By Andy Kroll, published in Rolling Stone
Amash says he began to think about leaving the party several years before he did it. The legislative process, he says, had broken down well before Trump came along. What had replaced it, he says, was “an elaborate form of performance art” in which two or three Democratic and Republican party leaders dictated everything — which bills got a vote and which didn’t, who got on what committees — and the rest of Congress made a lot of noise. There was little actual debate and even less appetite for any line of thinking that veered from party-issued talking points.
“You finally get to the point where nobody breaks from what the speaker wants or what the party leaders want,” Amash tells me. “I’ve called it a partisan death spiral. There’s no real way out because you’d have to convince the majority of Congress to break from the system that seems to work well for a lot of them.” He doesn’t see that happening any time soon: “For most of them, from their perspective, it’s a good gig. They get to stay in power. They don’t have to think. And they’re taken care of.”
All of this worsened under Trump. Amash’s comrades in the House Freedom Caucus stopped caring so much about deficits and an open legislative process — now, it was all about delivering for the president. “I used to feel like I had more people who were willing to stand up for the right thing,” Amash says. “In recent years and especially in recent months, people have capitulated and allowed the system to consume them.”
Read the whole piece at Rolling Stone.