Justin Amash

Justin Amash Drops Out of Presidential Race

A week before the Libertarian Party begins voting, its most high-profile candidate steps aside.


In the three years that he was weighing a presidential run, and the three weeks that he was an actual candidate for the Libertarian Party's nomination, Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) always emphasized that he wasn't interested in improving incrementally upon 2016 nominee Gary Johnson's 3.27 percent of the national vote. Amash wanted to compete meaningfully or not compete at all.

This afternoon, the first-ever Libertarian congressman elected not to compete.

In a Twitter thread, Amash wrote that the current political environment "presents extraordinary challenges," including that "polarization is near an all-time high" and that "social media and traditional media are dominated by voices strongly averse to the political risks posed by a viable third candidate." Also, "lingering uncertainty regarding ratification of online voting, the feasibility of 50-state ballot access and related legal challenges, and unity after the nomination have also weighed heavily on me. We must address these issues as a party to ensure we maximize our potential."

As I wrote one month ago,

The conditions for nontraditional candidates in times of high negative polarization are particularly brutal, as we saw in the 2018 midterms. This is particularly true in cycles immediately following a razor-thin presidential race. Even people who love Amash are going to be begging him not to run if there is any chance of him impeding the all-or-nothing quest to drive Trump out of the White House.

That latter prediction has certainly been borne out by events, to a degree that Amash found surprising.

The congressman's exit now leaves the Libertarian race bereft of names with strong national recognition or easy access to high-profile media. Future of Freedom Foundation founder Jacob Hornberger has won by far the most of the party's nonbinding primaries and caucuses. Educator Jo Jorgensen, the party's 1996 vice presidential nominee, won the Nebraska primary this week, and she eventually edged Hornberger out for second place in an instant-runoff voting exercise (which Amash won) among around one-quarter of Libertarian Party delegates.

Hornberger and Jorgensen will square off tonight in an online debate tonight that I am moderating at 8 p.m., along with 2012 Libertarian vice presidential nominee Judge Jim Gray, anarchist veteran Adam Kokesh, and hopefully a replacement for Amash. The party is scheduled to begin voting for a presidential and then vice presidential nominee Friday morning, in an unprecedented online-only deliberation, with the usual instant-runoff process until someone receives 50 percent plus one vote.

You can watch the debate tonight right here:

NEXT: Watch Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates Justin Amash, Jacob Hornberger, Jim Gray, Jo Jorgensen, and Adam Kokesh Debate Tonight at 8 p.m. ET

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    1. That was my reaction too. A bit more of a cackle in my case. As I am a cackler from way back.

      1. unreason staff hardest hit. They had their sabotage candidate and he dropped out.

        Biden is indefensible, so watch unreason try to prepare for massive tears for Trump’s reelection Nov 2020.

        1. I’m sure the editors have already mocked-up the October issue’s “A Libertarian Case for Joe Biden” cover art.

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        2. Trump better turn it around then because well behind in the polls right now, even in red states.

        3. ilovedicks1789 thinks Trump is a libertarian. Lol. He also thinks trillions of dollars in deficit spending is good for the country.

      2. Shitforbrains of the Woodchippers, it’s funny that you claim to be a libertarian yet despise the most libertarian member of congress while at the same time are a lapdog for unlibertarian morbidly obese fat slob Trump. Lol.

    2. Kek. Waiting for the Trump tweet calling A Mash a “loser bigly”.

      1. Would be a complete waste of a tweet. Amash simultaneously just took himself out of politics for life and made his opposition to Trump while in Congress look unprincipled.

        1. Why is his opposition to Trump unprincipled just because he dropped out of the Presidential race?

          1. Probably because his opposition to Trump was because he wanted to run in the Presidential race and needed to get his name out there.

            1. If his opposition to Trump was, as you say, because he only wanted to run for president, then the fact he dropped out proves that his opposition was principled. Moron.

          2. Because it costs Amash almost nothing to stay in the race. He doesn’t have to spend more than his campaign fund, he can still do lot’s of phone and Zoom interviews, but he doesn’t want to actually make it to the vote and get 0.0000001%.

            His hope is that he can take shots from the sidelines, and then return after the election as a candidate of some kind so he can fund raise.

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      2. Well, there’s never anything wrong with telling the truth.

        1. “Bigly” is not a word. Trump is a moron.

    3. He is now blaming fucking Covid 1984 for him leaving the race…

      Justin Amash

      · 6h
      Replying to @justinamash
      The new reality of social distancing levels the playing field among the candidates in many respects, but it also means lesser known candidates are more dependent on adequate media opportunities to reach people.

      Justin Amash

      Today, most Americans are understandably more interested in what life will look like tomorrow than they are in broader policy debates, and news coverage has reflected those priorities. At the same time, fundraising challenges posed by an idled economy will hinder advertising.

      1. Covid was his best chance of winning. Unless he knows something about Biden we don’t (i.e. vampire?)

      2. What a friggin’ Bozo!!!! Bozo had more principles than this guy!

    4. Reason hardest hit.

      Bwahaha! What a clown show. They shill for the Republican turned Independent turned carpetbagger to the Libertarian Party turned No Show.

      I’m not of the Libertarian Party, but how can it not annoy those who do support the Party that Reason wants anyone *but* a grass roots member of the Party to lead the Party.


      1. “a grass roots member of the Party”

        I see what you did there

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    6. Says the protectionist “libertarian.”

  1. “After much reflection, I’ve concluded that circumstances don’t lend themselves to my success as a candidate for president this year, and therefore I will not be a candidate.”

    Shorter Amash – “The most effort I’m willing to put into changing something is 3 weeks. If I dont win by then I’m out.”

    Explains his killer success in the House.

    1. The Post Office that’s going out of business has to count for something.

      1. What do you think Amash should have done in congress that he didn’t do?

    2. “After much reflection, the job offer from MSNBC came through, and there were conditions attached. One of them was that I not risk dividing the anti-Trump vote.”

