Republicans Warn Beto Has A Nickname Like A Communist & Will Kill Us All
Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke is planning an exploratory presidential road trip, according to a piece in the Wall Street Journal. He's asked aides to create an itinerary for him of spots to visit outside of Texas where he can see if voters there like him more than the ones in his home state.
I'm just glad Beto is ready to leave the house again after losing his Senate race to Frank Burns. Texas is a little weird, though, and arguably not the best predictor of a Democrat's national appeal. O'Rourke could very possibly win the blue and purple states that add up to 270 electoral votes in 2020. He hasn't announced his intentions yet, but a #DraftBeto movement is gaining momentum. Politico, which regularly tracks the likability of Elizabeth Warren (Today's Forecast: Tolerable, with chance of nagging), reported Monday that former South Carolina lawmaker Boyd Brown has declared himself the national senior adviser to the campaign to create a campaign for O'Rourke. Tyler Jones, who helped Democrat Joe Cunningham flip Mark Sanford's old House seat, is on board as state director. This is a quite a team for something that might not happen. I couldn't even get a florist or a caterer for my planned marriage to Bebe Neuwirth in the mid-'90s.
The #DraftBeto group hopes to convince O'Rourke he has sufficient support to run for the Democratic party nomination. How? Friendster testimonials? No, it plans to raise $1 million, which isn't a whole lot actually. I think O'Rourke himself used to pull that in a few days. If he almost beat Ted Cruz with $80 million, he might need $100 million to almost beat Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris.
But conservatives do seem worried that #DraftBeto might lure O'Rourke into the 2020 race. They've already begun coordinated targets of escalating silliness. Conspiracy theorist and asshole Jacob Wohl fatally zinged O'Rourke about the sinister origins of his first name.
That's it? Conservatives have apparently rebranded themselves as a political movement opposed to nicknames. It's a bold choice. Laura Ingraham repeatedly calls O'Rourke "Robert Francis" because she's petty and ridiculous. But do they have a point? Would Elisabeth "Betsy" DeVos have been able to convince Senate Republicans she was in any way qualified to serve as Education secretary if she didn't have the same nickname as roughly 80 percent of public school teachers? Well, probably -- her family donated around $200 million to them.
If O'Rourke's nickname alone isn't disqualifying, what about his relative lack of experience? He was only in Congress for three terms. How can he expect to seamlessly replace a president who entered the White House with 15 Apprentice seasons under his belt?
Yesterday on Fox News, the hosts of "Outnumbered" (oh, if only) were boosting the merits of Biden over Beto. I expect this to emerge as a popular "banana in the tailpipe" from Republicans: They totally could see themselves voting for Biden, despite having mocked him relentlessly during his eight years as Barack Obama's vice president. Let's forget that part and just focus on how much they now claim to like the old codger.
"There are a lot of Republicans who could probably vote for this guy," [David] Asman remarked. "Because he has appeal to the middle — to the great middle. Here's a guy who voted strong on criminal justice, he voted for the Iraq War in 2002. He's an old school Democrat."
"He's very Trumpian," co-host Melissa Francis agreed.
LOL! Hillary Clinton was also "strong" on criminal justice, voted for the stupid Iraq War and is an old school Democrat. And you guys hated her. You're not even trying to be consistent and non-sexist.
Onetime MTV VJ Kennedy Montgomery suggested Democrats would be wise not to trade in old, reliable Uncle Joe for flashy, new Beto because it could result in a nuclear holocaust.
MONTGOMERY: I think of Beto O'Rourke being woken up in the middle of the night with an emergency in regards to North Korea or Syria or Turkey.
What the hell is he going to do and say? I think there are actually people like Kim Jong-un who are just waiting so excitedly for someone like Beto O'Rourke because they know it would be more strategic patience and another person to push around.
Who does Montgomery think is currently the commander in chief? As long as O'Rourke doesn't take orders from Putin like he's working the lunch rush at a truck stop diner, we're good. How is she seriously pushing the "Democrats are weak" narrative? If there's an emergency in the middle of the night, I'm confident O'Rourke won't be rage tweeting from the toilet.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.