Religious Bigotry and the Texas Speaker’s Raceby
Harvey Kronberg of the Austin-based political news website Quorum Report says religious-right pressure groups are running a deceitful campaign in the contest among Republicans for Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Many religious-righters claim Speaker Joe Straus, a San Antonio Republican, hasn’t been conservative enough for them (a bogus charge, other Republicans say). And Kronberg reports that religious-right groups are using an especially offensive line of attack:
“Now, the so-called grassroots effort has crossed over the line with coordinated email and robocall [recorded phone messages] programs calling for a true Christian speaker. Straus is Jewish.
Republicans won an enormous victory on Election Day. How they govern themselves will tell us a lot about how they intend to govern the rest of us.”
Religious-right pressure groups want a speaker like Warren Chisum of Pampa or Ken Paxton of McKinney. Those two rigid ideologues are more likely to promote the right’s divisive “culture war” agenda — even if it distracts from the Legislature’s key task of closing a massive budget deficit that threatens to further damage the state’s economy.