      1. How many former candidates can MSNBC hire? Didn’t Bloomberg already get that deal for opening the door for Biden?

    3. No. He just realized he couldn’t win, so he dropped out. That’s an adult move.

  2. Quitter.

  3. Matt Welch hardest hit.

    1. Just call Welch a racist and he’ll cower in the corner while you fuck his wife.

      1. While clapping with one hand.

    2. Is Grape Juice boy ridin’ with Biden yet?

    3. Came here to write exactly this lol

    4. The ink isn’t even dry on Welch’s effervescent blogs about how Amash will become the guy who puts the Party on the map. It’s gonna be a long time coming till another [even] sub-mediocre journalist goes all in for a Libertarian candidate no matter who it is. Just put Harry Browne back on the ticket again. Because even dead, he’s got just as much a chance of winning as any other Libertarian candidate right now.

      1. He’s got my vote!

      2. Harry Browne wrote some great libertarian columns. They’re still online.

      3. We should have more dead people running for office, because a good politician is a dead politician.

  4. The evidence that Amash is just a publicity whore with no real agenda beyond his own brand is starting to add up.

    1. Seems to me it’s been destroyed. A publicity whore would keep running, regardless of the miniscule probability of success.

      Evidence of your reasoning skills? Also destroyed.

      1. He thought he would continue getting the love and admiration he got from the press when he became the only GOP member to support impeachment. When that stopped, he went to his room to cry.

        Your reasoning skills? never happened.

        1. Yep this. Every single time. At the risk of using Joe scarborough twice in one thread, if you get in bed with Democrats (in his case literally) you better just plan on becoming one if you want their support to last beyond your usefulness.

          1. And in this case when I say Democrats I mean the media.

            1. For a long time I thought that the Party had seized control of the establishment media, but over the last few years I’ve come to the realization that I had it backwards, the media has taken over the party.

              1. Or maybe they’re both controlled by the same people.

                1. Oh they are, I was just noting who is the bottom and who is “lucky Pierre”. The dom will always be the Davos crowd.


    2. Amash screwed up bigly. At least Joe Scarborough got a gig on MSNBC where no one asks about his dead intern who was found without her panties in his office.

      1. And a fractured skull. Got it by falling against his desk, uh huh.

        Didn’t stop his 2nd wife from marrying him less than 3 months later.

        I’d always disliked him because he was such a bought and paid for by Southern Wine and Spirits shitbag, who could always be relied upon to kill any reciprocal shipping legislation. Never knew he had a dead intern on his scorecard. Well done! to his publicity people. Came out of it a lot better than Gary Condit, that’s for damn sure.

  5. Yea, If he were ‘principled’, like he says he is, he’d run anyway… out of principle. Help the Libertarian Party get votes, get on the ballot, have a platform to argue their case. It seems like he cares more about winning than principles, a charge leveled against Trump.

    But I think he’s proven this in more ways than one with this whole fiasco. From trying to usurp the Libertarian Party nomination at the last minute without doing any work, to trying to argue that the 14th Amendment allows the federal government to impose abortion restrictions on the states.

    1. I suspect the real reason is that the numbers were showing that he’d take away more votes from Biden than from Trump, and either the Dems and neocons informed him that he needed to drop out for his own well-being, or he made the decision on his own to not undermine Senile Joe.

      He definitely would have been the most high-profile L candidate ever, even more than Gary Johnson.

      1. “I suspect the real reason is that the numbers were showing that he’d take away more votes from Biden than from Trump…”

        Reading this, I think you’re right. How craven.

        Just ridiculous. Every one of these great white Libertarian hopes have crashed and burned in spectacular fashion. Sanford, Flake, Johnson, now Amash. I’m waiting to see how Massey and Rand Paul end up disappointing me.

        1. The tell is that if the media thought he’d be any threat to Trump at all, even taking away 1-2% of his vote tally in the Upper Midwest where Trump needs to sweep again, he’d be getting pimped HARD by these folks. He got a little bit of attention after the announcement, and the media went back to shilling ChiCom C19 propaganda.

          The neocons were might pissed when he declared, for the very reason that he was polling better against Biden than Trump.

        2. Johnson received 4 million votes, good for 3 percent, or about 200 percent better than any previous LP candidate.

        3. Flake? Did you perhaps mean Weld?

      2. He wasn’t going to take many votes from anyone. I’d have bet he couldn’t get half of what Gary Johnson got.

    2. Well he is running for his House seat as a LP … right?

      1. I seem to remember reading that he was quoted as saying he’s not running again for his current seat.

  6. Good, the Libertarian party is better off without nominating someone with Amash’s baggage. Being known nationally for letting personal distaste for someones character trump Principles is not the sort of thing that would draw people to Libertarianism.

    1. Vote James Weeks for Libertarian Presidential candidate!

    2. What principles did Amash ever display?

      And what do principles have to do with being an effective politician?

      1. Instead of trying to build consensus or working small steps to libertarian ideals, he said no a lot.

  7. There must be more to this. All of the conditions sited were known factors. Nothing has changed these last few weeks. The LP may struggle to be on the ballot in all 50 states + DC. This was always going to be a race that Duopoly acolytes were going to attack third parties. This was all known and on the table not unexpected obstacles.

    Why now?

    1. Are you saying a principled man like Amash might not be telling the truth?

      1. Amash is “Palestinian” so I’m not even sure he exists.

    2. Why now?

      He saw his shadow.

    3. Why now? I’m gonna guess he was expecting some whirlwind of publicity, media frenzy, and maybe a parade over being the breakaway who would take down Trump. The media that was supposed to ooh and ahh, basically just said , “Meh…” and moved on. Facebook announcement only got 30 likes and so, time to move on.

      1. Why now? Because he took the pulse of the LP and didn’t want the embarrassment of failing to get their nomination.

    4. Why now? Because 3 weeks of concerted fundraising efforts brought forth bupkus, that’s why. At least that’s my guess. That is almost always the “why” to the question of leaving the race.

