In politics, it’s all about the timing and the timing of the vicious attack on the new state senator from Orange County even before he has taken office is politics at both its worst and least effective.

In a speech last week, Satmar Grand Rebbe Aaron Teitelbaum, leader of the branch of the split Satmar movement that holds a majority in Kiryas Joel, called James Skoufis a “wicked and evil man.” The description came during an hour-long speech devoted to criticizing those in state government and especially the state Education Department for its initiative that will force Orthodox yeshivas to show they’re teaching core academic subjects as required by law.

The dispute is not new. Orthodox leaders have always resisted such accountability. What is new is the political landscape, one which no longer gives Teitelbaum and others the ability to intimidate those concerned that yeshivas are not providing the education taught in other schools.

Why raise such a fuss now, two years before another election in which the bloc vote from Kiryas Joel could be a concern for Skoufis should he run?

The answer should be familiar to anybody who has watched in despair as Donald Trump whips up his supporters in campaign rallies whether there is an election pending or not. Teitelbaum aimed his speech not at the bureaucrats in Albany or the politicians heading there. Instead, he was hoping to keep his followers energized in the meantime because when it comes to the next two years, his political powers are going to be severely curtailed.

When the Republicans controlled the state Senate, the bloc vote was easily secured with contributions of tax money such as the $2 million for infrastructure improvements, a grant that unlike every other one coming out of GOP Senate discretionary funding had no sponsor credited by name.

The senator from the district that includes Kiryas Joel was Bill Larkin but his name was nowhere to be found on the grant. When Larkin retired, he endorsed Tom Basile from Stony Point whose campaign against his one-time Republican opponent, Newburgh Legislator Mike Anagnostakis, and Democrat Skoufis used nasty rhetoric similar to the attacks by Teitelbaum.

Basile got the bloc vote but it was not enough to swing the election then and might not be enough in the future. With Democrats firmly in control, another senator who used to protect the yeshivas from accountability also has lost his power to trade his vote for such influence.

In other words, Teitelbaum is no longer able to assure his followers that things will remain the same. All he has left is nasty rhetoric, which as we saw he was quick to use.

Skoufis is right to characterize Teitelbaum’s tantrum as abhorrent and disgraceful, to wonder “Is Rebbe Teitelbaum trying to elicit violence?” and to vow that he “will not be intimidated or bulled as I continue to ensure every community, including Kiryas Joel, follows the law and plays by the same rules. Period.”

There is no place for threats and intimidation in our communities or our politics. Skoufis has set the example; now it is up to Teitelbaum to follow it.