Politics
Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., walks through in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg) Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., walks through in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)  

TheDC Interview: Tea Party ‘leader’ Tom Trento on his attack on Allen West and the budget battle

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Jamie Weinstein
Senior Editor
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      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

As conservative economist Walter Williams — a frequent Rush Limbaugh fill-in host — has noted, the balanced budget amendment is irrelevant to our current budget debate. The constitutional amendment process is very slow. By the time it could be enacted, the time would have likely long past for America to get its budget situation under control. Given that, why push the BBA when it’s irrelevant?

Mr. Williams and all other balanced budget naysayers are simply, at best, emphasizing pragmatic politics over principled governance. In fact, Mr. Williams is focusing on the micro when in fact the “less-sophisticated” Tea Party folks include, with the micro, the macro solution …

Are you calling for a primary challenge for Florida Rep. Allen West for supporting the Boehner plan?

No, I am not calling for a primary challenge for Congressman West. I am warning Mr. West and all other CCB pledge-takers that there are massive political consequences when “defecting” on principled issues at this moment in history.

I love Allen West. He is my congressman and my friend. I have helped him in the past and I will help him in the future unless his compromised moment of weakness after getting beat up by the established politicians becomes the norm. In that case, the statesman Allen West who energized a nation would have been consumed by the “curse” of the Beltway and become nothing more than another politician …

Considering that Allen West has personified the Tea Party, and probably has more support nationally from rank and file Tea Party members than you or any other Tea Party leader, do you fear marginalizing yourself and the Tea Party by taking him on?

A long time ago I decided that I can contribute more to this country that I love by working outside the system than inside in an elected position. Along with that decision is a complete disregard for any concern of being marginalized. Let me tell you, there is true freedom in not worrying what others think, but lest you conclude I’m a “loose cannon,” ah … quite contraire. First and foremost I’m an evangelical Christian who takes very seriously my calling and recognizes the importance of making sure I don’t do anything that causes me to be marginalized by … God!

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

  • behonest

    I don’t believe the tea party is dissing Col West. Right Debbie Washerboard

  • IndependentVet

    You are a strange and small person … in a tinfoil hat

  • libertyatstake

    Memo to this Trento, whoever he is: Big boys can differ on tactics without stamping their feet and throwing a hissy fit. Allen West is a stand up guy who did what he thought was best. We need guys like that on our team. We don’t need people who seek to raise funds by shooting inside the tent. The GOP establishment already has many of those. I hear they have several job openings over there.

    d(^_^)b
    http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  • Tex Expatriate

    Shame on the author/interviewer. First, this question is disingenuous: “Most economic experts and businessmen believe defaulting would be catastrophic.” Why? Because there is no risk of default. To parrot the faulty premise is even worse than disingenuous. Then he does it again: “Even conservative economic icons such as Thomas Sowell have come out in favor of the Boehner deal. Why do you continue to oppose it at the risk of America’s economic position?” Opposing the bill does not risk America’s economic position. The only thing that risks America’s economic position is continued spending by Democrat Socialists.

    Shame on Weinstein, and also West.

  • specs

    “The majority of my educational and activist work is in the national security sector dealing with issues like Shariah Islam, border vulnerability, nuclear Iran and the necessity for America to fully recognize and support Israel as a national security partner.”

    –I don’t see what much of any of that has to do with the ‘Tea Party’ In fact the people that obsess about those matters tend to be the people that helped get us into this financial predicament with massive overseas spending.

  • gc

    this is so stupid

  • teapartypatriot

    Tea Party TRAITORS, like PIGFORD-supporting allen west, who caved on their principles and supported a bad bill, should enjoy their ONE TERM in congress. It will be their last.

    • Tex Expatriate

      You have a good point. Despite being completely informed about the fraud that is the Pigford Settlement, West did nothing and said nothing. I’m beginning to question his character.

  • Humorless

    Tea Party must purify the Republican Party…purify, purify, purify. Clean out all who are not totally, 100% Tea Party. Purge them. Eliminate all who are not holy and righteous. Even if it means being able to have the entire Republican Convention in a tanning booth. :)