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I have long suspected that Beto O’Rourke is an alien, and not the kind that merely comes from another country, but one who may not even be from this solar system. His presidential campaign, after all, is a strange and almost parodical pastiche of exactly how conservatives have parodied the extremes of liberalism for years. It’s as though all he knows of being an “Authentic American” came from a battered bootleg copy of Jack Kerouac, and all he knows of campaigning is what he learned some 20 light-years out as the faint broadcast signals of the late 90s reached his starship, and the only one he could pick up cleanly was Rush Limbaugh’s brief TV run. Plus an early Simpson’s Halloween special that he misunderstood as a training video for his species.
How else does one explain Beto’s outbursts and truly bizarre proclamations? They’re not the sort of thing a sane and rational Democrat would actually say out loud and in public even in these crazy times (even if they were thinking them). Most politicians have at least some inner-monologue filter that prevents them from appearing honest or emotional, and they normally only disable that filter if they think nobody is listening (which is a foolish assumption anymore because somebody is always listening, somebody always has a voice recorder and video camera handy in the form of a phone). Romney’s “47 percent,” remark, Hillary’s “Basket of Deplorables,” Obama’s “Bitter Clingers,” and ¡Jeb!’s entire primary bid was all well-remembered political gaffes, not political triumphs, but one suspects Beto does not quite understand the context, and thus misses the lesson.