POLITICS: Campaigns

If this the Establishment's counteroffensive, the Tea Party has little to worry about

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Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Republican Party,Tea Party,2014 Elections,Campaigns,Justin Amash

The battle for the GOP will now be fought in 2014 House and Senate primaries, Tea Partiers and Establishment types agree.

Tea Partiers always have an uphill climb when challenging incumbents, but this year, the Establishment is targeting Tea Party incumbents and winning open seats, my AEI colleague Norm Ornstein said on public radio's "To The Point" yesterday.

Ornestein pointed to two examples: Alabama's 1st Congressional District where business-backed candidate Bradley Byrne won a special election against Dean Young. The problem with this example: Young got no backing from national Tea Party groups.

The incumbent the Establishment is targeting is Justin Amash. Here's what challenger Brian Ellis has to offer, as told by Maria Santos of the Weekly Standard:

Amash is famous for painstakingly explaining every vote he casts on his Facebook page. As in the Keystone case, he frequently argues against legislation on constitutional grounds or votes “present” if he thinks a bill wasn’t given enough time for review.

Ellis is unimpressed. “He’s got his explanations for why he’s voted, but I don’t really care. I’m a businessman, I look at the bottom line.” He has no use for Amash’s constitutional scruples, remarking, “If something is unconstitutional, we have a court system that looks at that.”

Sounds like a winner!

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