Tag Archives: Van Taylor

Why no remorse?

There likely isn’t a good reason to ask this question of a disgraced former Texas state legislator, but I’ll ask it anyway.

Is Bryan Slaton a dyed-in-the-wool sociopath? 

Here’s the deal. Slaton, a Royse City Republican, was caught having sex with an intern. He filled her with alcohol and then had his way with her in his apartment in Austin. The House General Investigations Committee got wind of it, examined the allegation, and then recommended his expulsion from the Texas House.

Slaton testified before the committee and according to sources on the scene, he expressed zero remorse, contrition or offered nothing resembling an apology for his hideous action. He resigned his House seat, but the House expelled him anyway in a unanimous vote.

Isn’t that the behavior of a sociopath?

Contrast that with the reaction that came from another Republican politician, former U.S. Rep. Van Taylor of Plano. Taylor was running for re-election 2022 when it was revealed he had an affair with a woman who once was married to an Islamic State officer.

When word of his misbehavior got out, Taylor issued a statement calling his action the “worst decision I ever have made.” He apologized to his wife and children and then backed out of his re-election campaign.

Taylor at least had the good sense and appropriate contrition to apologize to everyone involved.

Not so with Slaton, who ran for election and re-election as a “Christian conservative” dedicated to the family values espoused by the Republican Party.

He’s nothing more than a sociopathic chump.


Getting set for MAGA rep in Congress

It’s time to acknowledge the obvious, which is that the next congressman from the Third District in North Texas is going to be of the MAGA ilk.

Republican nominee Keith Self won’t get my support, but I am of a distinct minority in Collin County.

Self once served as Collin County judge. He stepped away, then returned to the political war this year when he challenged GOP U.S. Rep. Van Taylor for the seat Taylor has occupied since 2018. Taylor won the primary earlier this year, but then pulled out of the race after he acknowledged a months-long extramarital affair with a woman who once was married to an Islamic State political officer.

Self, who finished second in the primary, became the nominee by default after Taylor pulled out.

He is running against Democratic nominee Sandeep Srivastava. The Democrat has my support … but you knew that, right?

What troubles me about Self has been the fiery rhetoric he used during the primary against Taylor. Self sought to run to the right of one of the House’s more conservative members, which to my way of thinking puts Self on the fringe of a party that already has become a haven for fringe thinkers.

Self fits right in, near as I can tell, with the loons who hold much of the power within the GOP. He talks about curing the electoral system of “widespread fraud” … which doesn’t exist! He backs the right-wing effort to criminalize abortion. He will oppose any common-sense legislation to curb gun violence.

Collin County is considered one of those solid, rock-ribbed Republican counties. Except for this little nugget: Donald Trump defeated Joe Biden in Collin County by fewer than 5 percentage points in 2020, which I suppose could make the county where we live a “battleground.”

Well, that doesn’t matter in this race for Congress.

Keith Self is likely to be elected next week. He’ll take his seat in January and then will ease into the crowd of Republicans who pledge their loyalty to the party dogma, while forsaking what is best for the country.

It’s a shame.


Contraception is alive, but struggling

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that allows Americans to take measures to avoid pregnancy when they engage in intimate activity.

Sounds, well, rather normal, right? Not if you’re a Texas Republican member of Congress. You see, all GOP House members from Texas voted against this modern, common-sense, rational bill. That means my congressman, Van Taylor of Plano, has something against allowing his constituents to use contraceptives during sex.

What the hell?

Someone has to explain to me the reasons behind the partisan resistance to this measure.

GOP Texans in Congress vote against bill to protect right to contraception | The Texas Tribune

It appears to be some additional blowback to the Supreme Court decision to overturn the law that made abortion legal. Justice Clarence Thomas — the right-wing king of the high court — let it be known that the SCOTUS might next take aim at same-sex marriage and, yes, allowing contraception.

Good grief!

The 50-50 U.S. Senate isn’t likely to follow the House’s lead, given that the GOP side of the divide is wedded to this idiocy that contraception is some sort of Satanic mischief.

Well, it’s as clear as deep blue sky that the Texas Republican congressional delegation has swallowed the swill that now governs GOP policy these days.

