Beto O'Rourke goes from golden boy to problem child for the Democrats

Remember when Robert Francis ("Beto") O'Rourke was the glamorous, Kennedyesque hero for the Democrats, the guy who was going to unseat Ted Cruz?  He was so hot that he raised $70 million for a one-state campaign, more than twice what incumbent Senator Cruz gathered in.  A lot of Democrats saw putting their money behind him as a wise investment.

But once the national media put him under the presidential microscope, his appeal faltered, and his eccentricities — leaping on top of restaurant counters, gesticulating wildly — his gaffes, and his utter vacuousness became apparent, and the money started drying up.

But in the Democrat presidential debate held in his home state of Texas, Beto went from a disappointing flash in the pan to an outright problem for his party, uttering a phrase that was marketed on t-shirts barely hours after he uttered it: "Hell yes, we're going to take your AR-15."


Most Democrat officeholders were horrified that Second Amendment–supporters now have an actual prominent Democrat saying what lurks in their own hearts.  The AP reports on the consternation that has resulted:

Beto O'Rourke's "hell yes" moment at the Democrats' presidential debate is scrambling his party's message on guns.

The Democrats have long contended their support of gun control laws does not mean they want to take away law-abiding citizens' firearms. But on Friday, they struggled to square that message with their presidential contender's full-throated call on national TV for confiscating assault rifles.

Democrat Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, a close colleague of Joe Biden, took to the airwaves of semi-official party organ CNN to lament:

I frankly think that that clip will be played for years at second amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people by saying Democrats are coming for your guns.

Rather than accept the scolding, O'Rourke fought back on Twitter:


Clearly, the former congressman believes that gun confiscation is the wave of the future for Democrats.  Given the level of government schools' and the media's brainwashing, he may be right in a generation or so.  But in the meantime, he could well cost his party the presidency and congressional seats.

On Thursday night, just as O'Rourke made his call to take back the rifles, Trump warned at a Republican retreat in Baltimore, "Democrats want to confiscate guns from law-abiding Americans, so they are totally defenseless when somebody walks into their house."

Republicans, Trump promised, "will forever uphold the fundamental right to keep and bear arms." That line got huge applause at the GOP retreat, and again Friday when it was repeated there by Vice President Mike Pence.

By all accounts, Trump needs to run up the score in rural areas to win reelection next year. The 2020 outcome is expected to depend heavily on a trio of Rust Belt states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — that have large numbers of rural voters, many of whom are gun-owners or sympathetic to owners on this issue. And Democrats' hope of winning control of the Senate rests on states with high rates of gun ownership, like Arizona and Texas.

O'Rourke has now forced Democrats to either placate their radical faction on guns at the expense of alienating gun-owners and those who respect the entire Bill of Rights or alienate the radicals in order to placate the gun-owners and their allies.

That's a position none of them wants to be in.

Thanks, Beto!

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