Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Barry Smitherman: worse than Abbott

Greg Abbott is going to be a shittier but smarter version of Rick Perry if he makes it to the governor's mansion next year, no question. And now there's a clone of Abbott's that seeks to replace him in the TXOAG.

Kennedy quickly reTweeted Smitherman's own self-promotion, then followed up with the above, and then in his column yesterday...

Talking about Texas’ resources, Smitherman said the state has “made great progress in becoming an independent nation, an ‘island nation’ if you will.”

And: “I think we want to continue down that path so that if the rest of the country falls apart, Texas can operate as a stand-alone entity with energy, food, water and roads as if we were a closed-loop system.”

Smitherman has made Brains updates previously; he was the guy who Tweeted out a picture of a hangman's noose beside the names of Republican senators who supported gun safety legislation last April, in the wake of the Newtown, CT school tragedy.

Smitherman was also the guy whose three children made 4-figure contributions to Rick Perry's presidential campaign in 2012. One of the Smitherman sons, a sophomore at Texas A&M at the time, joined his mom and dad in maxing out the federal limit of $2500.  Rick Perry, naturally, gave Smitherman his current job on the Railroad Commission after his loyal service on the Public Utilities Commission (to which he was also appointed by Rick Perry).

Barry Smitherman is as worthless overseeing Texas energy regulation -- that's the Railroad Commission's task, after all, and he's the chairman of it -- as tits on a feral boar. The Austin Chronicle had even more of Smitherman's TeaBagging atrocities...

(L)ast week Smitherman went hunting for anti-abortion votes with the Texas Alliance for Life. In a long-winded speech that started with comments about oil production (one must imagine the fundamentalists were agog for this), Smitherman suddenly took a sharp veer into conspiracy theory, blaming President Obama for China's one child per family policy. That was just the beginning.

In an extraordinary grab bag of extremist talking points, Smitherman predicted America's economic collapse unless attendees "encourage those of childbearing age (WHO ARE MARRIED) to have lots of children, and then support policies that support having lots of children." Note: That's his emphasis, not ours.

He had stuffed his policy blunderbuss with a plethora of applause points for the far right, not least that more fundamentalists breeding will cause the downfall of public schools. In Smithermanland, there will be new rules "making it easier for large families to leave failing public schools, pursue home schooling or online options, and eventually get a college degree. Moreover, he argued that people who don't have kids should take the brunt of the tax code. He said, "we should incent marriage and dis-incent single family households. … The federal tax code should reward large families, whose children will eventually pay lots of taxes, by increasing deductions for children, or placing families with children into a lower marginal tax bracket."

And he wrapped this all up with a pretty bow, in case you missed his point. "Don’t’ have sex until you get married, get married at a relatively early age, and then have lots of kids."

And this week, the secessionist talk. Smitherman is quite obviously trolling us all, TeaBaggers and the rest of Texans alike, with this Gohmert/Stockman mashup of the slimiest things he can pull out of his ass what passes for a mind in the Tea Party caucus.  Stay tuned; I'm sure he's working on next week's bulletin already, and there's still 8 weeks to go before election day!

But as Bud Kennedy notes, Democrats don't have a candidate yet, and the TXGOP has two other prospects for attorney general that are almost as freak-right-wing as Smitherman.

Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas, has got much of the Texas Legislature at his back, while Sen. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, has the blessing of Kelly Shackelford of the Liberty Institute, Americans for Prosperity chief Peggy Venable, and Texas Eagle Forum boss Cathie Adams (he also incorrectly claimed for a while that he has been touched by the hands of self-appointed king maker Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans.)

Can Texas actually elect a worse attorney general than Greg Abbott has been over the past ten years? Sadly, the answer is yes.

Update: Wonkette.

And of course, it’s just “being prepared for the worst” that’s motivating Smitherman to ramp up oil and gas production, fight environmental and labor regulations, and do everything possible to “[enable] the industry to produce as much as it can, as quickly as it can.”

You know, so they can fill up the big gas tank before they close the gates to Bartertown to protect it from the motorcycle gangs with mohawks. Also something something Obama EPA unconstitutional usurpation states’ rights, and global warming is a myth.

Update: Lisa Falkenberg with some more.

Speaking of those selfish feminists, Smitherman has a few words for them, too, though not by name. Toward the end of his speech, he addresses the protests that erupted at the state Capitol a few months ago as lawmakers considered tough abortion restrictions.

"All you had to do was see our people, who were civil and polite but persistent," Smitherman says, "versus the other side, which was satanic, evil and crude."

Best as I can tell, the "satanic" reference began with a young female demonstrator with funny glasses who got cute with the wrong video camera, and muttered "hail Satan" to the screen. I took it as sarcasm; the conservative blogosphere took it as confirmation.

And the good Christian Republican who wants to be your next attorney general took it as an opportunity to out-kook his rivals.

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