Saturday, June 22, 2019

GOP libertarians split over Trump

The libertarian fight over Trump - James W. Antle III, Washington Examiner:

June 6, 2019 - "Former Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo., took to the op-ed pages to blast President Trump, early in his term, as 'the most divisive president in our history.' While that assessment is a matter of opinion, Trump has managed to drive an unfamiliar wedge between the two most libertarian members of Congress.

"Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., became the first member of his party to call for the president's impeachment, saying Attorney General William Barr 'deliberately misrepresented key aspects' of special counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia report, a document he further alleged many of his GOP colleagues on Capitol Hill never read.

"Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., disagrees. 'I think they took this great power we entrusted with them to spy on foreigners, and they directed it against Americans for partisan reasons,' Paul said of the Russia investigation in an interview with Fox News....  'I think it's wrong for any Republican to think, "Oh gosh, this is a legitimate investigation." I think it's a very partisan investigation." Paul described the whole affair as 'unlibertarian.'

"It may be the most significant disagreement ever between these two lawmakers who both arrived in Washington after the tea party-wave election of 2010, their candidacies made possible by the GOP presidential campaigns of then-Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the Kentucky senator's father, and have nearly identical voting records today. Aside from impeachment or the origins of the Russia investigation, it speaks also to differing strategies for Republicans in the age of Trump, whether libertarian, centrist, or conservative....

"Fundamentally, it is an argument over whether it's a more significant risk to be discredited by opposition to Trump or association with him. There are many obvious reasons why Paul and Amash would disagree on this question. Paul has access to Trump; Amash does not. Born in 1980, Amash is closer in age to the millennials who often find Trump offensive. Paul is on the younger end of the baby boomers, who see Trump more congenially.

"Paul represents Kentucky, a state Trump won easily and remains popular in. In fact, Trump ran ahead of Paul there in 2016, with 62.5% of the vote to the junior senator's 57%. Amash ran ahead of Trump in his district, winning 59% to the future president's 52%. The seat was once held by Gerald Ford, whom the Pauls would oppose as a sitting president at the Republican National Convention in 1976.

"Amash's libertarianism has probably allowed him to compile a more conservative voting record than his more moderate congressional district might otherwise be comfortable with. It is similarly possible that this will allow him to outlast his criticism of Trump. Paul already tried running as a Trump critic when they were both seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and it ended disastrously.

"The ultimate disagreement between the two might not be about Trump but partisanship. Amash has increasingly taken to describing partisanship as a counterproductive, even destructive force, the factionalism the Founding Fathers warned against. Paul sees partisan sentiment as baked into the cake of American politics and best used in service of his principles where possible.

"Which approach works best may have as much to do with how the Trump years end than who is right about this political dilemma."

'via Blog this'

1 comment:

  1. Rep Justin Amash is a REAL Libertarian, Rand Paul is just a REPUBLICAN! There is no such thing as a GOP Libertarian as no REAL Libertarian can support a man that supported raising tariffs, attacking Syria and banning bump stocks!