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Thread: Beto, We Hardly Knew Ye

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    Beto, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Beto, We Hardly Knew Ye
    Common Dreams


    Published on

    Tuesday, December 18, 2018

    by Norman Solomon

    News media tell us that Beto O’Rourke has reached the top tier of potential contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. CNN polls now rank him in third place—behind only Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders— among likely Iowa caucus goers as well as among Democrats nationwide.

    Progressives are apt to be enthusiastic about O’Rourke—if they don’t know much about his record.

    Inclinations to hop on the Beto bandwagon are understandable. O’Rourke was inspiring this year as he fought to unseat the despicable U.S. Senator Ted Cruz with a campaign that built a broad coalition of Texans, while gaining huge small-dollar support from across the country. In late summer, many were thrilled by a video of Beto’s response to a question about NFL players kneeling in protest during the national anthem; his ringing defense of dissent in the context of civil rights history was excellent.

    Cruz had to sweat it out on election night and won by only 2.6 percent, a slim margin in such a conservative state. Since then, publicity about Beto O’Rourke potentially running for president has mushroomed, with corporate news outlets portraying him as a progressive.

    Released a week ago, the much-publicized results of a poll that MoveOn conducted of people on its email list found O’Rourke in first place, neck-and-neck with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Media spin intensified, portraying Beto as a challenge to Bernie.

    NBC News broke the news of the MoveOn poll while calling it “a potentially troubling indication for Sanders.” A couple of days later, the New York Times speculated that “Mr. Sanders’s hold on the party’s progressive base may be slipping as a new generation of Democrats like Representative Beto O’Rourke demonstrate early strength in polls and straw polls, such as the one conducted this week by the liberal group MoveOn.”

    Meanwhile, Democracy for America was concluding a poll of its own active supporters online. As the second week of December began, the organization’s website was showing Bernie Sanders far ahead in the top spot at 38 percent, followed by Biden at 15 percent, O’Rourke at 12, Elizabeth Warren at 8, and Kamala Harris at 7. (DFA later removed the running totals from its site until release of final numbers.)

    Given their at-times extreme antipathy toward Bernie during his first presidential run, mainstream news media are likely to have an appetite for a 2019 storyline that Sanders’ support is eroding. O’Rourke is apt to be quite useful for such a narrative. The Democratic Party establishment that went all-out to get Hillary Clinton the 2016 nomination is palpably eager to block Bernie. And some in that establishment are already indicating that they believe O’Rourke might do the trick.

    A revealing sign came early this month from a leading sentinel of the Democratic Party’s corporate wing—the relentless Clinton loyalist Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress. What set her off was a matter-of-fact tweet from investigative reporter David Sirota, who told people “Something I didn’t know: Beto O’Rourke is the #2 recipient of oil/gas industry campaign cash in the entire Congress.” Sirota provided a link to campaign finance data.

    Tanden quickly went into onslaught overdrive with a tweet lashing out at the sharing of such information about the three-term congressman: “Oh look. A supporter of Bernie Sanders attacking a Democrat. This is seriously dangerous. We know Trump is in the White House and attacking Dems is doing Trump’s bidding. I hope Senator Sanders repudiates these attacks in 2019.”

    A money-in-politics reporter, Alex Kotch, responded that he was “pretty shocked” to see Tanden attack Sirota for simply sending out a factual tweet: “Tanden, a close Clinton ally and Bernie Sanders foe, has had a contentious relationship with the left, with which Sirota is often associated. But her claim that a reporter’s tweet of campaign finance statistics about a potential 2020 candidate was a dangerous attack that Trump would have ordered? Who was really being attacked here?”

    For some context, Kotch added: “It’s worth noting that the Center for American Progress has in the past accepted donations from multiple fossil fuel companies and, as of 2017, was still receiving money from Pacific Gas and Electric Company. During the 2016 Democratic Platform Committee’s drafting process, Tanden voted against a fracking ban, a carbon tax, and a measure to keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

    Kotch followed up on Dec. 12 by reporting: “I have confirmed that according to the latest campaign finance report, which covers the period from Oct. 17 through Nov. 26, the O’Rourke campaign had not returned 29 ‘large donations’ of over $200 from oil and gas executives, violating the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge O’Rourke signed.”

