The Texas Republican Party's heartiest activists did their thing over the weekend, bringing an embarrassing spotlight to a state and party that should be touting Texas successes and what we can offer the nation.
Instead, what the world sees is backward and conspiratorial thinking among a few thousand convention delegates in Houston who seem determined to define the GOP down to its least-attractive elements.
The party appears to have voted to say in its platform--the party's official, if often ignored, statement of beliefs and policy preferences--that homosexuality is an "abnormal lifestyle choice."
Then, there's the conspiratorial nature of the convention. Delegates voted to declare that President Joe Biden "was not legitimately elected" because of fraud in major cities in five states. This has been proved false time and time again, and we recently learned from the congressional Jan. 6 committee that even President Donald Trump's dedicated inner circle didn't believe it.
Even Gov. Greg Abbott declined to appear at this year's convention, hosting a reception for delegates instead. And he just won the party's nomination over two far-right challengers with two-thirds of the vote.
So, it's the party base that's isolating itself from Republican voters. The risk for GOP officeholders is that the extremism finally catches up with them. In this year's campaigns, they'd much rather talk about inflation, energy and education. They can contrast Texas' continuing growth and success with Democratic policies driving higher prices.
But thanks to the party, they'll have to answer whether Biden is legitimate and whether LGBTQ Texans are immoral.
The only way the Texas GOP loses is by going too far to the extremes. And right now, its base elements are trying as hard as they can to make it happen.