Republicans as Bad as Ever

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On war, the most important issue. In the tenth year of a ridiculous, illegal, and completely counterproductive war of aggression, Justin Amash, a Michigan freshman Congressman with some libertarian leanings whom I was told to keep an eye on, joined the 97% of his party in the House voting against a completely reasonable and moderate plan to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.

As an aside, this alone would have saved $100 billion a year. Another epic fail from the Tea Party.

I probably could have written this more charitably. The post is about how bad the Republicans are, which I stand by, and conveys my disappointment that Amash voted the way he did, and I am still disappointed. But it was pointed out to me that the post appears to single him out for being particularly bad or warmongering, which I don’t think he is. I still don’t think he’s antiwar enough—or in the way I’d prefer him to be—because I think voting yes was just the right course of action, even knowing the amendment would fail. Other statements of his about foreign policy have made me think that he is not as urgent on these issues as I’d like to see. I think a Congressman should, at a minimum, vote for all peaceful withdrawal options pretty much without exception, with the goal of bringing home all U.S. troops from all over the world. Maybe three or four per embassy is OK, but that’s it—from a constitutionalist perspective, to say nothing of radical libertarianism.

Amash almost surely does oppose the war more than almost any other Republican, which I believe just shows how hopeless that party is as an engine of peace, and therefore as an engine of liberty or anything useful at all. Nevertheless, I was too quick to publish this as is. I was sad that even Amash voted for this, and much disappointed in the vote, but I shouldn’t single him out in a post about how Republicans are as bad as ever when he is one of the very least bad. Not without clarification.

6:24 pm on February 21, 2011