Mother Jones cover story: Troll vs. Spy - How GOP rebel Justin Amash spooked the NSASubmitted by ron_paul_is_awesome on Tue, 11/05/2013 - 00:22
Will GOP Rebel Justin Amash Bring Down the NSA—and His Own Party?
The rising Republican star wants the government out of your data. And basically everything else.
—By Tim Murphy | November/December 2013 Issue
ANTICIPATION IS RISING ON A night in early August as about 300 starry-eyed libertarians gather at George Mason University in Arlington, Virginia, for a lesson on how to save the Republican Party, the Constitution, and maybe America. The hero they've come to see is Justin Amash, a 33-year-old Michigan congressman who has spent the previous two months crusading against National Security Agency surveillance. The GOP gadfly is joined by three other congressional newcomers who serve as Amash's ideological sidekicks. As the crowd jumps to its feet to greet Amash, one young activist can't contain himself: "I'm on a first-name basis with the man who wants to save the Fourth Amendment!"
Just one week earlier, Amash had brought the House of Representatives to a standstill with a measure that would have prohibited the NSA from indiscriminately collecting Americans' phone and internet data. Leaders in both parties opposed his amendment, but Amash had sensed an opportunity to capitalize on strong bipartisan disgust over the surveillance scandal. In just a few days he'd cobbled together 205 votes split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats—and might even have seen his measure pass had House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the White House not applied last-minute pressure to stop it.
Amash and his colleagues are greeted as liberators at the Young Americans for Liberty Convention, one of the dozens of initiatives spawned by the 2008 presidential campaign of Texas Rep. Ron Paul. Every so often the crowd of twentysomethings breaks into chants of "End the Fed," or into a chorus of boos at the mention of establishment figures like Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, whose existence Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina invokes the way a Hogwarts first-year might hint at Lord Voldemort.