Local Tea Party group calls Trump a liberal
Apparently, some of the top movers and shakers in the Skylands Tea Party believe that working with labor unions means that you are a liberal. Well, take a look at what just happened...
So let's get this straight. President Obama refused to meet with these labor union leaders for eight years. President Trump thought it important enough to do on his third day in office. But anyone who meets with a union is a liberal???
And our new Republican president has promised to direct "hundreds of billions of dollars to infrastructure investments" but only "some of it (will come) from the federal government." That's true because in our system, the federal government will generally match the money put up by state governments instead of directly funding projects from the start. Just a few months ago, New Jersey didn't have the money to even hope for any of those billions that President Trump will be sending our way. But now, thanks to a few forward thinkers in the Legislature, New Jersey will be in a position to be a part of Donald Trump's agenda and to make his most ambitious idea a reality.
Apparently, the Tea Party would have preferred a broke New Jersey to sit in the gutter while its neighbors worked with President Trump to Make America Great Again. "We'll show them," said the Tea Party.
There's this fellow named Bill Hayden who wants to be the "face" of the Tea Party in Sussex County. That's kind of funny, because Hayden is a state employee who works for the Department of Transportation. Nothing wrong in that, but it does place him on the spending side of the equation.
Hayden has a thing about Gail Phoebus, a wealthy country club owner with a golf course and restaurant in New Jersey and a ranch in Colorado. After kicking around Andover Township government, Phoebus was elected Freeholder in 2012 and Assemblyperson in 2015. As a matter of disclosure, it was Phoebus who helped launch this website in the spring of 2012.
Gail Phoebus isn't Alison McHose. Alison McHose went to Washington DC and was mentored by a group of conservative women -- including the founder of the National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC). She worked for Vice President Cheney's wife and then for John Bolton, one of the most hard-assed conservatives in Washington. After gaining mentoring as a conservative, Alison McHose came back to New Jersey, ran for the Assembly, and against some very stiff opposition, she won. Then she put in ten very productive years as one of the most ideological conservatives in the Legislature.
Gail Phoebus didn't have that kind of mentoring. She was well over sixty when she won her first county-wide office, as Freeholder, and 65 when she was elected to the Legislature. She had a sort of vague Republicanism with a libertarian streak picked up from the party circuit hanging around wealthy equestrian circles. She was also something of a feminist and loathed such county institutions as the Branchville Businessmen's Club. Hey, remember how Watchdog used to write about the "penis club"? That was Gail.
As a mentor, Gail Phoebus had Alison McHose's confidante, Bill Winkler. Winkler had a conservative pedigree going back 40 years. He worked for Howard Phillips and the Conservative Caucus, was a Reagan delegate in 1980, and had done field work for the Fund for a Conservative Majority. Under Reagan, he was trained by the RNC's "west point of American politics" and worked as a campaign manager for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Sent to Alabama, he worked on Jeff Sessions victorious pick-up of a Democrat U.S. Senate seat in 1996 and he was by the side of Attorney General Bill Pryor in every campaign he ran (all of which were successful). United States Senator Jeff Sessions is Donald Trump's nominee for the Attorney General of the United States. William H. Pryor, Jr. is currently a Judge for the United States Court of Appeals, a Commissioner on United States Sentencing Commission, and has been mentioned as a potential Trump nominee for the United States Supreme Court.
If you tune in to Bill Hayden, he'll tell you that Bill Winkler isn't a conservative. But however much he says it, real conservatives like Jeff Sessions, Bill Pryor, and Alison McHose will strongly disagree.
And that brings us to this question: Is Bill Hayden a conservative? And does the Tea Party as a whole have an attitude flaw that makes it something other than conservative? If you study conservative ideology, the writings of Edmund Burke and such, you will know that conservatives build on the work of those in whose steps we follow. In modern times that meant that Goldwater built on Taft and Reagan on Goldwater and so on, up to today.
