They can really find ’em in Texas, can’t they? They often say that Texas is America’s America; I’m beginning to think that whoever “they” are, “they” were clearly onto something.
Dan Patrick is the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor, and he’s made a name for himself railing against some rather weird things — like Urdu-speaking Mexican coyotes. Mother Jones reports that he’s also advised followers that God is speaking to them through the Patriarch of Welfare Dynasty, Phil Robertson.
Patrick is a former sportscaster whose litany of weird and offensive things begins when he defended a football player who’d thrown a reporter through a door. According to Patrick, it’s not the journalist’s job to do “negative reporting.” In the 1980s, he gravitated to what would become his home away from home — conservative talk radio, becoming Houston’s own Rush Limbaugh, a title verging on insult that only a conservative shock jock could wear with honor.
In 2006, he rode his radio fame into the State Senate, but kept his talk show going. While in office, he proposed paying women $500 to turn over newborns to the state (in an effort to reduce abortions, of course). He also declared war against liberalism (and, by extension, reality) in state textbooks. He pushed wave after wave of restrictions on abortions, and, as a crowning achievement, was named as one of the worst legislators of 2013 by Texas Monthly.
With a November 4 victory, Patrick would be next in line for the governor’s mansion in Texas. It could also mark the second time in recent memory that a joke candidate for lieutenant governor wound up in the governor’s mansion; the first time this happened, it happened to a fellow named Rick Perry.
Oh, and Patrick is leading Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte in the polls, so a preemptive “good job” to Texas Republicans, for angling someone stupider than Rick Perry in a position where they could possibly become the governor of the nation’s second largest state.
I say that with complete confidence, by the way; Mother Jones has complied a list of his “greatest hits,” just to show you what Texas is probably going to inflict on the rest of us (again):
Patrick believes in Freedom of Religion: rather than listen to a Muslim deliver the opening prayer, Patrick walked out of the Senate Chamber in 2007. He told the Houston Chronicle that “I think that it’s important that we are tolerant as a people of all faiths, but that doesn’t mean we have to endorse all faiths, and that was my decision,” and that “I surely believe that everyone should have the right to speak, but I didn’t want my attendance on the floor to appear that I was endorsing that.”
And then, five years later, he did it again, saying “We are a nation that allows a Muslim to come in with a Koran but does not allow a Christian to take a Bible to school. We are a Judeo-Christian nation, primarily a Christian nation.”
Patrick is a strong supporter of Dreamers and Migrant Rights:
“While ISIS terrorists threaten to cross our border and kill Americans, my opponent falsely attacks me to hide her failed record on illegal immigration,” he says in his first general-election campaign. Patrick’s website, meanwhile, warns that Pakistanis are crossing the border as well, presumably to do bad things to Americans. “This is an Urdu dictionary found by border volunteers that was dropped by a human smuggler,” Patrick writes beneath a photo of an Urdu-English dictionary. “It is concerning that Mexican coyotes are learning Urdu in order to smuggle illegal immigrants?” [sic]
[. . . ]
“They are bringing Third World diseases with them,” he said in 2006, warning that immigrants could bring leprosy and polio to Texas. (This was news to Texas public health officials.) Patrick hired an undocumented worker when he ran a Houston sports bar, and when the worker revealed last spring that he had talked candidly with Patrick about his situation, the candidate insisted: “The worker says I was personally very kind to him and goes on to allege other preposterous events that are not true and for which he offers no evidence.”
Patrick is a humble man, gracefully acknowledging his flaws in his book, titled The Second Most Important Book You Will Ever Read: Writing in an Amazon review of his own book, Patrick notes that “As the author, I am obviously biased” and that “God inspired me to write this book.” Oh, and “He automatically gets 5 stars and the CREDIT!'”
I’m sure God is positively thrilled.
