Yesterday, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) announced his retirement. Flake, one of the biggest hypocrites and disappointments of the Senate in recent years, thought he could help his political ambitions by opposing Donald Trump. He postured against Trump by constantly visiting Mosques, rubbing elbows with Planned Parenthood, and echoing Democratic talking points. He thought this would put him on the path for the Presidency; instead, it put him on the unemployment line.
Unfortunately for libertarians and free market conservatives, a man believed to be their champion has adopted Flake’s poor strategy in the House, and it could lose him his seat next year. This man is none other than Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), who may face a heated primary challenge in 2018.
Although Amash’s voting record has remained relatively consistent, he has postured against Trump at seemingly every turn. Going beyond mere policy disagreements, Amash’s vendetta against Trump grew to be personal. He joined the RINOs of Michigan, including Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and Rep. Fred Upton, to call on Trump to step down and give the presidency to Hillary Clinton after the now-infamous ‘p-ssy grabbing’ audio was revealed in October of last year.
Once Trump defeated Hillary and even beat her unexpectedly in Amash’s home state of Michigan, Amash did not stop his Never Trump crusade. He even joined in with the Democrats for their embarrassing Russian hysteria. Amash stated that he trusted disgraced former FBI Director James Comey more than Trump, and even indicated preliminary support for Trump’s impeachment. This is especially inexcusable, as Amash should be aware that the ‘Russian collusion’ smear was used extensively on Ron and Rand Paul back when they were in the driver’s seat of the anti-establishment Republican Party.
It is clear that Amash takes his cues from the likes of Flake and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE). They clearly thought that the Trump movement was just a passing fad. They figured that Trump would get bored, flame out, or the public would eventually come to their senses. The problem for them is none of that ever happened. The Trump phenomenon has become a permanent part of GOP politics, and shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. That leaves Amash on the outside looking in, and leaves libertarians doubting his political acumen moving forward. Positioning himself with establishment villains because of a petty personal vendetta with Donald Trump has potentially ruined Amash’s once bright political career.
Will Amash be able to turn things around before it is too late? Libertarians should certainly hope so, considering his solid voting record. He has toned down his anti-Trump rhetoric in recent weeks, and would be wise to follow the leads of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). Paul has become one of Trump’s top confidants while Massie masterfully sells the liberty message to his pro-Trump constituents. Perhaps Amash thought that he could be Flake’s running mate during his presidential run in 2020. Those delusions need to be thrown overboard. Amash needs to re-evaluate before even more damage is done, or else he will be leaving Washington D.C. with his tail between his legs like his pal Flake.