Conservatives respect those who were in the fight before them and view them as seasoned, senior compatriots. Not the Tea Party. It has no respect for the work of those who came before them. Their instinct is to be skeptical, pessimistic, and disrespectful. The Tea Party distrusts every conservative institution and individual that existed prior to their movement. They would rather destroy their natural allies than work with them.
This is Nihilism, not Conservatism. It is the way of Cambodia's Pol Pot -- fearing and hating anyone who might have more experience, more knowledge, more intelligence. 2010 is their Year Zero and any acquired knowledge before then is suspect.
The Tea Party argues that people like Winkler are the "establishment." We forget, where was Bill Hayden in 2009? We know where Bill Winkler was, in the biggest showdown between conservatives and the establishment in recent New Jersey history, Winkler was with the anti-establishment candidate, working on Steve Lonegan's campaign. He also managed the campaign of Mike Doherty when he defeated establishment incumbent Marcia Karrow for a State Senate seat. Can anyone remember what part Bill Hayden played in those efforts? Probably not, because many Tea Partiers didn't even vote before the 2010 election.
And yet Hayden has the balls to try and label Winkler. Based on what?
Take the recent debate about the increase in New Jersey's tax on gasoline. A classic user tax that had not been adjusted for inflation for 28 years. Conservative ideology holds that user taxes are the fair way to tax. True conservatives would apply user taxes to a much broader range, including education. President Ronald Reagan, the father of the modern conservative movement, doubled the federal tax on gasoline in line with classic conservative thinking.
Guess the Tea Party would label Reagan a "liberal."
In fact, the American Conservative magazine -- founded by Pat Buchanan (remember him?) -- this week called for an increase in the user tax on gasoline as a way to fund infrastructure projects. The American Conservative discusses cost-cutting but concludes: "Some of the above proposals will save money; on net, the package will cost money. Where is that money to come from? From raising the gas tax. The federal gas tax should be the primary if not the only source of funding for the (federal) Transportation Trust Fund."
Guess that makes them "liberal" too.
Now there are others who might disagree. Conservatives can have differing views on how to address a problem. There is nothing wrong with that, and at one time conservatives would hold intellectually-stimulating, rational debates about issues. Think William F. Buckley and National Review.
Ah yes, rational debates. Seen any of that lately?
Instead we get Tea Partiers like Bill Hayden -- folks who aren't particularly well-read, who wouldn't know Michael Oakeshott or Roger Kimball from Mao Tse-tung -- thinking that they have been anointed from on high to decide what "labels" to apply to people. And it's about as rational a process as getting to sit at the "cool table" in high school. The Tea Party is a clique -- "a small group of people, with shared interests or other features in common, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them." To sit at their "cool table" (to be labeled "conservative" by them) you need only fan their butts, tell them how important they are, and get them to "like" you. Then you are in.
This isn't a rational debate -- it's high school!
Since the Tea Party came to town, rational debate has gone out the window. Now they go on Facebook and call you pornographic names -- and instead of the intellectual clarity of a William F. Buckley, we get the raw anger of people who call themselves "conservative" but who couldn't tell you who William F. Buckley was. Good conservatives who the Tea Party disagrees with have their faces photo-shopped onto vaginas. The Tea Party defends the practice by saying that it is just a "meme." And little old church ladies who are part of the Tea Party, old gals who would shudder at the thought of showing this is a classroom, defend the practice and tell the pornographer, "good job!"
N.B. Next time you protest about some new outrage being fed to your children and grandchildren, remember your culpability when the school board says that it is "just a meme."
That leads to another question: Is the Tea Party Christian at all? We know they claim to be. But have you met any members of the Christian clergy who would judge a man by a single vote? We haven't. The universal response is that people must be judged by the whole of their works, their character, and their intentions. But not since the Tea Party came to town. When you condemn a man and work it like a salesman, that is not the action of a Christian. It is the action of a hustler.
