Who the hell is Beto O’Rourke, anyway?


Beto has announced for President. Now to see if we can figure out who he actually is.

To the surprise of nobody, Texas Democratic darling Beto O’Rourke has announced his candidacy for the White House. When we last heard from O’Rourke he was losing a relatively close race for Senate to Ted Cruz, a man so loathsome even other sewer rats try to stay upwind of him.

I’m not the first to wonder who the hell Beto actually is politically. The best guess is “mainstream Democrat,” and there’s no indication whatsoever that he’s progressive.

VoteSmart has a scorecard on him and the verdict is inconclusive. Let’s note the fact he hasn’t taken their “Political Courage Test” is in no way an indication of… well, anything. But the fact that many positions are “inferred” does accurately describe O’Rourke at the present time.

I’m not okay with the fact we’re having to infer about a guy who announced for President. If you aren’t a known quantity by the time you launch a campaign for goddamned President of the United States we have a right to be curious. Maybe uneasy, even. Let’s hope things become clearer.

Meanwhile, here’s the scorecard. I put an X beside issues where he and I disagree. The one “unknown” position really, really needs to be known, and there is a correct and an incorrect answer.

Beto record VoteSmart

Beto seems smart. He seems charming. He seems respectful and nice. These are all wonderful qualities in a human being and they’re also huge assets for the campaigning man.

Once upon a time, though, we elected another charming campaigner and he wound up drone bombing wedding parties, bailing out Wall Street, and inviting the insurance industry to help write the “Affordable” Care Act.

So let’s don’t settle for charisma when substance is preferred.

At the least, let’s insist on nominating someone to the left of Nixon.

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