A week ago (July 22) the Mesa Mountain View Tea Party featured Jeff Smith, who is running for the Republican nomination for Congress against incumbent Jeff Flake. Smith is a rock-solid conservative, and we loved him.
I was anxious to see what the response would be to Jeff Flake, and I was not disappointed. There were real fireworks. The hall was full. There had to be well over a hundred people there—the most I’ve seen for any of our Tea Party meetings. And they were there to give Jeff Flake a hard time.
Jeff Flake was first elected to Congress in 2000. I wasn’t in Arizona at the time, but people who were here tell me that he was considered a solid conservative, but that he seems to have moderated in recent years.
Flake touted his 100% approval rating from the American Conservative Union, but as the night progressed, the Tea Partiers didn’t seem impressed. They hammered him for what they considered a soft stance on illegal immigration, for his sponsoring carbon tax legislation, for breaking his pledge to serve only three terms, and for supporting McCain.
I don’t know how long the session went. The crowd was angry and argumentative. I made the point I wanted to make to him, and then left just after the time the meeting was originally scheduled to end. I couldn’t get recognized for my question, even though I kept raising my hand throughout the evening. There were just too many people who mostly wanted to vent to him. I came wanting to make a point about his carbon tax proposal, which is where I have my most serious problem with Jeff Flake. He had been asked about his personal views on manmade global warming, and he said that he was a skeptic. From my frustration in trying to get called on the entire evening, I decided to just blurt it out. “Why did you propose the carbon tax, then?” I asked. I didn’t like the way he tried to excuse himself. One point he made was that this was a consumption tax, which many conservatives favor over an income tax. Good grief, what a stretch! The crowd didn’t buy it. The other excuse he made was to say he was calling the Democrats’ bluff, because they wanted the more lucrative cap and trade legislation. I blurted out again that his proposal makes it look like he believes in manmade global warming. A fellow in the back hollered out that this mindset, of accepting the phony premises of the Left, is why Republicans lose. Amen, Bro!
I noticed a number of Jeff Smith bumper stickers in the parking lot as I left.
Read a follow-up comment from a Jeff Flake supporter at the Tea Party meeting, and my response.