Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Reason.com: Justin Amash Becomes the First Libertarian Member of Congress

rollcallpix118906
Libertarian Congressman Justin Amash
In an interview, the freshly-minted presidential candidate talks abortion, the "spoiler" charge, and Joe Biden's flip-flopping, while insisting that 2020 is a "winnable race."

by Matt Welch, Reason.com


After a half-century of existence, the Libertarian Party (L.P.) this morning wakes up to a situation it has never before experienced—with a sitting member of Congress proudly waving the Libertarian flag.
"I will be the first," Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) told me late Wednesday night, just after announcing his candidacy for the Libertarian presidential nomination. "And I'm happy to do that."
Amash is not the only person smiling. In an email, Libertarian Party Chair Nicholas Sarwark said, "I'm happy to see that Representative Amash has come home to the political party most closely aligned with his views," adding: "If more members of the House who are tired of being marginalized by the GOP and Democratic leadership joined him, we could see a caucus of legislators who are able to work for the American people instead of conflicting teams of special interests. My DMs are open."..
To read article in full, click here.

5 comments:

NewFederalist said...

He could have done this last year. He just figured out that he can't win re-election to the House as an independent so why not go out with a blaze of glory?

Andy said...

How about Justin Amash run for reelection to US House as a Libertarian? The Libertarian Party can put resources into the race. If he get reelected, he could run for reelection again in 2022. If he wins that, he can run for President in 2024 as a SITTING Libertarian US House member, and with a 4 year track record in the Libertarian Party.


The Libertarian Party should nominate Adam Kokesh for President this year. If not Adam Kokesh, maybe Jacob Hornberger.


Go with a long time Libertarian Party member for President. Justin Amash is a NEWBIE to the Libertarian Party.

Andy said...

The other thing with Amash is that he is jumping in just a few weeks before the LP National Convention. It is probably too late for him to participate in any Libertarian Party State Conventions.


This would have been better if last July, instead of switching to independent, Justin had switched to Libertarian, and started running for President last July as a SITTING Libertarian Party Congressman. He should have gone t all of the LP State Conventions and debated the other candidates, answered questions from party members, gotten to meet and know party members.


Jumping in now is anti-climatic to me.


It would not be so bad if not for the fact that the Libertarian Party has nominated people heavily identified with the Republican Party for President and Vice President at the last three elections, and in two of those cases, with Bob Barr and with Bill Weld, they started to run shortly before the convention, and in the case of Weld, he only joined the party two weeks before the convention.


Justin Amash has a better record than anyone who has been on the Libertarian Party's presidential ticket for the last three elections, but even so, him being nominated continues to make the LP looks like the home for washed up Republicans.

NewFederalist said...

I agree. I would feel MUCH better about him if he had switched to Libertarian rather than independent last July. His voting record is actually very good but he will still be viewed as a disgruntled Republican seeking the nomination of the GOPs little brother which is NOT in the best long term interests of the Libertarian Party IMHO.

Cody Quirk said...

NF, read the interview.

"...Reason: What took you so long?

Amash: Well, I've been spending time with my family, with friends; I wanted to spend substantial time thinking about it carefully. And up until the past month or so, let's say, I couldn't really think about it that carefully. There were a lot of things going on in Congress, there were a lot of things going on in life.

Around February I decided I would pause my congressional campaign and really focus on the presidential race. And that meant at the time just researching things, seeing if it was a situation where I could come in as a candidate and win the race. And then over the past few weeks, I really sat down to dig into it and got to the point where I was confident that this was a winnable race. Because I don't believe you should just run for fun or for messaging. I believe you should run to win, and to make an impact at the ballot box.

So I'm at that place, and I'm in.

Reason: So you start in mid-February—that's not coronavirus o'clock, but the coronavirus came up by the beginning of March. So explain a little bit how that affected your deliberations, if at all.

Amash: Well, it certainly extended the deliberations. So if not for the COVID-19 situation, I would have been able to focus on it more carefully earlier. In other words, the really aggressive focus on the campaign—where I could think "Is it time to get in or not?"—had to be put on hold a little bit. I was already in the process of researching things, talking to people, talking to family and friends. But when the coronavirus came up, I had to slow that down, because that obviously affects the entire race, and obviously it affects my job, too. I'm in Congress trying to help constituents, making sure that they are getting the resources they need, and so it affected my ability to move forward quickly..."

&

"...Reason: Members of the Libertarian Party who like you, and have preferred you, and in fact have wanted you to run for a long time, have expressed some irritation of, "Jesus, Hamlet, get off the fence! We've been out here trying to build a party, and go to state conventions, and engage in debates, and this is a little bit late in the game." What do you say to those people as you try to win a majority of a thousand delegates?

Amash: Well, I want to earn their support. I respect the process. I respect the delegates. If it were up to me, and everything had run smoothly, I would have made a decision earlier. But life comes up, things come up. The COVID-19 situation came up, for example, and there are other things that have come up over the past year. And I don't control all those things.

But I took the time I needed to make a decision. I feel confident about the decision, and I want to go and earn the support of the Libertarian Party. And I don't think that any person running simply deserves the support. I think they have to go earn it. And I'll spend a lot of time over the next several weeks speaking to Libertarians, speaking to delegates, and trying to win their support..."

Seems like rational explanations to me.

#AMASH2020