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

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.