Jewish Speaker of Texas State House

  • Aired:  02/03/11
  •  | Views: 117,604

John Oliver celebrates a new high holiday with the people of Texas after a Jewish Republican is re-elected. (5:28)

NOTE... YES.

BACK IN MY BODY, VERY

UNCOMFORTABLE.

(LAUGHTER)

TEXAS IS A REPUBLICAN STRONGHOLD

BUT ARE THE RIGHT KIND OF

REPUBLICANS REALLY IN POWER

THERE?

JOHN OLIVER HEADED TO THE

LOAN-STAR STATE TO FIND OUT.

>> REPUBLICANS IN TEXAS ARE A

PRETTY COMMON SITE BUT JEWISH

REPUBLICANS LIKE JOE STRAUSS ARE

ABOUT AS RARE AS A PORK RIB ON A

PRAIRIE MULE.

TWO YEARS AGO, STRAUSS BECAME

THE FIRST JEWISH SPEAKER OF THE

STATEHOUSE, BUT THAT MEANT

TROUBLE WHEN HE CAME UP FOR

REELECTION?

JANUARY.

>> REPUBLICAN GROUPS ACROSS THE

STATE HAVE SURFACED CALLING FOR

STRAUSS TO BE REMOVED IN FAVOR

OF A "MORE CHRISTIAN" SPEAKER.

>> AND THE CHARGE WAS LED BY

STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY OFFICIAL

JOHN COOK WHO WROTE IN AN E-MAIL

"WE ELECTED A HOUSE WITH

CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVE VALUES.

WE NOW WANT A TRUE CHRISTIAN

CONSERVATIVE RUNNING IT."

COULD IT POSSIBLY BE THAT A JEW

WOULD BE DRIVEN OUT OF YET

ANOTHER DESERT LAND?

I MADE A PILGRIMAGE TO HEAR ONE

MORE TALE OF THIS FORSAKEN

PEOPLE.

>> PEOPLE CLAIMING THAT SOMEONE

COULDN'T DO A JOB BECAUSE THEY

WEREN'T CHRISTIAN IN PUBLIC

SERVICE IS VERY DISTURBING AND

SCARY.

>> BUT RABBI, DON'T YOU THINK

THAT THE LAWS OF TEXAS COULD

ONLY REALLY PROBABLY BE

SHEPHERDED BY A CHRISTIAN

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE?

>> NO.

>> WELL... SORRY, I WASN'T

EXPECTING YOU TO STAY NO TO THAT

AT ALL.

>> MANY TIMES PEOPLE USE THE

WORD "CHRISTIAN" AS A SYNONYM

FOR GOOD.

>> CHRISTIAN DOESN'T NECESSARILY

MEAN GOOD, IT JUST MEANS BETTER.

(LAUGHTER)

>> OKAY, THAT'S REALLY

PROBLEMATIC TO ME BECAUSE I KNOW

CHRISTIANS WHO ARE DEFINITELY

NOT BETTER THAN JEWS.

>> NAME THREE.

>> NAME THREE CHRISTIANS THAT

ARE NOT GOOD?

>> THAT ARE NOT BETTER THAN

JEWS.

>> HITLER.

MOUSSE LEENY, STALIN.

>> OKAY, NAME FOUR.

>> TED KACZYNSKI.

>> DO YOU NOT THINK IT'S A

LITTLE OFFENSIVE, RABBI,

WHENEVER YOU THINK OF CHRISTIANS

YOU JUST THINK OF SERIAL

KILLERS?

(LAUGHTER)

>> BUT WAS THIS REALLY A CASE OF

ANTI-SEMITISM OR WAS IT, AS HAS

BEEN THE CASE THROUGHOUT JEWISH

HISTORY, A SIMPLE

MISUNDERSTANDING.

I SPOKE TO ONE OF THE LEADERS OF

THE OUST STRAUSS MOVEMENT, DAVID

WELCH OF THE TEXAS PASS STORE

COUNCIL.

