Yes, by most accounts Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House has been a terrible thing for the country and for our politics. And it’s turning out to be a terrible thing for the relationship between the far-right Texas Eagle Forum and the group’s national founder, conservative icon and activist Phyllis Schlafly.
And it’s all because Schlafly has endorsed Trump over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
To be fair, the rift isn’t just between Schlafly and the Texas affiliate of the Eagle Forum. Other state Eagle Forum affiliates are also at odds with Schlafly over the Trump endorsement, mostly because the affiliates have been backing Cruz. But it’s the way in which the Texas Eagle Forum reacted to Schlafly’s endorsement that’s particularly surprising.
Cathie Adams, who once served as the chair of the Republican Party of Texans and was head of Texas Eagle Forum before stepping down to run for vice chair of the Texas GOP this year, dismissed the endorsement of Trump with an ageist attack on Schlafly. As Adams told the Dallas Morning News, Trump supporters are taking advantage of the Eagle Forum’s 91-year-old founder:
“We have no respect for that man. [Schlafly’s endorsement] is going to be widely dismissed. At 91, it is just totally unfair to impose upon someone who has such a beautiful legacy … I think this was very much a manipulation. When you’re 91 and you’re not out with the grass roots all the time, it is very much taking advantage of someone.”
That’s kind of a backhanded compliment, isn’t it? Schlafly has a “beautiful legacy,” but she’s also not capable of making up her own mind?
Turns out Trump isn’t just dividing the Republican party. He’s also dividing the Eagle Forum.