They embody a trend in Republican politics that should not be given a place at the table of any credible national political party. They embody an attitude of extremism and division that is increasingly condoned in Republican circles because of the GOP's fear of the far right. 

Gohmert's comments represent the "show me your papers" philosophy of the far right that has poisoned GOP policy toward immigration. Gohmert's comments reinforce offensive stereotypes against Hispanics that are unacceptable in Texas and America.

It is constructive that some leading Republicans, including Rubio, are trying to move the GOP toward more enlightened immigration policies. It is destructive that a senior Texas Republican member of the House is making comments unworthy of any member of the House that should be offensive to all Americans.

It is revealing that while Rubio tries to move the GOP toward more responsible immigration policy, Cruz appears to be maneuvering to undercut Rubio's efforts and champion the worst tendencies of the Republican right on immigration.

I strongly support maximum assistance to Texans hurt by the recent tragic explosion. Cruz and certain other leading Texas Republicans have hurt the cause of Texas by opposing assistance to victims of Hurricane Sandy while they now ask others to support assistance to Texas victims of the explosion in West.

Fortunately the goodwill of others in Congress will triumph over the small-mindedness of Cruz, who hurts Texans with his brand of extremism. The comments by Gohmert have no place in Texas politics or American politics. They should be unanimously denounced by all Texas and national Republicans.

The fact that these reprehensible views are expressed by a senior Texas Republican House member is one more reason why Texas is closer to turning blue than pundits in Washington or Austin understand.