      Once the donors stop believing you have a chance, they don’t donate. Hence, the extreme difficulty that 3rd party candidates have.

      I suppose he had a notion that NeverTrump Republicans would rally to his side and support his candidacy. They didn’t. He quit. Simple as that.

  8. Hahahahahahahahahaha

    Little bitch must’ve been reading our comments

    1. Damn you–I was going to do the hysterical laughter bit.

      Traitorous ass wanted a coronation.

      Fight to be the LP nominee? He’s AMASH, bitches, darling of liberaltarians everywhere.

      Good riddance.

      Now the LP share of the vote in the general will be higher than it would have been–without a traitor as the candidate, things can only go up.

      1. He’s a traitor because he voted to impeach Dear Leader?!? I’ll grant you that there are at least some societies that operate on that principle. None of them are libertarian that I know of.

        1. Given that Trump wasn’t guilty of the impeachment charges, yes. People are traitors for all kinds of reasons. For example, your practice of communism.

          1. Actually Trump was guilty of plenty plus stuff that he wasn’t even impeached for. Idiot.

        2. He’s a traitor because he supported the illegitimate Islamic terrorist “state” known as the Palestinian territories. Real Americans support Israel, no matter what!

          1. Oh fuck…

        3. He’s a traitor because he voted to impeach Dear Leader


          He’s a traitor because he abandoned the people who elected him.

          1. It’s not his job to take a poll before deciding to vote on impeachment, you moron.

      2. One debate where he wasn’t showered with admiration made him drop out. Hilarious.

      3. “Things can only go up” Yeah, in flames. Same bullshit [‘this will be the year’] every year and this and comments like yours are exactly why the LP will not be taken seriously any time soon. Amash just doubled down on that.

        You want to know how serious this is? Jo Jorgensen from 1996 is the most recognized name candidate. Which is just about as serious as a Roseanne Barr Oscar nomination or Obama getting a Nobel Peace Prize for getting elected,

    2. Is Amash secretly a member of the commentariat? If so, who?

      1. Fist of Etiquette.

        1. FoE could not even in theory be a politician.

          His gift is boiling down a point to a pithy sentence. Maybe two.

          He’s the inverse of a politician.

          1. And usually being first in a thread, though he’s really lost his fastball there lately.

            Happens to everyone.

      2. Ahem….. you guys know I’m Bernie Sanders, right?



        1. I heard that in Bernie’s outraged voice, well done.

  9. “I was taking votes away from Biden”

    I mean as long as being principled is supposed to be your selling point, why not stick to it until the end?

    1. “I wasn’t trying to win, I was just trying to betray the Michigan Republicans who put me in office again.”

  10. Whew… now Ken won’t have to write very long posts about how he’s really conflicted, but as a libertarian he’s going to vote for Trump because of his {guffaw} principles. Yeah, Ken.

    1. Your only principle seems to be ‘how can I never have to work while ignoring actual history about governments who offer that proposition.’

    2. “…{guffaw} principles…”

      That’s about as close as a shitbag commie would ever get.

    3. Fuck off, shill.

    4. well now all the Reason staffers can explain how, even though Joe Biden is totally incompetent and has no discernible principles, they have to vote for him since there’s no viable LP option and Trump is literal Hitler.

  11. Unbelievable.

  12. I have to say I’m surprised and disappointed. I didn’t think Amash would enter the race if he wasn’t already committed to staying in it in the first place.

    Oh well, he wouldn’t have won anyway, and the libertarians got their first sitting congresscritter. Perhaps we can dream of getting him re-elected to that office now?

    1. He has no chance in hell of being reelected in his district.

      1. He napalmed that bridge when he voted to impeach Trump. His political career is over.

        1. So, Kennedy School of Government lecturer? Maybe—ugh—he’ll have to teach in Ann Arbor or Lansing.

          Or MSNBC ‘special political correspondent and commentator’? I imagine it will be some OK goodie, if indeed a reason he dropped out was because he was projected to pull more undecided Biden voters than undecided Trump voters.

          1. The commie networks need a token ‘libertarian’ to help peddle their socialism. Amash will be their bitch.

        2. So in other words, he made a principled decision even if it meant costing him his seat. I think it’s hilarious that you support a big government Trumpublican over Amash in his congressional district.

      2. That’s why it’s a dream!

      3. So you prefer Trumpublicans to libertarian Republicans? Lol. And you call yourself a libertarian?

    2. This chump is a boy without a home right now. Republicans have lost any taste for him. Democrats only want turncoats so long as they have use to them, and then they’d just as soon cut you with a knife. And he just made the LP look like buffoons for letting him declare on the ticket. No, his actions this month have even left Palestinians saying, “hey, at least we aren’t Justin Amash.”

      1. “…he just made the LP look like buffoons…”
        They are buffoons.

        1. Not really, but they certainly didn’t need help from Amash to look like them.

    3. I’m disappointed, too. We are back to having no Presidential candidates worthy of voting for.

      1. Welcome to politics!

        1. So you admit Trump isn’t worthy?

    4. He never did enter the race officially. He formed an exploratory committee that actually functioned as an exploratory committee.

      1. True. He never officially ran.

    5. What part of Republican to Independent to Libertarian didn’t clue you in to a lack of commitment?

  13. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.

    1. I don’t really mind Hornberger, but I’d much rather see Jorgensen get the nod.

      1. Reply fail, supposed to be in response to Brandybuck below.

      2. Hornberger’s a dishonest clown.

        1. Well this statement from his campaign website sounds pretty good:

          “Abolish the federal income tax and the IRS.

          People have the fundamental, God-given right to keep everything they earn and decide for themselves what to do with it — spend, save, donate, or invest. The right to keep and dispose of the fruits of one’s earnings is a necessary prerequisite to a free society.”

