The prevailing narrative for this year’s primary season revolves around the death of the Tea Party, whose candidates have so far been repeatedly trounced by establishment-backed Republicans. But as with most political trends, that is not happening in Texas.
State Senator Dan Patrick, a Tea Party favorite, easily dispatched incumbent David Dewhurst on Tuesday in the runoff for lieutenant governor of Texas. Dewhurst, who took office in 2003, was by all accounts good at his job. He is credited with steering Texas into an era of economic prosperity, and he’s hardly a moderate conservative: He’s avowedly anti-tax, anti-immigrant and pro-gun. As David Weigel of Slate pointed out, he once accused Ted Cruz “of being soft on illegals and Red China.”
Even so, Dewhurst was no match for the conservative bona fides of Dan Patrick, 64, who is likely to win the general election. If the center of the political spectrum signifies a close relationship to reality, then Patrick long ago entered the place beyond the far right—call it Republican Narnia.
So now that Patrick is ascendant, it is important to know where he stands on hot-button issues. Texas is an enormous state, and its legislation tends to have national implications. Here’s Patrick’s political vision, in five quick soundbites:
1. Patrick on abortion:
“In those rare circumstances where the life of the mother is on the line, most mothers say let my baby live.”
2. Patrick on evolution:
“When it comes to creationism, not only should it be taught, it should be triumphed. It should be heralded.”
3. Patrick on guns:
4. Patrick on immigration:
“Stop the invasion.”
5. Patrick on Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments:
“God has used Phil, of all people…to say clearly what he is thinking.”