They sicken me.


Family men? Yeah, right!

Driving the other day through the Texas Hill Country, I saw a campaign poster for a woman running for the Legislature … and it brought to mind the hypocrisy of so many male politicians I have watched over many years.

The candidate, whose name escapes me, was pictured with her family. Her husband and children surrounded her in the photo. I thought, “How sweet is that?”

Then I told my wife that the picture reminded me of all the men I have watched seek public office campaigning with pictures of them expressing devotion to their wives and children … only to watch it all come crashing down amid scandal.

I cannot even count the pols I have seen crumble and crater. A couple of my “favorites” do stand out.

Sen. John Edwards ran for vice president in 2004 on the Democratic Party ticket led by Sen. John Kerry. Edwards told crowds of his love for his wife, Elizabeth. He didn’t say, naturally, that at that very time he was involved in an extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter. Oh, and Mrs. Edwards was dying of cancer at the time!

Another one is Republican U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, who this year was running for re-election the congressional seat he held since 2019. He had shown himself with his wife and kids, too. Taylor happens to represent my family and me in Congress. Then, while preparing to participate in a GOP runoff this year, Taylor revealed he had a months-long affair with a woman who once was married to an Islamic State officer. His re-election campaign came to an end.

These are the examples of hypocrisy we don’t see among female candidates for public office.

For that I am delighted. If only the men who seek our support for public office could be as faithful to their own sacred vows. Given the annoying regularity with which they let us down, I have grown instantly suspicious of any politician who proclaims his faithfulness to the person he loves.


Righteous among us tumble

My head-shaking just won’t stop in the wake of this week’s stunning announcement regarding a North Texas congressman, a self-proclaimed conservative lawmaker who — I am going to presume — was proud of his “family values.”

Republican Van Taylor ended his re-election campaign Wednesday after disclosing he had an extramarital dalliance with a Plano woman, a so-called “ISIS bride” who once was married to an officer in the Islamic State terrorist organization. Geez, that alone is enough to make me wonder about a lot of other things.

Taylor was heading for a runoff after Tuesday’s GOP primary.

What is so damn disturbing about this — actually one of many things that ought to disturb any of us — is the way Taylor characterized himself as a staunch conservative, someone who stood for strong values. The implication of those values statements is clear, that he is a devoted to his wife and children. Well, the way I see it, one’s devotion must be complete, unequivocal and unconditional.

Taylor has apologized profusely to his family and to his constituents. I am one of the latter and I will accept the apology and I will wish him well as he tries to rebuild his life. Whether he is able to rebuild his family is a matter for them to decide.

My only concern — as a Third Congressional District constituent — is that Taylor stays away from public service. I don’t want him representing my interests at any level of government. You see, I don’t much care for public officials who profess to be of a certain stripe, but who are hiding dark secrets that reveal them to be something quite different.


Rep. Taylor issues stunning admission … then quits

Well … I’ll be deep fried and rolled in oats. I had just urged U.S. Rep. Van Taylor, a Plano Republican, to “get busy” and start working to get his supporters to the polls for a May runoff with former Collin County Judge Keith Self. Then the word came out.

It seems that Taylor had been busier than I ever imagined. He admitted to having an affair with a Plano woman — and then he dropped out of his re-election bid. The withdrawal hands the GOP nomination to Self, who now is slated to be the prohibitive favorite to be elected from Texas’s Third Congressional District.

Oh … boy! What a revelation!

Taylor and a woman called an “ISIS bride,” as she was married to an Islamic State fighter, reportedly had a months-long fling. News of the affair reportedly got into the hands of Suzanne Harp, another GOP candidate for Congress who, I guess, was about to spill the beans.

Taylor issued a statement via e-mail to his supporters, which stated, in part: “About a year ago, I made a horrible mistake that has caused deep hurt and pain among those I love most in this world. I had an affair, it was wrong, and it was the greatest failure of my life. I want to apologize for the pain I have caused with my indiscretion, most of all to my wife Anne and our three daughters.”

Taylor said he has spoken with Self and wished him well as he seeks to win the election to Congress.


