Texas Eagle Forum, a state chapter of Phyllis Schlafly’s right-wing group, has published in its January newsletter part of an incendiary Internet column from last summer that leveled vicious personal attacks on state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. Davis is running for Texas governor this year.
The group’s Torch newsletter says Davis and fellow Democratic state senator Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio, who is running for lieutenant governor, “represent a culture of death” and insists that they “must be defeated.” The same article includes an extended excerpt from a June 30, 2013, column by right-wing writer J. Robert Smith. Smith’s column appeared in The American Thinker.
In the excerpt Smith declares that Davis “is a soldier — now a lieutenant — in the longstanding, broading war waged by the left against traditional morality, virtues, and values” and supports “eliminating unborn babies.” He also calls Davis “this year’s Sandra Fluke,” a Georgetown Law School student whom Rush Limbaugh had called a “slut” because she supported requiring that health insurance cover contraception.
He even sneers that Davis, who was a single mother of divorced parents who worked herself through college, is an elitist because she went to Harvard Law School:
“Davis, portrayed by the Washington Post as a woman who lifted herself up from hardscrabble conditions to make something of herself, ceased being hard scrabble after receiving her law degree from Harvard. The Texas state senator…who went to bat for late-term abortion under the cover of ‘protecting women’s health’ is by virtue of school and degree, an elite. Her trailer park days are long, long gone.”
That TEF’s president, Cathie Adams, finds this kind of vicious personal attack suitable for her organization’s newsletter is hardly surprising. Adams herself has rarely shied from launching similarly hateful attacks on people she doesn’t like.
Adams, for example, has questioned President Obama’s religious faith, said he “fried his brain on drugs,” and compared him to Adolf Hitler. She has smeared former Texas Gov. Ann Richards as an “anti-religious bigot,” called union workers who work to get out the vote “thugs” and referred to supporters of women’s reproductive rights as “stinking stalking feminists.” And the rhetoric she uses when talking about Muslims and gay people is just as hateful.
This kind of rhetoric has become familiar in Texas politics, whether directed against Democrats or Republicans who refuse to bow to the demands of right-wing extremists like Adams.