Justin Amash

While Trump Clings to Power, Justin Amash Has Left the Building

You won't have the first Libertarian congressman to kick around anymore.


While the Internet was exploding Sunday over the leak of President Donald Trump's shameful, lawyer-laden phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Ben Raffensberger, a more orderly yet still significant transfer of power was taking place: Iraq vet and supermarket heir Peter Meijer (R–Mich.) was sworn into office, replacing five-term Republican-turned-independent-turned-Libertarian Justin Amash.

Amash, no stranger to Reason's pages and pixels, was perhaps the most incisive internal critic of congressional process, the biggest exemplar of vote-explaining transparency, and of course a big fat libertarian (metaphorically speaking), who went out the door introducing all kinds of libertarian-wishlist bills. So concludeth Peter Suderman, Matt Welch, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Nick Gillespie on today's Reason Roundtable podcast.

The gang also squabbles over the import of the Trumpian election shenanigans, weighs in on the character vs. ideology debate, and responds to our first-ever non-Webathon listener mail. (Speaking of which, send your questions to roundtable@reason.com, pretty please!)

Audio production by Ian Keyser and Regan Taylor.

Music: "I Say" by Night Owl.

Relevant links from the show:

"Legislator Posts Votes on Facebook. All of Them," by Katherine Mangu-Ward

"Rep. Justin Amash Profiled: Moving Forward with Ron Paul Republicanism," by Brian Doherty

"Justin Amash Declares Independence From Republican Party," by Matt Welch

"Justin Amash Becomes the First Libertarian Member of Congress," by Matt Welch

"Justin Amash: People Want a President 'Who Is Normal, Honest, Practical, Capable,'" by Nick Gillespie

"Justin Amash's Tenure as the Libertarian Party's First Member in Congress Will Be Shortlived," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Justin Amash Introduces Bill To End Forever National Emergencies," by Billy Binion

"Trump's Conversation With Georgia Election Officials Shows His Conviction That He Won Is Impervious to Evidence," by Jacob Sullum

"Trump Fishes for Votes in Georgia as GOP Senators Fight Over Election Certification," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"Ted Cruz Plans To Restore Confidence in the Election System by Lending Credence to the Wild Fraud Claims of a 'Pathological Liar,'" by Jacob Sullum

"Trump Wasn't a Dictator, but He Played One on TV," by Gene Healy

"In Defense of COVID Billionaires," by Katherine Mangu-Ward

NEXT: Charles Wininger: Why We Should Listen To Ecstasy and Other Psychedelics

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92 responses to “While Trump Clings to Power, Justin Amash Has Left the Building

  1. So this frees up Justin for more time with Katherine? Good, good.

    1. Poor commies at unreason. They think they know what libertarianism is. Hahaha

      1. Anyone else see the MSM freak out because as I predicted, congressmen are challenging bide electoral college votes?

        I knew when unreason staff wouldnt take my bet to quit if trump had his second term as president they knew they were scared.

        Poor unreason. My family just objected to thousands of illegal georgia registered voters who moved out of state in multiple counties. Poor ossoff lost to perdue by 80k votes.

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      2. How is Georgia going for you tonight, dipshit?

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  2. Who knew pandering wasn’t a career?

    1. Its not for unreason staff. They are all trying to work at established commie rags like Wapo rather that koch commie wanna be rags like unreason,

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    2. Do you even believe it’s possible for a libertarian congressman to take a principled stand against the president’s conduct? Or does every “real libertarian” have to be a reactionary populist crackpot Trump sycophant?

  3. He won’t be missed.

    1. Are you kidding? We haven’t had a dozen people in Congress who were better.

      Too bad he threw away what little power he had to join a failed impeachment attempt.

      1. If Trump had been removed, perhaps Biden wouldn’t be the president elect.

        1. Lefties really want to believe republicans will let democrats run the USA. So cute.

          See the MSM ramp up to what is coming ? I warned y’all..