    1. He makes Biden sound salient and Trump sound modest.

    2. you should try to have him censored too

  14. Here’s the thing though: Anything but Trump winning means that the coup players get off. To me, that is priority #1. Sorry, big Ls.

    1. I disagree. Pretty sure that those aligned with the “coup players” would actually rather have another Trump administration as opposed to an Amash or any other libertarian administration.

      1. Same reason those people apparently prefer Trump winning to Sanders winning.

      2. That is probably true, but the libertarians have no chance to win. This issue is THAT IMPORTANT. If people aren’t thrown in jail for this, America as we know it is done.

      3. Disagree. Amash isn’t gonna go after the people that brought about impeachment charges after voting with them. And any other libertarian would get railroaded just as bad if not worse by the IC if they so much as said boo.

      4. Amash would have been a joke. He would have been dancing to the fiddle of lobbyists and leftists for his entire administration.

        1. Bullshit.

  15. I’m so sorry this is happening to you.

    1. Nice.

  16. After twelve presidential campaigns with a man at the top of the ticket, maybe it’s time to see what a woman can do? Jorgensen seems pretty solid and doesn’t present as a nutcase.

    1. You do realize that a woman at the top of the libertarian ticket is impossible, because there are no female libertarians.

      Also, a female lead ticket will still be lambasted in the media as a misogynist dog whistle.

      The only possible way out of this is to nominate Hillary Clinton to the LP ticket. The number of aneurysms caused by taking this course would alter the fate of the Big State DNC forever.

      1. “You do realize that a woman at the top of the libertarian ticket is impossible, because there are no female libertarians.”

        There are no male libertarians competing for the Libertarian Party nomination either, so she would fit right in.

    2. NO.

  17. Hahaha…that’s right, run away, putz. Go try selling your shitty China-made tools the the former constituents who hate you now.

  18. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  19. He obviously didn’t put that much thought into it before he announced running in the first place. Talk about ADD. Lol.

  20. Funny how the libertarian party and Reason take all comers while sitting on the sidelines of actual political legislation, cackling at how everybody else is fucking things up. It would just be great if libertarians would finally get serious about putting up a serious candidate for a change who actually had a little more than a snowball’s chance in hell to win.
    For all the various positions that I share with libertarians and Reason, I just don’t take either seriously as actually wanting to get into any sort of real power and take on real responsibility for putting ideas into effect.

    1. Sounds good, but who would that be? Anyone with name recognition would immediately have all the purists denouncing him or her for some transgression because he or she hasn’t towed the platform lion since 1972.

    2. Libertarianism won’t win at the ballot box, it wins by changing minds.

      1. If it changes enough minds, it should start winning at the ballot box.

        1. No, it’s an ideology that wins by influencing those with power while eschewing power itself

        2. No, it won’t. Elected government officials are always going to be power-hungry psychopaths. What we need to accomplish is limit the size of government so that that doesn’t matter. That is, if government is 5% of GDP, nobody needs to give a f*ck who runs it.

    3. Gary Johnson was a two-term governor, and by most accounts a pretty good one. Amash was/is a 5-term congressman. If someone with those credentials runs in a major party, that’s enough credibility to immediately be taken as a serious candidate.

      The problem isn’t with the candidates. It’s that the party itself isn’t taken seriously. Sure, that’s at least partly because the reps/dems have rigged the game against newcomers, but the bottom line is still that the party isn’t taken seriously.

      Perhaps the LP will now go back to running another Badnarik instead of some republican has-been, and the vote percentage will drop from 3% to 1%. In the grand scheme of things, I doubt that’ll make a big difference.

      1. The party cannot be taken seriously. Not in this era. There is no breaking through a media that is all propaganda, all the time.

        Brian Williams had an excellent question the other day that illustrates my point. He asked about Fox News spending “what may be hours” covering the Flynn Case and Unmasking and called it a “PR campaign”.

        They then proceeded to discuss how it was incumbent on the rest of the media to counter this PR campaign and return focus to where it should be – the Coronavirus Epidemic. (he literally said that Trump addressing the Flynn case was misdirection, because he should be addressing the Covid-19 epidemic. Not only ignoring that the administration talks about that topic for at least an hour per day, but the fact that he personally was questioning why Trump was on the air so much addressing the Covid-19 epidemic only a few days earlier)

        The point being, you aren’t breaking through. If they are willing to twist reality to that degree, they certainly aren’t giving a bunch of kooks who believe in personal freedom a fair and honest hearing.

    4. That right there IS the problem. Libertarianism is great with individual ideas, but sucks at putting together a political platform that hits a strong cross-section of America, to the degree that even libertarians would have consensus among themselves, let alone attract substantial numbers from one or both big Parties. No serious candidate would stand on the stage and debate anyone whose primary political objective is free weed for everyone. And you can’t make common ground out of opposite opinions on abortion, open borders, socialism vs capitalism or a dozen other subjects.

      1. The reason libertarians can’t appeal to a cross section of Americans is because they will NOT promise to give everyone a pony. Everyone wants the government to promise to give them stuff. Libertarians want to stop stealing from people in order to give away stuff.

        1. Yep. Government as Santa Claus is all the rage.

        2. THE reason? THE only one huh? You just made my point. LOL! At least if you can lay blame elsewhere, you’ll still lose… but you can feel cocky about it,

          If that were the only reason, it would take massive cuts out of the Republican block among us constitutionalists. It doesn’t. I hold libertarian ideals, but the LP is a joke, as are 98% of the candidates. If you can’t see the problem, you will never find the solution. But keep on dreaming, because the next candidate will win fer shurz. Unless he quits after 3 weeks.

      2. LP critics lambasted the focus on the Drug War for decades. But which Libertarian platform plank has moved public policy the farthest? Hint, it ain’t spending or foreign wars or civil liberties.

    5. ” It would just be great if libertarians would finally get serious about putting up a serious candidate ”

      Lol you know dick about libertarianism

    6. Serious like a 2 term governor and successful businessman, who wasn’t a nut job or a walking ethics violation? Because that’s what the LP ran last time.