Bill Hayden says that Bill Winkler doesn't like guns. Hey, guns are tools. They are not sex objects or fashion accessories. What Bill Winkler has been fighting for these last forty years is to preserve the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America. He worked for the NRA, as an election volunteer coordinator and has been involved in most of the legislative battles surrounding the Second Amendment. The pro- Second Amendment legislators in several states know who he is and what he's done, as do activist leaders. When did you show up, Bill Hayden?
Tea Partiers who really do understand and support the Second Amendment, should advertise their weaponry in a responsible fashion -- that is, in a way that will not give our opponents (those who would take away our rights) material to sway swing voters. Much of what we have been seeing is doing just that and if we are slaughtered at the 2018 mid-terms it will be because of people without self-control, acting out.
Did you know that Gail Phoebus hired Bill Winkler to run her 2017 re-election campaign in August 2016. Bet you didn't know that, did you? That is how recent all this b.s. is. Yep, Gail hired him and her daughter made him dinner. You see, Gail didn't know what conservative ideology was until she met Winkler. And without his constant handholding, she would go off the rails -- inviting a Holocaust denier to speak in Andover Township, insulting the police of Sussex County, or voting for every pro-solar deal and amendment (until the last one, when she was beginning her Assembly race and her advisors told her no).
She even screwed up her position on the gas tax. First she voted to send a letter from the Sussex Freeholder Board that correctly expressed concerns that property taxes would go up if the gas tax was not raised. Then she lied and said she didn't (the lie made it into her campaign literature). Then the official freeholder minutes showed that she had indeed voted for it, even seconding the motion. It is important to remember that Phoebus supported the gas tax increase even without any corresponding tax cuts. Then she opposed the tax and the tax cuts. Now she supports using the revenue from the tax to fund a train station in Andover Township.
In the end, it was the constant lying by Gail Phoebus that ruined her relationship with Bill Winkler. Phoebus gossiped way too much about everyone and made up some unbelievable stories. She seemed obsessed about two things -- the money she thought others were getting that she wasn't (all the GOP legislators in northwest New Jersey share the SAME contributors) and the sex lives of some members of county and local government. Winkler just got tired of hearing about it. After all, he's been spending less time as a campaign manager and more working with whistleblowers and writing. Winkler spent much of the last two years working with a whistleblower who published a book exposing some of the homeland security weaknesses of the Obama administration. After campaigning across the country for Donald Trump, the author is about to enter service at the White House.
Phoebus also had her "other Winkler" in the person of Dan Perez -- as liberal as Winkler is conservative. Perez... well, let's just let his biography speak for itself:
An old Marxist himself, William Kunstler was the lawyer for the Marxist Weather Underground terrorist organization (remember Bill Ayres?) and the Marxist Black Panther Movement. Kunstler did not believe that Republicans and other "right-wingers" should be defended and famously said: "I only defend those whose goals I share. I'm not a lawyer for hire. I only defend those I love."
Having clerked for Kunstler, after he died Perez would continue with and later become managing partner in a firm with Ron Kuby, Kunstler's old partner. At the time of Kunstler's death, he and Kuby were defending Omar Abdel-Rahman ("the Blind Sheik") for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
While Dan Perez and Ron Kuby were law partners, Kuby was quoted explaining how he would defend Osama Bin Laden. Yep, Osama Bin Laden. Here's what he had to say:
Kuby & Perez
New York City
Having represented blind Muslim cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, Long Island Rail Road murderer Colin Ferguson and Meir Kahane killer El Sayyid Nosair, Kuby is no stranger to the defense of unpopular figures and causes.
...If permitted to question individual jurors, Kuby would try to bring out jurors’ biases by touching on issues such as Zionism, Israel and the persecution of Islam. Another important part of the defense strategy would be to treat the trial and its players as part of a system of oppression. To that end, bin Laden would show no deference to the judge or jury. “That means you don’t rise for the judge,” Kuby explains.
That strategy also means turning evidence into a political statement...
“If done right it is a very powerful propaganda tool,” Kuby adds.
That's some very strange company the Tea Party is keeping.