Beto O'Rourke: Poet for the Democrats

Beto O'Rourke, the Texas Democrat who'd like to be your next president, sure has an oeuvre to uplift and inspire the voters.

Here's one of the former computer hacker's poems that's surfaced from the WayBack machine, written under a pseudonym, in all its glory:

If it's a bit grainy on the screen, the Daily Caller has helpfully supplied a spoken recital of it on YouTube.

At age 16, he seemed to have wanted sex with a cow or something. 

His literary efforts were about as impressive, too — but only in the sense that they leave an impression.  He graphically wrote of driving a car into the bodies of live children, describing in loving detail how it all felt.

"As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two.  I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head," O'Rourke wrote.

Beto's response?  From a Reuters interview a few days ago, he said:

"There's just this profound value in being able to be apart from the system and look at it critically and have fun while you're doing it," O'Rourke told Reuters.  "I think of the Cult of the Dead Cow as a great example of that."

He now says he's "not proud' of his child-killing piece.  Still no word on the cow-sex item.

BuzzFeed tries to dismiss the whole thing as youthful indiscretions, with the greater implication that Beto is the new generation of candidates with the computer trail, so all of the candidates to follow, after this pioneer of sorts, should have such a trail, too. 

It's true that this looks like hacker stuff, with typically disjointed hacker thinking.  I've been around hackers, and a lot of them act like this.  But they tend to come off as irrational and disjointed, irresponsible, disorderly, and very contemptuous of law, even as some are pretty brilliant isolated with their mastery of code.  Was Beto one of those?  Sure sounds like it.

Shortly after Beto produced these screeds, he was busted for hit-and-run drunk driving, a pretty serious offense, and somehow didn't get prosecuted.

In another manifestation of his hacker ethos, the Intercept reports that he got his political start with advocacy of marijuana legalization while he was on the city council of El Paso.  El Paso was never a dangerous city (sorry, President Trump!), but Beto decided that it was for his purposes at the time, and since the danger was the drug war, he went out on a limb about a decade ago, before it was trendy, and put marijuana legalization for a vote.  "Now he's running for president and it all started with weed," as the Intercept crowed.

Pot-smoking is a hacker thing, so that sounds more like it in the wake of his hacker poetry past.  (Does this gibberish from Beto sound like the thinking of a pot-smoker?  Well, to some of us it does.)  Disguising the matter as a majestic opposition to the drug war, it sounds more like succoring what hackers would like.

So now it's all of a piece as Beto assumes a front-running position for the Democratic Party's next candidate for president.  A hacker for the ages.  "Born to run," as he puts it.

He's got no ideas of substance, as the Atlantic notes — not surprising, given all the time he spent hacking and writing poetry, riding a skateboard, and singing in a punk rock band with an animal skull on his head. 

But he does have two things: the press, which adores him and considers him "modern" or "hip" or "with it," very youthquakey (BuzzFeed), as well as Kennedyesque (see his glossy Vanity Fair cover).  The other thing he has is lots and lots of money for his campaign, along with a capacity to raise big money, something he declines to disclose the origin of.  Some reports suggest it's the Obama-linked political machines, which may be true.  But one wonders if it's really the Silicon Valley barons who are coughing up, and who know they are unpopular with the public.

Is Beto the hacker candidate of the Silicon Valley?  Someone's paying for this idiot.

Image credit: Beto O'Rourke via FlickrCC BY-SA 2.0.

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