A conversation with one of the purged, Rep. Justin Amash.
A friend e-mailed me some months ago to suggest that I contribute money to a particular congressman’s campaign. My friend is a Democrat of some national prominence, and I responded to him, “You know I never give money to Democrats.”
He said, “No, this guy is a libertarian-leaning Republican, sort of like a young, sane Ron Paul.” So I said I’d do some homework and consider a contribution if the congressman would be willing to have a phone conversation with me.
The next day, with the ringing of my cell phone, began my introduction to Congressman Justin Amash (pronounced uh-mosh’), the 32-year old representative of Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District (Grand Rapids and surrounding areas).
We spoke for nearly half an hour, on topics ranging from abortion to government spending to national defense and — this was Justin’s topic — the idea of private enterprises issuing competing currencies given the debasement being done to the U.S. dollar by our Federal Reserve and Treasury. Clearly, no inside-the-box thinker on my hands.
Of the many things to recommend Amash, who is the second-youngest member of the 112th Congress, including graduating magna cum laude with an economics degree from University of Michgan, where he also received his JD (law degree), perhaps the one that interested me the most was his Facebook page where Congressman Amash to this day posts an explanation for every vote he casts in Congress.
It is also worth noting that (at least according to his House web page), “Justin was one of only twelve Representatives to have perfect attendance, not missing one of the 948 roll call votes, during the First Session of the 112th Congress.”
Amash is nobody’s neo-con, aggressively criticizing “the unconstitutional war in Libya, the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, and the Stop Online Piracy Act — SOPA.” And while he is somewhat toward the conservative end of the spectrum on social issues, such as being anti-abortion, he holds strong reservations about federal involvement in our personal lives.
For this libertarian-leaning Republican, Justin Amash seemed about as good as it gets.
Before donating to his campaign, I wanted a second opinion — and a third. So I contacted my friend Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, to ask his opinion of Amash, whom the FreedomWorks PAC had endorsed in 2010. Kibbe, who is not shy about changing his mind when politicians get Potomac Fever, said, and I quote, “Justin Amash is a rock star.” I then contacted a gentleman I know in the leadership of the Club for Growth, a very large fiscal issue-oriented conservative PAC, who told me, “On our issues, Amash is probably the single best member of Congress.”
Justin Amash thus became the only member of Congress to whom I contributed in the 2012 election cycle. I have never regretted it.
Amash votes his principles more consistently than most politicians do, including being one of two Republicans to vote against the House Budget Committee’s 2013 budget, aka the Ryan Budget, while a member of that committee.
Fast forward to this week when we learned — before Justin Amash did — that he had been removed from the Budget Committee along with Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), who was the only other Republican to vote against the Ryan budget in committee. Two other Republicans, Dave Schweikert (R-AZ) and Walter Jones (R-NC), who along with Amash and Huelskamp opposed the Budget Control Act, were removed from the Financial Services Committee.
On Wednesday, Rep. Huelskamp quoted Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) as saying that the leadership “punished four members” (remarkably attributing the stark word “punished” to the Speaker) and that Boehner “warned GOP lawmakers that there may be more folks that will be targeted … ‘we’re watching all your votes.’”
Not least because I thought we had a Congress rather than a Politburo, and because I (perhaps naively) expected better behavior from John Boehner than from Nancy Pelosi or Barack “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother” Obama, the news inspired my second long phone conversation with Congressman Amash, this being an exclusive interview of him for The American Spectator:
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?