Texas Republicans took it on the chin a couple of months ago when the head of a consulting firm that focuses on electing hardcore conservative candidates was reported by the Texas Tribune to have met with an antisemitic Holocaust denier.
It was particularly embarrassing as the consulting firm chief also headed up a political action committee that donated to some prominent state GOP politicians, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Naturally, many Republican leaders condemned the meeting and denounced any association with white supremacists or the like. And a member of the Texas Republican Party's executive committee added a clause to a pro-Israel resolution that party members "have no association whatsoever with any individual or organization that is known to espouse anti-Semitism, pro-Nazi sympathies, or Holocaust denial."
Pretty easy to support that, one would think.
But the GOP executive committee voted down the clause, 32-29, on Saturday.
One member claimed such a ban was a "slippery slope" and "too vague."
But a committee member who supported the clause found that explanation ludicrous.
"I just don't understand how people who routinely refer to others as leftists, liberals, communists, socialists, and RINOs don't have the discernment to define what a Nazi is," Morgan Cisneros Graham said in a Texas Tribune interview.
Perhaps it was political cowardice, fear of alienating far-right supporters, that fueled the vote. It's interestin that about half the executive committee members tried to keep their votes from being part of the official record of the meeting, according to the Texas Tribune, which seems to indicate they weren't all that confused about what they were voting down.
Thankfully, the vote outraged a lot of fellow Republicans, including state House Speaker Dade Phelan. And Lt. Gov. Patrick predicted the committee would come to its senses and pass the ban at its next meeting.
Let's hope so. Party leaders must be clear there can be no compromise whatsoever when it comes to antisemitism, Holocaust denial or pro-Nazi sentiments. They do not now nor will they ever have any place in Texas or the United States of America.