Not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need.
In reality, I’ve given up on finding any heroes in the world
of politics. It is a shameless, corrupt, cutthroat business, where the scourge
of partisanship has mutated, grown, and displaced anything resembling actual
patriotism. It has widened the chasm between countrymen to the point where you
have to wonder if we can ever be brought together, again.
The enduring mark of humanity, however, is that someone will
always surprise you, whether good or bad, even in the political world.
That happened on Saturday.
Truly, it’s not that it should have surprised anyone, given
what we know about Michigan Republican Representative Justin Amash, the
Palestinian-American Christian, perhaps more Libertarian than Republican, but
firmly conservative in his views.
He enjoys a solid “A” Liberty Score on the Conservative
Review scorecard, which is more than can be said for some of the current Fox
News-approved “conservative” lawmakers.
California’s Devin Nunes has an “F” Liberty Score.
Florida’s Matt Gaetz does a bit better, with a “D.”
Those are what passes for acceptable conservative voices in
today’s political climate. It’s not that they’re truly conservative, but
because for the Republican Party and the tribal nature of politics today,
conservatism is not defined as a worldview, but in terms of loyalty to Donald
We have lost our way.
There have been rumors for months of Amash potentially
launching an independent bid to challenge Donald Trump for the presidency.
It would be a big step. Unless something changes, he wouldn’t
be getting any backing from the GOP, who have signaled that they would not
entertain any primary challenges to Trump.
It’s also a risk. In Michigan, should the congressman decide
to take a run at higher office, he would have to give up his seat in the House.
As it is, Amash, who entered Congress as a Tea Party
conservative in 2010 is up for reelection in 2020, and maybe the time feels
right to go for it.
He’s not saying.
What he is saying, however, is powerful.
When special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on
Russian interference in the 2016 election, as well as possible conspiracy and
obstruction on the part of Team Trump was made public – redacted, of course –
there were some immediate calls on both sides of the aisle.
Democrats took a few hours to deem the report a slam dunk
against a president they have no intention of supporting or embracing.
Republican lawmakers, on the other hand, had the benefit of
Attorney General William Barr, appointed to serve as Donald Trump’s new “fixer”
and personal attorney.
Barr did not allow for Congress or the public to see the
report and make up their minds. Before release, he held a press conference to
act as the president’s advocate, and whitewashed everything.
Republicans and the president took victory laps, declaring
NO COLLUSION! NO OBSTRUCTION!
Except, that just wasn’t true.
What Mueller said in his report was that there wasn’t enough
evidence to nail Trump or his campaign for conspiring with a foreign
government, but there were many troubling ties.
He also noted that it there were at least 10 incidents of
attempted obstruction by Donald Trump during the investigation.
Finally, he pointed out that under the current laws, he had
no authority to indict a sitting president, so he left everything to come after
in the hands of Congress.
It was AG Barr who stood in the way of that, and continues
to stand in the way, by refusing Democrat lawmakers, who currently have the
majority in the House, when they ask for the full, unredacted report, as well
as the underlying materials that went into the report.
That report came out on April 18. Around that time, Representative
Amash stated that he’d be reading the report and giving his thoughts,
It’s been a month, plenty of time to read the report, in
full, and form an opinion, based on the laws of our nation.
Amash, an attorney by trade, is well-equipped to give an opinion, and now he has.
Breaking from the protectionist strategies of his colleagues
in the House Freedom Caucus, Amash delivered this powerful conclusion on the
report across social media:
“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 wrote Saturday afternoon.
“Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” the Michigan Republican continued. “Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.”
That sound you hear is – BOOM!
I’m guessing Mr. Amash’s Twitter mentions, as well as his phone are blowing up, as we speak. As a Republican, he’s expected to toe the party line, ethics and principles be damned.
We’ve certainly seen that craven behavior from other
Republicans in Washington.
I appreciate that he specifically called out William Barr’s
chicanery, as well.
“In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings,” Amash wrote.
Personally, I didn’t need Justin Amash to point out that Barr was clearly running interference and attempting to lie to the public about Mueller’s report, but I’m glad he did. Somebody with status above a lowly blogger needs to say it.
“Barr’s misrepresentations are significant but often subtle, frequently taking the form of sleight-of-hand qualifications or logical fallacies, which he hopes people will not notice.”
For Democrat leadership, they’re fighting the notion of impeachment, in gambling that it pays off at the ballots in 2020.
For Republican leadership, you can expect to hear some really nasty things about Justin Amash on all the Sunday talk shows.
OH – and I foresee a childish new nickname from Grandpa Ranty McTweeter, sitting in the White House.
Big kudos to Rep. Amash for his due diligence, taking the time to actually read the report before rushing to judgment, and then for speaking the hard truths, even against the wishes of his own party.
Amash recognizes that the health of the republic is more important than partisanship.
He is a rare breed, these days.
I couldn’t agree more.