Speed Reads

2020 Tweets

GOP marks St. Patrick's Day by doctoring 'noted Irishman' Beto O'Rourke's old DUI mug shot

Presumably, this tweet from the Republican Party's official Twitter account is trying to make the point that Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is Irish-American and was arrested two decades ago for driving under the influence of alcohol, for anyone who paid no attention to O'Rourke's high-profile, ultimately unsuccessful run for Senate last year. And maybe the people who wrote and approved this tweet aren't aware that Irish-American's aren't typically thrilled with the stereotype that the Irish are drunks or ... leprechauns?

O'Rourke's old DUI and mug shot were both raised frequently in his 2018 Senate run, and his rival, Sen. Rafael (Ted) Cruz (R-Texas), arguably had some success suggesting that O'Rourke's use of lifelong nickname Beto was an attempt to pander to Texas' sizable Latino population. O'Rourke has not shied away taking responsibility for his DUI — he discusses it at length in a new Vanity Fair profile, describing walking home from county jail feeling "like a total piece of sh-t, and you kind of are" — but the GOP's reviving it had darker undertones for some observers who remember the Republican Party's historic antipathy to Irish Catholics.

O'Rourke, when told about the tweet, shrugged it off, saying nobody in his past three days of two dozen campaign stops has asked about his DUI or asked him "to say something negative about another candidate or someone from another party. I take from that that people want us focused on the big picture, on our goals," not "this pettiness or the personal attacks" like in the tweet.

Anyway, enjoy St. Patrick's Day, drink responsibly, and don't drink and drive.