Part of being rational—radically or otherwise—is realizing that two things, or several things, or lots of things, can be true at once. Not everything is binary. In fact, hardly anything is.
As Exhibit A I present Beto O’Rourke. He didn’t say anything yesterday in Uvalde that wasn’t factual and logical. He was right.
But he was also stupid. His premeditated stunt of interrupting Abbott’s statement/news conference was a strategic blunder.
Understand, I’m not offended in the least by what he said. But his choreographed grandstanding did not make any sense with respect to his campaign for governor.
In fact, O’Rourke handed Abbott an early Christmas present. That’s now an Abbott campaign television ad waiting to happen. And it will be an effective one.
Abbott will spin this as O’Rourke being disrespectful to the Uvalde victims and their families, and cast Beto as being selfish and exploitive. That’s a layup. And it will work.
Ultimately, this is all about math. Did Beto gain even one vote in the state as a result of that stunt? No. Not one.
But will he lose some votes—we can debate the number—because of it? Absolutely. Net loser.
I’ve heard from many of you that you appreciated O’Rourke’s passion. I understand. But he poured it into the wrong venue at the wrong time. Did you see the tv interviews he did later in the day? They were passionate, accurate and compelling. They accomplished everything he wanted to, but without the backlash that is already resulting from the stunt.
Yes, I have said that this, “Now is certainly not the time” garbage following every mass shooting is Republican claptrap. Now is absolutely the time to be talking about this issue. Talking about it yesterday was perfectly appropriate. Talking about it every day is what we should be doing.
But the STUNT was not performed at the right time or in the right place.
Two things can be true at once, and in this case are.
Beto was right. He was also stupid.