedom caucus" got it's start.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
5.1.6  FLYNAVY1  replied to  evilgenius @5.1.5    5 months ago

Right there with you..... I was set to vote for Johnny Mac, then his statement of "waterboarding not being torture"  (he knew better) made me pause.  His selection of Caribou Barbie as his running mate sent me to vote for Obama.

 
 
 
Freewill
5.1.7  seeder  Freewill  replied to  evilgenius @5.1.5    5 months ago
John Mccain claimed to be a Goldwater Republican and I was looking to vote for him in the 2008 until he did that hard tack to the right to win the Primary. That was due to Tea Party groups that Amash was also part of at the time..

Amash was not elected to Congress until 2010.  Freedom Caucus was not formed until 2015.

 
 
 
Freewill
5.1.8  seeder  Freewill  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @5.1.6    5 months ago
Caribou Barbie

LOL!  Hadn't heard that one before but I love it!  Tiny Fey's parodies of her were hilarious at the time.  

 
 
 
cjcold
5.2  cjcold  replied to  Ender @5    5 months ago

We will likely see several attempts at splitting the democratic/liberal/independent/centrist vote between now and election day.

This right winger shill just doesn't have the chops or the history to do that.

 
 
 
Freewill
5.2.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  cjcold @5.2    5 months ago
This right winger shill just doesn't have the chops or the history to do that

Maybe so, we'll see.

 
 
 
Ender
5.2.2  Ender  replied to  cjcold @5.2    5 months ago

Agree. That they are trying to make him sound centrist is hilarious to me.

 
 
 
TTGA
5.2.3  TTGA  replied to  cjcold @5.2    5 months ago
This right winger shill just doesn't have the chops or the history to do that.

cj, if he was a right wing shill, he could expect to get a lot of votes from the 3rd Michigan Congressional District, the one he represented when he chose to switch.  That's just not going to happen.  The people in this district have gone from being ready to primary him before his decision to switch, to never voting for him for dogcatcher ever again.  Further, he was well aware, when he switched, that he would never again be nominated in this district as a Republican candidate for Congress, or pretty much anything else.  That's most likely the real reason that he did switch.  His vote on impeachment was the last straw.

 
 
 
TᵢG
6  TᵢG    5 months ago
"The parties value winning for its own sake, and at whatever cost."

3777084698_a7ef4bf328_b.jpg

The pursuit of power (and fame) at the expense of the people.   Nothing new here (historically speaking), but our system had high hopes of mitigating this.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
6.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  TᵢG @6    5 months ago

Citizens United has to go, and all campaign donations need to be out in the open.

Those whom a candidate is willing to take money from says more than any of their campaign speeches ever will. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @6.1    5 months ago

I so agree with your comment especially the transparency of campaign donations. I've heard some right wingers say secrecy of campaign donations is all about free speech. I find that to be in complete opposition with transparency. If you're arguing about your free speech rights, don't you want people to know who you're donating to? Otherwise, you make no sense

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
6.1.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1.1    5 months ago

On the button TG.....

Happy Friday to you!

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
6.1.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @6.1.2    5 months ago

Back at ya, Fly!

 
 
 
TᵢG
7  TᵢG    5 months ago
Amash has spent so much time fighting with Republicans in Washington that it's easy to forget he's not a Democrat.

I can relate to this.

 
 
 
Ender
7.1  Ender  replied to  TᵢG @7    5 months ago

Yeah but what he was fighting for is the difference.

No where near what the Democrats wanted and more extreme than what the republicans wanted.

 
 
 
Freewill
7.1.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Ender @7.1    5 months ago
Yeah but what he was fighting for is the difference.
No where near what the Democrats wanted and more extreme than what the republicans wanted.

Like this?

