February 01, 2018

Beto O'Rourke, ConservaDem? ModeratoDem? (updated)

Beto ORourke

Yes, O'Rourke talks a good game on issues like marijuana legalization. And yes, pretty much like Sema Hernandez, he didn't take PAC money in the primary, or so far in the general, although a lot of his individual donors are high rollers. Yes, he's pro-choice.

But, the old saying? Talk is cheap.

The biggie? As noted in my original post about him this year, he's a squish on health care issues. He has called single-payer "one way to get there" on health care access, stresses "access for all," and never signed on as a co-sponsor of HB 676, the House's "Medicare for All" bill. (See more here on my post about nuancing details of "universal" health care.)

For people who are Big Beto Backers, per that post, I agree that HB 676 had the flaw of not including for-profit hospitals. That said, per the Texas Observer, he said he couldn't support Bernie's bill in the Senate, either. Why? He wants everyone to have both a copay and a premium payment. I might "accept" that as part of a compromise to get something passed, but making that my starting point? No way. And, even then, my finish line would prefer to have only one or the other. (Most countries with national health care operate with no premium, but still having copays.)

This all said, per my "nuancing" post, MediCAID actually covers more than MediCARE.

Per VoteSmart, he's actually only moderately left of center on big biz issues. He's good on snooping-type civil liberties, but not perfect on resisting Religious Right encroachments on that part of the First Amendment.

And VoteSmart may be kind.

GovTrack rates him as 56th most conservative House Democrat, based on votes in the previous Congress, during Obama's last two years in office. A graphic on this page has further illustration. Given that the Democrats have 191 House Congresscritters, that puts him in the most conservative one-third. He's roughly in the middle of the pack, in Joaquin Castro territory, among Texas House Dems.

More here on Beto's House voting history, House vote rating history and financialism. The fact that people connected to FIRE like him 100 percent is worrisome indeed. Related to that? His donors may not include PACs, but they do include a lot of hedge fund managers.

Update, April 15 — Beto becomes more of a ConservaDem, along with 78 others (Yes!) in the House Dem membership, by voting to further undercut controls on banksters.

Now, Beto backers will probably claim that being part of 78 shows this is not a big deal.

Related update — Updated proof of him being a ConservaDem is his vote for bombs and against Dreamers. Let's also not forget that some friend[s] of Beto's campaign did a fake Twitter account for Sema. And, as far as I know, he never called them to account. In other words, Beto may not be a total "Clean Gene" ethically.

But, that is also nothing new, although national pundits may not know it. Brains notes how he faced multiple ethics issues and even a recall attempt while he was on the El Paso City Council.

People like me will retort that 78 Dems doing this instead shows just how big a deal this is. It shows how badly it needs reform, even more by the number of Hispanic and Black Caucuses members who supported this.

Update, May 11: In an otherwise decent article at the Nation about battling for the future of the Texas Dem Party, D.D. Guttenplan swallows the Beto Kool-Aid as if he's in a chugging contest. Sorry to pick on you; you're nowhere near along among national political pundits, but, you parachute in to Texas and place Beto on the left-hand side of the party without even mentioning that Sema Hernandez ran against him from the left during the primary.

Also per D.D., bipartisanship isn't necessarily bad. But, per my top link, Beto's apparent bipartisanship for bipartisanship's stake is almost a fetish.

That said, at the same time, Beto deserves to be considered straightforwardly, without any "gotcha." In the run-up to the primary, Brains was dinging me pretty good, then I responded, and he posted that in his own version of a Texas Progressives wrangle.

That's even though I think Sema is the better candidate and said so in both posts.

It's just that part of the target practice at Beto from the left comes close to "gotcha." Maybe over it.

I may have pushed back too far on the health care. But, I think other stuff was gotcha or near it.

Still do.

And, at the same time, I can still call semi-gotcha on the PAC issue. And full gotcha on the universal service issue. And, for good measure, saying 'let's call him Bob." He's not the only "Robert" to have "Beto" as a nickname, and whether he took himself or others gave it to him, it was when he was pre-18. So, I stand by my first post, in large part.

So, Brains, I can call him a ModeratoDem, or maybe even a ConservaDem, but still think he didn't get a fully fair shake on some issues.

That said, though, if he didn't have Kennedy looks, a cute rock music early history, and weren't out front on the one issue of marijuana legalization, we wouldn't be talking about Beto as more than the latest statewide Texas race sacrificial lamb.


This whole issue leads me to once again refer to a classic quote by philosopher Idries Shah:
To see "both sides" of a problem is the surest way to prevent its complete solution. Because there are always more than just two sides.
A couple of additional interpretive points by me.

First, sometimes there are more than two issues involved, which is part of why there are more than two sides.

Second and more importantly, knowing and accepting Shah's observation in no way guarantees a "complete solution."

Because Beto would be better than Havana Ted. But, he's continued to shift even further right since winning the nomination, and the Doug Jones precedent alarms me.


PDiddie said...

Yeah, well, you still aren't getting it. Try another 30 seconds or so of Googling. Maybe click on to the second page.

Bobo says he doesn't take PAC money, but he shows up at a fundraiser with Schumer in Houston last week at $41,000 a pop. Shared the riches with Bill Nelson of FL and Joe Donnelly of IN. Even a few Democrats were pissed off, but for a different reason (they don't get it, either).

Still don't think you're off?

Here's another clue: in the big picture, what I blog does not need to be your focus, which is borderline obsessive at this point (similar to the flow of Actual Flatticus, which nobody cared about from the first post).

What matters is what Bobo O'Jerk does.

Here's a piece of unsolicited advice.

Congrats on your big career jump. You're moving up in the world. You need to mature into a role that doesn't involve these kinds of blog posts or Tweets that you think are cute, or cool, but are about the most obnoxious behavior online I have ever been pained to witness over a long period of time.

It's time to grow up, friend.

Gadfly said...

I'll just comment on one thing.


Pots and kettles, dude, or mirrors in bathrooms.

Choose your metaphor.