Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, is having a tough go of it to begin her tenure as the Texas State Board of Education gavel-master. But lame “blame the media” and “you were never meant to hear that” excuses from her and her supporters (including former board chairman Don McLeroy) will do little to fix the damage the new board chairwoman’s own comments have caused.
We’re talking of comments from Cargill — made just days after Gov. Rick Perry appointed her as board chair — that offended her fellow board members. For instance, board member Bob Craig, R-Lubbock, did not appreciate Cargill’s suggestion there there are only “six true conservative Christians on the board.” Do a little math and it becomes clear Cargill had taken it upon herself to de-Christianize some of her fellow board members, including conservative Republicans like Craig.
In a Houston Chronicle story this week, Cargill tried to explain herself:
“My comments certainly were not intended to be divisive. It was for a particular audience.”
You see, Bob, sure she said it, but you were never meant to hear it. She thought she was just amongst friends — friends she thought would be receptive to suggestions that you and some of the other board members are not good Christians.
Cargill’s defenders blamed TFN and the news media in the Chronicle story. Here’s what McLeroy, whose willingness to put politics ahead of education cost him the chairmanship two years ago, had to say:
“She was just making a political distinction, not a religious distinction, and it’s much to do about nothing — except for the Texas Freedom Network and their friends who want to throw gasoline on the fire and try to ruin a fine lady.”
And Liberty Institute, the Texas affiliate for Focus on the Family, said Cargill was simply referencing:
“a label and category that the media makes regular use of themselves to describe certain State Board of Education members.”
Right, let’s blame the media and TFN for pointing to a video of Cargill’s comments in full and in context. Neither TFN nor the media told or forced Cargill to say what she did. (And we marvel at the fact that she and McLeroy fail to see just how offensive those comments really were.)
But since some appear to believe that Cargill’s comments have been taken out of context, here again are videos of her entire speech: