I think he’s reached the “Mad Libs” phase of his campaign. He’s at two to three percent in polling, his big anti-gun push after the El Paso shooting hasn’t done much for him except give him a few viral video moments, so he has nothing left to lose by indulging his most progressive instincts and hoping the base responds.
Six months ago he might have filled in the blank in “_______________ is a human right” with “education” or “health care.” Six months later, as he’s circling the drain, he needs to stand out from the pack. And so instead we get “living close-ish to your place of employment.” W-w-what?
What I’m calling the “Mad Libs” phase others are calling the “f*** it” phase of Betomania, with the candidate himself seemingly in agreement.
What’s interesting about O’Rourke at this moment is not just that he’s saying f*** a whole bunch—he’s always dropped curse words on the stump—but that he’s entered more broadly a new phase of his 2020 bid, which supporters find inspiring and critics consider desperate to the point of pathetic. Up close, though, it feels actually pretty compelling…
“He has no f***s to give,” added Jay Surdukowski, an attorney and activist who is one of O’Rourke’s most devoted backers in New Hampshire.
“This feels right to me,” O’Rourke said when I asked him about how he’s currently campaigning when he met with reporters by the stainless-steel beer tanks at Backlash. He said this was “the way politics should be.”…
Some see this as “glorified performance art,” “a caricature of authenticity,” but it’s working for Wright. “Beto’s not afraid to say things,” he said. “He’s not afraid to say it like it is. For those people that say, ‘Oh, Trump says it like it is,’ well, guess what, let’s go head to head.”
Should we ban sales of assault weapons? F*** it, says Beto, let’s confiscate the ones that are already on the streets. Are the people who voted for Trump in 2016, whose support Democrats are now seeking, actually deplorable racists? F*** it, says Beto. They sure are.
We’re maybe a week away from this guy endorsing open borders. Right, I know, he’s already sort of endorsed them. I mean overtly, though: “Migration to America is a human right.” He’s already torched his appeal to centrists in Texas, making it that much harder for him to run statewide again. He might as well go all-in in his new role as the progressive id. F*** it.
There are, of course, more reasonable ways to encourage mixed-income neighborhoods than declaring a human right to a shorter commute but “regulatory reform” doesn’t have the same zing on the stump. This is why so many people, lefties included, are skeptical of O’Rourke’s passionate “f*** it” mode: He’s fundamentally unserious. His proposals seem crafted with little regard for how they might be implemented or what unintended consequences they might create and with maximum regard for their applause quotient. The rap on him from the start among lefties was that he was long on charisma and short on policy chops compared to Bernie and Warren. Ironically, he’s proving their point in straining so hard to tell them what they want to hear.
I assume he has numbers to back up his claim here that the rich on average live closer to work than the working class does but it’s not intuitively true given the tendency of the upper class to cloister itself in neighborhoods that the proles can’t afford. If that means moving further away from the city and enduring a commute, that’s what it means.
Living close to work shouldn't be a luxury for the rich. It's a right for everyone. pic.twitter.com/lohRdoFGrH
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 10, 2019