Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has worked hard at becoming the hard-right caricature of Texas state government.
It was Miller who, as a state House member, authored the law forcing abortion providers to conduct a sonogram 24 hours before the procedure, forcing doctors to play audio of the fetal heartbeat and describe what's on screen—a law that, as one federal judge put it, “compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen.”
It was Miller who, while running for ag commissioner, made Ted “Jailbait” Nugent his campaign treasurer. It should shock no one that Miller has insisted (until recently, at least) on calling the Civil War that slavery-ignoring euphemism “The War of Northern Aggression.”
It was Miller who somehow made the office of Agriculture Commissioner look even more ridiculous than it did under his predecessor Todd “border guardian” Staples, by announcing “amnesty” for cupcakes as his first official act, fighting for the right to keep fatty foods in public schools, and even begging the legislature to restore cuts to his office he helped implement in the first place. He's the same guy who openly joked on his Facebook page earlier this year about dropping a nuclear bomb on “the Muslim world.”
So it should come as no surprise that, as Gov. Greg Abbott (like most of his GOP counterparts across the country) vows to shut the door of refugees from war-torn Syria, Miller decided to take the rhetoric further. This was his Facebook post Wednesday:
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As Miller's spokesman told the Texas Tribune yesterday, “This is a post that was placed by Commissioner Miller and unapologetically. I think the post speaks for itself, but what he said was he would rather invite a rattlesnake into his home than an ISIS jihadist terrorist.”
The post does, in fact, speak for itself, but that's not what it says. With his comment (“Can you tell me which of these rattlers won't bite you?”) and the side-by-side photos, Miller has literally compared refugees fleeing unimaginable violence to a pit of venomous snakes.
Since he's all into comparisons, let's play a game: To what should we compare Sid Miller? Leave your suggestion in the comments.