  21. WTF?

    1. It sucks. He wouldn’t have won, of course, but it would have been something if he could have made it to the same debate stage as Trump and Biden: two inarticulate, corrupt geezers up against an articulate spokesman for liberty familiar with their records.

      1. Trump’s articulate, he’s just obnoxious. But yeah, Biden is a stoke victim.

        1. Trump repeats himself when he’s talking off script. But it’s not because he’s stupid, it’s an oratory technique. He’s literally making most of it up as he goes, so he repeats himself while he’s thinking of what to say next.

          1. It also happens to be the way most people actually think. You rarely logically walk your way through a point and not consider the same thought over and over. You chew the same bite more than once. I don’t particularly like the style, but nobody serious says they don’t know what he’s said at the end of a question.

            Obama used to filibuster a question for 15-20 minutes and take multiple sides so he could say “I’ve always said [fill in the blank]” later. Hillary would word salad everything. So everyone has their points to critique. But Biden is still looking for his pants and remembering some stuff he forgot about the Civil War, the good ol days when he was a gangbanger, and then some sumpin else but can’t remember.

      2. It is super quaint to think that any 3rd party candidate is making the debate stage, ever again. They’ve closed that loophole.

        Now the question is whether or not the media will allow Trump to participate. They’ll have to decide whether it is better to put him on a rigged platform or hide him from the public while labeling him a liar and worse.

        Most major TV platforms have already declined to cover Trump addresses to the nation and press conferences for similar BS reasons. There’s no reason to think they won’t do the same as we approach the election.

        They also had no qualms about rigging the DNC debates – and not just last time around. They held out anyone who gave interviews to Fox News (Hi Tulsi!), and they made sure that their preferred candidates were the featured ones.

        Probably they’ll continue with Biden-only town halls. But that’s going to get really obvious, unless they replace him with a pinch hitter at the 11th hour.

        1. It’s far more likely that Sleepy Joe never appears on a stage to debate Trump than vice versa.

  22. It’s a shame that Amash dropped out. A new choice must be found. I recommend the One True Libertarian – Shikha Dalmia.

    1. Yeah! She could spend her debate time calling everyone racist for not giving her 2000 closest relatives citizenship and unlimited welfare.

      1. Pelosi has you covered…. read the 3 trillion dollar “hero” bill they just passed…. amnesty and welfare checks all around!

    2. Was she born in Honolulu too?

    3. Tulsi Gabbard?

  23. He didn’t want the embarrassment of badly losing in the LP’s candidate selection.

    1. C’mon, Amash had to be the favorite to at least win the nomination. This is the LP we’re talking about. If they nominated the likes of Bob Barr, is there any republican retread that they wouldn’t nominate?

      1. Maybe if Amash had converted a couple of years ago and entered last year. Not this way.

  24. Being a libertarian in Congress is bullshit. Clearly you can’t run for president either.

    Libertarians as a governing philosophy as never been deader. Libertarian moment, indeed. This country is committed to fucking itself, and we are never changing that.

    1. It’s more important to get electable libertarians into electable parties, than to have a libertarian party.

      Libertarianism is a political philosophy and movement, not an organization.

  25. No surprise – LP cannot win elections. Amash should have stuck it out as a republican, bided his time, and like Ron Paul run in the primaries hoping to change the discussion. But that’s not going to happen now.

    Anyway there will be one winner from two candidates. Hopefully it is not Biden and his far left progtard VP.

  26. Amash is reconsidering after being confronted about some “pipe smoking” pics the Trump campaign just happen to find.

    1. Pipe smoking pics would probably increase his vote total by a few hundred thousand though.

  27. “…Amash are going to be begging him not to run if there is any chance of him impeding the all-or-nothing quest to drive Trump out of the White House.”

    And put Biden in? Never mind his mind has turned to Jell-O. The party has put Sanders economic policy wonks in Biden’s campaign (you know, the whackos who are pushing a $94 trillion Green Deal and are fans of junk economics like MMT) as well as appointing AOC to his climate change team.

    That Biden?

    Are they fucken stupid?

    Better Trump. Waaaaayyy better.

    How is this even possibly a question?

    1. I hate to say this but Reason might just be run by lefties in order undermine a real libertarian wave and to divide GOP libertarians to ensure the wokes get elected. Ending the Fed? no not important but standing up for abortion on demand at any time (hell even after birth) and open borders are the only thing Reason stands for…sort of like the DNC. Collusion? ha ha

      1. …and drugs and bumfucking.

        Reasonistas see libertarianism is a way of announcing that you’re a contrarian, but that you’re socially left and totally cool with the way that sex, drugs and abortion works for the American upper-middle class elite.

        1. Muh cocktail parties!

      2. The Marxist Long March Through the Institutions finally got around to Reason. That shows you just how few institutions were left unconverged, that they’d spend energy to take over Reason and its army of Shikha supporters.

      3. This is how Reason today defines libertarianism: everything for non-American citizens, and nothing for Americans citizens (especially the “bitter clingers“).

    2. “How is this even possibly a question?”

      Because Orange Man Bad!

  28. The LP is being ripped apart by the woke left libertarians. It is all about abortion and open borders these days not the true issues..monetary policy, deficits, the fed, foreign intervention, entitlement programs, govt forcing economic transactions, breaking up the social media firms, ending fractional reserve banking, drastically downsizing govt at all levels..but no we get abortion and open borders…thanks woke cosmo LP..

    1. Progs have the better parties and Libertarians are running out of things to agree with them on. We won the gay marriage fight, pot is basically legal in most of these fruited plains. If the writers and editors of reason want those sweet cocktail invites showing up in their inbox, they damn well better find something they can call common ground.

      1. The correct libertarian stance on gay marriage was to fucking get government out of marriage. Stick with contract enforcement. Make every marriage determine their terms. Not rewrite marriage laws by redefinition. Fuck off.

