Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Sorry Impulse

Beto O'Rourke has apologized.

Did the Democratic candidate to unseat Senator Ted Cruz sexually assault a woman? Has he used the "n-word?"Did he call his opponent a "Nazi" or rashly, inaccurately, and offensively referred to abortion as a "holocaust?" (No, that would be a few right-wingers.)

R-E-L-A-X. It's far less serious than the latter two, and not in the same universe as the first. Instead, Politico reports

In 1991, the 19-year-old O’Rourke reviewed the Broadway musical “The Will Rogers Follies” for the Columbia Daily Spectator, the university’s student newspaper. Writing under the byline Robert O’Rourke, he panned the performance as “one of the most glaring examples of the sickening excesses and moral degradations of our culture.”

He went on to bemoan the bevy of “perma-smile actresses whose only qualifications seem to be their phenomenally large breasts and tight buttocks.”

The review in the Oct. 10, 1991, edition of the Spectator, which according to an archive search was the only article he wrote for the newspaper, offers another glimpse of the former life of the Texas Senate candidate, who has given Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) an unexpectedly serious reelection challenge. It also shows how drastically the sensitivities surrounding descriptions of women have changed over the past three decades: While it’s unclear whether O’Rourke was criticizing the musical’s use of scantily-clad women for effect or commenting on their bodies himself, his prose, in hindsight, is jarring either way.

No, it's not jarring and no, it's not unclear.

O'Rourke is being criticized for being sexist or misogynistic or insensitive for pointing out that a for-profit cultural event (which became highly successful) was itself misogynistic and/or insensitive.

But the candidate belongs to the Democratic Party. And so while a nominee for the United States Supreme Court very likely perjures himself about attempting to rape a female and about nearly everything else, O'Rourke sends to Politico a statement reading in part "I am ashamed of what I wrote and I apologize. There is no excuse for making disrespectful and demeaning comments about women."

There is not, and there might be cause for apology if he had in fact made a disrespectful or demeaning comment about women.

O'Rourke deserves credit for not issuing a fau-apology along the lines of "I apologize if anything I said may have been hurtful to someone." But the apology culture has taken hold with Democrats- apologize first, think second, attack never. Politico added "The column was flagged to POLITICO by a person who opposes O’Rourke’s Senate campaign."

Hardly newsworthy, this is a case of a media outlet being used by a political campaign.  O'Rourke would have been better off noting that this was a smear performed by a political operative doing Ted Cruz's dirty work for him.  And if that would have entailed a swipe at the mainstream media, all the better. It may be what much of the public has been waiting for a Democrat to do for some time.

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