Saturday, March 16, 2019

Race for the White House 2020 # 11

The most heavily covered aspect of this past week in Presidential campaign politics was the official entrance into the race of Democrat Beto O'Rourke, a 46 year old from El Paso, Texas, who recently left the  U.S. House of Representatives. For some "Betomania" is in full effect, but his first week on the trail proved that he might be more divisive, even among his fellow liberals, than he could have ever imagined. His rollout was full of awkwardness and bad coverage.

For some, it all comes down to the fact that his childhood nickname aside, Beto is a white male, in a party that hungers for "diversity." He also recently lost a campaign for U.S. Senate to Ted Cruz. True, he did better in that race than Texas Democrats have in some time, but he still lost. One has to look back to 1860 to find an example of a recently defeated Senate candidate, (who also served a short time in the U.S. House) being elected to the Presidency. His lankiness aside, it is unlikely that Beto O'Rourke is Abraham Lincoln.

Is he Barack Obama though? Much of his rhetoric and deliberate fuzziness on issues is very reminiscent of Obama's early days as a national candidate. The two also share the traits of being tall and skinny and even have the same initials. There is little doubt that Beto is trying to emulate Barack in running as a celebrity, almost Messianic figure. That could be why Oprah likes them both. Others though raised eyebrows and concerns about the rhetoric expressed by O'Rourke in his Vanity Fair interview, in which he said thing like, "Man, I was just born to be in it." Bold words from a dude who just lost a Senate race and to some, a clear example of "white privilege." The internet also took notice of how sad the O'Rourke family dog Artemis looked in all the Vanity Fair photos. Seamus Romney must have lived a more fulfilling life.

Also taking notice of all the Beto-ness this week was the incumbent, Donald Trump. Understandably, he gets threatened by others' celebrity and he seemed especially anxious to attack O'Rourke this week. However, Trump did notice some of the same things about Beto that I did, especially on his extremely weird "concession speech" this past November in his Senate race.

Speaking before a large, outdoor crowd, Beto conceded his race, but in a very strange way. He dropped at least one F bomb and appeared manic with his hand gestures. I commented on a blog that he was waving his arms around as he spoke more than the guy who was giving the sign language translation next to him. I said that it reminded me of the Howard Dean "Scream Speech" except with the possibility of psychedelic narcotics being involved. Later, I joked that Beto was secluded in a quiet room listening to the Allman Brothers. This speech is worth checking out on YouTube.

So, Trump or someone who works for him probably read my comments from November about Beto's crazy hand gestures, etc. Trump said he asked someone, "is he crazy or does he just act that way?" Funny, that's something more than worth asking about Trump as well.

Amid all this media hoopla is perhaps a story that in the past would have immediately sunk past Presidential candidates. We already know there are some unorthodox aspects from Beto's Generation X past and before he married an heiress, involving wearing a dress and playing in a punk band as well as a very serious DUI charge in which he was reported to have put pedestrians in danger. It now turns out that as a teenager, Beto wrote about a desire to kill children by running them over in a car. That's pretty weird. I do not think that teenage thoughts or just thoughts alone should define somebody's life or opportunity, but there is no way that the discovery of such a writing would ever be excused for even the most milquetoast of Republicans.

As for O'Rourke's chances in the primary, I genuinely do not know what might happen. He could totally flop, not having Ted Cruz as his immediate foil, or he could ride this Cult of Personality/celebrity thing pretty far. People already love to compare him to Kennedys (for reasons other than his DUI) and if he can give aspirational speeches he might succeed as other Democrats have. However, I get the sense he is more Howard Dean than Barack Obama. Those in the party that want a white guy might want him much older such as Sanders or Biden, and those who do not want another white guy will have ample choices as well.

This is all also related to just how far left Democrats want to go to this cycle. The warning signs are there, and I would note especially today after video surfacing last night. Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton, certainly no Republican, and apparently pregnant again, attended a New York City vigil for the victims of the horrific anti-Islam white nationalist inspired terrorist attack in New Zealand. There she was accosted in her face by an angry young woman who claimed that Chelsea was responsible for the murder of 50 Muslims in their mosque because she had recently criticized the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Ms. Clinton remained calm during this encounter, perhaps far calmer than she should have, not wanting to offend anyone. I saw today that there was no shortage of leftists on Twitter who are glad that Chelsea got "called out" and agreed that her criticism of Omar makes her culpable in the terrorist attack.

The same week, the current President is speaking about how the "tough" people on society, such as police, military members, and bikers are "all on my side" and how they may somehow be pushed to act by Trump's opponents and critics.

There are a lot of sick people out there, on both sides. Please, let this get better.


Post a Comment

<< Home