        1. Yup.
          Government redrafting the entirely unnecessary rules and regulations on mating pairs and cohabitation was hardly a victory for libertarians.

    2. Deficits?

      Apparently the nation has decided that Greece was run by a bunch of pikers, and we are going to show them how it is done.

      We just spent two year’s worth, and the DNC wants another year’s worth.

      So much for the Tea Party. They should have joined forces with us…. but they ran to Trump instead, because he had the sack to tell all of the SJW where to step off, and we nominated Gary Johnson.

      1. “Joined forces with us” would that have gotten them more than 40 votes in the Senate in order to stop legislation or a filibuster proof majority? Cause outside of those two options fiscal responsibility is a complete non-starter at the federal level.

    3. the true issues..monetary policy, deficits, the fed, foreign intervention, entitlement programs, govt forcing economic transactions, breaking up the social media firms, ending fractional reserve banking, drastically downsizing govt at all levels.

      The 2016-2018 GOP that had full control of government was a complete failure on all that.

      1. Remember McCain?
        He lead the neo-con NeverTrumpers into pissing away every opportunity, and your party loved him for it.

      2. Cool, but could you whine about the GOP elsewhere you pedo, we were talking about libertarians.

      3. Who was President in 2016 again?

  29. “There’s always Barber College”

    Dalton, Roadhouse (1989)

    1. I want you to be nice until it’s time to not be nice.

  30. I’m sure he sees the writing on the wall. The upcoming election is certain to be the crookedest, riggedest, most dishonest, violent, and manipulated exercise in democracy in memory. Nothing good is going to come of it, if it indeed takes place. An ambitious young politician might want to stand aside until it all blows over, and pick up whatever pieces are there to be had.

    1. Right. He just needs to wait for the exact right election where nothing will be crooked, rigged, or manipulated. Then, he’s all in!

      Ambitious, young politician is right. I said it long ago: He’s really no different than any of the other politicians out there.

      1. ” He just needs to wait for the exact right election…”

        He needs to run on a Major Party ticket. The Libertarian party is a time and money wasting vanity project.

        “He’s really no different than any of the other politicians out there.”

        He’s 30 years younger than the other two fuckers. He’s got a future unlike the others.

        1. Age has nothing to do with it. He’s as opportunistic as any other politician out there. Trying to say the right things and do the right things rather than adhere to libertarian principals.

          How do you think he’s going to get on a major party ticket while espousing the right to abortions, drug legalization, gun rights and lower taxes for everyone, including the rich?

          1. “How do you think he’s going to get on a major party ticket while espousing the right to abortions, drug legalization, gun rights and lower taxes for everyone, including the rich?”

            That’s his problem. My advice, just wait until it’s his turn. Worked for Joe Biden.

            1. I guess I don’t understand. You say he needs to run on a major party ticket, but which major party will accept him?

              Democrats aren’t going to buy into gun rights, lower taxes for everyone, and Title IX reforms. Republicans aren’t going to buy into abortions, drug legalization, and no wall. Both parties are in for the Patriot Act.

              Are you saying that, in 30 years, the parties are going to be open to these ideas?

              1. ” You say he needs to run on a major party ticket, but which major party will accept him?”

                Anyone wanting to be president should have major party backing. Not just Amash. The Republican party would be the natural choice for Amash, at some point in the future where opposition to Trump might be a badge of honor. Though this recent foray into Libertarian politicking may have spoiled his chances. I said from the beginning it was a mistake.

                I have no idea what the next 30 years will look like. I figure Amash will still be with us and he will still be ambitious. Some things don’t change.

                I’m surprised you don’t comment on my statement: “The upcoming election is certain to be the crookedest, riggedest, most dishonest, violent, and manipulated exercise in democracy in memory. Nothing good is going to come of it, if it indeed takes place. ”
                Do you think it’s possible?

        2. Amash had shown himself to be utterly incompetent as a politician. He can’t run for any party.

          1. I said this Libertarian bid was a bad move from the start. Amash was wise to pull out while the pulling’s good.

            Whether he can run for another party depends on a lot of factors, competence not necessarily being as important as we’d imagine. Look at Biden and Trump if you need confirmation.

        3. Well, he did have a future….

  31. He would have taken more votes from Biden anyway. When you’re in a cult you don’t tend to look very carefully at what Dear Leader is actually doing. It tends to be more emoting, MAGA!, and whataboutisms for his supporters.

    For myself, i’ve basically dropped the propagandizing for a society run by the proletariat and adopted the concept of having a society that isn’t run by a bunch of idiots and dweebs led by a lying narcissistic butthole. I wonder where on the Marxian road to communism that stage of capitalism is in. Probably not too far, sadly.

    1. That describes you to a fucking T, garbage human.

    2. This is rich coming from the Lightbringer’s prime starry-eyed acolyte here.
      The hypocrisy just drips from everything AmSoc posts.

    3. “When you’re in a cult”


  32. Trump just doubled federal spending to $8 trillion for 2020, more than quadrupled the deficit and is handing out more welfare handouts than all of Europe combined all the while squeezing the economy with tariffs and pretending to build a wall Mexico will never pay for.

    Yet White Trash America loves the Con Man. Witness the comment section on this libertarian site. It has been overrun by Trump Trash bigots and Aborto-Freaks.

    Libertarianism is truly dead.

    1. Man, if only the Democrats had stood by their principle of deficits mattering. Oh wait…

      1. Obama campaigned on cutting the $1.2 trillion Bush deficit in half then did it.

        The current crop of Democrats? Worthless.

        1. Yeap, you’re a fucking idiot. FY09 was pushed by Reid and pelosi and signed by obama dumbfuck.

          1. You’re just ignorant. The CBO said the deficit was that high while Bush was still POTUS.

            $1.2 trillion deficit looms
            Housing collapse and financial turmoil leads to steep rise in estimated U.S. shortfall for ’09, Congressional Budget Office says.

