The current [Texas] House Speaker is Joe Straus, a conservative Republican leading a conservative Republican majority. He's currently facing a challenge from state Rep. Ken Paxton, who appears to agree with Straus on nearly everything.
So what makes this noteworthy? Straus is Jewish, and some far-right activists in Texas have a problem with that.
A few weeks ago, a coalition of Tea Party and right-wing Republican groups began lobbying for Paxton to replace Straus, with coalition activists circulating anti-Semitic emails. The message from conservatives was that the GOP state House needed a "Christian conservative" leader.
....One of the two party leaders, John Cook, insisted in a message, "We elected a house with Christian, conservative values. We now want a true Christian, conservative running it."
He added that he prefers Christian candidates, but isn't anti-Semitic. "They're some of my best friends," he said of Jews, naming two friends of his.
Someday, folks will have to understand that "some of my best friends are [fill in the blank with a minority group]" is a cliche repeated by bigots. I would have hoped that was obvious by now.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Texas Republican State House: only Christians need apply
From Steve Benen