Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Massie’s Overwhelming Victory Sends Message to Republicans: You Can Vote for the Constitution

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With 73 percent of the precinct votes counted in Kentucky’s 4th congressional district race, Representative Thomas Massie is headed to an overwhelming primary win over an establishment Republican, Todd McMurtry.

Massie is looking forward to going back to Washington, D.C., and telling his Republican colleagues that they can vote for the Constitution, even in difficult votes, and still win. Not only did Massie win Tuesday, he is presently getting 88 percent of the vote. The final vote tally will be announced on June 30, after all the absentee votes are counted, but the Associated Press has already called the race.

“Tonight’s victory sends a strong message that Republican voters in the 4th District of Kentucky want someone to represent them in Washington who will consistently stand up on principle, defend life, and support the Constitution,” Massie wrote in a statement in the wake of his huge victory.

While Massie’s supporters expected a comfortable victory, Bernie Kunkel, a strong Massie backer, told The New American, “I never dreamed it would be that big of a margin.”

Back in late March, it looked as if Massie may be facing some trouble in his reelection bid, because even President Donald Trump took to Twitter to denounce him. Trump was angry because Massie had held up a vote for the $2 trillion spending bill sold as a way to help the economy during the COVID-19 shutdowns. Massie was demanding a roll call vote, and many members of Congress did not want to return to D.C. to cast a vote, preferring it be passed on a voice vote instead.

“Looks like a third rate Grandstander named @Rep Thomas Massie, a congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT state, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress,” Trump tweeted at the time. “He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous and costly.”

Despite Massie’s gallant efforts, the bill passed with no roll call vote when he was unable to get support from any other member of the House.

Trump continued his Twitter storm against Massie (who sports a 99-percent score on The New American’s Freedom Index, which scores members of Congress according to their fidelity to the U.S. Constitution): “Workers & small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn’t their fault. It is HELL dealing with the Dems, had to give up some stupid things in order to get the ‘big picture’ done. 90% GREAT! WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of the Republican Party!”

Of course, Massie has consistently opposed excessive government spending, even joking that the buttons members of the House press to register their votes on the House floor should be changed from “yea” and “nay” to “spend,” and “don’t spend,” USA Today once reported.

Massie explained his opposition to the bill: “This stimulus should go straight to the people rather than being funneled through banks and corporations like this bill is doing.”

Democrats predictably lambasted Massie. After Massie said, “I swore an oath to the Constitution, and I take that oath seriously,” Representative Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) caustically retorted, “Shameful. Your 428 colleagues take their oaths to the Constitution just as seriously. But unlike you, they take the health of their colleagues, Capitol staff, families, and communities seriously. That’s the difference. Even @Donald Trump and I agree on that.” Phillips has a dismal 12-percent score on the Freedom Index, suggesting that he does not take his oath to the Constitution seriously.

Because of the intensity of Trump’s remarks, some Massie supporters feared that he could encounter some Republican hostility in the primary, but that does not seem to have happened. Massie’s Republican primary opponent even tried digging up an old photograph that displayed a Confederate battle flag at Massie’s Kentucky home while it was under construction 14 years ago.

Massie began documenting the construction of his Garrison, Kentucky, home, which is located about 104 miles northeast of Lexington, through a blog he titled, “Building a timber frame home from scratch.” In the early stages, a Confederate battle flag was hanging from a wooden frame next to the modern-day American flag.

The flag was evidently hoisted by the homebuilder constructing Massie’s home. Massie has said in the past that he wasn’t offended by the homebuilder putting up the flag during construction, but that a relative whose ancestor fought for the Union during the Civil War took exception. Kentucky was a Union state during the war, but many of its residents donned Confederate uniforms.

The effort to make Massie appear to be some sort of racist also fell flat, and he was triumphally reelected.

After Massie’s principled stand against passing the $2 trillion stimulus bill back in March, former Secretary of State John Kerry joined Trump in blasting Massie with a profanity-laced tweet, saying, “Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an ***hole. He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity. He’s given new meaning to the term #Masshole. Finally, something the president and I can agree on.”

One rule of thumb that President Trump might consider is if he agrees with John Kerry on something over Thomas Massie, he might reexamine his position.

Massie is expected to easily beat Democrat Matthew Best in November, as he won a fourth term in 2018 with nearly two thirds of the vote.

Image: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Steve Byas is a university instructor in history and government and the author of History’s Greatest Libels. He may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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