How did we miss this?

In an open letter to his fellow Republicans last December, Texas GOP king-maker — and anti-gay, religious right zealot — Steve Hotze lays out an argument for why his party should refrain from demonizing Latinos — basically because “Hispanic culture in America is Christian, pro-family, pro-life” and (by the way) Republicans need their votes to win future elections.

Ok. Even if his motives aren’t entirely altruistic, we can at least respect Hotze’s effort to promote tolerance and multiculturalism, right? Not so fast.

“Gentlemen, it seems that the real problem we face is the Muslim immigration invasion of America. The Hispanics are our natural allies against the Democrats and Muslims.”

Wow. If you absolutely have to direct your hatred and xenophobia at someone, for God’s sake, make it the Muslims. They don’t vote in nearly the number as Latinos do.

The underlying bigotry always comes through, doesn’t it?… Read More

Texas Eagle Forum and the Denton County Republican Party are promoting a conference this month that will ask attendees whether Texas should secede from the United States. The Blackstone Blitz Workshop on the Constitution is set for Jan. 15 at a Baptist church in Lewisville just outside Dallas. Among the topics: * How can we employ the worldview approach to understanding and reviving the Constitution? * Who is the Constitution’s worst enemy? * How can we effectively fight this enemy? * What are the primary Judeo-Christian principles we must define and defend? * Is there any validity to Humanists’ call for “relativism,” separation,” pluralism/diversity,” “tolerance,” etc.? * Can Americans do anything to curb the courts – replace judicial supremacy with constitutional supremacy? * Can Texas secede? If so, should we? The conference is a project of the Abilene (Texas)-based Blackstone Institute, an openly militant promoter of the "culture wars" whose mission "is to declare and defend the Judeo-Christian worldview of the Constitution, law, philosophy, and theology with programs that inform and inspire." "America is engulfed in the all-consuming flames of a Culture War from which no one and no area of American life can escape," the…… Read More

Last weekend offered two prime examples of how the political right's treatment of gay and lesbian Americans is increasingly incoherent. As we reported last month, Texas Senator John Cornyn agreed to speak at a September 21 national fundraising event for the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), an organization of gay Republicans. LCR has been working to overturn the policy barring openly gay and lesbian military servicemembers, Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). Cornyn, who is chairman of the Republican Senate Campaign Committee, showed up to speak at the LCR event the day after he and fellow Senate Republicans successfully blocked repeal of DADT. Read More

Another exercise in extremism. That’s our take on the new party platform adopted by Texas Republicans at their state convention on June 12 in Dallas. See our analysis of the platform here. The full platform is here. Among the planks:… Read More

As we noted in a report in 2006, it has become increasingly difficult to see much difference between the Republican Party of Texas and the religious right. As early as 1993, in fact, the resignation letter of the president of the Alamo City Republican Women’s Club in San Antonio lamented the transformation of the state GOP into an increasingly intolerant and overtly conservative evangelical Christian party:

“The so-called Christian activists have finally gained control. The Grand Old Party is more religious cult than political organization.”

So we were fascinated by Austin American-Statesman reporter Ken Herman’s video report from the prayer rally at the Texas Republican Party’s convention on Saturday. Says Herman:

“It’s here in the convention hall at 7 a.m. on Saturday that you can see the faith that drives the politics. It’s a very specific brand of faith.”

Indeed. Listen to Cathie Adams (who was still the party’s chair at that point) at the rally:

“America and Americans, we were founded as a Judeo-Christian nation and we are proud of that.”

In fact, listening to certain Republican state officials over the last decade or so — not to mention their supporters in far-right… Read More