    Beto O’Rourke’s actual political record deserves scrutiny, and it’s not what progressives might expect from the overheated adulation that has sent his presidential balloon aloft. Some pointed reporting and critiques this month may have begun a process of bringing Beto fantasies down to earth. For instance:

    Under the headline “Why This Progressive Texan Can’t Get Excited About Beto O’Rourke,” columnist Elizabeth Bruenig looked ahead to the upcoming presidential race: “I think the times both call for and allow for a left-populist candidate with uncompromising progressive principles. I don’t see that in O’Rourke.” She noted that “O’Rourke’s statements on energy have been surprisingly thin”—and that “he has called the decision between oil and gas and renewable energy sources ‘a false choice.’” Bruenig concluded: “We still have time to pick a politician with a bold, clear, distinctly progressive agenda, and an articulated vision beyond something-better-than-this, the literal translation of hope-change campaigning. Beto is a lot like Obama, true; it’s perhaps time for left-leaning Democrats to realize that may not be a good thing.”

    A similar insight came from another progressive Texan, Dan Derozier, who chairs the elections committee of Houston Democratic Socialists of America. He wrote: “O’Rourke’s message covers rhetorical territory familiar from the Obama era: It’s positive and innocuous, but noncommittal. It relies on lofty but meaningless phraseology like Shared Values, Finding Common Ground and Bringing People Together. The message describes itself with words like ‘ambitious’ and ‘bold,’ but doesn’t promote any specific policy that could actually be described as such.”

    Derozier summed up: “Before choosing O’Rourke as their next presidential nominee, Democrats would do well to reflect on the perils of preferring style over substance, consider the benefits of expanding their political imagination, and, most importantly, remember that political moments like O’Rourke’s are rare. Democrats shouldn’t waste the next one.”

    An in-depth article by political journalist Zaid Jilani—headlined “What Does Beto O’Rourke Actually Stand For?”—indicates that O’Rourke doesn’t stand for much that progressives should embrace. During his six years in the House of Representatives, O’Rourke has been politically close to inert. “While the Democratic base is coalescing around single-payer health care and free college, O’Rourke sponsored neither House bill. During his time in Congress, he never joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He has been, however, a member of the New Democratic Caucus, the group organized to carry on the ideas of Clintonite policies. During the 2016 presidential primary, he stayed on the sidelines.”

    Nor can O’Rourke’s caution be chalked up to conservative constituents in Texas. His 16th congressional district, centered in El Paso, “is among the more liberal in the country,” Jilani pointed out.

    “While O’Rourke steadily avoided left-wing legislation, he went above and beyond to ally himself to the corporate wing of the Democratic Party,” Jilani reported. “In 2015, Congress narrowly gave President Obama so-called ‘Fast Track’ authority as it related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership… which many labor, consumer, human rights, and environmental advocates worried would vastly expand the power of investors and corporations and undermine U.S. sovereignty…. O’Rourke was one of the Democrats who voted to grant the authority to Obama…. What populists like [Elizabeth] Warren and Sanders feared most about the TPP was its vast expansion of patent and copyright protections—which could lock in arduous high drug prices, among other things. Regardless, O’Rourke continues to be a defender of these sorts of agreements. During his Senate run, the local press noted that he and Cruz essentially agreed on the merits of the North American Free Trade Agreement.” Such positions in favor of so-called free trade can hardly play well in Rust Belt states that put Trump in the White House.

    Jilani’s assessment concluded: “The next president should be someone with a record of sticking their neck out against concentrated power, someone who has made tough decisions even when it may anger donors and political elites, and someone who has accomplished a great deal of actual tangible real change in the world. There are number of people who fit that description, but it’s difficult to say O’Rourke is one of them.”

    In Jacobin magazine, writer Branko Marcetic describes the political record a bit more favorably. On the one hand, he gives O’Rourke credit for “advocating for drug legalization and health benefits for same-sex and unmarried partners in El Paso” as well as “staunchly defending immigrants’ rights, the right to abortion, and speaking out against border militarization in Congress.” Also, O’Rourke “bucked Obama on several important issues, pressuring him to close Guantanamo, supporting legislation to curtail NSA spying, opposing war in Syria and arming the country’s rebels, and demanding Obama get congressional authorization for his continued war on ISIS.”

    On the other hand, Marcetic explains, O’Rourke actively tried to “chip away at the Dodd-Frank financial reform law” and has cast many awful votes siding with big banks and against workers. His years in the House “have given him one of the better U.S. Chamber of Commerce voting scores among Democrats.” And O'Rourke’s congressional votes on criminal justice have often been on the side of repressive measures.

