Allen West: Tea Party Defector? Tea Party to Unseat 4?

The Hill reports several TEA Party factions are vowing to take revenge against Freshman congressmen considered TEA Party favorites for their support of the Boehner bills. Rep. Allen West (R-FL) is one of those allegedly targeted:

“One minute they’re saying I’m their Tea Party hero, and three, four days later I’m a Tea Party defector; that kind of schizophrenia I’m not going to get involved in it,” West said on conservative Laura Ingraham’s radio show.

Tom Trento, an organizer for the Tea Party National Convention who is involved in the leadership of two Tea Party groups, said, “The explanation to that schizophrenia is simple … the focus is on the principle.” Speaking of West, he said, “The individual representing that principle changed. The focus is on the principle. That’s not schizophrenic.”…

West has said he has to vote his own conscience on this bill, and it doesn’t matter if his Tea Party supporters disagree with him.

“If you’re telling me I need to vote ‘no’ against the Boehner plan, then what am I voting for?” West said. Read more at The Hill.


Allen West

The article also names as targets Republican Reps. James Lankford (OK), Mike Kelly (PA) and Bill Flores (TX), all four freshmen and declared yes votes for Boehner.

Tea Party-affiliated organizations Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Founding Fathers and United West indicated Thursday that their members will not tolerate a vote for the Boehner plan…

United West is calling the four congressmen “Tea Party defectors.” Any vote for a plan that raises the debt ceiling without enacting greater spending cuts or passing a balanced-budget amendment has enabled a “debt-ceiling giveaway,” according to Trento, director of the Tea Party Founding Fathers.

Trento, who also oversees the Tea Party National Convention, called the four lawmakers “Stupak defectors,” comparing them to former Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), whom Trento says “famously betrayed conservatives” by changing his vote on the healthcare bill last year.

Trento warns that the Tea Party could force Lankford, West, Kelly and Flores to follow in the footsteps of Stupak, who chose to step down from his seat in Congress in 2010. Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips is already seeking to influence Tea Party-sympathetic voters in West’s and Kelly’s home states through robocalls starting Wednesday. The Hill.

I hate this happening right at this moment. Get the message to these four that you will unseat them, via a private venue. Criticize their votes publicly, but don’t threaten publicly until this mess is over, then do what you think you should do. The middle of the storm is bad timing and it gives Democrats fodder against the TEA Party.

  • Some of the pretend-tea leaders – there is no Tea Party head per-se – need to cool it or they are going to make Obama’s day.

  • We needed to CONVINCE West and others to see it our way, Boehner convinced them otherwise, but damn folks, you don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Criticize in private, support in public…

  • Allen West and the others answer to those in their district, nobody else. If the Tea Party folks in their district choose not to support him because of this, that’s their business.

    I think there are folks who are self appointed heads of the Tea Party. In my opinion, the Tea Party needs to be local and strong. Otherwise, these so-called national tea party leaders will be seduced by the dark side of the GOP.

  • My voice was heard at the Tea Party gatherings here in Montana. If someone goes the wrong way, then we the people, not the Tea Party, but we the people, vote. That’s it. They know how we feel. It’s up to them to make the choices for the people, it’s also the choices of the people that will be heard, not any particular party.

  • Ran

    First off, neither Trento nor any other “Tea Party” official speaks for Tea Partiers. (David L. said it well.) I’d rather learn from our failure at supporting the RNC – a central clearing/bundling house – and give directly to worthy candidates. West, Bachmann, Ryan…

    I disagree with West on this – but it is not as if he’s gone all squish. He’s rock solid.

    …and yeah, I’ll support his run in ’12.