Beto O’Rourke Just Kindly Reminding Texas Voters That Gov. Greg Abbott Ain’t S**t
We weren’t exactly bullish about Beto O’Rourke’s chances of unseating Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Back in 2018, he narrowly lost his Senate race against Dracula’s manservant Ted Cruz, and 2022 is a much worse environment for Democrats. However, after last week’s gun massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, O’Rourke has displayed true leadership and righteous anger.
PREVIOUSLY: So Beto’s Pissed
Meanwhile, Abbott received a round of boos when he ventured out in public. Let’s take a look!
I confess that I didn’t initially enjoy seeing a man in a wheelchair booed, but that’s ableist of me. Abbott is an asshole and deserves public repudiation. The same crowd at Robb Elementary cheered President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. You’d think you were in California or Austin.
Prior to last week’s completely preventable massacre, Abbott was running consistently ahead of O’Rourke in polling. The Real Clear Polling average had Abbott up a comfortable seven points. The conventional wisdom was that if a Democrat stood a chance in Texas they’d have to distance themselves from all the wokeness and present themselves as a true Lone Star dude — maybe wear a 10-gallon hat and run campaign ads where they shoot a squirrel who looked at them funny. Beto don’t play that, though. He’d control the fuck out of guns, specifically AR-15s, which O’Rourke rightly believes no civilian should own.
During a counter-rally at the NRA conference in Houston, O’Rourke served notice:
The time for us to stop the next mass shooting is right now, right here, today, with every single one of us. To those attending the NRA convention across the street, you are not our enemies. We are not yours. We extend our hand, open and unarmed, in a gesture of peace and fellowship to welcome you to join us to make sure that this no longer happens in this country. But the time for you to respond and join us is now. We cannot wait any longer for you.
\u201cThe time for us to stop the next mass shooting is right now.\u201d— Beto O'Rourke (@Beto O'Rourke) 1653837473
O'Rourke's also reminding voters that Abbott isn’t just pro-gun, he’s pro-gun-violence. Abbott has catered to his extremist base with lax guns laws that even law enforcement has opposed. Last year, Abbott signed a bill that lets Texans carry a handgun without a license or training. This was after the mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa.
Friday, O’Rourke’s campaign slammed Abbott with a two-minute online ad that called out Abbott for signing that bill.
PREVIOUSLY: It’s Official: Beto O’Rourke Running For Texas Governor
O’Rourke tweeted Sunday: "38,000 Texans had their license to carry denied, revoked, or suspended over the last five years because law enforcement deemed them too dangerous to carry a loaded gun in public. But thanks to Greg Abbott’s new law, they don't need a license to carry anymore."
\u201cWords won\u2019t save our kids' lives. Action will.\u201d— Beto O'Rourke (@Beto O'Rourke) 1654009395
He’s also burying Abbott with his own words. The above video assembles Abbott’s expressions of outrage and remorse after every regularly scheduled mass shooting he did nothing to prevent — quite the opposite.
According to a 2019 poll, 59 percent of Texans support a nationwide ban on semi-automatic weapons, but Republicans like Abbott and Cruz remain opposed to reasonable gun regulation. After all, their big money donors and the majority of GOP primary voters are stridently pro-gun, and once they reach the general election, they can attack their Democratic opponent as a socialist critical race theorist.
We’d like to hope that just this once, though, Texas voters would care more about dead children than these obvious and shameless distractions. Vote for Beto and boot Abbott.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."