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Barton versus Cornyn?

From Warren Throckmorton:

Big John Cornyn

Big John Cornyn

There is a lot of chatter these days among tea partiers in Texas about who should run against John Cornyn in the 2014 Senate primary. Despite a conservative voting record, Cornyn is being targeted by the tea party set because he is perceived to be soft on Obamacare, immigration, taxes and the national debt. As I reported on Monday, David Barton has been asked by some tea party folks to consider a challenge to Cornyn. The spin is that Barton has party experience, broad name recognition, and, probably with Glenn Beck’s help, could access adequate funds for a Senate campaign.

Without Barton in the mix, Cornyn seems safe. Cornyn’s current challengers probably could not mount a significant campaign to unseat Cornyn. Thus far, those challengers include attorney Linda VegaErick Wyatt and Dwayne Stovall.


If these three are the only challengers, the Senate seat seems safe for Cornyn. However, I suspect the situation would change if Barton gets into the race.

Barton’s name recognition would swamp the other three challengers and soon involve the national media. A Barton v. Cornyn confrontation would place additional focus on the current GOP Civil War. Barton’s supporters would invoke memories of Ted Cruz’s improbable victory over an establishment candidate in Texas with Barton cast as Cruz’s ally. Given Barton’s early support for Cruz, I suspect Cruz would endorse Barton. Cornyn would have a boatload of opposition research to use but Barton’s followers seem immune to such things. All of this is probably enough to cause major heartburn among the GOP establishment in Texas.

Ed Kilgore fills in a few details.

This possibility dwarfs even Craig James’ disastrous 2012 Senate campaign in Texas as a possible source of schadenfreude.

In case you’re not familiar with David Barton, he’s the “historian” who is heavily responsible for the “Christian Nation” meme beloved of conservative pols, and for the inversion by conservative evangelicals of their historic support for separation of church and state (the above-mentioned Warren Throckmorton, an evangelical Christian scholar himself, co-authored a recent book debunking Barton’s especially twisted take on Thomas Jefferson).

The Texas Freedom Network has a good primer on Barton, whom they’ve been keeping an eye on for awhile since he’s been heavily involved in the textbook wars around here. I have no idea if this really is a thing or not, but if Barton were to get elected, hard as this may be to believe, he could displace Ted Cruz as the craziest Senator from Texas. Thankfully, we Dems will have a candidate in the race, so get to know Maxey Scherr, you’ll need to know that name later. Burka, Unfair Park, and The Slacktivist have more.

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  1. matx says:

    Cornyn is already running radio ads for 2014. I heard one on 95.7–with top 40/pop programming–on Saturday. I thought it was going to be revealed as a parody, but no, it was a real one for the 2014 Senate race.

  2. Patrick says:

    Cornyn’s all over the web with advertising for the Keep It Red effort which I’m sure will be a nice source of donor contact information.

  3. […] unlike David Dewhurst or Big John Cornyn, who couldn’t crack 40% even without the wingnut David Barton in the race. Cornyn’s been busy campaigning already; I wouldn’t let up if I were him. […]