Justin Amash Quits Republican Party On July 4, Quotes A Chillingly Prescient George Washington

"The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions".

"The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions".
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7 comments on “Justin Amash Quits Republican Party On July 4, Quotes A Chillingly Prescient George Washington

  1. Here here. Kudoes to Justin. Now, if only the rest of the Republicans who cherish the people ahead of the party will follow suit. A wake up call for Mitch and Lindsey.

  2. ” I’m asking you to believe that we can do better …” Yes, please, can we not just do better? All of us.

  3. This Op-Ed is, in light of Amash’s previously bold position in standing out from his party and standing up for the rule of law, is glaringly weak and significantly undermines the moral high ground he has held.

    This isn’t an Op-Ed about why Amash left the Republican party; it’s not a spiritual successor to his tweets about the Mueller Report and about the deafening silence of every republican as the President continues to erode our democratic system.

    No, this is an Op-Ed about his frustration with the two party system. While this is a noble academic discussion, this is different, and fundamentally weaker, than him spilling his guts out about about his final rejection of the party that he grew up with and fought for throughout his career. He even implicitly lets on about this weakness, by starting it with a cute intro hook about him leaving the republican party–what everyone wants to really hear–and right when he’s going to get to the juicy part–why–he pivots abruptly and gives you the milquetoast reason of “i’m tired of partisan politics altogether, both sides, lets all be independent.”

    This is Political Clickbait in the information age.

    This is a letdown, and there’s is no way around that fact. There is no doubt that both sides engage in the partisan politics that Amash describes. Yet is it indisputable that since Obama stirred up the Tea Party, the republicans have come out of the shadows and have been, in broad daylight, systematically eroding our democratic institutions and the important traditions that serve to moderate the partisanship of the two part system. This is McConnell pre-textually refusing to bring Obama’s last Supreme Court nominee to a vote, this is McConnell refusing to honor the Pink Slip tradition for circuit judges, this is McConnell being the “Grim Reaper” for any house-passed legislation, this is the republican-led purging of the voter rolls and limitations on the ballot box, this is republican gerrymandering, and worst of all, this is the “case closed” position of every republican after not reading the Mueller Report.

    This systematic erosion of our democracy on purely partisan lines is exactly what led to Amash feeling completely isolated when he finally stood up. What I sensed from him then was a profound schizophrenia, a feeling of “am I taking crazy pills?” in the face of the fact that absolutely no one else in his party was willing to speak out. It had to have been difficult, and I was proud.

    Now I am not proud, this is the same weak “lets all be independent” logic that got Trump elected in the first place. Choose a side. And if you don’t want to choose, and you only want to leave a side, at least have the courage to give the real reasons and shine a light on it. America needs that.

  4. Yes, but if, say, 30 more republican senators left the party, even with milquetoast reasons, would it not start to force a change of leadership?

    • I would definitely agree with that, but that’s a very big if.

      In the meantime, absent that monumental exodus by the republicans themselves, the opposition is left fighting the same losing battle. There are news sites today pulling strategic quotes from Amash’s piece to try and paint the story in the way that I have hoped for. That is, as Amash’s forceful rejection of the republican party emanating from its “rhetoric that divide[s] and dehumanize[s] us” and its hypocritical failure to hold Trump accountable. Yet that is not what Amash has said here–his reference to divisive and dehumanizing “rhetoric” is pretty clearly a partisan rhetoric, not a republican rhetoric.


      So, as any historian has learned, you could look at the history of his tweets and then look at some of the implied content in the Op-Ed and try to color it in a way that gets close to what we perceive his intent to be (a Scalia-type Originalism, as it were). But I think that this is purely revisionist history, and should be left to the Barr’s of the world.

      I won’t tell you to stop hoping for a mass republican exodus, I am hoping for the same. Meanwhile, the opposition needs to take a hard look in the mirror and decide whether its strategy is effective.

      • Probably can’t demand he commit political suicide in addition to withdrawing from the Republican party, just to not let you down.

        • I would say he already committed political suicide by calling for impeachment. Unless Trump’s control over who gets primaried is overblown and republicans will still vote for someone who speaks out.

          He wasn’t waving the Mueller Report around in that town hall he did saying to the crowd, “look at this evidence of the rife partisan divisions in our two party system! The president should be impeached because politics is so divided right now!” No, he was saying the president obstructed justice, and no other republican is standing up, so I’m going to be the one to do it, alone if I have to.

          I would be receptive to the idea that by omitting all of that from this Op-Ed and turning it into a discussion about our two-party system, he is trying to cater to independents who want someone who is trying to step away from partisanship. So in that case you would be circuitously correct, he is trying to reverse some of the damage he already did to himself.

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