View Full Version : Why Justin Amash Keeps Winning

08-05-2014, 09:49 PM
Why Justin Amash Keeps Winning

GOP leaders in Washington hate him. His opponent outspent him. The Chamber moved against him. "I clearly am getting under their skin," Amash gloats.

August 5, 2014

On the March evening when his opponent released a brutal TV ad accusing him of voting "to allow gender-selection abortions to continue," an infuriated Rep. Justin Amash sat behind his computer and orchestrated an email chain with his closest advisers. They had expected Brian Ellis, the businessman challenging Amash in this year's Republican primary, to pull no punches. But nobody was prepared for this 30-second spot, which showed babies in pink blankets disappearing from a nursery. Amash, a father of two young daughters, was seething. One thing was on everyone's mind: retribution.

Amash's small and intensely loyal inner circle—including his two brothers, who run Michigan Industrial Tools, their father's Grand Rapids-based company; and Will Adams, the Harvard Law grad who serves as Amash's chief of staff and political consigliere—had a number of specific ideas. They would correct the record, of course, providing the context of that vote and pointing to Amash's antiabortion record. (Fact checkers agreed, calling Ellis's ad "misleading.") They would rally popular outrage against Ellis, decrying his below-the-belt tactics in Amash's congenial west Michigan district. And they would use this attack to his advantage, highlighting Amash's explanation of that vote—and every single other one he's taken since entering Congress in 2011—as evidence of his transparency and accountability.

But these were merely ephemeral retorts, adequate to blunt this specific attack but not those yet to come. And Amash knew there would be more to come. He had made powerful enemies in his first three years as a congressman, and those enemies were now emboldened. The Republican establishment was fighting back against tea-party influence nationwide, and Amash, the libertarian champion loathed by House GOP leadership, was a prized target. If establishment forces could claim Amash's scalp in his August primary, they also could claim real momentum in the battle for the soul of the Republican Party.


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William Tell
08-05-2014, 09:52 PM
It was still to close.

08-05-2014, 11:23 PM
It was still to close.

Almost a 15% margin, not what I would call close.

08-06-2014, 04:44 AM
because just like Ron, he is effective for his district.

08-06-2014, 10:25 AM
I remember Saul
"He's just a very hardworking member," said former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis. "He doesn't always vote the way his district wants him to, but he has very good constituent relations. He goes to meetings and responds to his constituents. And that's a tough thing to beat."Saul's apparently getting even dumber.

loved this bit
"We'd like to send a message that we aren't going to stand for this," Amash said late last week on a metal bench outside his congressional office building, since he refuses to discuss campaign activity—with aides or reporters—inside the halls of Congress.

08-06-2014, 03:06 PM
Why Representative Justin Amash's Primary Victory Matters

His challenger for the GOP nomination tried to twist his opposition to NSA spying and indefinite detention as comfort to al-Qaeda—and the attack failed miserably.

AUG 6 2014, 8:00 AM ET

Representative Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican, is one of the most important civil libertarians in the House of Representatives. He isn't just a staunch opponent of the NSA's mass surveillance of Americans—he actually has a sophisticated understanding of surveillance policy (unlike the vast majority of his congressional colleagues) as well as a record of bringing forth actual reform proposals.

Amash voted against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, favored a measure to repeal indefinite detention, and opposed reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act. Little wonder that an ACLU staffer told Mother Jones that he's "a game changer."

For his heresies, establishment GOP forces spent a bunch of money trying to oust Amash in a primary. His loss would've been especially devastating to civil libertarians. Opposition to Amash came largely from Republican business interests, but Amash's vote against the debt-ceiling hike—a mistake, in my view—wasn't the focus of the campaign. Instead, civil-liberties issues played an important role. Amash's opponents didn't merely disagree with the Tea Partier's efforts to stop abuses of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. They equated his position with supporting terrorists in one of the more disgusting attacks of this cycle:



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