Accuracy in Media

Justin Amash, the Republican lawmaker from Michigan, continues to bask in praise from the mainstream media for saying President Trump’s actions had “reached the threshold” of impeachable conduct.

Amash, a libertarian from the Grand Rapids area who frequently votes and works against his party, got his latest boost from the New York Times, which identified Amash in a cutline as “a five-term Republican with a reputation for saying ‘no.’”

The story itself – “Justin Amash, Under Attack for Impeachment Talk, Finds Mixed Support at Home” by Emily Cochrane – was loaded with loaded language.

It opens with a woman at Amash’s first town hall since taking his stand against Trump saying she was disappointed in him. “How can you become a Democrat when we voted you in as a Republican,” the woman asked “as boos, hisses and heckles rumbled through the crowd.”

Amash didn’t just respond; he “rebuked the accusation to the cheers of the crowd that packed the auditorium. ‘I haven’t changed,’ he said. ‘I’m who I said I was.’”

Republicans “have lined up in opposition to Amash,” Cochrane declares. He stands tall with his reputation for voting no even on approval of the daily journal. As a result, “From his earliest days in Washington, Mr. Amash has been a marginal figure … Principled, yes, even critics will concede. A thought leader in the Republican Party? No.”

Turning against a president who enjoys approval ratings of better than 90 percent among his own party did not help Amash politically, the Times stated, especially considering the current circumstances.

“In Mr. Trump’s Republican Party, no figure is too marginal to be ignored – and even the faintest spark of opposition must be snuffed out, doused, crushed and buried,” Cochrane wrote.

Thus, the “billionaire DeVos family, whose many has helped bankroll the Republican Party here for decades,” withdrew support, and two other Republicans have announced they will run against him in a primary next year.

“But in Grand Rapids, his political stronghold, Mr. Amash’s boldness was still applauded – wildly,” Cochrane wrote. “Political strategists and voters say this congressional district in southwestern Michigan may not only tolerate an unabashed and frequent Republican critic of the president. It might also demand it.”

Voters at the town hall were either “angry over a perceived lack of loyalty to the party” or “appreciative of a politician consistent in his views and votes,” Cochrane wrote. Those against Amash were “angry” over something “perceived.” His fans were “appreciative” of him being “consistent.”

The protesters were not nice people. For more than two hours, they lobbed “question after question” at him about his remarks on Trump, and he in turn was “jousting with former supporters who lamented his refusal to toe the party line and calling for a respectful dialogue as audience members heckled at long-winded or controversial remarks.”

This is just part of Amash’s brand – substance over rank party loyalty, the Times reported.

“His allies – and grudging admirers – say that voters have come to expect Mr. Amash, who considers himself a libertarian and strict constitutionalist, to choose principle over party,” Cochrane wrote. “And Mr. Amash waved off concerns that his independent streak would cost him re-election, telling attendees, ‘You have to do the right thing regardless.’

“’You already knew I was independent,’ he told the crowd, concluding a lecture on the failure of Congress to adhere to procedure and buck party lines. ‘That’s not going to change.’”

It then quoted a woman who said she had decided to abandon Mr. Amash at the voting booth but had changed her mind somewhat after hearing his remarks. “I was ready to,” the woman said of abandoning Amash. “I have to think about all these things.”

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