This is easily the best news of the month so far. Everyone's least favorite irritant, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) has announced that he's primary-challenging Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) next year.
In case you're unfamiliar with Stockman, he's the first-term congressman who basically took over Ron Paul's old district and has since spent the first half of his term as a Twitter troll.
It's not the first time Stockman has been a member of Congress. He previously won a seat in the House in the 1994 election. Shortly thereafter, he rose to infamy when he was not only caught with 30mg of Valium stashed in his underpants, but also when, minutes after the Oklahoma City bombing, Stockman received a mysterious fax from a militia group detailing the bombing. Stockman forwarded a copy to the FBI, but, weirdly, he also sent a copy to the National Rifle Association. Indeed, Stockman is connected to various anti-government right-wing militias.
He was also investigated by the FEC for creating a newspaper using campaign money. The newspaper appeared before the election and disappeared quietly after his victory. Some of the headlines? "Servicemen Don't Want Sodomites in the Military" and "HUD Appointee is a 'Mean Lesbian.'"
He lost his seat in a contested election in 1996. Thank God.
But like a relapsing political cancer, Stockman returned to Congress sixteen years later, thanks to a heavily gerrymandered district. Right away, he made national news by inviting Ted Nugent to be his personal guest for the 2013 State of the Union.
He also spends way too much time on Twitter trolling Democrats and/or anyone with a brain and a sense of decency.
For example, last month Stockman tweeted: "Democrats are playing the knockout game with your health insurance." See what he did there? The knock-out game is a falsely rumored activity in which African-American teens allegedly try to knock out unsuspecting passers-by with a single punch to the head. President Obama is an African-American. Get it? Yeah.
During the post-Sandy Hook gun control debate, Stockman tweeted the following bumper sticker, which he's distributing to his supporters: "If babies had guns they wouldn't be aborted."
He's also ran two separate contests in which he gave away AR-15 assault rifles to his supporters -- Adam Lanza's weapon of choice at Sandy Hook.
And now he's challenging John Cornyn, emphasizing the growing schism between conservatives and far-right tea party crackpots like Stockman.
Stockman told World Net Daily, "We are extremely disappointed in the way [Cornyn] treated his fellow congressmen and broke the 11th commandment and undermined Ted Cruz's fight to stop Obamacare. And now, it looks like Cruz was right and Cornyn was wrong. He sided with the president, essentially, in making sure Obamacare became law while Cruz did everything possible to stop it."
He continued, "In Texas, conservative policies win over stabbing fellow Republicans in the back." And so Stockman is reacting by stabbing a fellow Republican, Cornyn, in the back. He's a smarty.
This is a fine illustration of the monster the GOP has created for itself. Conservatives like Cornyn are being systematically tarred and feathered as somehow too liberal, while extremists like Stockman are considered the new conservative. And the Overton Window lurches rightward.
Cornyn has an "A" rating from the NRA after opposing bans on trigger-locks, high capacity magazines and the like, while also opposing lawsuits against gun manufacturers. He supports the Balanced Budget Amendment, he opposed requiring FISA warrants for phone surveillance of U.S. persons, he voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act, he voted against repealing tax breaks for overseas outsourcing and he has a 100 percent rating from the Christian Coalition. He opposed Affordable Care Act and the stimulus, and voted to filibuster the entire Democratic legislative agenda. He's staunchly anti-choice, anti-tax, anti-environment, etc.
John Cornyn's no liberal. But he's also clearly not crazy enough -- or pure enough -- for the tea party radicals who are infecting his party. And now he'll have to spend valuable campaign cash on a primary challenge from a known wingding, draining his war chest for the general election. Hell, just batting down Stockman's inevitable tsunami of Twitter smears will require an around-the-clock staff.
Chances are, Stockman will probably lose the primary, but considering the direction the party's taking, he could have a shot. Either way, this is going to be a simultaneously fun and irritating campaign to observe. The Steve Stockman crazy train has only just departed the station. And if he wins, he'll get to waste his taxpayer-funded time trolling on Twitter for six years instead of just two.