SocraticGadfly: Beto2020 — the Kool-Aid is poured and many are chugging it (newly updated)

March 14, 2019

Beto2020 — the Kool-Aid is poured
and many are chugging it (newly updated)

The amount of Kool-Aid that's already being poured for a presidential run for ConservaDem Beto O'Rourke is mind-boggling. So is the amount of people — including Texans who I thought were either better thinkers than that or better informed than that — who are willfully drinking.

Update, March 14, as the idiocy level around Beto's loss to Ted Cruz as he runs for president has hit astronomical levels.

Hey, both non-Texans and Texans who should know better?

Beto spent $69 million to lose to Ted Cruz by THREE percentage points.

Know what?

Mike Collier spent about $68 million less to lose to Dan Patrick by just FIVE percentage points, in the lieutenant governor's race.

Kim Olson spent about $68.5 million less to lose to Sid Miller by just FIVE percentage points in the ag commissioner's race.

So, Robert Francis O'Rourke spent about $34 million a percentage point.

Now, Beto may have driven some of the turnout that helped them. But not all of it. Urban parts of Texas have been shifting for years. Dallas County went almost entirely blue in partisan county-level races way back in 2006. Harris County (Houston) had been shifting for sometime before officially tipping slightly blue last year. Bexar County (San Antonio) lags a little further behind, and Tarrant County (Fort Worth) is further back, but the GOP no longer has a full stranglehold in those places.

And, a friendly reminder that R.F. O'Rourke is STILL schwaffling on single payer. Despite Sema Hernandez and fanboys like Scap claiming otherwise. A quick transcript of a March 14 Iowa radio interview.

A few thoughts:

1. Were I voting in the 2020 primary (let's assume I am still in Tex-ass and that I figure Greens have no chance of a successful ballot access petition) while Bernie Sanders' age (if he runs again) would concern me, I would vote him over Beto in a heartbeat. Per what I have seen on Effbook, Beto as a younger, if not totally progressive, than allegedly not ConservaDem, option to Bernie, is nonsense.

2. Among the national neoliberal chattering class (Neera Tanden at Center for American Progress et al) Beto is clearly taking more shape as a stop-Bernie possibility.

2A. Both the 1 and 2 camps tout "winnability." In other words, "lesser evilism." Currently, that's more a lesser evilism from ignorance than willfulness in Camp 1, but it's willfulness more than ignorance in Camp 2.

3. It is true that, because of his near success against Havana Ted Cruz, that wingers and fellow travelers fear him. As I've noted, two such fellow travelers have lied in claiming that Beto is a single-payer guy as part of claiming he ran a bad campaign. The lie is obviously a placeholder to extend nationally Havana Ted's smear. The bad campaign claim is shown to be untrue by the fact that, while he lost, Beto finished closer to Havana Ted than the best poll predictions. (Per Real Clear Politics, only one outlying Emerson poll showed a race closer than 3 percentage points and none ever showed O'Rourke with a lead.)

4. In light of Point 2, while Beto will face a few "takedown" pieces if he leans more toward running, he'll also get plenty of national media puff pieces like he did this year. After all, John Nichols at The Nation showed his hackery by writing a puff piece on someone who not only is not a DSA rose, but actually was non-endorsed by some local chapters of Our Revolution. Anne Helen Peterson's gushing for BuzzFeed is a bit more forgivable on account of biased laziness; Nichols knows better, or at a minimum, he has a history and body of work that shows he should know better.

4A. For at least some of the people in Point 4 writing puff pieces, or attacking those like David Sirota, or little old me further down the list, as with people on Book of Face, the lesser evilism claim of "winnability" will get touted, and the fear of wingers I list in No. 3 will get cited as proof of that.

Meanwhile, Beto, obviously taking a page from Sanders getting a bad rap, has already met with both Dear Leader and Al Sharpton.

That said, there's other Kool-Aid already out there besides Beto.

Kamela Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand are both being image-buffed. Donut Twitter will probably throw both out as women along with complaints that Bernie is anti-woman. Women's issues will remain important, though the rough edges of MeToo will fade in a year.

Anyway, I vote based on foreign as well as domestic policy.

Who is, say, under 65, or better yet, under 60, three-quarters or more as progressive on domestic policy in Dem ranks as Bernie, and even close to him on foreign policy? No Democrat that I see. Elizabeth Warren is over 65, self-damaged goods in some ways, and already criticizing of BDS.

That said, no "name," presidential-aspirant Democrats are great on foreign policy. Bernie's the best of a bad lot. Beyond being iffy himself on BDS, he's dabbled in the collusion Kool-Aid, speaking of that beverage. And, an alleged Texas socialist at Splinter claims its best he should step aside and try to nudge Warren leftward. Jacobin just torpedoed that. And, don't claim Tulsi Gabbard, who remains an Islamophobe as well as a friend of India's semi-fascist BJP and more fully fascist RSS.

Riffing on David's comment:

Dan Derozier, Houston DSA elections committee chair, in a Chronicle-run retrospective, notes clearly that Beto stood for Beto and little else. So true. Even worse than Obama, he left little "apparatus" to build on. (Derozier dodges Beto's stance, or lack thereof, on specific positions, though. Beto is just criticized as a values-free campaigner without noting WHAT values he was free of. I.e., his dodges on single-payer aren't specifically mentioned. Per that, I wonder if he's trying to work intra-DSA factions on Betomania.)


This piece, like my original ConservaDem piece, will get updates as warranted.

Dec. 23, 2018: Jonathan Allen and Alex Seitz-Wald, the former long known as a semi-lazy "inside baseball" political writer and the second as simply a hack, have written an opinion piece masquerading as a news story attacking David Sirota above all as representative of a "Bernie-world" move against Beto. I set them straight, or offered to set themselves straight by noting my ConservaDem piece began nine months ago, long before David uttered a word about Beto, among other things, and that as a Green-leaner, I'm not part of any "Bernie-world."

Jan. 3, 2019: David Brock of Mindless Mullets for America is doing the same.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

For any readers not yet nauseated by reading about O'Rourke, his next political move, and how mainstream Dems have a political learning disability.