For Saint Patrick’s Day, the GOP sent out a cheeky tweet of Beto O’Rourke’s mugshot from a DUI incident (the senatorial hopeful tried to flee the scene, but bypassers stopped him from doing so) that occurred when he was 26. The tweet (embedded below) features O’Rourke sporting a cartoon leprechaun hat and sign board reading “PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY”:
On this St. Paddy’s Day, a special message from noted Irishman Robert Francis O’Rourke. pic.twitter.com/JRjMEXhZRY
— GOP (@GOP) March 17, 2019
That is some grade-A trolling right there. John Nolte of Breitbart breaks down the brilliance of the tweet, and why it works on so many levels, viscerally. He also catalogs the outrage from the Left and the noodle-wristed Establishment/Never Trump “Right.”
In my mind, the tweet succeeds most immediately in two ways: it highlights O’Rourke’s sordid past, and it draws attention to his lame attempt to Hispanicize himself by going by “Beto” instead of “Robert” (how’s this for an Irish Catholic name: his real name is Robert Francis O’Rourke).
As Nolte points out, Leftists gleefully roasted George W. Bush for his youthful DUI. But Bush took the hit, paid his dues to society, and redeemed himself. Perhaps O’Rourke has made his peace with God about this issue—we can’t know his heart—but he walked away from the DUI scot-free. The two-tiered justice system that punishes conservatives and lets well-connected libs walk free was at work once again.
One of the more ludicrous criticisms from the Right is that the tweet is “racist.” Please. The tweet isn’t suggesting that Irishmen are drunks; it’s suggesting that this particular Irishman actually was. The only reason they call O’Rourke an “Irishman” in the tweet is, again, because he’s desperately pretending to be another ethnicity to get votes.
It’s the same story with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. When President Trump calls her “Pocahontas” (he should call her “Fauxcahontas,” but the point remains), he’s not making fun of Native Americans; he’s drawing attention to Warren’s use of (falsified) Native American heritage to get an edge in her professional and academic career. If anything, Warren and O’Rourke are the ones using race as a political tool, not the Republicans and Trump.
None of that should need saying, but that’s why small-time bloggers like me have stuff to write about every day: if it were as obvious as it seems to us, it wouldn’t need saying.
Oh, well. Kudos to the GOP for some excellent, cheeky, fun-filled trolling. It’s the most harmless kind of effective trolling possible. Remember: that tweet didn’t hurt anyone, except for maybe O’Rourke’s already-tarnished reputation. But Robert Francis O’Rourke did risk harm to real people with his actions. His policies—like radically open borders and deconstruction of existing border barriers—would risk countless more lives.
Let’s hope this dweeb flames out, and soon.