The situation in Fort Worth, in which a pregnant woman named Marlise Muñoz was brain dead and was carrying an abnormal fetus, is truly tragic for the family. It was revolting to see Dan Patrick try to exploit the situation to demand that Texas law be changed, following a decision by a state district judge to remove Muñoz from life support. This is not a pro-life issue. The pro-lifers argue that we must always err on the side of life, but in this situation there was no life. The judge did the only humane thing possible. This reinforces my view that abortion has ruined American politics.
About the debate: I thought Jerry Patterson won it, hands down. He made a brilliant argument for term limits, which Texas badly needs, and he argued strongly for moderation on immigration, which his party badly needs. Nobody else distinguished themselves. Dewhurst was playing not to make a mistake, and he didn’t make one. For the first time in these debates, Dan Patrick was the focus of unwanted attention, primarily because of his bankruptcy filings in past years. Patrick argued, fairly enough, that the purpose of bankruptcy is to give people a second chance, but it was clear that Patrick still owed a lot of money.
The worst aspect of the debate was the genuflection to creationism by all four candidates. Creationism should not be taught in Texas schools. It is not science. If we are serious about educating our school children, we can’t have a curriculum that includes creationism. It’s religion, not science. And, don’t kid yourselves, it is being taught in Texas schools today.
The silliest part of the entire debate was the candidates’ insistence that we “secure the border.” Good luck. Anyone who has spent time driving through the brush country has seen enough to know that the border can’t be secured. We’re talking millions of acres of hills and scrub. It would take thousands of immigration agents to do the job. The border cannot be secured. And even if it could be secured, what does “secured” mean? The border is as porous as cheesecloth. DPS and ICE together couldn’t secure it.