Texas

The Texas GOP is Trying to Beat Beto O'Rourke by Accusing Him of Being Too Cool

Texas Republicans invoke band membership and dyeing one's hair in outdated character attacks.

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|||Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom
Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom

From a "free markets and free minds" perspective, Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D–Texas) would likely be more of the same if elected to the United States Senate. Like many members of Congress, O'Rourke supports government intervention over free market solutions.

It would be one thing if Sen. Ted Cruz (R–Texas), whose seat O'Rourke is after, challenged his opponent on those grounds. While Cruz recently voted for an $854 billion spending bill to increase federal defense, health, and labor funding, he does claim to be a small-government conservative. But his preferred method of campaigning is much, much lamer.

The Texas GOP has already made fun of O'Rourke for being in a band when he was younger, and for knowing how to skateboard. Cruz also released an ad criticizing his opponent for saying "fuck" in public. But the latest tactics are even more out of touch, and include accusing liberals of wanting to infuse Texas with "tofu and silicon and dyed hair." He's even suggested (jokingly, of course) that O'Rourke would make BBQ illegal in the state. Just a week prior, Cruz knocked O'Rourke's support for national anthem protests.

Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted an interesting question following some of the 'too cool' attacks on O'Rourke: "Why is the GOP so corny?" she asked, just before observing that superficial things such as piercings and ripped jeans are not enough to disqualify someone from running for office.

Ocasio-Cortez is not the first person to observe that the Republican Party is in the habit of pandering to a dying voter base. Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) warned his fellow Republicans in 2014 that they needed to adapt. This included embracing people "[with] tattoos, without tattoos, with earrings, without earrings, black, white, brown." Paul repeated himself in 2016, adding, "When we become the old white man's party—which we've been kind of headed towards for a while—we're never going to win another election."

Though Cruz led O'Rourke in the polls by double digits just a few months ago, a new poll has O'Rourke in the lead. A Wednesday Reuters poll put O'Rourke ahead of Cruz by two points. Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, observed that Cruz's contentious relationship with President Trump has hurt his reputation with some Republican voters in the state. RealClearPolitics showed Cruz leading O'Rourke by an average of 4.5 points on Tuesday.

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61 responses to “The Texas GOP is Trying to Beat Beto O'Rourke by Accusing Him of Being Too Cool

  1. When the elephant is this constipated, who’s gonna make the first move to unblock it

  2. Oh Reason does not even know a political ad, advocating the opponent is unAmerican, when it sees them.

    1. Reason does not even know a political ad
      Sure they do. This whole article was a political ad for Beto O’Rourke.

  3. Beto is toast. There will be no blue wave in November:

    Voters elected political newcomer Pete Flores to the Texas Senate on Tuesday, flipping a Democratic district red for the first time in 139 years and bolstering Republicans’ supermajority in the chamber ahead of the November elections.

    Flores defeats Gallego in Senate District 19

    1. Democrats know they are going to get slaughtered in election 2018.

      You can see the desperation.

      1. LOL

        Democrats are guaranteed to take the House, and at this point I’m confident they’ll take the Senate as well. Senator Feinstein’s deft handling of the Kavanaugh #MeToo bombshell has voters even more eager to punish Drumpf’s white nationalist, rape apologist party.

        #BlueWave

      2. MAGA!

  4. Sadly I can’t stand either or them.

    1. Honestly, I’ve never minded Cruz that much. Seems like most of the dislike is at his personality. Otherwise he’s probably an above average Republican to me.

  5. Identity politics at it’s finest:

    Ocasio-Cortez is not the first person to observe that the Republican Party is in the habit of pandering to a dying voter base.

    That’s been the goal of the Democrats since 1965.

    1. To be more specific, the Democrat’s goal with immigration is to replace whites with non-whites.

    2. Woketarians are all in on identity politics too, though

  6. It’s just like Republicans to pounce on something as insignificant as a vehicular mishap from O’Rourke’s past. But it won’t work. Beto will beat Cruz, and it will be seen not only as part of the #BlueWave, but also as a turning point in the fight to #TurnTexasBlue.