Patrick Supported Wendy Davis’ Filibuster as Only a Right-Wing Christian Could: According to Patrick, he had a “Christian obligation” to ignore Senate rules if “the lives of fetuses were at risk.” Patrick added:
“I spoke to my colleagues and said, ‘When Jesus criticized the Pharisees, he criticized them because their laws and their rules were more important than actually taking care of people,'” he said. “And in my view, stopping a debate to save thousands of lives, well, saving the thousands of lives is more important than our tradition of, well, you should never stop someone. I said, ‘Well, are we gonna become the modern-day Pharisees as Republicans of the Senate and just let her talk this bill to death and thousands that could have been saved a horrendous death and also improving health care?'”
Patrick Also Supports the Women’s Right to Equal Access Sonograms: While addressing critics of his 2011 bill, which mandated women see a sonogram before getting abortion, Patrick said “If those aborted souls were in the gallery right now, what would you say to them?”
I don’t know what I’d say, but I sure as hell know who I’d call.
Patrick is Egalitarian and Absolutely Not Racist At All: He quipped in 1992 that Connie Chung’s TV show, Eye to Eye, should be called “Slanted Eye to Eye.” But hey, that was one mistake, right? One mistake of many; in 1999, he did it again. A Houston Press profile noted that “Patrick lapsed into a faux-Chinese accent when he thought he heard a network correspondent call Clinton, in the midst of the Chinese-espionage scandal, ‘President Crinton,'” and later joked that Clinton should get surgery to “make his eyes slanted.”
Patrick Is a Music Lover: In 2004, he issued a call to arms in an online bulletin:
STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK AGAINST MTV…LET’S TURN OFF MTV IN HOUSTON….JUST TAKE YOUR REMOTE AND GO TO DELETE CHANNELS….DELETE MTV AND CHANGE THE PASSWORD SO YOUR KIDS CAN’T WATCH….STAND UP TO YOUR KIDS…THEY WON’T BE HAPPY,BUT YOU MUST HOLD FIRM…. DO YOU WANT YOUR SONS AND ESPECIALLY YOUR DAUGHTERS EXPOSED TO THIS CONSTANT BARRAGE OF ATTACKS ON YOUR VALUES……..THEN SCROLL BELOW AND CONTACT THE NFL AND CBS….ALSO CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND SENATOR AND DEMAND THAT THE FCC GET TOUGH WITH THOSE WHO WANT TO COME INTO YOUR HOME AND DESTROY YOUR FAMILY VALUES
Patrick Thinks Creationism Confuses our Children: During the GOP primary debate last spring, Patrick said that “Our students…must really be confused” because “They go to Sunday School on Sunday and then they go into school on Monday and we tell them they can’t talk about God. I’m sick and tired of a minority in our country who want us to turn our back on God.”
Patrick Believes that the Conflict Over the Division of Church and State is Overrated: “There is no such thing as separation of church and state.”
Patrick is Patriotic and Recognizes our National Landmarks:
In teaching myself how to watercolor I was trying different styles. After a beach scene, I decided to try a Peter Max type of painting of the Statue of Liberty. I could not get the fact right and used water to remove the paint on her face. When it dried and I tried to clean it up suddently [sic] the face of Jesus appeared so clearly. It struck me that Jesus face on the Statue of Liberty sends an incredible message that the real light that our country has sent in the past, and needs to send once again today, is we are a nation that stands on His Word This was only my 4th try at a painting I had no idea of how to paint the face of Jesus, nor was I trying to do so.
He Finds God in the Most Unexpected Places: After Welfare Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson made his homophobic remarks in CQ, Patrick saw opportunity like some people see Jesus in burnt waffle. Writing on Facebook, he said that “This is an exciting time for Christians. God is speaking to us from the most unlikely voice, Phil Robertson, about God’s Word. God is using pop culture and a highly successful cable TV show to remind us about His teaching.”
Patrick is Film Connoisseur: Writing in his book, Patrick said of filmography: “A very popular movie starring Mel Gibson, Signs, has a theme dealing with the concept of coincidence. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a terrific flick (albeit a little scary). I recommend it.”
At least he didn’t name-check The Happening.
h/t Mother Jones