    “O’Rourke is a decent, progressive candidate in slowly purpling Texas,” Marcetic wrote, “but when you put him on the national stage and drill down on his record, he becomes just another flawed Democrat…. Politicians like Beto O’Rourke represent a step forward for states like Texas. Making them national standard-bearers is a step backward.”

    As candidates and in office, the last two Democratic presidents have been young, dynamic and often progressive-sounding, while largely serving the interests of Wall Street, big banks, military contractors and the like. Do we need to make it three in a row?

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
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    Pro fossil fuels... pro bankster... pro insurance industry... pro SHAFTA... yep, just another useless DLC turd. Flush him before he does any more damage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    In Jacobin magazine, writer Branko Marcetic describes the political record a bit more favorably. On the one hand, he gives O’Rourke credit for “advocating for drug legalization and health benefits for same-sex and unmarried partners in El Paso” as well as “staunchly defending immigrants’ rights, the right to abortion, and speaking out against border militarization in Congress.” Also, O’Rourke “bucked Obama on several important issues, pressuring him to close Guantanamo, supporting legislation to curtail NSA spying, opposing war in Syria and arming the country’s rebels, and demanding Obama get congressional authorization for his continued war on ISIS.”


    Here's some news for you slave FORD Jacobin is a propaganda publication no better than Fox News. Moreover, as soon as gullible dipsnots like you realize that both major political parties in this country are corporations and are one and the same, the better off you'll be when it comes to choosing your new (younger) master Bernie. Beto is just another propped up front and tool of corporations. So grow the fuck up.
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    We already have the "new younger Bernie". But she's only 29, so the Constitution says she can't run in 2020 (35 is the minimum age limit)

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    Yeah, you and your pseudo-left corporatecrats.

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    She's not a corporatecrat. That's the whole point.

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    Yes, yes she is and you're too much of a slave to realize it.

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    Right..... and which corporate interests is she allegedly funded by?

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    Piss-poor argument, fart Spackle. Let's wait for her voting record to manifest and you'll see she is a corporatecrat.

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    Obviously that would be the test of any politician. But in the post-Shittizen's United world, you can usually predict which corporations a politician will vote to support, based on whose money they took in their campaigns. AOC didn't take corporate money, so she doesn't owe them shit. Unlike Beto, or any of the others that the corporate whore media is pushing as so-called "frontrunners" for the 2020 nomination.

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    You lot better stop fighting with each other and sort your shit out.

    The world may not survive a second Trump term...
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    Robert Francis O’Rourke is about as Mexican as Elizabeth Warren is Indian.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    You lot better stop fighting with each other and sort your shit out.

    The world may not survive a second Trump term...
    I don't think Trump is going to survive a first term, and Pence just might get the Spiro Agnew treatement and be tossed out before Cheeto himself is. Whichever Koch Brothers tool ultimately replaces them for the remainder of the term might be just as bad though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twonabomber View Post
    Robert Francis O’Rourke is about as Mexican as Elizabeth Warren is Indian.
    And there lies another irony. If the media whores really wanted to attempt to sell this guy as some sort of "progressive" you would think they would use his actual name and the fact that he actually has a slight resemblance to RFK.

    Not to his policies though, which is of course, the real problem. The nickname "Beto" might sell to the Latino population in Texas (though not enough to beat Lying Ted, apparently) but it's not any advantage to him on a national stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twonabomber View Post
    Robert Francis O’Rourke is about as Mexican as Elizabeth Warren is Indian.
    It's a shame how people are still so hung up on stuff that just shouldn't matter at all in any way.

    The Obama birther thing is a classic example of that. Say he had been born in Africa and then at 1 week old moved to the US. How fucking weird is it that people would think that in some way would change how he did his job for better or worse.

    For example Trump is half Scottish and here most people think he's a cunt.

    https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/new...-sturgeon-top/

    Surely whether someone is a cunt or not is a hell of a lot more important than where you are from or where your parents were from.

    The whole thing is ludicrous, most people have at least a couple of relatives they don't like, never mind people in their town never mind people in their country.

