Actually, the bitter part is just a minute or two from a longer speech but it’s not often the phrase “you’re a disgrace” pops up when a candidate’s accepting his party’s nomination. In fairness to him, his opponent did play some awfully hard hardball with him during the campaign. Watch the second clip below to see how hard. Amash took it personally in part because he’s Arab-American and perceived some race-baiting in the Al Qaeda comparison. I don’t know if that’s true — he’s not the first NSA critic to be accused of enabling terrorism (ahem) — but I find it interesting that he and Rand Paul are willing and sometimes eager to call their critics out by name, even, as here, in a victory speech. From what I saw of him on the trail, Ron Paul didn’t do much of that; it may be that the new generation of libertarians in Congress, seeing how leery mainstream conservatives are about Ron Paul, has decided that they need to be aggressive in counterpunching to protect their own mainstream viability. Rand takes jabs from big-name Republicans like Christie, Rick Perry, and even Ted Cruz all the time but offhand I can’t remember one instance where he’s let the criticism go unanswered. Which makes sense: If pols like him and Amash are fighting to move the Overton window towards libertarianism, why let a roundhouse like “friend of Al Qaeda” pass without mention, even on election night?
The fun starts in the first clip at around 3:00. He mentions Pete Hoekstra, by the way, because Hoekstra’s a former head of the House Intelligence Committee, a firm NSA supporter, and thus naturally someone who endorsed Amash’s opponent. He was one of the bigger political names in Michigan to get behind the establishment’s effort to unseat Amash this year. Oh well.