SocraticGadfly: Beto O'Rourke-Ted Cruz real debate preview

July 27, 2018

Beto O'Rourke-Ted Cruz real debate preview

Per the Texas Trib, Sen. Havana Ted McCarthy Cruz (R-Canada) and his challenger, Rep. Robert Francis Beto Kennedy O'Rourke (D-Hyannisport) may be near a set of debates. To save you and many Texas non-voters the worry about sitting through a five-debate scrimmage, I've giving you a preview of the after-event event happening.

I mean, why sit through all that trouble? Especially when these debates, as currently scheduled, will interfere with the fun of Friday Night Lights?

Update, Sept. 14: They've agreed to a three-debate set. Ted gets two of the three to be moderated format vs one town hall, so he wins that compromise. Beto gets two moved off Friday, and the one that is Friday is a 6 p.m. start, so he wins that.

(Update, Aug. 1: A new Lyceum poll shows a statistical dead heat, which is going to up the ante for these debates. Cruz staff is already trashing it, but it stands up to my eyeballs, with both voters and likely voters, and with Abbott leading Valdez by 20 percentage points. However, a Quinnipiac poll Aug. 2 shows Havana Ted with a 6-point advantage.  PPP then splits the diff at 4 points. And, even among college-educated whites, it shows that Beto's unknown factor is two-thirds that of Valdez. Interestingly, by percentage points, the gap is almost as big with Hispanics as with whites; it's closest with black voters. Plus, counting 22 percent as either unaligned or third party, Lyceum claimed respondents were otherwise split, 39 percent each on Doinks and Rethugs. That's an eyebrow raiser there. This is all why the likes of Kuff are wrong in relying on registered voter, not likely voter, feedback, tho Lyceum has Beto-Bob within two points on BOTH.)

Unfortunately, Twitter still doesn't embed each individual Tweet in a moment, nor will it embed the whole set of Tweets in a thread, just the one parent immediately above each, so we have to do it this way.

The first Tweet in the thread introduced the Trib's story, with link, so we'll start with No. 2.
The "born with a silver shopping mall in his mouth" is my riff on a line from this blog post by Brains, which is why I tagged him. Wasn't sure I had enough room in the Tweet for the URL.

Tweet No. 6 kind of connects with Tweet No. 3. Beto opposed both Conyers' HB 646 in the House, and Bernie's Senate bill. I kind of get Beto on Conyers; I've said myself that nonprofit hospitals aren't necessarily better than for-profit ones.

But, he screwed the pooch on saying why he didn't like Bernie's bill either — it didn't make Americans (beyond any needed tax increases) pay enough. Spoken like a true neoliberal who believes in Obama-Sunstein "nudges."

Let's also tie that back to Tweet 2. As part of the late-stage capitalism rentier class, I'm sure Beto knows that many businesses don't want single payer even if it saves money because they'd rather keep their employees serfs to "benefits."

Tweet No. 3? Outside of marijuana, and, on House voting records from the past, since federal marijuana decrim or legalization has never been a Congressional bill, Beto IS a ConservaDem. Sorry, Team Beto staff and volunteers, but it's out there in black and white.

Tweet 5? Paris IS toothless, and both President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinpeng wanted it that way. Climate-neoliberal Democrats like O'Rourke who bash Trump for withdrawing from the Paris Accords won't admit that.

Tweet 4? If you want to know why I'm not part of the duopoly, remember that foreign policy counts on my national votes and start there.

The names? To expand on the Kennedyesque (looks and ConservaDem-ness both) of Beto, I did that myself. Lots of people call Cruz "Havana Ted," of course; I figured the "McCarthy" (Joe, not Gene) rounded it out.

And, Brains weighed in yesterday, incorporating my Twitter thread. Per his piece, we need to see where tariffs are at when the debates start, on Tweet 5, to see how much traction Beto gets. Snark aside, rather than Russiophobia, O'Rourke attacks Cruz on cotton, sorghum, steel, gas and petroleum getting kicked, if the kicking is still happening.

Since Havana Ted still has the presidential bug, and doesn't want to risk offending the MAGA-heads, pinning him to Trump on this is O'Rourke's one chance, as I see it.

Yes, as a leftist for America, I targeted Beto the ConservaDem more than Havana Ted in my Tweets. But, I smacked Ted enough.

As for debate style, etc.? I've already called Havana Ted a "smarmy ... schoolmarm lecturer" and a "junior high teacher's pet." Nothing's changed there. Robert Francis O'Rourke will be earnest and bipartisan throughout. That said, beyond pinning the tariffs on Ted, personality — sad as it is in modern American politics — will probably be O'Rourke's one other hope to get significant traction.

Brans reminds me of one other thing.

These are all on Friday nights — and this is Tex-ass, where football is god and god is honored if he does't conflict too much with football mindsets. Aug. 31 is Week Zero of the high school season, so teams will be playing.

It's arguable this helps Havana Ted in non-voting Texas. OTOH, since older people are generally more likely to vote, it gives Beto a shot with improving his numbers with them. (Havana Ted is refusing to come off the Friday schedule, though he has agreed to move one debate site to El Paso.)

With that, partially contra Brains, I don't think Cruz "blinked." He certainly didn't "cave." He "softened." Now, if Beto pushes for Saturday dates, and Ted agrees, THEN he "blinked."


Beyond all this, you and I have at least one option (hat tip Brains) on the write-in ballot. Yeah, a Trot is pretty much out there, but ... better than Beto the Sheepdog.

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