Conservative pundit Charlie Sykes on Friday lamented what he described as the “race to the bottom” to “see who can be the most MAGA” between Republicans in Florida, Arizona and Texas.
“I know that Republicans in Texas have been conservative for a long time but there was a time when conservative Republicans in Texas were not absolutely batshit crazy,” Sykes, founder of the conservative website The Bulwark, told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace in video shared online by Mediaite.
“Texas Republicans used to be respectable,” Sykes continued. “And now we are almost in this competition … between Florida, Arizona and Texas to see who can be the most MAGA, who can play the most hair-on-fire culture war games, because that seems to be this race to the bottom that we’re talking about here.”
Sykes’ comments came during a discussion about a Texas law that instructs teachers to offer opposing perspectives on historical events. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) recently banned COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state, which is also now subject to a highly restrictive abortion law.
A school administrator faced backlash this week after saying educators should “make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust, that you have one” with alternative viewpoints.
Sykes said it was “easy to beat up on the administrator” but “the focus ought to be on the law and the fact that the teachers are terrified. They don’t know what’s going to happen.”
“What is the other side of the Holocaust?” Sykes later asked. “Are you going to assign fourth-graders ‘Mein Kampf’? Are you going to make them listen to Seb Gorka’s radio show? I just don’t know what she actually had in mind. But again, this is exactly what you get when you have politicians playing culture war and then trying to ram that into badly thought out draconian legislation.”