    #LibertariansForBeto

    1. #SocialistsForEveeerythingFree

      1. Libertarians should support democratic socialists not because of “free shit,” but because socialists are moving toward the Koch / Reason position on immigration. Once the progressive / libertarian alliance has defeated the white nationalists, then we can address our comparably minor differences over economic policy.

        #AbolishICE
        #NoBanNoWall
        #OpenBorders
        #LibertariansForOcasioCortez

        1. Ya know that libertarians don’t have much use for democracy because it is the tyranny of the majority. Why not come up with something new?

          #LibertariansForLiberty
          #TyrannistsForDemocracy
          #SocialistsForTyranny

        2. Nationalism is on the rise because globalism has been a total utter failure. Your nonsensical posts are a prime example of why that’s the case. Your openly advocating for the destruction of the one country that best cherished small government and freedoms by wanting to bring in unlimited amounts of people who prefer socialism.

          #GlobalismSucks
          #OpenBordersDumbass

          1. “Globalism” has many facets. Global trade is NOT a failure, as even the most basic understanding of economics would inform you. Global governments have been a disaster, and that is the root of nationalism, the pushback from unaccountable bureaucrats in far away offices making decisions which locals have no say in. This is obviously not the case with international trade, because trade is between people, not countries, and people who don’t want to trade internationally are freeto shop for expensive locally made products.

            Do not confuse the two.

    2. #BozosForBeto

  7. It would be one thing if Sen. Ted Cruz (R?Texas), whose seat O’Rourke is after, challenged his opponent on those grounds.

    Sometimes I fall into the trap of giving voters too much credit, too, Davis.

  8. A Beto puff piece. What really is the difference between reading Reason and the NYT at this point?

    1. None whatsoever–especially if everyone is going to be such a denialist about everything that they are going to ignore the polls, the only actual information contained in these dick slobberings. Beto could be leading 2 to 1 and no one here would think there was any real cause for concern for the upcoming #RedWave and the long-term dominance of the Republican Party.

      1. “real cause for concern for the upcoming #RedWave and the long-term dominance of the Republican Party.”

        I’m not sure if you’re trolling here.

        But, I’m just wondering why an ostensibly libertarian publication that is all in on being mushy moderates wouldn’t discuss the fact that Beto was charged with drunk driving in his twenties and got off because his dad was a judge. That would seem like somewhat relevant to a publication that supposedly cares about the abuse of the criminal justice system and the wealthy getting away with crimes that others wouldn’t.

        Something tells me that if the roles were reversed and this concerned Cruz Reason would be talking about it.

        And it’s weird that a libertarian publication would complain about the lack of diversity of Republican voters, since that is not the LP’s strong suit. Especially not the woketarian brand of libertarianism which has even less minority voices than the supposedly racist brand at Mises which has far more racially and ethnically diverse voices.

        1. I didn’t know Mises Institute was racially diverse, but only because I haven’t been paying attention. Who do they have? (Reason does have Joe Setyon now, who is…something, I can tell you that.)

          Oh of course Reason’s coverage of Beto has been a travesty since their first fawning interview, which was like an Onion version of a Reason piece. One suspects that they don’t actually prefer Cruz to win at all.

          I’m not even sure I know what trolling is anymore, but yes, I see a lot of claims around here that the Republicans will do well this fall and into the future. I bring this up all the time.

          1. “I’m not even sure I know what trolling is anymore, but yes, I see a lot of claims around here that the Republicans will do well this fall and into the future. I bring this up all the time.”

            I’m not delusional. Nor do I care so much who wins the elections. All I’m saying is that if there were puff pieces about Cruz at Reason people would scream “Republicans”, but I think it’s far more fair to call Reason a progressive publication or, to be kinder, a reflexively conservative publication (in the truest sense of the word “conservative”).

            I really don’t see what they talk about that is all that different from what you can read at the NYT. Reading here has kind of become a waste of time. I’m going to stop, because I just sound stupid commenting here now.

