“Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is “quitting” the Party. No Collusion, No Obstruction! Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!”
–One of those silly Trump tweets
Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is “quitting” the Party. No Collusion, No Obstruction! Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2019
Is this ‘great news’ for the Republican Party?
That depends on what the Republican Party actually wants.
Most people judge the success of any political party by its ability to win elections. One of the ways that seems necessary to achieve this, especially within a system that’s traditionally come down to two parties, is to build coalitions and market the party structure as an inclusive ‘big tent’. Reagan once described conservatism as a three-legged stool of divergent interests that would fall if the legs refused to work together. In this context, the loss of one of the few fiscal conservatives in Congress, one of the few independent voices, one of the few liberty-leaning members… cannot help but make the party just a little smaller and less inviting.
How many legs does the current GOP even have left, anyway? Are there warring factions who coalesce at the end of the day towards common goals, free to fight their battles knowing that they will unite when it’s time to? Are they forced to pay lip service to Trump’s vanity in order to achieve their specific desires? Have years of feeding a personality cult made the GOP more monolithic and less tied to the principles of any of it’s ideological legs?
At the end of the day, I can only speculate on whether or not the GOP does better or worse with the loss of Amash. But the only advantage I see to his exit is for the President, not the country or the party. On a personal level, I feel less connected to the GOP today than I did yesterday with the loss of only one member.
Is Amash one of the ‘dumbest’ men in Congress?
I’m not sure if this even requires addressing, especially given it’s a charge leveled by such a “stable genius”.
I mean, he graduated HS a class valedictorian. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Michigan in which he received high honors. He went on to get a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Now, maybe education isn’t the best judge of intelligence. There’s plenty of people who are good test takers or don’t apply knowledge they’ve gained. There’s even people who only get into colleges due to family connections or wealth, who prove how bad they are with money by investing in things like Trump airlines, casinos, steaks, or Universities.
But on Amash, it’s easy to make the decision yourself, given that he explains literally every vote online. Even when one disagrees with him, calling him dumb seems like a hard charge to support. This is especially true when one is comparing him to other members of Congress – a list that includes Pelosi, Frederica Wilson, Hank Johnson, and AOC.
Is Amash ‘disloyal’, and if so to what or who?
Maybe there’s some secret initiation ceremony where partisans pledge undying loyalty to party that I don’t know about, at some secret location hosted by the Skull and Bones or Freemasons. Maybe such a thing will haunt Trump’s conscience, given how many decades he was a Democrat before deciding to run for President as a Republican. I don’t know. I could guess, but you have better odds at casinos than figuring out what’s going on in his head.
What I do know is that, upon taking office, our elected leaders “solemnly swear” that they “will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that” they “will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that” they “take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that” they “will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office”, and they swear this to God.
I have yet to find a member of Congress more faithful to their reading of the Constitution than Justin Amash. I’ve also yet to hear any convincing reasoning that party loyalty is something even commendable, much less a more important loyalty. There’s even less justification than that to pledging loyalty to a President or King, especially on Independence Day.