            By Jeanne Sahadi, CNNMoney.com senior writer
            Last Updated: January 7, 2009: 5:00 PM ET

            NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The U.S. budget deficit in 2009 is projected to spike to a record $1.2 trillion, or 8.3% of gross domestic product, the Congressional Budget Office said


            Just like today the GOP is spending like drunken sailors (John McCain quote).

            I know Trump Trash don’t do math though. You’re forgiven.

            1. Where does spending originate?

            2. And you still refuse to acknowledge the fact the Democrats still has net put a budget forward by the time Obama was inaugurated. Indeed, they didn’t put an actual budget down while they controlled the house under Obama.

              It’s amazing that you ignore who actually appropriates money when Democrats control the house.

              Oh, and the deficit didn’t drop below $1TT until the republicans took control of the House you fucking hack.

            3. I literally gave you the facts dipshit. Bush did not sign FY09.

        2. Obama campaigned on many things. And he usually did the complete opposite

          As for the deficit, that’s an accounting trick. Look at the actual change in debt. But even that doesn’t matter: the problem is voiceless spending, not deficits. High sieging with high taxes is the most destructive way of running a government

          Obama was one of the worst presidents in US history.

        3. But Obama counted W’s one-time emergency TARP spending of 800 billion dollars as part of his baseline budget.

    2. It is amazing how fucking retarded you are. Still havent learned how budgets work despite being on these boards for a decade. Maybe stop watching so much child porn.

      1. I’ve schooled every one of you conservative ignoramuses on budgets here.

        Spending is what counts. Do you think The Con Man’s $2.7 trillion welfare handout was in the current budget?

        I can’t believe you post here and support massive welfare payments of $2.7 trillion just because Trump wanted it.

        You’re worse than any welfare-drunk prog.

        1. You haven’t schooled anyone you dishonest shit.
          You’ve ignored their rebuttals and arguments, and when you could no longer ignore them you moved the goalposts and pranced around claiming victory.

          You’re not fooling anyone.

        2. I’ve schooled every one of you conservative ignoramuses on budgets here.

          Bitch, I’ve owned you more times on government spending and debt than the Egyptians owned the Hebrews. You can’t even figure out when the last time we actually paid down the national debt was.

        3. Yes, spending is what matters, not deficits. And Obama and the Democrats were on a spending binge until the tea party put a stop to it.

    3. “Trump just doubled federal spending to $8 trillion for 2020”

      Pelosi will shiv you over that misattribution.

  33. Ideal LP candidate would combine libertarian strong libertarian principles with a realistic plan for implementing those principles. You can’t just throw a switch and shutdown most of the government overnight and anyone advocating that will not be taken seriously.

  34. David Smith on Trump’s sick obsession with Obama:

    Observers point to a mix of anti-intellectualism, racism, vengeance and primitive envy over everything from Obama’s Nobel peace prize to the scale of his inauguration crowd and social media following.

    Ben Rhodes, a former Obama national security aide, tweeted this week: “Trump’s fact-free fixation on Obama dating back to birtherism is so absurd and stupid that it would be comic if it wasn’t so tragic.”

    “Birtherism” was a conspiracy theory that Trump started pushing in 2011 (“He doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one but there is something on that birth certificate – maybe religion, maybe it says he’s a Muslim, I don’t know.”) . Nine years later, he has come full circle with “Obamagate”, which accuses his predecessor of working in league with the “deep state” to frame Trump for colluding with Russia to win the 2016 election.

    There is zero evidence for this claim. Indeed, a case could be made that the supposed “deep state” did more to help Trump than hurt him when the FBI reopened an investigation into his opponent, Hillary Clinton, just before election day. When questioned by reporters, Trump himself has struggled to articulate what “Obamagate” means. Ned Price, a former CIA analyst, dubbed it “a hashtag in search of a scandal”.

    1. Nobody has struggled except idiots.




    3. Oh fuck, Droney’s Peace Prize?
      You guys really thought that it was a good idea to bring that up to distract from the fact that Barack just made Nixon look like a jaywalker?

    4. Woof, the amount of gaslighting in that piece could have lit up early 20th-century New York City for a decade.

    5. Obama was an incompetent authoritarian. Sorry you don’t see it.

    6. Birtherism was a conspiracy that the racist piece of shit Hillary Clinton started in 2008 to try and discredit Obama and ascend the iron throne.

      And you supported her in 2016.

  35. He just realized that he can’t compete with the intelligence of trump or the integrity of biden.

  36. It’s hilarious how much more courteous, orderly, and watchable this amateur hack-job of a debate is than those slick, high-priced travesties of Democratic debates ever could have hoped to be.

  37. It’s nice to hear Judge Gray brand Weld a traitor for endorsing Hillary Clinton.

  38. What is a graduated flat tax? Isn’t that an oxymoron?

    1. Nope. Right now taxes are “graduated” based not only on income, but also on dozens and dozens of “deductions.” (That’s why my tax return was forty pages long last year). Instead, replace that with a tax based on one’s income ONLY. No deductions, carve-outs, etc. Low income families would pay no tax (as most of them don’t, in reality, right now), while the tax rate, for the rest of us, might go from 5% to 28%. A one-page tax return. Or even post-card size. It would destroy the “income-tax preparation industry,” but I think they can find something else to do.

      1. “…while the tax rate, for the rest of us, might go from 5% to 28%.”

        Why would anyone vote for that? I’m certainly not interested in something like that. Unless you mean the set of marginal tax rates would vary between 5 and 28, as the current set varies from 10 to 37?

      2. Fuck off SQRLSY.

  39. I haven’t spent much time here in recent years except to check out the occasional Remy video. Have there been any polls of Reason readers on support of Trump versus Biden (or other Dem candidates)? If not, does anyone have any estimates. Tough to tell from the flame wars in comments.