            Do you still go to Glibs, DiegoF?

            1. Ah, my bad. I can see how, since I replied to you, it would suggest that I was ascribing that particular position I was attacking (sunny predictions for the GOP) to you. That was not my intention; I was just throwing that out there to those who it applied to. Of course that is not you, so much not you that I guess it never occurred to me that by replying I might be suggesting it was.

              I have not even checked Glibs more than sporatically lately, but I was surprised to see that you have returned there from your self-imposed exile. I will admit that the deeply weird circumstances of your departure a bit unsettling–as is the fact that most departures back here have been for similarly personal reasons. But I never particularly was interested in assigning blame. Not posting there for some time is just some random fancy, as is posting here. I pretty much just phase in and out here, and at Glibs, as the mood strikes me. I think it is a very interesting and excellent community, one that is qualitatively different from HnR at this point. I don’t know why they are so disliked in particular here. Then again, I’m not privy to that drama.

              1. I remember when the Glibs people gave you shit for voting for Obama in 2008. That never made any sense to me why you would get grief for that. Obama was the better candidate between him and McCain. And the LP candidate was hot garbage. So bad that Gary Johnson is marginally better than he was.

                There’s a fair amount of mono-culture there from the commentators that I don’t care for. And I was on the receiving end of that mono-culture. I don’t really care any more. This is getting stupid. Everyone is losing their mind and acting retarded.

                Maybe I’ll check in to read your posts. I always enjoyed your point of view. Take care

                1. No don’t go Just Say’n! Not from here too! At least join Titor on the discord or whatever, which maybe I will try.

                2. hat never made any sense to me why you would get grief for that. Obama was the better candidate between him and McCain.

                  He was certainly no worse as it turned out. Had the Republicans won the Congress, Obama would have been a pretty insignificant President. After the Republicans took back Congress, he didn’t do much damage beyond the Iran deal. He fucked up Syria and Libya but honestly I think McCain certainly and Romney likely would have fucked those up just as badly.

                  The real tragedy of 08 was not electing Obama. It was putting Reid and Pelosi in charge of Congress. Obama was more of a nonentity than anything else. Reid and Pelosi and Hillary at State were the ones with the real power and the ones who did the real damage along with Holder. Had the Democrats lost Congress in 08, Obama would not have done much damage and things would be much better today.

              2. I think it is a very interesting and excellent community, one that is qualitatively different from HnR at this point. I don’t know why they are so disliked in particular here. Then again, I’m not privy to that drama.

                I don’t dislike the Glibs. I miss interacting with RC Dean and a few of them over there. I don’t really understand the point of setting up a separate board. But that is their business. Regardless, they banned me for reasons that remain known only to them. I take their running me off as a sign that they really are not interested in debate and just want to preach to the choir. Their choice of course but I think they would be better off not being that way.

                1. If Just Say’n is still listening I hope he knows I was not calling his actions upon leaving Glibs deeply weird. It’s just that I don’t fully grok all the breakups and redefections from the place–yours, and I think it’s unfortunate that they were all for personal reasons. I think they are great, but I think being very justly proud of what they have built they seem to be a little oversensitive at times about it. From what I have seen (and I freely admit I have not cared enough about it to probably know the whole stories) in most of these breakups neither party was on their best behavior–though for the life of me I cannot understand what Just Say’n did that was so terrible.

                  I do like them. That completely unexpected hostility to my 2008 vote aside, I have never found anything remotely as close to my own political outlook–the way I think, deeply speaking–as they are. I think there is vital benefit both to hanging out with and getting the feedback from people who share your values, and to being challenged by outside perspectives. That’s why I like both. You can find enough to disagree within the constraints that within them it is far from a circle jerk–and actually very civil 99.9% of the time. They seem to be building a real community there, including IRL meetups, which is very nice. It’s just a very different beast; there’s nothing else like it. Again, so much more the shame when the fragile personal spats intrude. Long live Glibs!…

                  1. I always found it funny that people here mischaracterize them too. I think it was largely a personal event that led to their founding. They are painted as Trump apologists–even though they give Trump plenty of shit and the most full-throated Trump support can be found here. They are painted as stereotypical paleolibs but they lack critical characteristics of those (Just Say’n may be the closest, and that ain’t saying much). They are painted as cartoon SoCons but the closest thing they ever had to actual SoCons–Eddie, Just Say’n, you, and me–all are here in whole or in part.