    All of that times 10 for a super mongrel country like the USA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    Obviously that would be the test of any politician. But in the post-Shittizen's United world, you can usually predict which corporations a politician will vote to support, based on whose money they took in their campaigns. AOC didn't take corporate money, so she doesn't owe them shit. Unlike Beto, or any of the others that the corporate whore media is pushing as so-called "frontrunners" for the 2020 nomination.
    FORD, you need to need to give up on the whole Citizens United decision. It really open the floodgates for BHOle campaign back in 2012. I know I read that BHOle raised about 785 million and Mitt raised about 465 million. Money is speech, corporations are people, and the gulf oil spill didn't leave us in Florida ankle-deep in crude on the beaches.

    This post was paid for by Old Milwaukee. Old Milwaukee: "The beer that made Milt Fame walk us"...
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    Yeah, drinking too much of that cheap pisswater "beer" certainly causes brain damage, no doubt about that.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by FORD View Post
    I don't think Trump is going to survive a first term, and Pence just might get the Spiro Agnew treatement and be tossed out before Cheeto himself is. Whichever Koch Brothers tool ultimately replaces them for the remainder of the term might be just as bad though.
    I'm surprised you still think the GOP would take on Trump.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seshmeister View Post
    I'm surprised you still think the GOP would take on Trump.
    After Nixon won re-election in 1972, it didn't seem likely that the Republican party would turn on him either. Yet less than two years later he was gone. And Nixon was far more popular within his own party than the Orange Imbecile was.

    Granted the 2018 Republican party is way more corrupt & delusional than the 1972 version, but they just lost the House, and a few key governor's races. That has to be pissing off some people in high places. Not to mention Cheeto can't even fill his own cabinet positions anymore. How many fucking jobs can Mick Mulvaney have?

    The embarrassment of the Cheeto three ring circus was acceptable to the party as long as the inheritance leeches were getting billionaire tax cuts & corporate criminals were getting regulations slashed to bits. But those things are no longer guaranteed with a split Congress.

    Normally, I wouldn't quote Ann (the man) Coulter for a reference, but in a rare occasion, she seems to be speaking the truth here.....



    “Why would you [vote for him again]? To make sure, I don’t know, Ivanka [Trump] and Jared [Kushner] can make money? That seems to be the main point of the presidency at this point.”
    “They’re about to have a country where no Republican will ever be elected president again. Trump will just have been a joke presidency who scammed the American people, amused the populists for a while, but he’ll have no legacy whatsoever."
    Last edited by FORD; 12-20-2018 at 10:47 AM.

  20. #20
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    They are annoyed about a wall that could never happen.

    Did you see this https://www.washingtonpost.com/natio...=.949072999ad1 ?

    Is Trump going to now say 'Brian Kolfage was a war hero because he was lost 3 limbs” and that he liked “people that didn't have their limbs blown off.”

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    Just put something about the wall funding in the Cartoon thread actually

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    Every one of you artards are all the same. You continue to fall for this bullshit myth that government is about people when its really about corporate interest and fucking over the poor. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a god damn corporatecrat with her pseudo-intellectual glasses and how she seems to "outTweet" her GOP fuck farts and rails about socialism when she has no idea what in the fuck it is. Oh yeah, she's for the little guy and going to make the sidewalks safe for everyone in America.


    What does she really represent? Seems to me Vogue Magazine. She serves the same god damn motherfucking ruling corporate-financial oligarchy. She is nothing more than a controlled puppet no better than Paul Ryan. She will maintain and never question its rule by alternating control of the political institutions—the White House, Congress, and state houses. She will fuck over the general population particularly the working class just like any Rethiuglicon has and artards like you have now her opportunity every to make god damn sure capitalism remain intact as every one of you homoerotic dickheads calls it “democracy.”


    All of you, either wake up or just fuck off.

  23. #23
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    You still haven't produced a shred of evidence supporting your accusation of her being a "corporatist".

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    She's a corporatecrat, god damn it. Her voting record will soon represent that. See I understand what you fail to: that you are a slave.


    "I support Beto like I support Paul Ryan"
    Last edited by Kristy; 12-20-2018 at 01:35 PM.

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    Sorry... no slaves here....


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    Thanked 2,403 Times in 1,779 Posts


    Rep Power
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    Lame, artard. Lame.

  27. #27
    We Are All F A T Barb
    DIAMOND STATUS
    Kristy's Avatar
    Member No
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    Rep Power
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    Here we see the GOP and the Democrats meeting their constituents.


  28. #28
    Hindsight is 2020
    ROTH ARMY MODERATOR

    FORD's Avatar
    Member No
    32
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    Thanked 5,801 Times in 4,315 Posts


    Rep Power
    129
    Maybe they'll listen to The Boss?


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