Two Right-Wing Texas Legislators Went Down to Defeat This Week

Tuesday’s Republican Primary elections in Texas brought the defeat of one prominent member of the far-right faction on the State Board of Education — Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas. But two other Texas politicians prominent on the far right also appear to have been too extreme even for GOP voters.

One was state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, in District 6. “Birther” Berman questions, among other things, whether President Obama was born in the United States. During the 2011 legislative session, Berman proposed a bill that would require presidential candidates to present their American birth certificates to prove they are eligible to be on the presidential ballot in Texas. But Berman also argued that the birth certificate from Hawaii that President Obama has already made public is fraudulent. In 2010 Berman told the crowd at a Glenn Beck rally in Tyler that “I believe that Barack Obama is God’s punishment on us today.”

Berman also fears that Muslims are taking over. During the 2011 legislative session, Berman tried, and failed, four times to pass a law that he argued would protect Texans from the mythical threat of Islamic law. Apparently, the Constitution’s protections weren’t good enough for him.

State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, also lost his bid for re-election in District 9. Christian has long been a favorite of religious-right groups. A year ago, for example, Christian openly acknowledged why he and fellow legislators were so focused on slashing funds for women’s health care and family planning while also forcing women seeking an abortion to undergo an invasive vaginal sonogram first: “Of course it’s a war on birth control, abortion, everything — that’s what family planning is supposed to be about.” Christian has also often carried the anti-gay flag in the Legislature. Last year he pushed legislation (unsuccessfully) to defund centers serving women and LGBT communities on college campuses. He worried that such centers simply encourage “alternative sexual practices.”

Of course, plenty of hard-right politicians will return (or join) the Texas Legislature next year. But it’s good to know that at least some Republican voters have limits on what they will tolerate.

5 thoughts on “Two Right-Wing Texas Legislators Went Down to Defeat This Week

  1. Right wing radicals always make the same mistake. They identify a fruitcake agenda, press its planks hard as they can, and never know when to keep their mouths shut. In short, they can be relied upon to cross a line where sane people dare not tread. This suggests to me that many of them are people who have trouble with setting and maintaining healthy limits and boundaries in their personal lives.

    This is why they need an inerrant Old Testament so desperately and seem to barely ever open the New Testament. The Old Testament provides scads of hard rules and laws that establish limits for them from the outside when they are incapable of establishing proper limits for themselves.

    Give them a principle like “Love Your neighbor as yourself,” and they fall apart. I think it goes something like this:

    “Uh-uh neighbor. Now what do they mean by that? Unto, unto, that’s like some sort of old English for something. Love? What is that? What constitutes love? What is not love? I am just so confused and cannot decide!!! I need help!!!”

    In other words, they are blithering idiots.

    1. Sir Charles: Are you a biblical scholar? If so, could you teach a “bible studies for atheists” class? I’d sign up!

  2. Charles you’re spot on when you say the social conservatives avoid the New Testament. That’s because delving into it would bring them in contact with the teachings of Jesus, and those teachings completely contradict their allegedly “Christian” agenda. Oh sure, occasionally you hear some nonsense from the likes of that drooling fool David Barton, such as when he asserted that Jesus was “anti-tax.” But the only people who believe his nonsense are brain-dead idiots who either do not want to think for themselves or simply do not have the capacity to do so. In my neck of the woods, a state that is consistently in the bottom 10 nationwide in high school graduation rates, the latter is the case.

    This past week I’ve read several articles that are predicting a very close presidential contest this November. But I wonder if the anger women are feeling nationwide at the Republican party is being properly accounted for. 26 states, all dominated by GOP legislatures, have either enacted or are in the process of enacting further restrictions on women’s right to choose. I wonder if the woman who was kicked off an airplane two weeks ago for sporting a tee-shirt with the message “If I wanted the government in my womb I’d do a Senator” wasn’t expressing a sentiment that is being vastly underestimated.

    1. I’m a woman, in Texas, and matter of fact very close to Center, and not too far from Tyler either. I assure you, women are PI$$ed and we never forget that stuff. I don’t believe any polls I see, as they can be so skewed just by who they call and how they phrase the questions. I do believe the media is unintentionally (or not?) underestimating the anger of women this November. And the republican party just keeps on marching against women. Pretty mind boggling. Hard to say if it will happen this election or take a while longer, but it’s just a matter of time. Women are not going to stand for having their private lives and bodies legislated by a bunch of men who haven’t a clue.

  3. I’m not a Biblical scholar, but I know something about the subject. However, I am too far away to teach any sort of class in Texas. Go to the Book of Galatians in the bible by your lonesome and read the Apostle Paul’s discussion about “the law.” Whenever you see him use that term “the law,” he is speaking about the entire Old Testament law, including the moral law, the ceremonial law (food laws, etc.), and the 10 Commandments. This is why the New Testament does not contain one single appeal to have a 10 Commandments plaque erected in an ancient Middle Eastern or Southern European courthouse. In fact, Paul says that the primary purpose of the Old Testament law was to demonstrate to human beings that they are incapable of keeping it—so they would realize the need for something better to replace it.