Justin Amash

George Will on Justin Amash: 'America's most interesting development since November is the Republican Party becoming more interesting'


Washington Post columnist George Will gives a hearty thumbs-up to a trend we've been following closely here at Reason: the political rise of the "liberty movement" right, particularly its standard-bearer in the House of Representatives, Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan). Excerpt:

America's most interesting development since November is the Republican Party becoming more interesting. Consider the congressman from Grand Rapids, Mich., who occupies the seat once held by Gerald Ford, embodiment of vanilla Republicanism. Justin Amash, 33, may seek the Senate seat being vacated by six-term Democrat Carl Levin, who was elected in 1978, two years before Amash was born. […]

He absorbed a libertarian understanding of opportunity from the example of his father, who began his very successful business career by buying stuff from small wholesalers and selling it door-to-door. Amash graduated magna cum laude with an economics degree from the University of Michigan, then earned a law degree there. "Some of my views," he says mildly, "were a little bit different from my Republican peers." He began reading Friedrich Hayek and other representatives of the Austrian school of economics, and less than four years after he left Ann Arbor, he was in Michigan's Legislature, where in his one term he cast the only "no"vote on more than 70 bills. […]

Immediately after Levin announced his retirement, Amash received a late-night text message from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), encouraging him to run. "There's a great coalition over there," Amash says, referring to freshmen Lee, Kentucky's Rand Paul, Wisconsin's Ron Johnson, Arizona's Jeff Flake, South Carolina's Tim Scott, Texas's Ted Cruz, Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey and Florida's Marco Rubio, a group whose average age is 48, 13.5 years less than the average of Senate Republicans.

Last month, when Paul was waging his 13-hour filibuster, Amash made his first visit to the Senate floor and was struck by the contrast with the House, which he says is "good fun" and "loud and boisterous." The Senate would be more so with Amash inside, and Michigan Republicans, having lost six consecutive Senate elections, might reasonably want to try something new.

Whole thing, including an end note of caution, here.

If some of these points sound familiar, maybe that's because you watched Nick Gillespie's interview with Amash at Reason.tv:

George Will has been saying the GOP should get more libertarian for a while now.

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34 responses to “George Will on Justin Amash: 'America's most interesting development since November is the Republican Party becoming more interesting'

  1. But what will Mr. Constitution do to restore our lost alt text?

    You… you’re alright.

    1. I demand to know the answer. That mouse cursor hovers over so many images without getting a humorous remark.

      1. Cursor hovers? No Reasonable? How gauche.

        1. I look down on you people unable to handle even this simple corner of the internet with just your own wits. If that is what it takes to be socially acceptable, I revel in my uncouth cowl.

          1. I use technology for menial tasks, saving my wits for more substantial matters.

            Revel away, in your low tech pit of despair.

        2. Isn’t that only on Chrome?

          1. Yes. I switched from Firefox because of it. Makes wasting my time here much easier.

            1. You can have my Firefox when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

      2. Konqueror (running in Fedora distro of Linux) gives the alt text just fine. Lotta other stuff it doesn’t seem to work, however.

  2. Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey


    1. It’s not a Toomey.

    2. Yeah, fuck that noise.

  3. You have to give Will credit, he takes Libertarians seriously, unlike professional concern trolls like Frum or Brooks.

    1. Right on. I’ve noticed a change in him the last few years – much less insufferable than previously, and much more libertopian oriented.

      Me like.

  4. …Michigan Republicans, having lost six consecutive Senate elections, might reasonably want to try something new.

    Voters? Maybe. Establishment? NEVER!

  5. He says, “Tell me how a Democrat is going to attack me on the social issues.”

    Like his parents, Amash is an Orthodox Christian and pro-life.

    Well, the “how” of it will probably involve lots of fury, vitriol, and hyperbole.

    1. and don’t forget lots of pants wetting. Especially over lines like this…

      “government should not be engaged in marriage at all.”

    2. Did Fauxcahontas recently attack a Republican for wanting to legalize marijuana?

      They’ll attack him.



        Walgreens cards. Drug dealers don’t. CVS isn’t going to put a gun in a kid’s backpack and tell him to shoot his competition at school.

        1. You think most voters are going to think about it that hard?

          1. Minor correction to an otherwise laudable question:

            “You think most voters are going to think”

          2. That’s why it has to be shouted at them.

  6. Now if only someone would write a book about how libertarian politics can fix what’s wrong with America.

    1. Not a suggestion that would get much traction here at Reason. None of these folks ever write books, amirite?

    2. Fucking genius idea. Those guys at Reason should consider writing a book.

  7. Nevertheless, he thinks that he could win a Republican primary and that “my mix of positions is best for winning the general.”

    Is this speculation about him getting into the senate or the presidency?


    1. Michigan needs to get in line for the fucking. I can think of at least 4 states that need fucking more.


      Are you channeling Steve Smith?

  9. From the Will column:

    “the delicate but constructive fusion of libertarians and social conservatives”

    Sorry, that fusion has been smashed up by both government-fellating socons and libertine libertarians.

    Reconstructing that alliance requires either a lot of duct tape, or principled people like Amash and Rand Paul.

  10. Amash is my rep – lucky me.

    Many of the local Republicans aren’t happy with Amash since he doesn’t toe the line tow the lion, but prefer him over a Democrat (who handily lost the last election).

  11. He refuses to vote for legislation the House has not been given time to read, which is eccentric

    For values of “eccentric” that equate to “rational”, sure.

    “There’s a great coalition over there,” Amash says, referring to freshmen Lee, Kentucky’s Rand Paul, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, Arizona’s Jeff Flake, South Carolina’s Tim Scott, Texas’s Ted Cruz, Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey and Florida’s Marco Rubio

    One of these does not belong with the others — * cough * “Manchin-Toomey gun bill”

    1. How the hell does Rubio fall in with the libertarian wing? He’s full socon.

  12. Reason should use more QR codes directing towards interviews and other data in their magazine articles, found this use of a code in the latest magazine article quite exciting… http://qfuse.com/blog/reason-m…..blications

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