And part of the reason they make the system so convoluted is so that they can each get pats on the back from their respective constituencies. 'Thank you for the thing you did specifically for farmers. Thank you for the thing that you specifically did for airline workers. Thank you for the thing that you specifically did for truckers.' If they did something like, let's just send everyone some money, direct cash payments, as I suggested, universal monthly cash relief, there's only one constituency for that. That's the entire public. And they're not getting much out of that in terms of politics. But when they each can go back and say, 'Hey, I got something from the labor unions,' and someone else says, 'I got something for the farmers,' that's when they're winning a political point. That's the bottom line for what goes on in Washington. It's pretty sad. And we need a president who will stand up to it and expose it.

Or this?

Maybe, but I had no plans on staying in the Republican Party. I was not happy with the Republican Party as I've made pretty clear. And I don't think the Republican Party is going to change anytime in the near future. It's changed its identity over the past few years and I really don't feel like it's a home for people who believe in classical liberalism, or what many would call constitutional conservatism. I think it's a place now for nationalism and protectionism—it's a place for Trump, basically.

Or this?

"The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions," he wrote in the Washington Post on July 4, 2019. "The parties value winning for its own sake, and at whatever cost."

If he wanted something more extreme than the Republicans wanted, then why didn't he stay with the party since it was headed in that direction anyway?

So let's see if he has matured from his earlier days, and what he has to say about current issues before we make rash conclusions about whether he's more or less "extreme" than the direction either of the two other parties are headed.

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.2  Ender  replied to  Freewill @7.1.1    5 months ago

Everything you quoted he said only sounds like he is trying to play the middle when I know he is not. He is trying to set himself apart by only saying things most people already think.

Nothing new.

I am not making rash judgement, the only reason he is out of the republican party is he didn't like trump and they have more or less circled the wagons.

Sorry but a freedom caucus founding teaparty member does not change his stripes.

(At least that I have seen)

Nor do I think he is going to be anything less than I already think.

As far as his social issues I can almost guarantee you he would be for 'freedom' of a business to discriminate. He more than likely would rather get rid of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. He probably would rather get rid of public schools.

So no. I would never give him a second glance.

The only thing I agree with as far as part of the article is yes, if given traction he could take away from Biden. Just on reading this kind of fluff and not showing where he really lies on any issues.

 
 
 
Freewill
7.1.3  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Ender @7.1.2    5 months ago
Just on reading this kind of fluff and not showing where he really lies on any issues.

Fair enough.  Although he did JUST announce his intent to look into running for the Libertarian nomination, so perhaps we can give him a chance to present a more complete picture of his platform and stance on the issues? 

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.4  Ender  replied to  Freewill @7.1.3    5 months ago

Why should I give him any glance. I stated my reasons he will never get another look.

In all actuality, it sounds just like any other politician that no longer holds office, they just cannot seem to get enough of it or stay away.

He would never get my vote, nor any Libertarian for that matter as most of them would rather get rid of most federal social responsibility.

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.5  Ender  replied to  Ender @7.1.4    5 months ago

Addendum: There is a reason he chose Libertarian vs Independent.

 
 
 
Freewill
7.1.6  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Ender @7.1.5    5 months ago
There is a reason he chose Libertarian vs Independent

Well he did leave the Republican party last year and became an Independent.  Just recently he decided to consider running for the Libertarian nomination.

 
 
 
Ender
7.1.7  Ender  replied to  Freewill @7.1.6    5 months ago

I would still say again, there is a reason to run under Libertarian vs Independent.

Imo it is more or less a nod to his conservative leanings.

 
 
 
Freewill
7.2  seeder  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @7    5 months ago
I can relate to this.

Indeed.

 
 
 
Freewill
8  seeder  Freewill    5 months ago

A little bit more in Amash's position HERE .  I'm sure there will be more to come in the very near future.

 
 
 
Ender
8.1  Ender  replied to  Freewill @8    5 months ago

Wants congress to get their act together and will put his foot down.

Hahaha

 
 
 
Freewill
8.1.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Ender @8.1    5 months ago
and will put his foot down. Hahaha

As long as he means within his power of persuasion and compromise, and/or his Constitutional power of the veto (as he suggested in the article), and not by the growing trend of expanding Executive power via executive order like the last 3 presidents, then I don't see anything wrong with that statement.  But if it will just be more of the same R & D bullshit power grabbing and circumvention/twisting of the Constitution, then I will join you in the Hahaha.  

