Friday, October 06, 2006

Gee, I Wonder If Carol Keeton Strayhorn Wants to "Shake Up Austin."

The fact that polls show that incumbent governor Rick Perry is only garnering about 35% of the vote shows how vulnerable he is. The fact that only 10-20% of eligible voters will probably vote this November shows how important your vote is.

Tonight was the only opportunity for Texans to watch all four major candidates (the Libertarian candidate is suing for not being invited) for Texas governor debate. Moreover, it was placed on a night where many Texans are watching High School football or gearing up for a college football game tomorrow. Even more silly, it's an hour long. Now, I'm no Math teacher but even if the moderators don't speak, that just 15 minutes per candidate. It's not ideal. I think I speak for everyone when I say that more debates should be mandated. Make it a law. Make it a real debate, not a narrow time frame where the candidates are just trying to get a neato catch phrase thrown in.

That said, it's all we have. So I watched it and was struck by a few things. And here they are.

  • Kinky Friedman. Surely, Kinky was the main attraction. Everyone wanted to see how he'd do. And sadly, he really wasn't really up to the task of a formal debate. Let's just say it's not his thing. In his defense, he spent half the time answering questions about his validity as a candidate. There he was, dressed in black with a cowboy hat and smoking a cigar (I guess they don't have a no-smoking ordinance in Dallas?). He had to answer questions such as, "How can you be governor while smoking that cigar?! Think of the children!" It's hard to take anyone seriously when he's asked questions like that. If Rick Perry had to answer questions along the lines of "C'mon, you're not seriously running for governor. Are you?" he would have looked flustered as well. As for Kinky, he did his best to present himself as an outsider, like voters need that reassurance. He eloquently noted that "poly" means "many" and "tics" are a parasite. His last statement seemed entirely unprepared like he didn't know it was coming. How do you not have a closing statement prepared! I should say, he did end it nicely, suggesting that "the difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician is concerned about the next election, while a statesman is concerned about the next generation." Meanwhile, Rick Perry had the "I can't believe I'm sharing the same stage as him" look.
  • Carol Keeton Strayhorn wants to "Shake up Austin." I didn't count how many times she said that damn phrase. My estimate? Probably 12. That's impressive since she probably had only about 8 minutes to speak.
  • Chris Bell makes Al Gore look like the Rolling Stones. I cannot believe this is the most dynamic candidates Democrats could put forth. Remember that scene in the Simpsons where someone rushes in to tell Al Gore that someone purchased his book, followed by Al Gore saying monotonously, "this is cause for a celebration," followed by him sitting silently still while "Celebrate Good Times" is being played? If you gave Bell an electroshock he would have been that exciting. Don't get me wrong, I like him and thought he did well, and will probably vote for him at this point, but it's incredible how absent he's been throughout this campaign season and how droll he was on TV. He made several excellent points and honestly, looked more composed and gubernatorial than Rick Perry. If Democrats knew how to actually run a campaign, or be relatable, he could wind up winning this thing.
  • Rick Perry is a douchebag. I'm sorry he is. He got all indignant about how Kinky uses politically incorrect language and how he sets a bad example. I can't believe no one referred to "Adios, mofo."
  • The round of total bullshit Texas sociological questions. What the hell was this??! Each candidate had 15 seconds to respond to questions to questions such as these:

To Kinky Friedman: "What is the average tuition at the University of Texas?"

To Rick Perry: "What was the electric bill at the governor's mansion last month?"

To Chris Bell: "In what year was the battle of the Alamo?" What the fuck!!!! Is this a a debate or Texas History versus Who Wants to be a Millionare?! To Bell's credit, he got it right.

To Strayhorn: "Who was recently elected president of Mexico?" OK, maybe this round was enlightening: she didn't know!!! Strayhorn said something along the lines of "he narrowly won the election and ... umm... in a Strayhorn administration we would ... work together to combat illegal immigration." She didn't know!!! How could she be the governor of Texas if she doesn't know who the President of Mexico is?!?! Yikes. Probably the highlight of the evening.

  • Kinky Friedman agreeing with Chris Bell, to the point where I think he might vote for Bell. Two instances. First, there's a round where the candidates are supposed to ask questions to each other. It think it was naturally assumed that questions were supposed to be actually directed towards the candidates. However, Kinky's question to Chris Bell was, "What do you think of Rick Perry only agreeing to do one debate?" The other instance was a comment by Chris Bell regarding education to which Kinky replied, "I have nothing to rebut." At this point no one's taking him seriously.

At the end of the night, I don't think an hour debate is going to really change anyone's mind about anything. I think Strayhorn should get hammered for stumbling during the "trivia round" but in truth, the people voting for her probably don't care. Perry didn't really do a whole lot, not that he really could have I don't think. It's understandable why he doesn't want to debate any more. Chris Bell finally got face time, which he needs more than anything else. I still can't believe he's the Democratic candidate in a year when Perry is amazingly vulnerable. And Kinky, well, he's Kinky. I hope he does this again sometime.

At this point, my vote would look like this:

  1. Bell
  2. Friedman (he's not Rick Perry)
  3. Perry
  4. Grandma

If you have thoughts and opinions about the debate or the race in general, let's hear them. And register to vote! (Kinky is absolutely right that it's ridiculous we have to register a month before the election.)


Danimal said...

You liberal freak.

JO said...

