Tea Party Lawmakers Like Rep. Justin Amash Feeling Backlash from Government Shutdown
Tea Party Lawmakers Like Rep. Justin Amash Feeling Backlash from Government Shutdown

It seems that some Tea Party lawmakers are feeling the backlash from the Sen. Ted Cruz-engineered government shutdown. Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), who was instrumental in the government shutdown becoming a reality, seems to be feeling the heat from his constituents. Yeah, the same ones he says want a government shutdown over Obamacare.

[I]n the Dutch Reformed country of West Michigan, long a bastion of mainstream, mannerly conservatism, voters in 2010 handed the House seat once held by Gerald R. Ford to Justin Amash, a 33-year-old revolutionary and heir to the libertarian mantle of former congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex.). Amash was part of an attempted coup against House Speaker John A. Boehner (R- Ohio) and is a leader of the House tea party faction that helped force a government shutdown last week.

But within Grand Rapids’ powerful business establishment, patience is running low with Amash’s ideological agenda and tactics. Some business leaders are recruiting a Republican primary challenger who they hope will serve the old-fashioned way — by working the inside game and playing nice to gain influence and solve problems for the district. They are tired of tea party governance, as exemplified by the budget fight that led to the shutdown and threatens a first-ever U.S. credit default.

Similar efforts are underway in at least three other districts — one in the moneyed Detroit suburbs and the others in North Carolina and Tennessee — where business leaders are backing primary campaigns against Republican congressmen who have alienated party leaders. The races mark a notable shift in a party in which most primary challenges in recent years have come from the right. …

Meg Goebel, president of the Paul Goebel Group, an insurance agency, said she is “really, really unhappy” with the leading role Amash has played in tying the health-care law to overall government funding.

“I don’t see him as a collaborator, and I think that’s a huge problem,” Goebel, a former chair of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, said. “People used to say, ‘I don’t like the Congress, but I like my congressman.’ I don’t think that’s the case anymore.”

There are similar sentiments 140 miles east in the tony Detroit suburbs of Oakland County, where businessman David Trott is waging a well-funded primary campaign to defeat Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R), a former high school teacher and reindeer rancher now dubbed by fellow Republicans the “accidental congressman.”