                    1. P.S. not that HnR “full throated” Trump support is anywhere close to uncritical. (Not even to mention that–contrary to delusional blue-America stereotypes–even the typical MAGA hat type isn’t actually far more measured and nuanced in his support for Trump than the typical Democrat ever was about Obama.) Also PS. not that anyone here is a real SoCon. You are one of the few actual conservatives of any kind (you are a sort of conservative-libertarian mixture) here, and it is remarkable that at the same time you are also almost as rabidly hostile to the establishmentarianism that Just Say’n calls “conservatism” when he rails against it, as Just Say’n himself is. Certainly more so than most self-described libertarians.


            2. I really don’t see what they talk about that is all that different from what you can read at the NYT. Reading here has kind of become a waste of time. I’m going to stop, because I just sound stupid commenting here now.

              You’re not the one who sounds stupid, but I’ve been thinking lately that really there isn’t much point in reading Reason anymore. I can indeed just get the bullshit direct from the NYT and WaPo and then flip over to some conservative website for the alternate take.

              Reason really does seem to just be a repost bot for NYT bullshit these days, and what’s the point of reading a carve out if the carve out can’t be intellectually consistent or critical of the narrative?

              Frankly, and I’m sure many here would agree, I only show up for the comment section and even that is mostly a bunch of sock puppets arguing with each other. There are still a few sane people around here though, or at least interesting ones.

          2. I think that as we get closer to the election the races in the red states will tilt back towards Republicans. Reason fails to mention the Quinnipac poll that has Cruz up by nine points.

            http://www.politico.com/story/…..71?cid=apn

            Most people don’t pay much attention to politics until it gets close to the election. And Democrats benefit from uniformly positive media coverage. So, their poll numbers go up while no one is paying much attention only to fall back to earth when the voters start paying attention and see the media was lying to them and just how bad the candidates like O’Rourke actually are.

            1. I don’t ultimately think Beto will win–nor the socialist insurgent guv candidates in Georgia or Florida. But just the fact that they were not blown out of the water is incredibly alarming. So, indeed, will the future be if the NYGOP cannot use the primary victories of seven socialists in the most pro-incumbent body in the most pro-incumbent state in the country (a NYSS seat is traditionally a de facto lifetime appointment) to frighten the suburbs to any extent. (The yokelyanna line here is that the downstate suburbs have traditionally been hotbeds of socialism so who cares.) Rapidly purpling Texas and Georgia, plus a Florida willing to elect a far-left black governor, equals permanent regional/minority status for the GOP. The Latino saviors are not forthcoming.

              Also, personally I have never wavered from the belief that the Republicans will actually gain seats in the Senate this year–although not nearly as many as they should. I also think Trump will actually be reelected in 2020, but with the gain of only a few House seats to offset the 2010-size wave of 2018. It may be the last presidential race the Republicans win. Far from destroying the Republican party, Trump’s personal popularity is actually partially disguising their doom. I think (or did, before the horrible Walker poll news) the Republicans will deepen their hold on the rapidly shrinking Midwest, which may give them enough to help them hold the Senate in good years. But that about it.

              1. The numbers show the GOP being anything but doomed. In terms of total numbers of elected officials, the GOP is stronger today than at any time since the late 20th Century. Even when they were out of power and suffered two wave elections in 2006 and 2008, they still held more elected offices in this country than they did in 1992 when Clinton came in office. If you look at the trends post Watergate, what you see is a cyclical rise and fall of GOP fortunes with each crest and trough being higher than the last.

                Maybe that trend will reverse. Time will tell. But if anything Trump is the culmination of a 40-year shift towards the GOP in this country and the reduction of the Democrats to a regional party centered on the coasts. If the demographics are going to reverse that, it will take a very long time and go well beyond 2020.

