Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Justin Amash, Libertarian

Like Dana Houle, I remember Justin Amash as a local (state) nuisance, carrying water for his deVos family patrons in order to help the proud Christianists of Western Michigan stay barefoot and ignorant. But unlike such ‘independent thinkers’ as Mike Lee or Little Prince Rand, he’s not a moron, and he doesn’t assume that everyone not Justin Amash is either lying or a moron or both. If he’s made the decision to cut line on the Squatter-in-Chief, well… He does have his Libertarian principles, but I’m halfway hoping he’s also the first defector before the flood.

For the supposedly well-disciplined and implacable Trump Brigades of the GOP, this is some very weak tea, per the Washington Post:

Trump privately has vented to associates about the Michigan lawmaker, who on Saturday became the first congressional Republican to raise the possibility of impeachment, citing the findings of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations…

But on Capitol Hill, few Republicans are eager to punish the libertarian, who had a long history of bucking GOP leaders even before Trump was elected. Top Republican lawmakers and aides said Monday that kicking Amash out of the GOP conference or off his committee would only draw more attention to his apostasy. Instead, they have focused on isolating Amash and portraying him as an outlier. The House Freedom Caucus, a conservative group of which Amash is a member, also took a position Monday night “strongly disagreeing” with Amash’s comments…

Even if Republicans were to consider action against Amash, their options would be limited.

The congressman, according to Massie and other Republicans, has largely stopped attending the weekly House Republican conference meetings. And prior battles with GOP leaders have left him with only a single committee assignment, to the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Meanwhile, the House Liberty Caucus, a group Amash has chaired since 2013, has largely gone dormant. Its only news release this year notes its support for a Democratic resolution to overturn Trump’s border emergency declaration…

Meanwhile, Glenn Thrush demonstrates why the FTNYTimes was so eager to keep him on board

Earlier on Sunday, Senator Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican who has been one of the few members of his party to even mildly chastise Mr. Trump in public after the release of the Mueller report, described Mr. Amash’s statement as “courageous.” But Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, dismissed the idea of impeachment, saying on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the evidence lacked “the full element that you need to prove an obstruction-of-justice case.”

Mr. Trump — who has stonewalled requests by House Democrats for documents and has commanded current and former aides to turn down requests to testify before investigative committees — was not so circumspect.

“Never a fan of @justinamash, a total lightweight who opposes me and some of our great Republican ideas and policies just for the sake of getting his name out there through controversy,” Mr. Trump wrote in a midmorning Twitter riff that included, among other things, criticism of the “Fake News Sunday Political Shows” and boasts about his judicial appointments and health care policies.

“Justin is a loser who sadly plays right into our opponents hands!” he added…

Find some two-bit blogger or wannabe Brenda Starr would could produce this kind of access-enabled journamalism. Oh noes! Not the l-word! Next thing you know, he’ll be assigned a crool nickname! He’ll never be invited to another High Powered DC cocktail party!…

23 replies
  1. 1
    NotMax says:

    Ugh. What do you have against the time zone shifted to inflict this swill on us?

    And Romney as the putrefied cherry on top? Deja blech.

  2. 2
    bjacques says:

    It’s probably been noted elsewhere, but, last I checked, the House Republicans are a minority, so he’s not risking very much, If that’s a profile in courage, the bar is pretty low.

  3. 3
    hervevillechaizelounge says:

    I am late as fuck with this as always, but I have an amazing story!

    One of my friends went to a Nancy Pelosi shindig in Boston last night. When folks were waiting to shake the Speaker’s hand some dude kind of nudged my (female) friend out of the way.

    Apparently Nancy Smash noticed because she maneuvered around Sir Shove-a-lot and grabbed my friend’s hand—my friend was gobsmacked!!

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    It’s still daylight and I can’t seem to get my mind off food: I’m watching a YouTube video purporting to showcase the best burgers in New York City. I am more convinced than ever that no matter how good the thing tastes, the adjective “gourmet” and the noun “burger” don’t belong together.

  5. 5
    eclare says:

    @hervevillechaizelounge: Great story! I don’t think much gets past Nancy Smash.

  6. 6
    eclare says:

    @Amir Khalid: Stop watching food videos? How much longer til sunset?

  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I’m halfway hoping he’s also the first defector before the flood.

    I’m afraid a single drop of rain does not foretell the end of the drought, Anne.

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    the adjective “gourmet” and the noun “burger” don’t belong together.

    Agreed, but it does have an upside. If you see ‘gourmet burger’ on the menu, you know everything else is also way overpriced.

  9. 9
    JGabriel says:


    I’m afraid a single drop of rain does not foretell the end of the drought, Anne.

    No, it does not.

    But … the start of the end of the drought always begins with a single drop of rain.

    Under the circumstances, I don’t think any of us can be faulted for hoping for the best, even when we continue to expect the worst.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Gourmet may be a bridge too far, however have had the pleasure on rare occasions of scarfing down some upscale burgers over the years that were nothing short of luscious.

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JGabriel: I’m a cynic. That there is a single person in the entirety of today’s GOP with the moral clarity and the political courage to stand against anything trump does is astounding. That there might be 2 of them???

  12. 12
    Patricia Kayden says:

    It’s good to see the red wall cracking. Perhaps Amash will be the first of many Republicans who will call for Trump’s impeachment. If President Clinton could be impeached because he lied about a bj, certainly Trump has lied about much more important matters and deserves the same.

  13. 13


    Ugh. What do you have against the time zone shifted to inflict this swill on us?

    You know what you did.

  14. 14
    NotMax says:


    When we first moved to the town where I attended high school, there still existed a druggist shoppe which had been there forever and whose interior was essentially unchanged from the turn of that century. Lots of gleaming brass fixtures and wood warmly tinted with age, a thick marble topped soda fountain counter, rattan swivel seats, etc..

    One thing which they were known for was their burgers. A window behind the soda fountain looked into an area of the kitchen where one could watch the meat being freshly ground for each burger as it was ordered. The antithesis of fast food.

  15. 15

    @bjacques: When the Republicans were in the majority a single Democrat voting with them meant the legislation was bi-partisan.

  16. 16


    I’m a cynic.

    No, really?

    (This is my shocked face.)

  17. 17
    NotMax says:


    You know what you did.

    “I’ll be good, I will I will I will.”
      – Froggy the Gremlin


  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    A couple of hours. I’m not actually tempted to eat, though. At this time of day, it’s the idea of food that I yearn for.

  19. 19

    King Crimson has a particularly incomprehensible piece entitled “The Deception of the Thrush”, which is seemingly different each time they play it. It is the first thing I think of every time I see that sexual harasser’s byline.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:


    Their then contemporary first album was one the records of choice during (hem, haw) smoke breaks in the employee lounge at the movie theater I worked at. Cover art was rather striking under blacklight.

  21. 21
    BobS says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): King Crimson is seemingly different from one show to the next.

  22. 22
    karen marie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I would be baffled that the fact Republicans are punishing Amash for blaspheming against Trump isn’t a big story except I haven’t been in a coma for the last 62 years. Republicans are against “political correctness” except when they’re for it.

  23. 23
    Tehanu says:

    “Never a fan” = never heard of him until yesterday.
    “Loser” who’s “getting his name out there through controversy” = it takes one to know one, doesn’t it?

    Rhetorical question: Wouldn’t it be nice to have a president who didn’t react to criticism by calling names? What is he, 8 years old?

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