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
Less than a year. That’s how long Cathie Adams, former head of the far-right group Texas Eagle Forum, lasted as chair of the Texas Republican Party. At their state convention in Dallas on Saturday, Republicans replaced Adams with Houston attorney Steve Munisteri.
The State Republican Executive Committee elected Adams as party chair last October. At the time, we noted just how extreme Adams’ political positions are. She has questioned the personal faith of political opponents, such as former Texas Gov. Ann Richards and President Obama. She has suggested that the United Nations was bringing us to the biblical “end times.” She advocates positions that threaten religious freedom and mixes anti-science and peculiar anti-government paranoia on issues involving education, the environment and public health. Adams was also an unhinged anti-Clinton fanatic in the 1990s and is rabidly and venomously anti-gay.
Of course, we shouldn’t assume too much here about whether her replacement is any better. Much of Munisteri’s campaign for party chair focused on concerns such as party financial problems and other administrative issues involving Adams’ short term as chair. Adams’ divisive stands on “culture war” issues… Read More
UPDATE: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that immigration is likely to be a key point of contention in the Texas GOP's platform debate this weekend. Other platform proposals are expected from "birthers" who don't believe President Obama is a natural-born U.S. citizen and people who want Republicans to support the Constitution against threats by "Sharia law adherents living in the United States of America and the rest of the world." ... Will Texas Republicans this weekend succeed in loosening the grip that the religious right and other extremist factions have over their state party? We'll find out when the Texas GOP holds its 2010 convention Friday and Saturday (June 11-12) at the Dallas Convention Center, but our guess is traditional conservatives and moderates will be disappointed once again. The 2008 state Republican platform -- as with other platforms since the religious right took control of the Texas GOP in the early 1990s -- was a classic exercise in political extremism. Here's just a taste of what the 2008 platform had to say: Separation of church and state is a “myth.” Public schools should emphasize instruction on Judeo-Christian principles. Government should repeal laws, such as Motor Voter and the Help America Vote Act, that have made voter registration easier for citizens. All minimum wage laws should be repealed. Public schools should teach nothing about sex education except abstinence-only-until-heterosexual-marriage. The United States should withdraw from the United Nations and other international organizations. Read More