So … just how weird has the political climate gotten in the Age of Donald John Trump?
U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, the lone Republican (so far) to call for the president’s impeachment, has just quit the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus. It’s not that Amash doesn’t fit the conservative mold for the Freedom Caucus. It’s because he doesn’t bow at the sound of Donald Trump’s name.
As Politico reports: Amash “faces a far more uncertain political future in the age of Trump, in which fealty to the president has often become a litmus test for the GOP.”
But here’s what I don’t quite grasp. Trump isn’t a true-blue Republican. His trade tariffs send “establishment Republicans” into orbit. The president has developed a classic “protectionist” trade policy that used to be popular among pro-union political progressives. Trump has slathered this policy under a coating of “putting America first,” which played well on the 2016 campaign trail. He was able to sucker enough voters to get him elected.
Trump has gone soft on Russia, the traditional adversary of U.S. geopolitical interests and the bogeyman among Republicans.
Donald Trump upset the political equation in a major way three years ago just by winning the presidency. Now he has captured the GOP and turned it into something few of us recognize.
Justin Amash once was thought to be a traditional libertarian conservative. He’s now an outlier among the GOP. Why? Because he cannot stand by idly while the president obstructs justice.