I thought that it was so funny how no one answered any of the questions they were asked. They just said whatever the hell they wanted to. And Grandma kept saying "well you have your facts wrong." And everyone was talking in sound bites. Bell was the only one who sounded like he knew what he was talking about. I turned it off, cause I was pissed off. I'll probably vote for Bell. The registration process is dumb ass shit.

gk said...

Agreed. When you have an hour divided by four candidates, they obviously said, "screw this question crap. I'm going to talk about what I want to talk about."

I think 70% of Grandma's statements began thusly: "Well you have your facts wrong, and in a Strayhorn administration..." And so forth, always concluding with "I want to Shake Up Austin" (tm).

I also wholeheartedly agree that Bell was the only one that came across intellegently, but man oh man, is he droll.

Adam said...

I don't know what to do. I hate all of this so much. I'm completely cynical. I do not want to vote. I feel like I should abstain from voting as a "conscientious objector" of sorts. But that doesn't really help anything either...and now I'm back to my's all a bunch of crap. When the system is so wrong, what do you do? It's not like we really have a voice? It's not like we live in a democracy? We live in a crappy representative democracy, I don't like my representatives, and I think the system is so bad that no good representatives can even make it through the process.

That's all I have to say about that.

Adam said...

But then again, how can you vote against a grandma? I mean really, she's tough, she's a grandma, and she wants to shake up Austin. What more can we ask for?

Adam said...

But then again, how can you vote against a grandma? I mean really, she's tough, she's a grandma, and she wants to shake up Austin. What more can we ask for?

gk said...

You can always vote for the Libertarian candidate.

You're never going to have a candidate that you entirely agree with. Unless of course you're a mindless party-apologetic. So it certainly is a compromise. It'll always be a compromise. That's what a republic is based on.

As Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the other ones that have been."

Adam said...

I really do agree with that quote. I just think there is no good option. Maybe some options are better than others but I still find myself not wanting to support the "not as bad" options...I dont know...

texasfortexans said...

The debate was 59 minutes and 50 seconds of blah, blah, blah surrounding 10 seconds of brilliance. Here's the beauty part:

Kinky Friedman said he would call for military martial law in border cities if he becomes governor on Friday, during the only gubernatorial debate scheduled for the campaign season. ... "Yeah, of course, whatever it takes," said Friedman in response to a question from an Austin television reporter about whether he would declare martial law. Declaring it would make his proposal to add 8,500 National Guard troops to the border possible.

Kinky is Awesome said...

Watch this video clip. It is hilarious, it is true, and it is politically incorrect as hell.

Next, read up on Kinky's get-tough illegal alien plan and his 5 Mexican generals plan. Kinky's common sense border security plan is the straight up "minuteman" approach, not Perry's namby-pamby "let's set up cameras" approach. Make no mistake, Kinky is the only candidate brave enough to say we need armed military generals on our southern border.

Now consider Kinky's party affiliation. Kinky has run for office in the past as a Republican and he voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004.

Here is an excerpt from Kinky's interview with Ruminator magazine which confirms that he supported Bush's Middle East foreign policy:
Question: So does this idea of the honorable cowboy have anything to do with why you threw your support behind President Bush in this last election? You did, didn’t you?
Kinky: Yes. I did in this last election, but I didn’t vote for him the first time.
Question: Who did you vote for in 2000?
Kinky: I voted for Gore then. I was conflicted. . .but I was not for Bush that time. Since then, though, we’ve become friends. And that’s what’s changed things.
Question: So it’s your friendship with him that’s changed your mind about having him as president more than his specific political positions?
Kinky: Well, actually, I agree with most of his political positions overseas, his foreign policy. On domestic issues, I’m more in line with the Democrats. I basically think he played a poor hand well after September 11. What he’s been doing in the Near East and in the Middle East, he’s handling that well, I think.

Now maybe you are like me and you were worried that Kinky showed liberal tendencies by voting for a tree-hugger like Al Gore. Well, rest assuredthat Kinky was mistaken when he said that. Kinky's public voting records confirm he didn't vote for Al Gore in 2000 because Kinky didn't waste his vote on any candidate from 1994 to 2004 when he voted for Bush/Cheney.

Maybe you think Kinky's a liberal because he's a Jew. Rest assured, Kinky's views on religion are well to the right of Perry's. Kinky wants to take time during the school day for prayers in schools, and he wants to post the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms.


jo said...

who wrote that last one?

gk said...

no idea. But Dear Mr. Supercomputer is #31 in a google blog search of "Texas Governor Debate" and #21 in "texas governor debate friedman." So I'm guessing a random agenda'ed pol blogger who didn't bother to read any of the post or comments.

If I'm wrong, please let me know. Either way it's better than the "HOT STOCK TIPS!" comments that people get.

Note: I can't seach "kinky" from work because it's considered a network infraction under "pornography."

gk said...

The real question is who is the previous poster with the Texas Minutemen link in their name.

I'll assume it's a joke.

gk said...

WTF!! Dear Mr. Supercomputer is linked from a LIBERTARIAN BLOG!!!

Rebellion Coffee?? We're being linked to a Libertarian Blog? And it's #8 on blog searches of "texas governor carol keeton strayhorn". Meanwhile, the actual "story" (the original DMS post) is like #15.

Needless to say, we're all very confused here at Dear Mr. Supercomputer. But excited to part of official Blogosphere in such a short time.