          1. The existence of progressives is regrettable, and……. optional.

          2. So Republicans didn’t let Obama run the USA?

            1. Obama was a Socialist and Obama didnt do much damage because Republicans controlled the House and Senate.

              1. But you think Biden will do a lot of damage?

                The voters decide. GOP doesn’t “let” Dems rule.

        2. If Trump had been removed, perhaps Biden wouldn’t be the president elect.

          Trump was never going to get removed, because the allegations were bogus. Everyone in the swamp knew that already.

          1. So, you believe the swamp impeached him based on false allegations, but then couldn’t remove him because, um, the allegations were false. What?

            Everyone inside and outside of Washington knew Trump would be impeached because Democrats controlled the House, but would never be removed because Republicans controlled the Senate. It isn’t a deep state conspiracy. It’s partisan polarization and political self-preservation.

    2. By non-libertarians.

      1. No, I won’t miss him either.

        1. You’re a non-libertarian.

          1. And you are not a true scotsman.

            1. If you’re happy to see the first Libertarian congressman leave office, a refreshingly transparent, nonpartisan, and genuinely decent human being who clearly takes his oath of office seriously, then yes, that’s credible evidence that you’re only nominally “libertarian”.

              1. I thought we were talking about Amash.

                1. I certainly wasn’t talking about Donald Trump.

    1. Biden was so close. Like gore.

        1. poor unreason staff.

          Georgia voting today… Lets see if Republican Senator David Perdue can beat Jon Ossoff by more than the 80,000 votes he beat the Democrat by in the General Election Nov 3.

          1. His lead is a few hundred votes. Warnock overtook Loeffler.

  4. Remember when Justin lied about the contents of the Mueller Report in a misguided effort to further his career, and he ended up like an unattractive highschool girl who is an easy lay? Bruised, used and abused. That was kind of sad.

    He forgot the fact that, like devils, the establishment breaks its tools when they’re no longer useful.

    1. He at least turned in all the hw he accumulated the last 8 years in a show of him being the one true libertarian. A perfect example of the big L party actually, always hitching but not doing the work to get things changed. And then refusing steps towards liberty of you dont get everything you want. Petulant really.

      1. And then refusing steps towards liberty of you dont get everything you want. Petulant really.

        ^^ This is the modern day libertarian really (basing my example against libertarians here at reason). And also the reason I didn’t like Amash. He was better than any “D.” But would rather allow the worst brought into existence because he was, apparently, too principled to choose that which wasn’t perfect. The subtleties of political hitchhiking were not in his personal toolkit. You don’t get to go exactly where you want hitchhike. But you do get to go in that direction. I like Rand Paul much better, and consider him more libertarian than Amash anyways.

        1. Justin Amash is a conservative-leaning libertarian. Rand Paul is a libertarian-leaning conservative. Neither one is truly at home in today’s Trumpism-or-bust GOP.

          If Amash believed Trump had betrayed his oath of office and obstructed justice, regardless of the outcome of the investigation, then he made the right decision and stayed faithful to his own oath of office. Of course, don’t allow the perfect to became the enemy of the good, but sometimes it’s better to take a principled stance rather than to go along to get along within a party that has demonstrated a willingness to stand absolutely by the president no matter what he says or does or tries to get others to do on his behalf, a president with no governing legal, political, or moral principles.

          1. Would like to see Ron Paul back in Congress. Evern in his mid 80’s he is sharp and knowlegeable. He knows the ropes.

      2. Name some “steps towards liberty” he opposed.

        1. Name some “steps towards liberty” he accomplished. Bitch.

          1. A lone Libertarian representative in a sea of over 400 unlibertarian partisans, and you’re complaining about a lack of legislative accomplishments? Do you feel the same disdain for Ron Paul’s congressional record?

    2. Amash didn’t lie at all, you mendacious piece of shit Trumptard.

      1. Go suck a hot dick, sarcasmic…
        and for pity’s sake, pick a sock and stick with it. You’re embarrassing your drunken ass.

