Author Topic: Tea Party warrior Justin Amash becomes high-profile target in GOP civil war  (Read 313 times)

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Offline Rapunzel

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 Tea Party warrior Justin Amash becomes high-profile target in GOP civil war

on November 15, 2013 at 7:40 AM, updated November 15, 2013 at 7:44 AM

Memo to establishment Republicans: Good luck getting Justin Amash.

Seven big Michigan donors have said they're dedicated to ousting the two-term Western Michigan congressman, who's facing a 2014 GOP primary from businessman Brian Ellis. J.C. Huizenga and Mike Jandernoa are among those raising money for the cause.

The Republican heavy-hitters signed a letter obtained by The Hill claiming that Amash "and others have effectively nullified the Republican majority in the U.S. House."

The libertarian-leaning Amash has inflamed the GOP leadership and some business leaders because he can't be controlled.

He's refused to toe the party line on civil liberties issues. He's not afraid to blast warrantless wiretapping (something many Democrats won't do) or vote present on Planned Parenthood funding, despite being pro-life.

U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) even derided Amash as a "wacko bird" for backing a filibuster over using drones in the war on terror.

The biggest problem is Amash twice voted against slash-and-burn budgets dreamt up by former vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, declaring that they didn't cut enough.

That helped cost Amash his slot on the powerful House Budget Committee, with one ally of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) snarking that the defiant congressman suffered from "the bleep factor."

And Amash voted against opening the government up after the GOP shutdown debacle, which the establishment Republicans claim was irresponsible.

But Amash has the edge in this fight. He's made himself the heir to the Ron Paul sect, is a Tea Party favorite and sports some wealthy and powerful friends, many of whom have the surname of DeVos.

The anti-tax group Club for Growth quickly endorsed Amash again. And Tea Party powerhouse FreedomWorks signaled it will go to the wall for him.

"We have heard that the K Street establishment wants to knock him off — and we intend to defend him punch-for-punch," Dean Clancy of FreedomWorks declared.

This is the latest salvo in the GOP civil war that's gone public -- which is quite remarkable for a party with a history of keeping family squabbles behind closed doors.

Not everyone see this as a fight worth having, like Republican consultant Mike Murray, who posted on Facebook: "I'd much rather all this time, money and effort be redirected to defeating Democrats -- specifically, Rep. Gary Peters."

But it's on.

Let's face it. Amash has been a thorn in the establishment's side ever since the then-29-year-old brashly announced he was running for Congress in 2010, whether incumbent U.S. Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-Grand Rapids) did or not.

Ehlers, a physicist known for being one of the more thoughtful members of Congress, was 76 at the time. Amash's move looked to many Republicans like the young whippersnapper was shoving a dedicated old man out the door.

It worked, though. Ehlers retired. Amash won the GOP primary. And he coasted to victory in a big Republican year, even though Ehlers' daughters endorsed his Democratic opponent.

But the time for Republicans to go after Amash was in 2012, while he was still a freshman. There was a lot of talk of doing so, but it never materialized.

Amash has since solidified his status as a national figure in the Tea Party cause. He has his own serious financial resources. And perhaps most importantly, he has passion -- something that appears in short supply with Ellis, the establishment's pick.

That all points to the likelihood that Justin Amash won't be leaving Congress anytime soon.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline happyg

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He won by a sizeable amount in both elections. He also has never missed a vote, which shows his sincerity. The oldsters like the status quo, and don't want some whippersnapper interfere or join their social club. They were satisfied doing just enough to get by, and get re-elected. People like Amash force them to work for their jobs, and they don't like it.

Online Oceander

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That all points to the likelihood that Justin Amash won't be leaving Congress anytime soon.

Not necessarily.  Enough artillery thrown in his direction by the GOP leadership could result in either a splinter right of center third party candidate who splits the GOP vote enough to give the win to his democrat party opponent, or else an exhausted candidate who has become undesirable in the eyes of a significant minority of his current supporters, to the point that they choose not to vote at all, in which case the win also gets handed to his democrat party opponent.

It might not be a very good idea to start going after republicans who have strong support in their districts.  It'd be much better to identify the weaker republicans who have little, or wavering, support in their districts, figure out why they're weak, and then move to replace them.  Success comes to those who cull the herd of the weakest, not to those who fruitlessly exhaust their energy going after the strongest.

And for those who have a distinct, and well-publicized, dislike (to put it mildly) for the more conservative and/or tea party-type republicans, I would throw their own argument for supporting milque toast moderate republicans:  when push comes to shove, having his warm body in that seat gets the GOP one seat closer to the majority needed to control the House, and his vote is a republican vote, not a democrat party vote.  What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 01:23:31 AM by Oceander »

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