Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., has managed to become an instant media star warmly embraced by anti-Trump journalists and Democrats (quite a feat for a Republican) following his weekend tweet storm accusing President Trump of engaging in “impeachable conduct.”
This could be a good career move for Amash if he wants to retire from Congress to become a commentator on CNN or MSNBC. Those news channels love nothing more than giving Trump-hating Republicans a platform to bash a Republican president.
But turning on President Trump – who has made enormous progress in achieving Republican goals such as tax cuts, eliminating harmful government overregulation, creating record job growth, improving our economy, strengthening our military, and improving our foreign policy – makes no sense for a genuine Republican.
The move only strengthens the efforts of Democrats to defeat Trump in the 2020 election and replace him with one of the 23 candidates seeking their party’s presidential nomination. Each of them would reverse the progress President Trump has made, instead adopting far-left policies that would harm our nation and American families.
Amash’s Twitter rant instantly – and justifiably – brought out some potential primary challengers for his 2020 re-election bid.
One of them – Michigan state Rep. Jim Lower, said on “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News Channel this week that he will run against Amash. Lower described himself as “pro-Trump” and said that Amash’s statements on impeaching the president are “completely ridiculous.” He’s right.
I say good luck to Rep. Lower and other Republican challengers to Amash. People who vote for a Republican House candidate deserve to get a Republican representative – not someone who strengthens Democrats working to block Trump at every turn.
People who vote for a Republican House candidate deserve to get a Republican representative – not someone who strengthens Democrats working to block Trump at every turn.
What Amash really displayed in his series of tweets was the revival of ancient Greek sophistry. His pronouncements contained no evidence or examples to support his claims. We are left to simply rely upon his assertions and then assume them to be true.
Instead, Amash has gone even farther than many Democrats in his baseless call for impeaching the duly elected president of the United States, who carried Amash’s home state of Michigan in the last presidential election.
Sadly, Amash is not the leader I thought.
The anti-Trump congressman is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of House members who typically align themselves with ideas that are based on free markets, limited government and constitutional principles. The members of this caucus are people I have come to respect and generally agree with on matters of policy.
On Monday night, that same House Freedom Caucus voted to condemn Amash’s remarks. I join in that condemnation.
Too often in American politics we choose to support or oppose politicians simply because of the “R” or the “D” after their names. While the people I support usually have an “R,” Amash – the new American Sophist – has clearly indicated that his values and vision for America do not align with mine.
Let’s take part of what Amash tweeted Saturday and examine it.
“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,” Amash tweeted.
“I offer these conclusions only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis,” Amash added.
What is the congressman talking about? There is absolutely nothing in his tweets to examine as a matter of substance.
Amash begins by asserting that Attorney General William Barr has deliberately misrepresented the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Not only does Amash cite no evidence for this, but the actual source document that other opponents of the president do cite when making a similar claim – a March 27 letter from Mueller to the attorney general – does not make any accusation of misrepresentation by Barr.
Amash has invented a fact about the handling of the Mueller report that is not supported by Mueller himself.
Next, Amash says President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct. Exactly what does the congressman mean? He fails to tell us what this impeachable conduct is.
Only twice in our nation’s history has a president been impeached by the House – but both Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were acquitted in Senate trials and remained in office.
Is Amash really trying to claim that the Mueller report – which shows no underlying criminality of any sort by the president – will lead to the third try at impeachment succeeding and sending the president into retirement?
Amash states partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances. OK, but Democrats have majority control of the House and it is only the House that can launch impeachment. So if he is attacking House Democrats for partisanship – a valid criticism – how does that lead him attack President Trump?
While I acknowledge that there is hyper-partisanship in our country today, the congressman’s statement is nonsensical and irrelevant in the context of impeachment. Sounds good, means nothing. Sophistry.
Amash’s fourth point – that few members of Congress have read the Mueller report – is preposterous. How exactly does the congressman know that others haven’t read the report? Did his staff survey other House members?
The entirety of Amash’s Twitter thread reads like the tweets cited above. He made bold – but unsupported – assertions about Congress, the Constitution and the grounds for impeachment.
Amash’s hostility to President Trump is unwarranted.
It’s true that people like Amash who support libertarian ideas have not gotten all they wanted from the Trump administration. Part of the reason is stiff opposition the president has faced from Democrats and even some Republicans in Congress. On top of that, no president can please everyone with everything he does.
But no one who calls himself or herself a Republican should be strengthening Democrats in their effort to reclaim the White House in next year’s election.
President Trump is not perfect – no human being is – but any Democrat who would replace him would be far worse for our economy, our national security and other vital areas, and would turn back the clock on all the progress America has made since Trump took office.