Budowsky: JFK moonshot for 2020 Dems
Justin Amash confirms collusion witch hunt was all about politics
Representative Justin Amash has proven what President Trump has been saying all along about the Russia collusion witch hunt, which is that it is nothing but a politically motivated hit job. The Michigan Republican sent out plenty of ranting tweets over the weekend in which he parroted the talking points of the Democratic Party, particularly its slander campaign against Attorney General William Barr. Amash also insisted that President Trump has "engaged in impeachable conduct," though he conspicuously neglected to explicitly call for any impeachment proceedings to begin.
Naturally, the mainstream media pounced on the opportunity to publish headlines crowing that Amash just became the "first Republican" to claim that the conduct of Trump meets the threshold for impeachment. Buried beneath those jubilant headlines, however, some outlets conceded that even Democratic leaders do not expect his defection to make much of a difference. It appears Amash is trying to wrestle Senator Mitt Romney for the role of Senator Jeff Flake and be named most likely to sit down with the "Morning Joe" gang and cry over how Trump has hurt his feelings.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, for instance, noted that impeachment still has no chance with Senate Republicans, as even Romney asserted that Amash had gone too far in his tweet storm. Schiff did patronizingly praise Amash for his "courage" albeit in much the same way that liberals had used to praise the late Senator John McCain for his "courage" every time he defied his own party. Schiff was not saying that Amash had earned his respect in any way. The California Democrat is merely pleased that Amash is helping him do his partisan dirty work.
Amash was not demonstrating "courage" by attacking Trump any more than Senator Bernie Sanders had demonstrated "courage" by attacking Hillary Clinton when he was competing with her for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. The tweets were nothing more than a calculated move by a shrewd professional politician with aspirations to higher office and a lingering resentment against Trump.
Amash, who has been serving in Congress for nearly a decade since riding the Tea Party wave to the House in 2010, has been a consistent skeptic of the "America First" agenda of Trump, coming up with nitpicky reasons to oppose numerous conservative measures that he claims to support, such as completing the Keystone Pipeline and defending Immigration and Customs Enforcement from the liberal demands to abolish the agency.
Amash was notably one of just 13 House Republicans to vote in favor of a resolution to block Trump from declaring a national emergency in order to reallocate funds for border security. Amash, whose reelection prospects remain uncertain because Michigan will redraw its districts ahead of the 2020 election, has even refused to rule out the possibility that he will run for president on the Libertarian Party ticket, suggesting that his obvious break with the Republican Party is simply part of a broader strategy to build his personal brand and to shore up his future political prospects.
Unfortunately, as Trump pointed out in a defiant tweet of his own, Amash "plays right into" the hands of Republican opponents, just like he did with obstructionist votes against conservative policy priorities. Amash tried to preempt criticism of his political calculations by accusing Republicans of being overly partisan, but his record as a "useful idiot" of the Democrats in Congress ever since Trump was elected makes it clear that he has already abandoned the Republicans in all but name. Like the Democrats who are pushing for impeachment because they know they cannot defeat Trump at the ballot box, Amash is now blatantly seizing on the discredited Russia collusion narrative in the hopes of advancing his own political ambitions.
Mike Huckabee served as the 44th governor of Arkansas and ran as a 2016 Republican candidate for president. He is the host of "Huckabee" on Trinity Broadcasting Network. You can follow him on Twitter @GovMikeHuckabee.