a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
noun: heel; plural noun: heels
an inconsiderate or untrustworthy person.
“what kind of a heel do you think I am?”
(in professional wrestling) a wrestler who adopts a mean or unsympathetic persona in the ring.
Now that we have the basic definitions down….
I have been working on this piece in my mind since Rep. Justin Amash announced back on May 22nd that he would support the impeachment of President Trump after reading the full Mueller report.
Having met the man twice and talked to him briefly both times I have always found him an interesting politician to watch and have agreed with him on many things. So when Matt Lewis over at The Daily Beast wrote this piece on Saturday, Justin Amash for President: A Change Conservatives Can Believe In, I figured it was finally time to give my two cents about some serious issues I have about Amash’s analysis and his “brave” stance on coming out for impeachment. (I will note that I produce Matt’s podcast Matt Lewis And The News.)
That Amash would post his opinion on the report should not surprise anyone who has followed him since his time in the Michigan House of Representatives. He has been excellent about posting his reasons for his votes and engaging people on their views. This was the case when I had a back and forth with him on Facebook about illegal immigration which I wrote about right here. Did Rep. Justin Amash Vote To Allow Illegals In San Francisco To Vote?
I take him at his word that he took the time to read the full Mueller report that is available. Being that he did not come out with a quick take right after the release like so many others did and waited a month before he released his opinion on Twitter, I believe that is a reasonable assumption.
In his 20 tweet explanation, which you can find Right Here, he goes through his reasoning.
Now to put this fully in context, let’s post what the Constitution says about impeachment in Section 4, Article 2 of the founding document.
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
What that means is that the founders were going to leave it up to future Congresses to determine what was the bar that we raise or lower for our executives and officers. In other words, there doesn’t need to be an actual crime committed but a political one would also suffice if the Congress has the guts to push it through. Even if an actual crime was committed as was the case with Bill Clinton’s lying under oath, the Senate decided that crime was not a big enough deal to remove a sitting President.
Amash, in his tweets above, lays out his best case for why, though an actual crime has not been committed, a political one has occurred, and thus Trump should be impeached.
In the scenario that is being pursued by Amash, the President essentially barked a lot and was told no or ignored and the issue was left at that. That amounts to a temper tantrum being thrown and nothing coming of it. The guilty pleas so far are on the people that plead that way for various reasons. Possibly that changes in the future but on the previous theory I laid out, Rep. Amash thinks that is enough. This is well within the power of the Congress that Justin Amash is part of right now to do so if they feel strongly about this.
Now, here is the part that I have been really thinking about lately and I’m not quite sure to make of this all. Matt’s piece above brought this again to the front of my mind and is the reason for finally writing this article.
From The Daily Beast story above…
Call it a protest vote if you want but Amash is one of very few politicians today that I could support in good conscience. And the good news is that—because he has already demonstrated his moral courage—he might just be crazy enough to do it!
The phrase “Moral Courage” has struck me along with something else. Rep. Amash at the end of last month held at a town hall meeting in his district stood for two hours and took questions — plus love and hate — from the assembled crowd.
According to The Atlantic, he said this at that gathering…
I’m a big believer in liberty and the Constitution. Nobody cares about liberty in Congress more than I do. One thing you see around the world is liberty cannot survive in a system where people hate each other and where there is no virtue. You can’t have a system like that. Our Founders and Framers talked about that. You have to have people who care about virtue and you have to have love.
Is Justin Amash the only one in Congress on the Republican side that has moral courage and loves liberty more than anyone else? Is he the only one that has a virtuous streak strong enough to say the hell with his political future over this stance?
Amash is the leader of the “House Liberty Caucus” that has 8 members including Rep. Amash. The others are…
Paul Gosar of Arizona
Morgan Griffith of Virginia
Thomas Massie of Kentucky
Warren Davidson of Ohio
Jim Jordan of Ohio
Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
Andy Biggs of Arizona
Surely one of these people also sees it the way that Rep. Amash does. According to Need To Impeach not one of these individuals who serve with Amash in the House and specifically in the Liberty Caucus see it as he does and declared this publicly.
Over on the Senate side, the two Senators who are most closely aligned with Rep. Amash’s view on most things are Sen. Rand Paul-KY and Sen. Ben Sasse-NE. I could find nothing on what Sen. Sasse has said about this but Sen. Paul came out against Amash and his view late last month. Rand Paul splits with Amash on Trump impeachment.
Does Justin Amash love liberty more than Rand Paul?
I know that seems like a bit of unfair question but the Representative from Michigan has put himself in this corner with his above comments on this.
The Democrats are using this situation to attempt to take down a Republican President as they have done with all others before so there is nothing mysterious there.
However, if Justin Amash is the only elected Republican who seems to think that impeachment is necessary among the likes of Rand Paul, Ben Sasse, and Thomas Massie, does that mean the others lack moral courage and not are not as in love with liberty as the Congressman from Michigan?
Or is it possible Amash is just dead wrong here?
Hero or Heel?
Let me know what you think in the places listed below or reach out to me at [email protected].
Check out my other post on Rachel Maddow Gets Blacklisted And Why CNN, MSNBC Always Get Beat In The Ratings and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2