Texas is known for loving guns. While there are a few localities that aren’t exactly friendly to firearms (*squints at Houston*), most of the state is friendly to guns. They’re kind of famous for it, so much so that despite not having the most pro-gun regulations, they’re still thought of by some as the most pro-gun state in the nation.
They like their guns.
Meanwhile, we have Beto O’Rourke who is a Texan politician and is calling for gun bans. In fact, some think it might hurt him a tad should he decide to run for state office.
Beto O’Rourke’s hard-left turn on gun confiscation in the Democratic presidential primary may play well with liberal primary voters across the country – but the former congressman could also be hurting his political future in Texas should he someday choose to run statewide again.
O’Rourke, who nearly won a Senate seat in Texas in 2018 against incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, declared in a primary debate earlier this month, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15.”
That’s in contrast to what O’Rourke’s said in the 2018 race, when the Democrat sought to appeal to the gun-friendly state by repeatedly telling Texans, “If you own an AR-15, keep it.” (He also said during that race that he didn’t want more such weapons sold.)
O’Rourke entered the Democratic race to great fanfare this year, but has struggled in the polls. Some Democrats have suggested he set his sights on a 2020 bid for the Senate, and not the White House.
Even some liberal writers have acknowledged that O’Rourke’s gun policies could hurt him in Texas.
“Beto is no longer a viable candidate for the Senate in Texas, thanks to his gun confiscation comment,” German Lopez, a writer for Vox, wrote on Twitter.
I mean, I’m absolutely shocked. Beto takes a position that will absolutely disgust most Texans, and he might actually become a non-viable candidate in the state? I’m completely stunned.
To his credit, O’Rourke may actually know this already. After all, he’s dismissed suggests that he drop out of the crowded 2020 presidential field and focus on the Senate again.
For his part, O’Rourke has been adamant that he no longer wants a Texas Senate seat, despite past pressure from some Texas Democrats and news outlets to drop his long-shot presidential bid and compete for Republican Sen. John Cornyn’s seat instead.
“There have even been some who have suggested that I stay in Texas and run for Senate,” O’Rourke said in an August speech. “But that would not be good enough for this community. That would not be good enough for El Paso. That would not be good enough for this country.”
It wouldn’t be good enough for him and his ego. The truth is that he hasn’t really differentiated himself from most of the other candidates at this point except by pushing for mandatory buybacks. Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker followed his lead on that one, but their campaigns are also on life support, so it’s not like he’s really done much to separate him from the bulk of the crowd.
Because of that, it’s not like he’s not replaceable. If he were honest with himself, he’d see that there’s little differentiating between any of the Democrats, so there’s no reason to stick it out. He’s not doing it because he can’t tolerate taking a step backward.
Which is good, because that bridge is well and truly burned.
O’Rourke is riding this pony for as long as he can because he knows its all over after this. This is his last rodeo, and we’ll all be better off for it.