Hello Texas state residents, and any American human of voting age who has even an ounce of concern about the men and women elected to lead our nation: Texas is about to elect a living, breathing, Rush Limbaugh parody as its next Lieutenant Governor and every last one of us should be terrified.
Dan Patrick is a former conservative radio host who managed to land a seat on the Texas state senate. He is now leading the Democratic lieutenant governor nominee, Leticia Van de Putte—who you may remember as the badass state senator who came directly from her father's funeral to support Wendy Davis' epic filibuster last year—in the election polls.
I know you're probably thinking: He's just another Republican Texas politician, how much worse could be be than all the others? Worse. Much worse. For one, I'm not sure that the man can read. I say that because he has reportedly said that, "There is no such thing as separation of church and state," even though that exact thing is pretty clearly stated in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and is one of the principal tenets on which our democracy rests.
What's worse is that that's not even the most egregious belief this man holds. Tim Murphy at Mother Jones pulled together a terrifying round up of Dan Patrick's beliefs on everything from Islam to Duck Dynasty.
A few lowlights:
On Islam: Patrick walked out of the Senate chamber in 2007 rather than listen to a Muslim deliver the opening prayer. "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," he told the Houston Chronicle. "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."
Yes, because nothing says tolerance like literally refusing to be in the same room with someone expressing a different belief than you.
On squashing Wendy Davis' filibuster: Patrick told Mike Huckabee he had a Christian obligation to ignore Senate rules if the lives of fetuses were at risk. "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?'"
I read that quote seven times and still am having trouble grasping what exactly he's trying to say. I did, however, pick up on him comparing himself to Jesus.
On critics of his 2011 bill, which passed, mandating women see a sonogram before getting an abortion: "If those aborted souls were in the gallery right now, what would you say to them?"
While we're dealing in completely nonsensical hypotheticals, what if someone went back in time and replaced Baby Oprah with Baby Kara and I now got to spend my time growing magnificent vegetables on my farm in Maui? HUH? WHAT IF?
On Duck Dynasty: Patrick tried to raise money off of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson's comments about homosexuality in GQ, boasting that the bearded reality star was channeling another bearded visionary. "This is an exciting time for Christians," he wrote on Facebook. "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."
I'll give you a second to pick your jaw up from off the the floor. This man is fourteen days out from becoming a heartbeat away from the most powerful government position in the second most populous state in America.
I don't even know, guys. There are no words. Just a simple reminder to the sane among you in the state of Texas to vote for anyone other than this guy. For the love of all that is sensible and right, please vote.
Image via DanPatrick.org.