 
 
 
Ender
8.1.2  Ender  replied to  Freewill @8.1.1    5 months ago

What it sounded like to me was that he was talking out of both sides of his mouth.

One side saying the executive branch shouldn't have that much power.

Then the other side saying he would use that power to get what he wants.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
8.1.3  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Ender @8.1.2    5 months ago
What it sounded like to me was that he was talking out of both sides of his mouth.

We'd have to go back to the 1970s to find a president that didn't do that......

 
 
 
Ender
8.1.4  Ender  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @8.1.3    5 months ago

True enough.

 
 
 
Ender
8.2  Ender  replied to  Freewill @8    5 months ago

Finished it. Another fluff piece yet makes me double down on my thoughts about him. He says things that may sound good yet what they would do is take away federal responsibility. It almost sounds like he would rather have separate law and order guidelines depending on state.

It is all about cutting the role of the federal government.

Believe me, he will never show me how Libertarian I am.

Call me government for all when I want things like Medicare for all.

I would never see eye to eye with him.

 
 
 
Freewill
8.2.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Ender @8.2    5 months ago
I would never see eye to eye with him.

OK.  I understand.  Thanks for your thoughts on this.

 
 
 
Ronin2
9  Ronin2    5 months ago

I respect Amash, and even voted for him in the past- before redistricting; but would never vote for him for president.

Amash lacks some very key skills; which are ok when serving in the House when he is one voice among 100's.

1) He has a strict ethical standard that he enforces beyond all rational.

2) He couldn't negotiate his way out of a paper bag if you spotted him the open end. He is great at pointing out what is wrong with Bills, other people's positions, and things in general. But he can't do anything to fix them, as that would take compromise- which isn't in his vocabulary.  No bill that he has introduced in the House has passed.

https://www.congress.gov/member/justin-amash/A000367?q=%7B%22sponsorship%22%3A%22sponsored%22%7D

3) He is running for president as he stands no chance of retaining his current seat in the House. Amash didn't just burn his bridges with the Republican party, he tore up the tracks running to and from it. He might have stood a chance of winning reelection, even with his vocal hatred of Trump; but siding with House Democrats in voting to impeach?  Even his strongest supporters turned against him. He would be facing two hostile parties if he somehow managed to win the Presidency.

https://apnews.com/21297ff013d94abe9e61f9adcf9a6880

 

 
 
 
Freewill
9.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Ronin2 @9    5 months ago
But he can't do anything to fix them, as that would take compromise- which isn't in his vocabulary.

If that is true, then I'm inclined to agree, he may not put his money where his mouth is.  I will watch for that as he develops his positions on various issues. 

Even his strongest supporters turned against him. He would be facing two hostile parties if he somehow managed to win the Presidency

No doubt!  Thanks for your input on this.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
10  Freedom Warrior    5 months ago
Amash declared his independence from the GOP. "The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions," he wrote in theWashington Poston July 4, 2019. "The parties value winning for its own sake, and at whatever cost."

So Amash values losing at whatever the cost. Great strategy.

 
 
 
Freewill
10.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Freedom Warrior @10    5 months ago
So Amash values losing at whatever the cost. Great strategy.

Why would his position need to be the complete literal negation of the criticisms he has of the status quo?  Clearly, if he runs, he would want to win as he stated to be more of a voice for the people, and to better support American principles that he feels are falling to the wayside under the 2 party system.  A win for him would be for the people, not for the Party or just those special interests who keep the party in power.  At least that's the way I read his comments at this point.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
11  Dean Moriarty    5 months ago

I’ll check him out but right now I’m leaning towards Vermin Supreme. 

 
 
 
Freewill
11.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Dean Moriarty @11    5 months ago
Vermin Supreme

Interesting fellow, Vermin.  A bit of an anarchist yet has run for president under the Independent, Republican, Democratic, and now Libertarian parties.  I only heard of him recently, have you been following his political activities for some time?

 
 
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