                As far this year goes, I think one party or the other will retain a small majority in the House and the Republicans will gain seats in the Senate. I agree that Trump is going to be re-elected.. Democrats will have to run candidates who are effectively Republicans and if they don’t vote that way, they will lose the Congress again. So, to take and keep congress they have to give up on a lot of their goals and that defeats the purpose of winning. I do not think far leftism has a future in this country any more than internationalist open borders libertarianism does. Some form of center-right populism is the future.

              2. I mean the GOP is stronger now than any time since the late 19th century.

              3. The GOP almost has enough state legislatures to hold an Article V constitutional convention.

                Once that happens, America will be able shrug off Socialism for decades.

                Various constitutional amendment proposals include congressional term limits, changing senators back to beign selected by state legislatures, balanced budget requirement, and adding criminal penalties for violating the constitution.

              4. But just the fact that they were not blown out of the water is incredibly alarming. So, indeed, will the future be if the NYGOP cannot use the primary victories of seven socialists in the most pro-incumbent body in the most pro-incumbent state in the country (a NYSS seat is traditionally a de facto lifetime appointment) to frighten the suburbs to any extent

                I think you are seriously misreading the situation.

                The ‘seven socialists’ you mention didn’t run on some socialist third party ticket–they ran as Democrats.

                And Republicans have been decrying the fact that the Democrats are useful idiots since time immemorial–particularly in New York.

                The Democrats in much of New York have been voting for years for the ‘lesser of two evils’ type of candidates–candidates they felt were insufficiently leftist–because they felt they had to maintain the mask

                Now, with their echo chamber so complete, they feel that there’s no need.

                They think all the Democrat-Democrats, for want of a better term, are no longer a factor.

                You are essentially saying that an extreme shakeup of the left shows some flaw in the right.

                Where are those regular, JFK type Democrats gonna go? To Ocasio-Cortes?

                Or to the side that’s led by a ‘friend of Bill’?

    2. The great thing about this piece is that it is right above Shika’s piece about the need to investigate the allegation that Kavanaugh groped some woman at a party in high school. Reason must think Kavanaugh doing that in high school would disqualify him from the court, otherwise, why investigate it? So, according to reason, Kavanaugh would be disqualified from the court for groping a girl in high school but O’rRourke is totally fit for the Senate despite getting blind drunk, having a high-speed accident, and then trying to flee the scene when he was 27 years old.

      A 35 year old accusation of a drunken groping is a huge deal if it is Kavanaugh. O’rourke being a no shit criminal who walked away with no punishment because his dad was a judge is just a youthful indiscretion.

    3. Would a Cruz puff piece have been any better?

  9. Too bad P. J. O’Rouke isn’t running.
    I’d vote for him for seven or eight times if he was running for some political office in Chicago.

  10. Maybe if Cruz were not such an annoying ass, he wouldn’t have to worry about Beto

    1. Cruz is his own worst enemy. But he is very appealing to the social conservative crowd, which is most of the voters in Texas. And that’s the thing about most Latinos – 95% are Roman Catholic, and not really high on abortion. That, and a few voters are going to be confused when they open the ballot and don’t see a “Beto” on the ballot. More than a couple will probably think – “who the fuck is this Irish dipshit?! We want Beto!!”

    2. Cruz is his own worst enemy. But he is very appealing to the social conservative crowd, which is most of the voters in Texas. And that’s the thing about most Latinos – 95% are Roman Catholic, and not really high on abortion. That, and a few voters are going to be confused when they open the ballot and don’t see a “Beto” on the ballot. More than a couple will probably think – “who the fuck is this Irish dipshit?! We want Beto!!”


  11. Though Cruz led O’Rourke in the polls by double digits just a few months ago, a new poll has O’Rourke in the lead.

    Good thing you’re citing the same source for both polls, huh? Oh…wait a second…

    Reason is just doing their part to help turn Texas blue, one might assume. I’m no fan of Cruz, but you’re wildly mistaken if you think a ‘skater kid’ is going to win a Senate seat in Texas. Maybe if Democrats ran a Blue Dog Democrat, maybe, but a blue hair democrat probably not.