        1. Yeah, I’m not sarcasmic. I have only one account.

        2. Oh it’s Dick Time!

          Vince! Suck it!

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      2. “Trumptard”

        Very clever. Bitch.

  5. “You won’t have the first Libertarian congressman to kick around anymore”

    “Suck dick Ron Paul you old racist” – t. Teen Reason

    Oh, you meant the party? Libertarianism is a philosophy, not a party, as Johnson, JoJo and Justin have all demonstrated.

    1. Bake the cake while endorsing CRT like all good Ls.

      1. Amash is against forcing people to bake cakes.

        1. We were talking about Johnson, sarc. I know you’re finishing your evening 26, but try and keep up.

          1. Remember when gayjay was the best unreason candidate and then biden? Hahaha

            Commies at unreason have no shame.

          2. You mentioned three people, not just Johnson. Moron.

    2. Jorgensen’s libertarian bona fides are beyond reproach, regardless of her strength as a candidate. Same goes for Amash, though his outlook is more conservatarian. Opposition to Trump is in no way disqualifying, and he would’ve made for a more compelling nominee. Johnson is the only big “L” on that list whose small “l” credentials might legitimately be questioned, but he still passes as a non-ideological policy moderate.

      1. I admire The New Number Two’s attempts at reasonable discussion with foul-mouthed, unreasonable Trump supporters. I question whether they are worth the effort.

  6. “Iraq vet and supermarket heir Peter Meijer (R–Mich.)”

    Ugh, why would an heir to any kind of fortune be a Republican these days? Doesn’t he know the Democrats will be much better for his net worth?

    Can’t stand it when people vote against their self-interest.


    1. Meijer stores are a state treasure, and the gardens in Grand Rapids are amazing. I recommend going when the butterflies are there, in particular.

    2. Don’t worry, Biden/Harris will lower the estate tax threshold before the Oval Office needs its first dusting.

  7. Oh there was a time…Two Pauls, Amash, Mike Lee, Tom Massie, Walter Jones..it did seem like we have something going..then the usual Libertarian crack up…it become more important to the cosmo woke libertarian to die on the sword of abortion, open borders and call anyone who disgreed a “white supremacist”.

    I keep hoping the Biden admin with finish the job at destroying our monetary system..to finally allow a true libertarian moment..one of sound money, free markets, small govt and peace..but I doubt it

    1. Mike Lee is a big govt social conservative Mormon. Mormons aren’t libertarian! They want to force their discredited, bullshit beliefs on everyone.

      If you support Mormons like Lee you’re part of the problem!

    2. It puzzles me why right-libertarians insist on a particular metaphysical theory about the nature of money, especially one grounded in Adam Smith’s monetary creation myth (similar to John Locke’s political creation myth) that flatly contradicts the anthropological evidence. The libertarian maxim, “Don’t hurt people, and don’t take their stuff,” certainly strikes me as compatible with, e.g., credit theories of money.

      1. Have you ever read anything by Michael Hudson?

        He’s certainly not libertarian but I would really like to see libertarians argue something like a debt jubilee. Even if only for argument’s sake.

        1. I’m aware of Hudson, and I think I’ve heard him speak on rent-seeking, but I’ve never read any of his books.

    1. That’s Trump. Lol.

      1. Poor little bitch, you’re the biggest fucking loser to ever randomly show up late at night and throw bitch ass temper tantrum’s. And that’s some stiff competition. Bitch.

        1. Trump is literally a loser. He lost to Biden. Now, hypocritically, he’s doing what Hillary did after her 2016 loss–blame his own failures on everyone and everything else in sight and claim the election was rigged against him.

          Quit whining about how it’s impossible that he could’ve lost legitimately. Inconceivable to you doesn’t mean realistically impossible. There is life after Trump. Grow the hell up, and move the fuck on.

