“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

 The race for the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives continues its nastiness, but at least I have to give Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, credit for distancing himself from the injection of hyper-Christianity and right wing silliness into the fight.
"I think it's wrong that they do it. We need to stick to the issues of the state, and that is not one of them," an article in Thursday's Houston Chronicle quotes Chisum as saying.
By recapitulation, a group of right-wing, hyper-Christian whackos have attacked current speaker Joe Strauss, R-San Antonio, because he is Jewish.
My acknowledgment of Chisum's behavior doesn't mean I believe he is redeemed as a legislator. Like most politicians, he is undertaking a politically expedient step that might get him in trouble with others who would support him.
In fact, I consider Chisum dangerous.
Like so many conservatives of his ilk — as opposed to thoughtful conservatives who understand what public policy should be about — Chisum is one of those who continues to be hypocritical about keeping government off our backs while trying to shove it into our bedrooms. I have come across a video that I have edited to show Chisum at work in the legislature in 1993. It is funny, but to some the language, even though it is spoken of the floor of the House, might be offensive. And, the late Molly Ivins quotes some folks (it's not clear who) using language that might also offend. Nevertheless, if you enjoy a laugh and are not offended by a few off-color words, take a look at the video.

But there is a more important issue at stake here. It seems there is an awful lot of silence in the Panhandle about this injection of anti-Semitism into the speaker's race. No other legislator has issued a statement; or, if they have, they have not issued one to The Amarillo Independent. Nor, has the corporately owned right-wing daily alleged newspaper jumped on this with an editorial distancing itself from this fray.
I can understand how some legislators might see this issue has too hot to handle.
I could say I don't understand why the other media hasn't reacted so negatively to this turn of events in the speaker's race. But, I do.
And for now, I will leave it at that.