Are Texas Republicans Sticking with Stickland?

Over the holidays, the primary challenge to tea party Republican leader, State Representative Jonathan Stickland (TX HD92), hit the boiling point after news reports detailed offensive comments he made advocating rape and other spousal abuse. Here’s the advice Stickland gave in 2008 as part of an online exchange with a person seeking graphic sexual advice: "Rape is nonexistent in marriage, take what you want my friend!"
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Over the holidays, the primary challenge to tea party Republican leader, State Representative Jonathan Stickland (TX HD92), hit the boiling point after news reports detailed offensive comments he made advocating rape and other spousal abuse. Here’s the advice Stickland gave in 2008 as part of an online exchange with a person seeking graphic sexual advice: “Rape is nonexistent in marriage, take what you want my friend!”

Stickland’s current Republican primary opponent, local Christian minister Scott Fisher, pounced quickly, condemning the comments and sharing them broadly online. Former Governor Rick Perry had already made his feelings clear by endorsing Rev. Fisher over Stickland.

Young and stupid defense doesn’t hold

Stickland tried to defend himself by implying that the statements were made when he was a very young man, and he now knows better.
 
The “young and stupid” excuse might work for the casual illegal drug use he admits. However, Jonathan Stickland was a married man with a baby daughter at the time he overtly encouraged rape and spousal abuse. 

Abbott, Patrick and other tea party Republicans laying low

Neither Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick nor local tea party Republican favorites like Senator Konni Burton (TX SD10), Senator Don Huffines (TX SD16), and Rep. Rodney Anderson (TX HD105) have made any direct comments about Stickland encouraging sexual violence and spousal abuse. In fact, Stickland’s campaign website continues to prominently feature glowing endorsements from Burton, Huffines and Anderson:

  • Huffines is “proud” to endorse Stickland. 
  • Burton’s quote reads: “As an early supporter of his first campaign, I could not be happier to stand with him once again,”
  • Anderson gushes: “He (Jonathan) is an honorable man who is grounded on conservative principles. He will stand strong for his constituents and serve with their interest at heart.”

For their part, Abbott and Patrick have taken cover, apparently hoping they won’t be asked to comment on statements they would likely be chirping about incessantly had they not come from a tea party Republican favorite like Stickland.

Texas R’s should condemn Stickland or explain why they won’t

It’s been several days since the news broke about Jonathan Stickland’s abusive posts. State and local Republican leaders have had time to review his words and ask him directly to explain himself.  Stickland’s insensitivity to sexual abuse has been seen before. He was one of only 5 votes against a bill that would have extended the statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault in civil suits.
 
Now is the time for Texas Republicans to either condemn Jonathan Stickland’s comments and withdraw their support for him or explain why not.  

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