Fans of Republican Congressman Ron Paul suffered another defeat in their quest for acceptance in the GOP this week, with House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to remove four libertarian-friendly Republican Congressmen from top congressional committees.
The “purge” — which removed freshmen Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Walter Jones (R-NC), and David Schweikert (R-AZ) from the House Budget and Banking Committees — sparked outrage among movement conservatives, who interpreted the action as a “warning” for other Republican members to fall in line with a deal that would raise taxes.
Nowhere has the criticism been more biting than among members of the so-called “Liberty Movement,” the cottage political industry and grassroots networks spawned by Ron Paul and his disciples.
Like Paul, all four of the ousted congressmen are hardcore deficit hawks and critics of the Federal Reserve. Amash, in particular, has an avid following among Ron Paul’s supporters (Rand Paul-Justin Amash 2016 signs were common at Ron Paul rallies throughout the 2012 primaries). The Michigan Republican has publicly declared himself a fan of Ron Paul, and even earned an endorsement from the libertarian demi-god during his first congressional campaign in 2010.
“What’s the point of even having a Republican Party if you’re going to punish those who believe in balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility? The GOP stands as the opposition to what, exactly?” said Jack Hunter, a Liberty Movement blogger with deep ties to the Pauls. “Everyone knows Republicans haven’t been any better than the Democrats in cutting spending for years and the current House Leadership seems hell-bent on preserving this shameful heritage.”