If you’re of the libertarian bent, trying to spot the next Ron Paul is like asking basketball fans who’s the next Michael Jordan. The now-retired Texas congressman, and three-time presidential candidate, holds a place of glory among small-government folks. His ideological purity – slash federal spending, libertine on social issues, non-interventionist on foreign policy – has been tough to match.
But GOP Reps. Thomas Massie (KY) and Justin Amash (MI) are making bids to replace Paul as leaders on the libertarian right. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that in his first two months in Congress Massie has already gained national attention for his votes against Republican leadership.
Massie took office in November succeeding Geoff Davis, and has voted against re-electing House Speaker John Boehner, voted against the fiscal cliff deal and voted against $9.7 billion in federal aid for those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Massie need only look to Amash about what happens to lawmakers who get crosswise with GOP leadership. Amash was among several Republicans who found themselves removed from their committee assignments, in a purge of rebellious Republicans by Boehner.
But like Paul before him, Amash is defiant in pursuing his small-government goals. The second-term lawmaker opposes central economic planning and believes it contributes to unemployment, inflation, and dangerous business cycles. He regularly votes against spending bills for federal government agencies not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, including the departments of Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, among others. And Amash is a prolific tweeter and Facebook poster to explain his views.