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Following the first scheduled debate between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke on Friday night, a clip of the challenger air drumming in the drive-thru lane at Whataburger was published on Twitter:
The clip is obviously intended to convey that O’Rourke was in high spirits after the event. But was he?
Underdog - Cruz - Polls - O'Rourke - Challenger
Although he remains an underdog against Cruz, the polls suggest O’Rourke is a formidable challenger. He has a certain Kennedy-esque charisma, in the sense that he caused an accident while driving drunk and allegedly tried to flee the scene (he denies only the latter).
Like any charismatic Democrat, O’Rourke is a media darling. It has been reported that his stump speech “appeals to the skeptic — and provides moments of near-spiritual conversion.” Such was the scene on the night of the debate:
O'Rourke - Politics - Rock - Star - Punk
O’Rourke is being treated as what passes in politics for a rock star. Indeed, he was once in a punk rock band:
That’s Beto on the left, appropriately enough. He still fancies himself a musician, having played guitar with Willie Nelson, Margo Price, and others during the campaign. But watch that clip of O’Rourke air drumming again.
Selection - Heartthrob - Who - Baba - O'Riley
First, there is the song selection. For a progressive heartthrob, The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”—from 1971’s “Who’s Next”—is a strangely conservative choice. Even if it were not apparent from the lyrics, songwriter Pete Townshend has famously explained the track “is about the absolute desolation of teenagers at Woodstock, where everybody was smacked out on acid and 20 people, or whatever, had brain damage. The contradiction was that it became a celebration: ‘Teenage wasteland, yes! We’re all wasted!’”
But O’Rourke has proven himself to be quite an ambitious man. And “Baba O’Riley” is a tune familiar from decades of radio play and one on which Moon is...
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