The Texas press seems a bit startled and more than a little dismayed by the growing extremism represented in the Texas Republican Party, especially as seen during their rally over the past weekend.
Republicans added hate language like “reparative therapy” for gays to their agenda, along with calling for an end to in state tuition for children of undocumented workers. Texas Republicans also think that friends and neighbors should be turned into spies and snitches, fostering an atmosphere of distrust and fear. (A Southern Republican pushed for this same theory against women, wanting friends and neighbors to turn women who have had a miscarriage into the GOP uterus police. Not a joke.)
Basically, if you hate women, gays and immigrants, the Texas GOP has a platform for you.
While this kind of pandering to the easily manipulated that make up the GOP base has worked for Texas Republicans like Ted Cruz, the Texas GOP is following Cruz over the crazy cliff while the demographic revolution marches forward. The hate platform might not be such a great strategy for AG and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, who finds himself in an unexpectedly tightening race with Democratic state Senator Wendy Davis.
The Davis people kindly passed along a round up of press reaction to Abbott and his party, noting “From Midland to McAllen to Houston, Abbott’s Party Platform Called Out as ‘Unacceptable’.” Here are just a few snippets:
“It is troubling that Republican leaders like Greg Abbott and senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, who all appeared at the convention, would condone such language.” –McAllen Monitor
“[F]or a party and its leaders, who are supposed to represent all Texans, to endorse reparative therapy in its platform, that’s not something we can get behind.” – Midland Reporter Telegram
“Even some Republicans wonder if the party has gone too far.”- Beaumont Enterprise
“The non-binding set of principals set a dangerous tone during this election year. And the anti-immigration stance displayed by the party via this document does not bode favorably for regions with high Hispanic populations, like South Texas.” –McAllen Monitor
Based on the platform, the Party “wants to turn employers and law officers into federal snitches, lock up many Hispanic voters’ parents and relatives, and deny Texas-schooled children the same college tuition rates as their classmates.” – Fort Worth Star Telegram
“…it is clear to me that if we seek to win the future Hispanic vote, we should at least be cordial to our neighbors from the south.” – Rep. Jason Villalba, Texas Monthly
Dallas Morning News: Gromer Jeffers Jr.: Texas GOP platform will hurt party’s efforts to win in Dallas: “Well, after the three-day Texas Republican Party Convention in Fort Worth, it’s going to be tougher for Emmert and his band of statewide hopefuls to win in Dallas County, a place where Democrats have controlled politics since 2006.”
Houston Chronicle Editorial: GOP cliff walk: “The question we’re left with in the wake of the rally of Texas Republicans over the weekend is whether “reparative therapy” might work on a political party so averse to the reality of a growing, changing, dynamic state that its members prefer a return to the 1950s…The ideologues don’t seem particularly interested in the gay vote, either. The 2014 Republican Party platform actually endorses the practice of training LGBT people to “convert” to heterosexuality. Never- mind that such therapies have been repudiated by the American Psychological Association and other major health organizations, not to mention common sense.”
Fort Worth Star Telegram: Bud Kennedy: “Texas Solution” guest-worker plan sent to GOP exile: “The much-ballyhooed, market-based “Texas Solution” guest-worker economic plan for America, passed two years ago, was discarded Saturday like many of the business-minded conservatives who supported it.”
Note the last quote, because when the party moves to the right of the business conservatives who support it financially, trouble is brewing (see failed extremist Ken Cuccinelli). I’ve often wondered why any business other than mega corporations would support the current GOP, as even their deregulation fever spells trouble for businesses that aren’t too big to fail. But also, some Republicans think the party has gone too far? That’s rather telling, especially given the Republican propensity for denial and defense.
As the Republican hate machine drives Texas Republicans further and further off the crazy cliff, independently-minded and strong-willed Democrats like Wendy Davis are waiting in the wings. Ms. Davis has been smart enough from the beginning not to run away from what her party stands for, even though conventional wisdom dictated that she should, especially in a red state.
But Wendy Davis, like another successful up-and-comer then Senator Barack Obama, knows how to read polls.
The Democratic party positions are the middle. This fact doesn’t please liberals, but it is the current state of affairs given that the Republican Party has gone mad. It will take the media longer to face this fact than it will the public.
Texas isn’t blue yet, but the Republican Party just can’t help themselves from scoring for the other side over and over and over again.
Image: Via Burnt Orange Report
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.