John Cornyn is as conservative as they come in the Senate. He has a lifetime rating of 93 from the American Conservative Union--and as we all know, anyone with a rating higher than 90 is pretty much a wingnut. And yet, apparently he isn't conservative enough for some conservatives in Texas. So naturally, they're trying to draft someone even further to the right than he is to challenge him in the 2014 primary. Who, you might ask? Wait for it--David Barton. And apparently Barton is seriously considering it.
Rick Green, one of Barton’s closest advisers, tells National Review Online the following in an e-mail:Apparently some teabaggers are none too pleased with Cornyn taking his name off a "dear colleague" letter Mike Lee wrote urging them to oppose any continuing resolution that didn't defund Obamacare. And it's apparently gaining momentum nationally. Yesterday, Glenn Beck was salivating on-air at the thought of "Senator David Barton," and a Facebook group called Draft David Barton for US Senate already has 2,000 members.
More than 1,000 (zero exaggeration, that is an actual number) tea party and republican party leaders have asked David Barton to run. Polling says Sen. Cornyn is vulnerable and that’s why he is running ads right now. Like America’s Founding Fathers, David Barton will not “seek” this office, but if the people of Texas speak loud enough in the next few days, he could most certainly be drafted in by the voters.
Another Republican consultant in Austin familiar with Barton’s thinking elaborates on that. “The conservatives are putting in a significant effort to get him into the race, and this is not a drill — he might actually do it,” the consultant tells me. “I think David is probably mulling the race because he’s getting pushed really hard to mull the race. If people weren’t really pushing him hard, I don’t think he would be considering it. He probably fits the one profile which would be really threatening to Cornyn.”
And JoAnn Fleming, executive director of Texas-based Grassroots America We The People, says that a number of tea-party leaders are slated to have a conference call with Barton in the next few days to discuss his senatorial prospects. “We need a Constitutional conservative in that seat,” she says. “We believe that Senator Cornyn has become part of the establishment and we don’t believe that his priorities reflect the priorities of the people of Texas any longer.”
That being said, you have to think they're really desperate if they're wanting to put up the likes of Barton. Remember, this is a guy whose distortions and contortions of American history have been debunked several times over--at least in the reality-based world (his lunacy still pollutes the curricula in dozens of Christian schools and Christian-based homeschooling curricula). This is a guy who has had at least two of his frequent guests be completely discredited. One of them, John Guandolo, claims he was forced to resign for speaking out against the Muslim Brotherhood. Actually, he resigned rather than face certain firing for banging the star witness in the corruption case against "Dollar Bill" Jefferson. Another, former high school biology teacher John Freshwater, claims to have been fired for having a Bible on his desk, but was actually fired for teaching creationism as science. And yet, it's entirely possible Barton could actually win the nomination, or at least bloody up Cornyn enough that he'd be weakened in the general election. Remember, this guy was actually the vice chairman of the Texas GOP, so he actually does have something of a base there.
I didn't think it was possible to think of anything scarier than one of Texas' House wingnuts in the Senate. Just the thought of a "Senator Louie Gohmert" should send a chill down the spine of anyone here. But to put up the likes of Barton? I know "dumbing down" is almost a requirement to be a Republican candidate these days, but this is ridiculous.
As it stands now, we've only got a "some dudette" running on the Democratic side for this seat, Maxey Scherr. Apparently she's been so underwhelming there's no listing at all on ActBlue for her. If we're to take advantage of facing Barton or a wounded Cornyn, Texas Democrats need to step up to the plate. Now.