>> JOE STRAUS'S FAITH WAS NEVER

A PART OF THIS ISSUE AND ISN'T

AT THIS MOMENT.

>> SO THIS IS NOT ABOUT HIM

BEING JEWISH?

>> NOT AT ALL.

WE CALLED OUT AND RAISED UP THE

CALL THAT WE DIDN'T HAVE TO

ACCEPT JOE STRAUS AS THE

ANOINTED ONE.

>> ALL WELCH CARES ABOUT IS THE

PEOPLE VOTE THEIR FAITH--

WHATEVER THAT FAITH IS.

SO, IN 90% CHRISTIAN TEXAS, JEWS

WOULD GET A FAIR 10% OF THE

VOTE.

>> THE PRINCIPLES, WE BELIEVE,

ARE GOOD FOR ALL OR WHAT WE

SHOULD BE FOLLOWING AND THAT

DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE HAVE A

RELIGIOUS LITMUS TEST FOR THE

ELECTED OFFICIAL.

>> CAN WE AT LEAST AGREE WE

DON'T WANT A MUSLIM SPEAKER?

>> I WOULD SAY RIGHT NOW YES.

(LAUGHTER)

FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS.

IT GIVES ME DEEP CONCERNS ABOUT

THE LOYALTIES OF MUSLIMS TO THE

CONSTITUTION.

>> RIGHT, SO YOU SAY TO YOUR

CONGREGATION YOU CAN VOTE FOR

WHATEVER YOU WANT REGARDLESS OF

THEIR DENOMINATION APART FROM A

MUSLIM?

>> YES.

>> AND, LO, THEY DID CONTRADICT

THEMSELVES.

AND SO IT WAS ON THE 23rd DAY OF

THE MONTH OF ADD DA, THE

ELECTION WOULD COME TO PASS.

WHILE THIS RACE CLEARLY WASN'T

ABOUT RELIGION, IT COULDN'T HURT

TO HOLD A PRAYER VIGIL ON THE

STATEHOUSE THE NIGHT BEFORE THE

VOTE.

>> FATHER, WE PLEAD WITH YOU

THAT YOU WOULD GIVE US A GODLY

HUMBLE LEADER OF THE TEXAS HOUSE

>> AND YET AGAIN THE HEBREWS

WERE VANQUISHED.

>> HOUSE SPEAKER JOE STRAUS WON

REELECTION AFTER A HARD-FOUGHT

BATTLE.

>> WAIT, WHAT?

HE WHAT?

RABBI, HAS OF THE.

(LAUGHTER)

>> THANKS, I REALLY DON'T SEE

THE NEED FOR CONGRATULATIONS.

>> 'TWAS A MIRACLE.

IT LOOKED LIKE YOU ONLY HAD

ENOUGH VOTES TO CARRY ONE

DISTRICT AND INSTEAD HE CARRIED

EIGHT.

(APPLAUSE)

>> BUT IT WASN'T THAT KIND OF...

>> AND THAT DAY IN TEXAS FOREVER

CAME TO BE KNOWN AS YOM HA HA

HA.

>> NO.

>> THE JEWISH FESTIVAL OF YOM HA

HA HA.

>> THERE'S NO YOM HA HA HA.

>> SO IT WAS A SMALL BAND OF

CONSERVATIVE JEWS TRIUMPHED OVER

A LARGER EQUALLY CONSERVATIVE

BAND OF CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIANS

AND THAT IS WHY THE PEOPLE OF

TEXAS HAVE NOW EMBRACE THIS NEW

HIGH HOLIDAY.

A DAY OF CELEBRATION.

SOLEMNITY.

AND SONG.

♪ MANY ANTI-SEMITES WERE OUT TO

GET HIM BUT THE MAN NO ONE

THOUGHT WOULD LAST

♪ GOT A SECOND CHANCE, GET A

SECOND CHANCE

♪ YEE HA HAPPY

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