What Price Unity?

As primary season draws inexorably closer, it’s the persistently burning question du jour for the conservative movement in New Jersey, which incurred a massive infection late in 2010 that, over the course of the next six months, became a hideously swollen boil that yours truly spent the better part of the past three months lancing. It was a messy job and, metaphorically, there is  pus everywhere. But until the wound is completely cleansed, it will never be free of infection and therefore never able to completely heal itself.

It should go without saying that the events of the past nine months have become an object lesson for all conservatives – but if this lesson is ignored or forgotten, we’ll be doomed to repeat the whole sorry spectacle all over again. And what, precisely, is that lesson?

Truth and integrity mean as much – if not more – than ideology, for without them ideology is reduced to mere propaganda. You cannot base a political cause on lies and dishonorable conduct and expect it to garner respect and support any more than you can build a house on sand and expect it to remain standing after the first rainstorm.

In a comment posted last night in the Overnight Open Thread, CNJ contributor Frank Fiamingo made the following plea regarding the recent internecine warfare between the Bayshore Tea Party, Bulldog Pundit and bloggers writing for Conservative New Jersey:

Nothing would make the establishment happier than to see people like us fighting among overselves instead of spending our precious time, talent and resources working to find them other employment opportunities. I have no intention of trying to sort out who did what to whom. “He started it” is not the proper response from a rational adult. Are those of you who are “standing on “principles” willing to continue to stand in the “People’s Socialist Republic of New Jersey” or is it more important to save our state and country FIRST and sort out our differences later?

I cannot answer these questions for anyone but myself. However, I *AM* asking for a two weeks “cease fire” from all concerned. Those of you who do happen to know me are probably aware that my primary interest is in promoting the Second Amendment to the Constitution. I am not running for office. I am not seeking to prove one side right or another side wrong. I am simply asking that we *ALL* drop the in-fighting for two weeks and concentrate of saving the state.

Who among us can argue that unity in our ranks is critical at a time when we face a most determined adversary? But the above statement raises an equally important question that cannot and will not go away until it is resolved: at what price shall we achieve that unity?

Ironically, Fiamingo’s plea for amity and unity was made just three hours after Dick Zeundt posted yet another attack on his site that I will address in my 11 AM post.

And here is where the conundrum arises: Fiamingo writes that he doesn’t care which side is to blame and that the matter ought to be dropped and forgotten for the sake of unity. For those who know nothing about the nature and history of the conflict, his assertion of moral equivalency appears to be a sensible prelude to a working compromise. Unfortunately, it ignores the nature and history of the conflict – at the heart of which lie the critical predicates of truth and integrity.

I won’t belabor the reader with a rehash of the conflict. It has been assiduously chronicled in the web pages of this blog. I will, however, encapsulate the controversy:

Early this year, bloggers writing for Conservative New Jersey commenced an assault on the Bayshore Tea Party that continues to this day and is documented to be based on distortions, half-truths, insinuations, innuendo and outright lies.

Shortly after Bulldog Pundit launched on July 4 I began to answer these attacks, triggering internecine warfare that continues to this day. In so doing, I have exposed the dishonesty and outright hypocrisy of several individuals who play an important role in the conservative movement.

Working behind the scenes, I initially asked only that the attacks cease so that we may all work together toward the greater objective of defeating liberal statism in New Jersey. This call was answered with treachery and renewed attacks to which I continue to respond.

I cannot speak for the Tea Parties who were attacked, but as far as I’m concerned I’m not prepared to lay down the metaphorical weapons, declare an end of hostilities and dance a jig in the street just because there is a call for unity, for that is to admit that the end really does justify the means and that thuggery and intimidation really do pay off.

It’s easy to call for a truce and take the moral high ground by asserting that rational adults don’t say “he started it” – when you are on the side that, in fact, started it. Where were you when all this began, Frank? Were you doing your damndest to persuade Dick Zeundt to call of his attack dogs or were you a silent spectator? Did you enjoy watching Bayshore being dragged through the mud? If so, then you deserve as much scorn as Zeundt and Eichmann. If not, then where the hell were your posts criticizing what was being done? Or were you too terrified of Zeundt’s tyranny to speak up?

Apparently, my efforts on behalf of the Tea Party movement have borne fruit: there you stand with an olive branch and a plea for a truce. Are you kidding me? I don’t think I need to tell you what you can do with that olive branch.

I did not start this conflict. I did not cast the first stone or fire the first shot.  I wasn’t the one who spent the better part of nine months libeling and defaming several Tea Parties and numerous Tea Party activists, Frank. And I sure as hell am not going to bend over, grab my ankles and take one in the caboose so that you can have your precious unity.