  8. Biden gave his concession speech tonight.

    He thanked Ronald reagan for being his vice president ….

    Biden aint winning boys and girls. I predicted republicans would fight and they are. The GOP doesnt have the propaganda media to cover for them, so the6 keep the plan close to the vest.

    Georgia is offering cash rewards for voter fraud. Hilarious. Should be happening every election but tue massive democrat election fraud brought this out in people.

    My family are volunteering as observers and objecting to out of state non georgians being on the voter rolls.

    1. Thousands of lefty voter fraudsters are being kicked off voter rolls.

      Poor democrats and unreason staffers.

      It will tough for them…

  9. In which Nick goes full Boomer and everyone else sighs on mute.

    1. The commies at unreason are mad at what is coming.

      They had their pity party wearing masks alone. Now the republicans who control the Majority of the USA get their say. Biden lost the presidential via massive election fraud. It will be fun.

      1. Constitution strikes again,

      2. “The commies at unreason” (50x under every post)

        Do Trumpertarians consider anyone to the left of Steve Bannon a dirty communist? Do words even mean anything anymore?

  10. People who are homeless can still vote. They can legally register and vote in all 50 states.
    What they use for an address is necessarily approximate. The website recommends using a shelter address but I doubt that goes over well with the shelter, they don usually want people seeming to establish a residency there.
    I think this headline is a nothingburger.

    1. Homeless residents of a state can vote like everyone else.

      ONCE and that should be in person. At this rate, to keep Democrats from stealing elections all Americans should vote in person ONCE and put their thumb in ink.

  11. Sadly Justin Amash is an example of a political system where loyalty to party over rides loyalty to principles and constituents. How many times did Amash support the goals of libertarians, conservatives and Republicans. Yet it took only one vote against Trump (not even the Republicans, just Trump) to end his career.

    If you wonder why people hate politicians and Congress look to what happened to Justin.

  12. The libertarian that voted for impeachment based on abuse of power, corruption by the FBI and DOJ. The libertarian who cared not a wit about falsely obtained warrants. I support libertarians because I want defense of constitutional freedoms and limits on government power so such abuses don’t happen. Trump is the most unsympathetic victim ever but he, Flynn, Carter Page, were in fact the victims of rampant abuse of power.

    1. Except impeachment had nothing to do with a warrant. Trump was impeached for a breach of power where he attempted to extort Ukraine for an investigation of a political rival. The charges were based on testimony and phone transcripts. With the transcripts provided by the White House.

      Are you confusing the Mueller report and the impeachment?

  13. Nick seems to be the only one who’s brain isn’t broken because of Trump.

  14. Goodbye Justin. If we see you again it will be too soon.

    1. Who’s “we”? Reason is a libertarian publication. Its readership tends to favor libertarians over Trumplicans.

  15. I don’t think that word “libertarian” means what you think it does.

  16. Perdue is up only 1,208 votes with 97% of the precincts in. Loeffler is already finished.

  17. Trump is heading to prison for his phonecall with GA SoS. Nice job recording it.

  18. Wow! Talk about a dumpster fire. That podcast was not easy listening or fun. Instead of bashing/defending Trump, you should have examined Trump’s phone call for what it was: An example of government, at all levels, in action. A little more in your face than usual, but this is how they operate. There must have been a teachable libertarian moment in there somewhere!.

  19. pandemic corruption is lethal responsibility.

  20. Do you think it’s feasible for a libertarians representative to take a principled position against the government’s behaviour? Is it necessary for every “real socialist” to be a conservative populism crazy Hitler acolyte?
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  21. Wow! That’s what I call a dumpster fire. That webinar was neither enjoyable nor entertaining to listen to. Instead of criticising or defending Trump, you should really have investigated his phone call for what it was: An example of corporate in action at all levels. They’re a touch more forceful than usual, but that’s how they work. There had to be an instructive libertarians opportunity in there somewhere too! best regards: guest posting websites