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Demosthenes's avatar

Will this significantly hurt Beto O'Rourke's campaign (read more)?

Asked by Demosthenes (5982points) 1 week ago

As a teenage hacker, O’Rourke wrote fiction that involved murdering children, specifically a first-person narrative of someone running over children with his car.

As someone who reads a lot and writes a bit himself, I’m aware that an author is not his characters.

But we live in an age where any and all dirty laundry will be aired and it can cost a person an election. How much do you think this will hurt O’Rourke (and should it)?

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27 Answers

hmmmmmm's avatar

I hope not.

I hope his conservative voting record, his fossil fuel money, and his old-school platitude word salad sinks him. He’s awful.

Demosthenes's avatar

@hmmmmmm I knew I could count on you to tell me why I shouldn’t be enthused about him :D

To be fair, I think nearly all the Democratic candidates so far are pretty awful. I can’t imagine any of them in the White House.

Yellowdog's avatar

I would like to see a seriously good Democrat candidate.

O’Rourke’s full name is Robert Francis O’Rourke. My first problem with him is the ‘Beto’ invention of his name. He is an Irish-American pretending to be a Hispanic, for the Hispanic vote. I am tired of candidates pretending to be an ethnicity they are not. They are pretending to be Hispanic, Native American, and Black, when they are old-money White Americans with radical ideas.

Ironically, O’Rourke’s Texas rival, Ted Cruz, is Hispanic, and part of the real Hispanic community.

If a person is phony about their ethnic identity, you can usually find that they are phony about everything else.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Yellowdog His family gave him that nickname early in his life and he’s used it ever since. I don’t think he was trying to win the Hispanic vote as an infant.

I don’t like the guy either, but come on.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

He was given the name “Beto” in his infancy to distinguish him from his namesake. It’s in his Wiki page which isn’t letting me copy and paste.

Based on what I’ve read here and glanced at on Wiki I don’t think I care for him.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No, it can’t and won’t hurt him. His campaign was dead in the water anyway.

zenvelo's avatar

No, things like that done when they are teens are not make or break issues for candidates. Neither is his being in a punk band,

His policies and voting record are what are concerning.

rockfan's avatar

I haven’t read the story, but context obviously matters. I seriously doubt it’s some sick wish fullfilment fantasy.

Beto has started his campaign in the most bland, unappealing way, so I think that’s going to sink his campaign instead.

josie's avatar

What do you think

filmfann's avatar

Hard to say, but it’s unfair to dredge up stuff from high school.

seawulf575's avatar

@filmfann why is that? didn’t they do the same thing to Kavanaugh? Tried to dredge up stuff from high school? Didn’t they do the same thing to Northam and Fairfax in VA? That is the new norm in US politics…go back as far as you possibly can and find something someone did as a kid and hold it against him forever.

LostInParadise's avatar

@seawulf575 , Do you not see the difference between writing a work of fiction and committing a crime?

I will need to learn more about O’Rourke. I am more concerned about his voting record than a work of fiction that he wrote.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Depends. Will the media make a huge deal about in order to create bias or will it be ignored because he’s a Dem?
His past record was called unremarkeable, he’s kind of weird, so probably not a contender.

seawulf575's avatar

@LostInParadise let’s review. Northam and Fairfax – dressed in blackface in their younger years to attend a costume party. Crime? Work of fiction? How about neither. Just the media and the lunatics in this country going crazy about something someone did as a kid that they think they can use as political firepower. Kavanaugh – Accused of weird sexual behavior in H.S. Zero evidence, zero corroboration including from the accusers close friends. It was a political smear campaign that was pretty clearly a hoax from the start. Again…trying to, in this case, create something from his high school days to try using it as political firepower. Do you really see a difference between that and dredging up something from O’Rourke’s past…from his H.S years…to try using it as political fodder? As I said, that has become a normal move in today’s US politics.

seawulf575's avatar

@KNOWITALL interestingly enough, the Reuter’s journalist that uncovered this found it before his campaign run against Ted Cruz. He could have released it back then, but opted to sit on it until after that election was over. Will the media make a big deal out of it? They’ve already proven they won’t.

LostInParadise's avatar

Whether or not Kavanaugh did what he was accused of, the accusation is in a different realm from writing a work of fiction. I do not see the two situations as being comparable.

seawulf575's avatar

@LostInParadise So if someone accused O’Rourke of actually running a child over then it would be in the same realm? How about if someone came forward and said he pinned them down and made them wax his ass or buff his balls. Would it enter into the same realm then? I suspect you are being purposely obtuse in refusing to admit that when someone pulls crap from a politician’s dim dark past , it is only being done as a political stunt.

filmfann's avatar

@seawulf575 With Kavenaugh, they weren’t dredging up high school stuff. It was Law School. Guess he missed that class.

Yellowdog's avatar

Well, the only people accusing Kavenaugh of anything didn’t have any evidence—even the close friends of the accusers denied the assaults ever happened, and Kavenaugh was extremely well known by hundreds of people, even in high school. He also had a pretty detailed calendar documenting every day of his life for a couple of years before anything supposedly occurred.

Governor Northam of Virginia, a Democrat,, wore Klan garb in a yearbook photo when he was in his late thirties in Law School. Maybe that’s what you’re confusing it with,

seawulf575's avatar

@filmfann actually, he was in high school

Maybe you missed that fact. And in the end, it was an unsubstantiated smear job put on for political reasons.

filmfann's avatar

Yes, he was in high school.
There are so many scandals they just muddle together.

LostInParadise's avatar

Without a PAC, O’Rourke received over 6 million dollars for his campaign in the first 24 hours. He seems to have a certain charisma, reminiscent of Obama, that the other candidates are lacking. In particular, he does well with minority voters, which is a problem for Sanders. I wish his policies were more progressive, but he may have the best chance against Trump.

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ Remember, the $6 million number is meaningless without the number of individual donors, which he has not released. And despite the fact that the establishment is clearly behind him and going with a hard push, he’s still polling poorly.

Also, the “minority voters are a problem for Sanders” is just a myth that won’t die, and is repeated in corporate media without evidence. Poll after poll shows that Sanders has trouble with older voters – particularly white voters. But he gets very high favorable % among African Americans and Latinx (57% Af. Am, 50% “Hispanic”, 44% white). This myth was part of the whole “Bernie Bro” myth that attempted to tie Sanders to white men (who, coincidentally he has the lowest support from).

hmmmmmm's avatar

@LostInParadise: “I wish his policies were more progressive, but he may have the best chance against Trump.”

I think we really need to stop the “who has best chance” game (I’m guilty of it too), and start asking ourselves who is pushing for the policies we most support, and who has the record and history of doing so. If we do, we might discover that consistently advocating for Republican-lite candidates (and losing) is really not a viable strategy or a pragmatic one.

LostInParadise's avatar

Washington Post article on Sanders’ problem with minorities.

hmmmmmm's avatar

^ Exactly. This has been going on for years in corporate media.

hmmmmmm's avatar

@hmmmmmm: “Remember, the $6 million number is meaningless without the number of individual donors, which he has not released. And despite the fact that the establishment is clearly behind him and going with a hard push, he’s still polling poorly.”

Forget to come back and update this.

While Bernie Sanders received $5.9 million from 223,000 individual donors (avg size of $27), Beto has finally declared that he received $6.1 million from “128,000 unique contributions” (avg size $47). The delay in releasing this info and the the very strange phrasing likely means that we’re not talking about 128,000 individual donors – but 128,000 donations (or transactions), which is entirely different.

While O’Rourke didn’t elaborate on what he meant by unique contributions, the measure is generally regarded as different from the number of individual donors.

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