I hate to be the predictor of terrible news, but it appears to me — and to anyone with half a brain — that Self is going to be elected in a rejiggered congressional district that is even more GOP-friendly than it was before reapportionment. Self is a member of The Big Lie cabal of cultists who insist that the 2020 election was stolen from The Donald. Self managed to parlay his view into forcing Taylor into a runoff, denying the incumbent the 50% vote he needed to win the nomination outright.

Self now is going to run against Democratic nominee Sandeep Srivistava, who doesn’t have a prayer of defeating Self. Not in this climate. Not in this district.

I don’t know what in the world to say about Van Taylor’s mistake. It likely will doom any thought he might have had about further public service.

There are so many astonishing factors about this development. One of them happens to be this fact: Taylor enjoyed strong endorsements from fervent conservative organizations, such as the National Rifle Association and the Heritage Foundation. Yet he drew the wrath of The Donald’s cultists simply because he voted (a) to certify President Biden’s election in 2020 and (b) to establish a bipartisan independent commission to examine the 1/6 insurrection. Never mind that Taylor then opposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to appoint a select committee to look at 1/6. He committed — in the eyes of the Trump cultists — a mortal sin by voting to accept Joe Biden’s election and seeking an independent panel to examine the insurrection.

I am stunned to the max.


Get busy, Rep. Taylor

Let’s examine a few numbers from the Third Congressional District race that is heading for a May runoff between incumbent Van Taylor and former Collin County Judge Keith Self.

With 99% percent of the vote tabulated from Tuesday’s Republican primary, Taylor has collected 31,168 votes.

Self has collected 16,959 ballots; third place went to Suzanne Harp, who collected 13,319 votes; fourth place went to Rickey Williams, who has 1,721 ballots; the fifth-place candidate is Jeremy Ivanovskis, with 814 votes. All told, the anti-Taylor vote count totals 32,133 ballots.

OK, they’re still counting ballots at the Collin County Courthouse. I don’t expect the percentages to change dramatically but consider the following.

Taylor needs to gin up a lot of return voters for the runoff, given that taken altogether, the challengers finished with nearly 1,000 more votes combined than Taylor reeled in. I don’t know anything about Williams or Ivanovskis, but I do know that Self and Harp are cut from the same kooky cloth; they are The Donald Cultists. Indeed, Harp calls herself an “America First Republican,” which is code for “I am a Trumpkin.” Moreover, Self has swilled The Big Lie potion about the 2020 election being “stolen” from The Donald.

Do you get my drift here? Self’s voters are highly motivated to turn out in the runoff. Harp’s supporters, I am going to presume, are far more comfortable with Self than with Taylor. They, too, might need little persuading to vote in the runoff.

As for Van Taylor’s bloc of supporters, they well might be a touch more apathetic than those who favor the surviving challenger or at least one of the also-rans in the Tuesday GOP primary.

Thus, the result of the runoff will depend on just two words: voter turnout. My advice to Rep. Taylor? You’d better get busy, young man … and start working the phone lines to those who voted for you in the primary.


Congressman faces runoff … holy crap!

Can it be even remotely possible that the North Texas Republican Party is actually going to fall for the trash being spewed by the far-right wing cabal of kooks who say a staunch GOP member of Congress has “betrayed” the party simply because he favored creation of an independent commission to examine the 1/6 insurrection on the nation’s Capitol?

Oh, and that he believes Joe Biden is the duly elected president of the United States and voted to certify the Electoral College result affirming that fact?

Well, the young man who represents my family and me in Congress is headed to a runoff in May. Van Taylor of Plano will face off against a former three-term Collin County judge, Keith Self. By all rights and whatever is left of political reason, Taylor should have breezed to his party’s nomination in Tuesday’s Republican Party primary. He didn’t make the 50%-plus one vote majority he needed to avoid the runoff. Self, a fellow who contends there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and implies the presidency was stolen from The Donald, now gets a chance to defeat Taylor head to head.

What a freakin’ joke!

Now, I want to be clear. I do not support Van Taylor’s re-election. However, given the choice between Taylor and the wingnut who is challenging him, I would prefer the GOP nominate Taylor for a third term in the House. What frightens me about Self is that he appeals to that fanatic cult that still adheres to The Big Lie about the 2020 election. The cultists are more likely to vote in a runoff than some of the more, um, lackadaisical members of the GOP.

