By now, Texas voters are accustomed to making excuses to themselves during primary season: “Of course the Republican candidates’ TV ads are so extreme –– primaries always bring out the party’s hardcore base.” Or, “that’s the Tea Party at work, pushing Republican candidates to sound tough until the winners of the party nom reposition themselves more moderately in the general election.” And so forth and so on.
But the target audience for the current crop of TV ads aren’t just “Republican primary voters” and “Tea Partiers,” they’re your relatives, co-workers, neighbors, fellow citizens, co-participants in democracy. And if the Texas Republican candidates are correct in their pandering, these particular voters are a royal bunch of Blue Ribbon Assholes. Apparently, they get off on the idea of denying health care to poor people, gutting basic standards of clean air and water, and rounding up illegal immigrants (here so they can work cheaply for Republican business owners) and shipping them back (with or without their families). And that’s just one ad for Todd Staples, candidate for lieutenant governor. The sick joke underlying all of it? Many, if not most, of these people claim to be Christians. Jeebus would not approve, ya’ll.
And apparently, a large number of them are very proud racists. It’s not enough that a certain North Texas daily has denounced Tea Party favorite Ted Nugent for calling America’s current biracial president “a subhuman mongrel.” Nugent was stumping for Greg Abbott, who himself refuses to denounce the scummy musician’s words. You can’t just chalk that up to the candidate playing it safe. At this point, does anyone expect Abbott to lose the nom for governor? Not that I’ve heard.
The math is simple: You enlist the aid of a racist celebrity; you stand by silently smiling while he makes racist statements; ergo, you are a racist. The ball is in Abbott’s court to prove he’s not a bigot. Frankly, I’d be happy to dismiss all of this as typical Republican bullshit, if the rest of the country weren’t shaking their heads saying: “That’s Texas for you.”