Why Rep. Justin Amash is Leaving the GOP

U.S. House Representative Justin Amash of Michigan announced on July 4 that he is leaving the Republican Party. Amash’s decision to leave the GOP is not just a statement about the Republicans; it is a statement about the increasing polarization of the current two-party system and the lack of true representation as a result of extreme partisanship.

“I’ve become disenchanted with party politics and frightened by what I see from it,” wrote Amash in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post. The two-party system has evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”

As expected, Donald Trump responded to the news with a disparaging tweet: “Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is “quitting” the Party. No Collusion, No Obstruction! Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!”

Trump is missing the point of why Justin Amash is leaving the GOP. Not everyone sees politics as simply a game of tactics for election or re-election. Amash is no doubt well aware of what his actions may cost him in the political arena. 

On the other hand, in the current political atmosphere where members of both parties seem to automatically oppose anything the other party supports, and where Republicans tend to stick to the party line, no matter how lacking in integrity, perhaps Justin Amash will gain new supporters who join him “in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us,” as he wrote in his op-ed piece.

Speaking more about why he is leaving the GOP, Amash told CNN’s Jake Tapper, “Over the years, I’ve seen that people are just falling in line behind the leaders, including people in my own caucus, which I left. …So it has gotten worse and worse and I think this was the term that really broke it for me.” Amash also said that he have left the Republican Party even if Donald Trump weren’t the president. 

As a result of Justin Amash’s leaving the GOP, the House now has 235 Democrats, 197 Republicans, and now, one Independent (Amash). 

Justin Amash leaves GOP | Click On Detroit  Local 4  WDIV [2019-07-04]

Rep. Justin Amash leaving GOP, Trump calls it ‘great news’ | Fox News [2019-07-04]

GOP’s Justin Amash Supports Trump Impeachment

Justin Amash, a Republican representative from Michigan, has become the first GOP member of Congress to publicly say that Donald Trump should be impeached. Amash, though a libertarian, is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, whose members tend to be significantly more right-leaning than other Republicans. Until Justin Amash’s recent statements, the support for impeachment has been split along party lines.

On Saturday, May 18, Amash tweeted that he had come to four conclusions after reading the redacted Mueller report.

“Here are my principal conclusions:”

“1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report.
2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.
3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances.
4. Few members of Congress have read the report.”

“I offer these conclusions,” said Amash, “only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.”

Justin Amash, known for standing on principal, has frequently been at odds with Trump, as well as with fellow Republicans. This is significant because Amash is ultra-conservative. With his recent statements supporting Trump’s impeachment, he is taking a position that has been associated with the Democrats. This partisan thinking, Amash points out, is preventing meaningful and productive activity —namely justice — from occurring.

“Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our Constitution. When loyalty to a political party or to an individual trumps loyalty to the Constitution, the Rule of Law — the foundation of liberty — crumbles.”

Not all Democrats currently support impeachment of Trump. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has advised a prudent approach, pointing out that rushing to impeachment could backfire and cost the Democrats the 2020 presidential election.

But Justin Amash reminds us all that our government is not in place to interpret the law or the Constitution for partisan political gain:

“America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it,” said Amash.

GOP congressman among first to say Trump impeachment possible | CBS News [2019-05-17]

GOP Rep. Justin Amash Calls For Trump’s Impeachment With No Specific Reason | Own the Libs with Facts [2019-05-18]