    1. There’s a Silent Majority of Biden supporters among the commenters. Trust me, I’m not making this up simply to mess with anyone. 🙂

      1. I don’t think there are very many Trump supporters. Maybe a handful. There are a lot of typical libertarian types – pedantic folks who cannot countenance a dishonest argument. Those folks keep finding themselves compulsively defending Trump because the attacks are so transparently ill-founded.

        As for Biden supporters? I cannot imagine there are any real Biden supporters anywhere, even in the DNC. It is “his turn”. That’s all. He’s John McCain. Nobody really had that guy down as their first choice either. There certainly are not any Libertarian reasons to support him.

        So you have a few puppeteers running around carrying water for Biden, but there’s no real support there either.

        And then we have the LP. I’m not sure we are going to end up with much in the way of LP support around here either.

        I think the HnR crowd has become so cynical that they are broken.

        1. There are a lot of typical libertarian types – pedantic folks who cannot countenance a dishonest argument. Those folks keep finding themselves compulsively defending Trump because the attacks are so transparently ill-founded.

          Man, that’s how I feel. I really dislike Trump and think he’s a scumbag. But for so long his critics believed nobody could support him without being an ignorant hick or an evil Nazi, and they’ve done disgusting things because of their illogical hatred of him. And the worst I feel about him is that he’s a demagogue, saying things just to appeal to a certain base.

          They’ve got me so close to being ready to vote for him just to spite those assholes. I’ll still probably vote LP unless they nominate Kokesh, though.

          1. Pussy.

    2. I don’t think Reason has ever surveyed its readership on Presidential choice.

  40. <

    Even people who love Amash are going to be begging him not to run if there is any chance of him impeding the all-or-nothing quest to drive Trump out of the White House.</

    How’s that now? The people who were going to vote for Amash are now going to vote for Biden? This is what you really think, that votes for Amash would be pulled from the Democrats, instead of the Republicans?

    1. Wow, I couldn’t do that on purpose.

      1. I gotta agree with that point…. .there’s not a lot of overlap between “potential Amash voter” and “Biden voter”.

        If your TDS runs so deep that you’d go Biden as a serious alternative. over the LP candidate.. well, I can’t see you being a True Libertarian.

        Plus, there’s no way that a race without Amash is better for Trump than a race with Amash. He’d give disgruntled conservatives and libertarian Republicans a place to go in protest of Trump. Biden does not provide that.

  41. This is another sad example of the fact that libertarians are not equipped to govern, re not ready to be taken seriously, and are not ready to have any meaningful impact on national politics. Gary Johnson was something of a flake, and William Weld, his running mate, was even worse. Heck, Weld practically endorsed Hillary Clinton and said he’d prefer her over Trump. Johnson should have kicked Weld off the ticket the split-second he heard Weld had said these things.

    1. Weld tripled our share of the vote by favoring individual rights for women. Gary had run by trampling women and barely got twice the Ron Paulist vote count–AFTER George Waffen crashed the economy!

      1. Hardly anyone knew Weld was on the ticket. Johnson tripled the best previous LP showing by not being a clown or a walking ethics violation, and by being better qualified than reality TV show host or a former First Lady.

  42. It’s getting to the point that I might write in Larry Hogan.

  43. Libertarian moment!

  44. Antichoice mystics reduce our spoiler vote share and law-changing clout. So it’s a good thing Amash looked at the platform plank proposals for pederasts in the girls bathrooms and mandatory resumption of uninspected importation of Saracen berserkers, infected herds and unemployable paupers. Those planks alone will cause MEN to avoid us the way women already do. Even Laura Ebke, another antichoice discard, voted against plank suggestions only a saboteur could countenance.

  45. The party can do better than this guy.

    1. Only if Ron Paul decides to give it another go.

  46. Someone probably showed Justin Amash the video of James Weeks who took off all of his clothes on stage at the 2016 LP convention and at that point, Amash must’ve said: “Nah!”

  47. Too bad. I was hoping for another election where the LP ran the best candidate and voters ignored him because they didn’t examine all of the candidates for themselves and vote for the best one.

  48. Well that didn’t take long. As Agent Coulson told Loki, “you’re going to lose… It’s in your nature… You lack conviction.”

    Amash was one of the top 5 people in Congress if you’re a libertarian. Too bad he threw that away by insulting his Republican voters all to virtue signal against Trump in an impeachment vote that was clearly going to fail.

  49. Justin Amash is no Ron Paul. Unfortunately, libertarians need to figure out a new political strategy. For comparison, at this point in its historical timeline, the Socialists Party program had not only been incorporated into those of the Democrat and Republican Parties, but much of it had been implemented by elected officials. On the other hand, the size and scope of government has grown since the Libertarian Party got started, and we as a society can’t even shrink government agencies that want to reduce their size like the Postal Service – while the Federal Register keeps getting more voluminous. Not to mention the fact that we haven’t disengaged from any foreign commitments since the 1970s. This is why I have so little faith in the Libertarian Party to do anything, because it hasn’t done anything meaningful to expand liberty since it was founded – unlike the success the Socialists had.

    1. I don’t blame the LP (much). I blame the voters. They clearly don’t want smaller government, and vote for (supposed) safety over liberty every time.

  50. Well that lasted fucking long

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  52. Reading between the lines, Amash determined he was not getting the LP nomination.

  53. Why is libertarian media censoring VERMIN SUPREME?!?!


  54. Justin should stop reading the Reason comments lol

  55. Reason must be cheering now that the latest anti-Trumper doesn’t have the balls to lose the presidential election.

  56. As I have been saying, he was retiring from politics…

  57. Welch is an ass.

  58. Jacob Hornberger 2020! Jacob For Liberty! Hopefully Jacob Hornberger will pick Sam Robb as his running mate.

    1. Nobody cares.

  59. It’s funny to see the hatred for the most libertarian member of congress on a libertarian website’s comment section.

    It seems to me Amash made an adult decision. He realized he couldn’t win, so he dropped out. You’d think that the Trumpers here would applaud him for that, since he can no longer take any votes away from Trump.

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