Justin Amash Leaves Republican Party… To Run For President?

Photo Credit: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

The fireworks tonight will celebrate the United States’ independence from Britain. However, there will be fireworks going off within Republican leadership as well. One of their own has defected from the party and put it in a perilous position for the 2020 election.

For months now, Representative Justin Amash of Michigan has been the bane of Donald Trump’s existence. The lone Republican calling for Trump to be impeached and removed from office. This led to Trump being furious that someone outside of Democrats thought he should be impeached, and trying to find a way to remove Amash from office.

Leaving The Party

In a bit of symbolism,  Amash waited until the early hours of Independence Day to announce he was leaving the Republican Party. He wrote an Op-Ed for The Washington Post that he was scared and tired of the partisan politics that had taken over the Capitol.

In the piece, Amash wrote: “Today, I am declaring my independence and leaving the Republican Party, No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us. I’m asking you to believe that we can do better than this two-party system — and to work toward it. If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.”

While not the first politician to decry the current political climate, he is the first to try and do something about it. Long known as a Libertarian, Amash seems to be on the brink of causing a civil war within the Republican Party.

Already there are two factions: those who support Trump and the Never Trump contingent. With Amash’s exit from the party, a tipping point seems to be near. Though it is not clear what that might entail. Especially with Trump getting involved on Twitter.

The Trump of It All

Taking a break from putting together his over-the-top parade, Trump let the world know he is happy Amash is no longer part of the GOP. In a Tweet that is as self-serving as the parade is, Trump called back to all of his favorite talking points. “No collusion,” he crowed. Despite the fact that Mueller did not exonerate her from that.

Here is what Trump said in his own words: “Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is ‘quitting’ the Party, No Collusion, No Obstruction! Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!”

Of course, there is a motivation behind the Twitter meltdown. Word on the street is that Amash may present a bigger threat to Trump than what most people think. Despite the impeachment talk, which obviously rankled Trump, there could be an even bigger threat.

Challenge 2020

With 23 people already vying to unseat him as President, Trump could be worried about Amash launching his own campaign. When Trump calls someone a loser or gives them some sort of nickname, it usually indicates that he fears them.

With Amash, there is a chance he is going to launch a campaign against Trump. Libertarian candidates are considered a long shot to win the Presidency but in this case, winning may not be the goal. If Amash is seeking to capitalize on the Anti-Trump sentiment sweeping the country, and possibly taking electoral college points away from his rival.

If that is the goal, it would make it easier for the eventual Democrat nominee to take back the White House and send Trump back to Mar-a-lago for an even longer vacation than he already takes.