TDS: Jewish Speaker Of The House In Texas Battles Anti-Semitism To Win Reelection

The Daily Show did a brilliant piece on the Christian Right's attacks on the Republican Speaker of the House in Texas, Joe Straus -- who happens to be Jewish. There was an anti-Semitic campaign to replace him with a "good" Christian, but in the

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The Daily Show did a brilliant piece on the Christian Right's attacks on the Republican Speaker of the House in Texas, Joe Straus -- who happens to be Jewish. There was an anti-Semitic campaign to replace him with a "good" Christian, but in the end the hatred failed.

Joe Straus survived a challenge to his House leadership Tuesday when colleagues overwhelmingly re-elected him speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Straus' two challengers dropped their opposition,but critics insisted on a record vote, which resulted in a 132-15 margin for Straus, R-San Antonio. Three members did not vote. Straus faced intense opposition from several conservative groups who wanted House members to elect a more conservative leader of the 150-member chamber. After his election, Straus credited his colleagues for withstanding "threats, harassment and attempts at intimidation because of the fair and respectful way in which you want this House to operate." "Division, threats of retribution … attacks on people's religious beliefs and distortions of people's records have no place in this House," Straus said.

Here are some of the vile attacks he had to withstand to win.

E-mails targeting Texas House Speaker Joe Straus cite his Judaism, rivals' Christianity

Some conservative Republican activists working to unseat House Speaker Joe Straus are circulating e-mails that emphasize his Judaism.

Several e-mails have surfaced in recent days that mention Straus' rabbi and underscore the Christian faith of his leading critics in the House Republican Caucus.

"Straus is going down in Jesus' name," said one, whose origins were unclear.

Straus, R-San Antonio , "clearly lacks the moral compass to be speaker," said another, written by Southeast Texas conservative activist Peter Morrison.

"Both Rep. Warren Chisum and Rep. Ken Paxton, who are Christians and true conservatives, have risen to the occasion to challenge Joe Straus for leadership," Morrison wrote in his newsletter last Thursday, referring to two Republicans who are running against Straus for speaker.

Morrison, asked Tuesday if he intended to signal that Straus is unfit because he is Jewish, replied in an e-mail, "I was simply making factual statements about Rep. Chisum and Rep. Paxton."

Morrison said his opposition to Straus is driven by issues, not religion.Straus, asked his reaction to the e-mails, said in a statement that religious freedom and "the Judeo-Christian values of the dignity and worth of every individual" are key American principles

Only the great writers on TDS could take an offensive story like this, make a compelling case of anti-Semitism -- and still make us laugh at the same time.

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