Posts tagged ‘Justin Amash’

June 5, 2012

Ron Paul’s GOP Battle Reveals Some Truths About Political Parties

by Eric T. Phillips

Ryan McMaken does an excellent job explaining the true nature of political parties and why Ron Paul supporters will never be able transform them into vehicles for liberty:

The major parties in the United States do not adhere to any specific ideological program. The written party platforms are all but completely irrelevant in the day-to-day actions of the party and its members. We can also note the lack of ideological inconsistency by looking at the parties over time. Prior to Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic Party was usually the party of small, constitutional government, and it did a much better job of filling that role than the Republican Party ever has. By the 1930’s, the party completely changed its orientation, however. The GOP, on the other hand, has always been the party of major corporate conglomerates like railroads and major banking interests. At its founding, it was the party of easy money and federal meddling in the economic system. It wasn’t until the New Deal that the Republican Party, by virtue of being the opposition party during the long reign of FDR, found itself solidified as the party associated with free markets, and its record on that issue has been spotty at best.

If we look deeper into these ideological evolutions over time, we find that it is political expediency that drives the ideological claims of political parties, and certainly not loyalty to any sort of intellectual or ideological tradition.

This is not shocking since fundamentally, political parties exist to run candidates. Any decent American Politics 101 class will define political parties as candidate-running machines. Ideology means little, and we have seen this repeatedly in practice. This fact was summed up nicely in Nevada by a GOP partisan complaining about Ron Paul supporters:

“’Our method is we elect Republicans. That’s what the party’s for,’ said Dave Buell, chairman of the Washoe County GOP in the state’s northwest corner, the second largest county in the state. ‘Down south, the Ron Paul people down there are pushing ideology rather than electing Republicans.’”

Read the rest.

This does not mean that libertarians should not support Republicans like Justin Amash, it just means that pursuing a static strategy of trying to take over (or worse, integrate with) the Republican Party is highly unlikely to be an effective strategy for advancing liberty. Libertarians should abandon the GOP this fall (making exceptions for Amash, Rand, and Massie). Mitt Romney would make an atrocious president, and no liberty-minded individual should contribute in any way to his election. Then, next primary season, we should return in force, try to find a new leader for the Ron Paul movement, and give the party establishment as many headaches as possible. And, of course, if they nominate another Mitt Romney clone, we should bolt again.

The point is, the strategy should be dynamic and never tied to one institution.

April 5, 2012

Justin Amash and his Crusade Against the NDAA

by Eric T. Phillips

Eric Larson writes:

Freshman Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI3) has made it a habit of reading all the legislation that he votes on and posting all of his votes and reasoning on Facebook. He began this process when he served in the Michigan State House of Representatives and has continued it now in Congress. He and his office in reviewing the NDAA recognized that Sections 1021-1024 of the NDAA of 2012 contained new ‘clarification’ of what the President’s new powers were to be. As a lawyer, Amash quickly recognized the vagueness of the wording within the new provision and saw that it could be construed as giving the President broad new detention privileges while denying the defendant any legal recourse…

…[Among his] 18-20,000 [Facebook] followers there was intense outrage. They did call their Representatives. And told their friends. And those friends told their friends…

…Stories about the NDAA and its detention provisions are no longer just contained on ACLU and InfoWars websites but it’s also appearing in the Washington Post and International Business Times. There is a definite possibility that the Armed Forces Committees in both chambers will have to revise or potentially remove the provisions entirely from the NDAA 2013 bill!

The indefinite detention provision is close to dead. I believe we have reached critical mass and one man has maintained just a little bit of our liberty. It is very important to recognize that even one person can have a profound impact if they are tenacious and don’t settle on ‘just voting’ or just speaking out once or twice. I am proud to say that Justin Amash is my personal Congressman but hope that you see he is defending the liberties of not just my district in West Michigan but those of all Americans.

Read the whole thing.

March 30, 2012

Links of the Day

by Eric T. Phillips

The GOP is facing popular backlash from its support of the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA. Rep. Justin Amash is leading the charge to change the law’s most egregious language.

The Supreme Court will decide on the constitutionality of the individual mandate today. But it will tell us its decision in June. Robert Barnes explains the court’s arcane and aristocratic procedures.

Anthony Gregory on endless inflation and the tragic death of Subway’s five dollar foot longs.

February 28, 2012

Ron Paul and the Future of the Republican Party

by Eric T. Phillips

With 80% of precincts reporting, Ron Paul is in 3rd in Michigan (92,624; 12%). In Arizona, he’s in 4th with 72% of precincts reporting (33,819; 8%).

Even though he finished well behind Romney and Santorum, the mainstream media is slowly realizing that Dr. Paul and the movement coalescing around him is a powerful political force.

From the Washington Post:

Paul is — as we have written before — a very dangerous man to the Republican party. If he runs as an independent in the fall, every poll we have seen suggests that he would hand President Obama a second term.

Republicans need to find a way to bring Paul and his supporters under their tent — and soon.

From the Wall Street Journal:

[Rep. Justin] Amash, the second-youngest member of Congress after 30-year-old Aaron Schock, is a sort of 21st-century version of Mr. Paul. Like Mr. Paul, Mr. Amash opposes the war in Afghanistan and wants to abolish the Federal Reserve. The two are among the least reliable Republican members of the House, often bucking party leadership when voting on defense, civil liberties and other issues…

The GOP primary has been bitter so far, exposing fault lines between the party establishment and many rank-and-file voters. Mr. Amash exemplifies the changing Republican forces.

His district—which includes the state’s second-largest city, Grand Rapids—once sent staid, reliable Republicans like Gerald Ford to Washington. But in 2010 it gave 60% of the vote to the tea-party-backed Mr. Amash, the son of a Palestinian Christian immigrant.

From The Christian Science Monitor:

How about this for a poll shocker: While everybody in US politics has been preoccupied with the Michigan primary, Ron Paul has sneaked up on President Obama and for the first time leads the incumbent in a head-to-head survey.

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