In the name of integrity, truth – and ultimately justice – the people directly involved in the libeling and defaming of the Bayshore Tea Party and other Tea Party groups must come forward, apologize for and renounce the damage they have done and promise to never do such things again. Those who approved of or enabled these attacks must likewise PUBLICLY denounce the attackers – by name – and apologize for their complicity in this debacle.

THAT is justice and integrity. Without it, the conservative movement will continue to fracture , come apart at the seams and ultimately founder just in time for the primaries next year and the Jacobins – along with their enablers – will have only themselves to blame.

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6 Responses to What Price Unity?

  1. HeleneH says:

    I read an interesting post titled, “What if you’re Neighbor Refused to Support your Right to Free Speech?”. I found it ironic that this post was on CNJ. Wow truly amazing, of all places to find a post supporting individual’s rights. Frank, it was a good post, at first I thought you may not know the others on the blog that you just submit to various blog sites and who ever picks it up is fine. I am not savvy in blog stuff.

    You hit the nail on the head with your post Frank, the Bill of Rights is to protect all the rights of all citizens. I believe, as you do, if we lose our second amendment right, there is nothing to prevent us from losing our first amendment rights & so on. CNJ along with a now defunct CWA, has and continues to work feverishly to squash the free speech & the right to assemble of the members of the Bayshore Tea Party Group. As a matter of fact the majority of the posts focus on that & that alone. They work much like Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., trying to intimidate tea party members.

    Your comment here & your post on the CNJ are really very nice, lets all get along. I cannot see that occurring as long as Eichmann is closing his posts with a line like this.

    “Isn’t that so much more productive than engaging in racial stereotyping of our opponents, or using violent rhetoric in an attempt to intimidate others?”
    Frank Fiamingo says:
    September 21, 2011 at 11:55 PM
    Zuendt had a similar post yesterday, so Frank, if you are really interested in mending fences, you and you friends should start mending.

  2. Frank Jack Fiamingo says:


    I feel that there is enough blame to go around. I have said as much to the people at CNJas well as here on BP. The problem is, while time, talent, effort and space are being wasted on this nonsense, potential candidates are not being evaluated and presented for either promotion or derision. I simply believe that the resources are being wasted by BOTH sides. Obviously neither side agrees with me, and so I have expressed my opinion on the subject and will get back to what I do best – promoting the fundamental human right to keep and bear arms.

    Believe it or not, I believe that good people can disagree. This has degenerated so far from reasonable debate, with each side contorting the truth until it screams in agony, that nothing of value can be expected to emerge from it.

    • HeleneH says:

      First my name is Helene.
      I agree that good people can disagree.
      Now when someone resorts to making false accusations, ie. calling me and others racists and sending a letter to the NAACP with that claim that individual ceases to be “good people”.
      I am glad & grateful you are working for our second amendment rights, my area happens to be healthcare. No one can be all things to all people so we should stick to what we know best.

      • Frank Jack Fiamingo says:

        Sorry Helene,
        My eyes aren’t what they used to be (and they weren’t that good to begin with). Frankly, I agree. I think bringing up the race card was wrong. There have been a *LOT* of wrong things said and done by BOTH sides. I am not here to dredge them all up again. Who started it and who is worse doesn’t interest me. I am not here to defend CNJ. they are capable of answering for themselves.

        I am glad that you are working in the area of healthcare. We need all the help we can get. This is something I have some familiarity with. I own a Medical Billing Service and at one time my wife was the Chief Operating Officer of a NJ inner city hospital. That is until the state required the hospital to operate at a loss, forcing them to treat people who could not pay and then refusing to reimburse even the *COST* of doing so. I am sure you know where that scenario led.

        For my part, I have seen reimbursement to doctors decline to pennies on the dollar. Again, there are no “innocents” in the healthcare debacle either. There is PLENTY of blame to go around, but I am sure that I don’t have to tell you that.

        I also agree that no one can be all things to all people. The one thing that we all CAN do when faced with a problem however is to THINK. I sure would like to see a whole lot more of that and a great deal less of invective and inflammatory rhetoric.

        • HeleneH says:

          Well Frank then I guess we may be able to agree on more than we disagree on. I will, however defend myself from those who attack me. I am sure you can understand that.

  3. Frank Jack Fiamingo says:

    Indeed I do, Helene. I just wish it weren’t necessary. There are so many more important things we can attend to. I do wish you luck with your endeavors. Who knows, we may run into each other one of these days. It seems lately I am all OVER New Jersey. People seem to have as much trouble understanding the fundamental human right to keep and bear arms as they do understanding that people have the right to keep the fruits of their labor, to raise their children the way that seems best to them, and so many other rights that seem to have gone the way of the horse and buggy (not that I am THAT old – close though… ) :-)