    It should be a clue that someone as generally unpopular as Cruz is still ahead. If we want to get rid of him, and I do, we’ll have to primary him I think.

    1. Why should one of the country’s best known Republicans, one whose politics are an excellent fit for the traditional politics of the state, be having to draw national committee money AT ALL to beat some corrupt, spoiled drunken far-left skater punk? I repeat, in TEXAS.

      Reason has been gobbling O’Rourke’s knob since he announced, but I don’t see how simply reporting the polls amount to doing anything to help him. (Nor, technically, does anything they might do come to think of it. Who the fuck reads Reason?)

      1. I’ve lived in Texas my entire life, and I know for a fact that I know this state better than the L.A. and Washington types that write for this publication. Conservative Democrats have a chance in Texas, ‘Skater Punks’ do not. This is the conventional wisdom of everyone minus Reason, and it’s absurd to watch it unfold.

        I may very well eat those words, the future isn’t known to me, but I like the odd’s enough to be fairly certain that Beto will lose. Reason has no idea how loathed the Democrat party is in this state outside of the major urban centers. This is, in fact, part of the bible belt. Maybe they’ve heard of it, and that Democrats MUST support abortion or they’re not a Democrat?

      2. And, more to your point I don’t think Reason is helping O’Rourke, that was just me being unbearably snarky.

    2. Oh I thonk a blue hair Democrat could win in Texas, but they would have to be above 70, or maybe even 80, and talk a lot about taking the party back from the Yankee usurpers.

      1. Oh I thonk a blue hair Democrat could win in Texas, but they would have to be above 70, or maybe even 80, and talk a lot about taking the party back from the Yankee usurpers.

        So, someone who was a teen or a young adult during the Civil Rights Movement then? A hippy? Maybe a beatnik? One of them Freedom Riders, perhaps.

        Gotta keep up with where your ageist example falls ‘cos those Civil War grandbabies and Jim Crow supporters are pushing 90-100 at the youngest.

  12. Cruz also released an ad criticizing his opponent for saying “fuck” in public. But the latest tactics are even more out of touch, and include accusing liberals of wanting to infuse Texas with “tofu and silicon and dyed hair.”

    Ted Cruz celebrated author of Being Cool, How to Connect with the Hep-cats, Daddy-o was unavailable for comment.

    1. What is the silicon supposed to be about anyway? Didn’t catch that.

      Also Ted Cruz is plenty cool. Didn’t that primary poster from some of his gay supporters prove that?

      (P.S. he can actually be pretty witty sometimes, as appropriate to his debate-asshole background. For instance of this poster he denounced it as blatantly inaccurate–he does not smoke. And he is actually quite good at tweeting and meming–again unsurprising, as his fellow debate twerp Ben Shapiro is similarly skilled. All in all I do not regret the primary vote I would have cast for him if not for the fact that I am a Democrat.)

  13. Beto is going to wreck that slimy blob Ted.

  14. My lefty friends hate Trump so they are going to vote against the senator Trump hates most.

    1. It’s really not cool to hate people for being retarded.

  15. It would be one thing if Sen. Ted Cruz (R?Texas), whose seat O’Rourke is after…

    Oh, Beto, you naughty gay blade.

  16. I keep trying to find the spot when the Cruz ads and statements are going after the ‘cool’ aspect of Beto.

    It looks a hell of a lot more like they’re pointing out that he’d rather fuck off than try to earn their votes by pwning Cruz

  17. A Texan friend laments: nobody likes Ted Cruz. Nobody. Probably definitely not his immediately family. But he has an (R) after his name, so Texans will vote for him despite the fact that he’s the least-liked human perhaps in history.

    Stop watching FOX News. Stop being so tribal. They aren’t in it for you. The sooner you figure that out, the better it will be for both of us. And we’ll no longer have to endure Ted Cruz.

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