Then there’s the prospect of a loon such as Self being nominated by the GOP and carrying that whack-job message with him into the general election … and winning that race, too!

I will be unable to vote in the runoff, as I voted Tuesday in the Democratic Party primary.

This all puts me in an awkward position. To be crystal clear, my preference would be for Democratic nominee Sandeep Srivastava to be elected to Congress. I just shutter at the prospect of the Democratic nominee having less of a chance against The Donald Cultist than the incumbent, who at times has shown a willingness to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats … which his GOP primary foes have used as a strike against him.

This is a dangerous political moment, my friends.


Taylor a RINO? Wow!

Van Taylor needs some help from an unexpected source. That would be little ol’ me, your friendly good-government progressive blogger.

You see, the two-term Republican U.S. House representative is getting pounded by a Trumpkin cabal of idiots who consider Taylor to be a Republican In Name Only. Good grief! The young man is as Republican as they get. He won’t collect my vote on Tuesday when we get to cast our ballots in the Texas primary.

Taylor, though, will get this word in his defense as a Republican who is far from what the RINO hunters contend he is.

They castigate him for voting in favor of an independent commission to examine the 1/6 insurrection. That’s a no-no in the half-baked minds of the Donald Trump acolytes. The independent commission idea died a quick death in the Senate. Taylor then voted against creating a House select committee. Why? Because he said the select panel would be too political. That’s crap, of course. However, that first vote is like an indelible stain on the congressman.

The ultra-right-wing group calls itself RINO Reckoning. It is based out of Ohio. It has searched for so-called RINOs around the country and has found Taylor to be a prime target. He has drawn some far-right foes in the GOP primary, such as former three-term Collin County judge Keith Self, who alleges there is ample evidence of “widespread voter fraud” in the 2020 presidential election.

What utter bullsh**! Self is revealing his idiocy with every statement he makes about The Big Lie.

Van Taylor’s candidacy has put me in an admittedly awkward spot. I dislike his view of conservatism. However, I truly hate the message being put forward by those on the far-right wing of his party. They comprise a dangerous gang of traitors.


Time to come together

The world is reeling as Russian armed forces storm their way toward the capital city of Ukraine. They are meeting ferocious resistance from Ukrainians defending their sovereign nation against the invaders. They have earned the world’s support against the aggressors.

So, what has been the response in the United States? At one level, we see ordinary American citizens marching in unison in support of Ukraine. They fly the Ukrainian flag, wear the blue and yellow colors of that banner.

However, some politicians — namely Republicans in Washington — have chosen to politicize it all. They blame President Biden for Russia’s singular act of aggression. According to the Dallas Morning News editorial published today:

Just as President Joe Biden announced sanctions against Russia, the official Twitter account for U.S. House Republicans posted a tweet. It said: “This is what weakness on the world stage looks like.” And it included a photo of Biden walking away from a podium.

Later in the week, two Texas Republicans — U.S. Rep. Van Taylor and Sen. Ted Cruz — seized the moment to continue that narrative. Both rightly voiced support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and global efforts to save it, but then quickly pivoted to blame Biden for the invasion.

Taylor cites Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan and scuttling of the Keystone XL Pipeline project as examples of the president emboldening Putin. Likewise, Cruz tweeted: “Biden’s weakness, both in general and his surrender on Nord Stream 2, undeniably facilitated Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.” And in another tweet, Cruz said, “America’s adversaries took note of Biden’s weakness and incompetence around the withdrawal from Afghanistan. That disaster alone increased the threats of our rivals attacking our allies ten-fold.”


It is disappointing in the extreme for me to read about the conduct of my congressman, Van Taylor, who supposedly prides himself on working with Democrats. He claims credit for being non-partisan when the need arises.

Well, what in the hell does Rep. Taylor need to persuade him that such a need has arisen as the nation seeks a cogent response to Vladimir Putin’s act of aggression?

Ted Cruz? He’s a lost cause!

The time arrived the moment the tanks started rolling across the border into Ukraine for this nation to rally behind the commander in chief’s efforts to respond appropriately to an aggressive act.