If there was one lesson of the last decade, it was that Texas Republicans weren’t extreme enough
News that the Texas GOP is embracing the crock science of turning gay people into ex-gays known as “reparative therapy” has overwhelmed the bigger story coming out of the Lone Star State — the party’s latest platform is pretty much a complete list of the policies that should propel the GOP into regional party status.
The election of the Ted Cruz and continual efforts to put Creationism into text books while taking actual history out are all the evidence we need that the Texas Republican Party is on the leading edge of extremism.
And if there was one lesson of the last decade, it was that Texas Republicans weren’t extreme enough.
The new platform spells out exactly how the GOP can avoid the burden of ever having to produce an electable national candidate again.
It supports home-schooling while calling for reducing public funding of all educational institutions. It would repeal the state lottery, abolish property taxes in favor of sales taxes and eliminate a number of federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education and the Federal Reserve. Among the planks are repealing the minimum wage and ending affirmative action programs.
But by far, the largest concern was devoted to illegal immigration.
The platform calls for securing the border, using fencing, electronics and Texas law enforcement.It returned language that had been stripped out two years ago that calls for ending in-state college tuition for the children of those in the country illegally.
It also would prohibit cities from having rules that could prevent police from questioning the citizenship status of those they encounter.
We know what happens when a state with a large Latino population declares war on undocumented workers: it’s called California.
And if Republicans want to win a statewide election there, they have to nominate a movie star or hope their opponent is charged with gun trafficking.
But the Texas GOP is escalating to whole new levels of antagonism by laying at a simple formula what erasing what’s left the middle class: 1) get rid of public education; 2) end the minimum wage; and 3) cut taxes on the rich and raise them on the poor with sales taxes.
These policies are popular in bright red states but Texas is essentially a blue state where only Republicans vote. The sheer demographic wave that the party is facing in 2020 and beyond is terrifying to the party and they’re responding by repelling anyone left of Marco Rubio pretending he’s Ted Cruz. Just the idea of one million Texans being able to vote themselves Medicaid expansion must be inspiring the party’s funders to break out in Glenn Beck-like fever sweats nightly.
“For the GOP it is all about battening down the hatches, and that bunker-life mentality is more Alex Jones Infowars conspiracy than it is pro-business solutions,” The Burnt Orange Report’s Joe Deshotel wrote.
For the Texas GOP, even Rick Perry is a RINO. The Tea Party is the mainstream and anyone who doesn’t pledge allegiance to the furthest right flag in the room is a potential traitor who is trying to help Battleground Texas turn the state blue.
And the national party’s problem is this stuff works. Extremism is perfect for an off-year election. Standing ovations for Ted Cruz give the senator the impression that his fire-breathing message is what the nation wants to hear.
But the brand of vitriol and revanchism the Texas GOP is pushing are the sort of rantings that only make sense to a dying party. While most of the country is ready for Hillary, the Texas GOP is ready for Joe McCarthy.
[Image by jbouie | Flickr]