Oh, Beto, we hardly knew ye

The once wunderkind from El Paso has lost his shine of late, and is now being eclipsed polling-wise by a Midwestern mayor whose sexual predilection scratches off one of the Democrats’ diversity boxes. Perhaps O’Rourke’s gringoish nickname is no longer fooling liberal voters; after all, his baptismal name of “Robert Francis” is the kind of icky Anglo-Irish stuff that is de trop in the diversity party.

Or, in a crowd of divas and inflated egos with legs, maybe Beto O’Rourke’s assumed qualities no longer stand out. Anyone can give a speech while practicing a manic form of port de bras. Even at a spry 77 years of age, Bernie Sanders has mastered the art of stern finger-pointing and raising his arms barely above his torso.

Maybe Beto supporters once held out hope the rapid flapping of his arms would somehow help him take flight, like a bird after rooting for scraps at the hustings.

It might even be the case that Beto’s schtick, callow and self-possessed as it was, has just worn thin. Existential crisis in the form of a road trip? Please. The Beat era has long passed. So, why’s the former Texas congressman acting like Ike Eisenhower is still in the White House?

Beto’s one-man kitchen-sink drama has lost purchase among the Democrat faithful, particularly women. How do I know? The barometer for insipid progressive opinion: “The View.”

The prating ladies of the daytime cable gabfest have lost interest in the Democrats’ former Sirius in a powder-blue button-up. What they object to isn’t Beto’s desperate attempt to compensate for his dearth of substantive policies by releasing pie-in-the-sky proposals for ridding America of Sunoco stations by 2050. What they take umbrage with is Beto’s knack for leaving his wife and kids and driving aimlessly around the country, visiting rustic locals and munching on flapjacks at way station diners.

“No woman could ever lose running for Senate, then go on a Jack Kerouac road trip, abandoning his wife and kids, finding himself,” Meghan McCain vented. Whoopi Goldberg, nobody’s idea of a culturally conservative mother, concurred: “If you have children as a woman… you can go… [but] nobody will understand.”

Goldberg then imitated Beto with all the theatricality of an Elizabethan actress. “Men are always…’Oh, I’ve got to find myself.’” Lord, what fools these mortals be, indeed.

The chattering crones are right on this one. Beto’s quest to find purpose after losing to the most detested man in the Senate was the kind of thing only afforded to those well-endowed enough to take a few months off from cashing a paycheck. Were Beto not worth a packet, we would not have been gifted with his stream-of-consciousness Medium diary. And, had his wife not been more than financially secure in caring for their three children, we might have missed out on the treacly Vanity Fair profile, which featured, among other embarrassingly aggrandized personal details, Beto announcing he’s “just born to do this.”

Yes, well, I’m born to be George Will, but the Washington Post won’t return my calls.

As the Democratic contest of personalities slogs on, it appears that Beto’s warmed-over Obama appeal, his choose-your-own-liberal-adventure campaign, is stuttering. Born to run? Born to hyperbolize under troffer lights in half-filled taquerias is more like it.

Joy Behar and her coven of snitty termagants do have a point about the subtle sexism of Beto’s Nora Heller-like quest of self-discovery. Absconding from familial responsibilities to feed your own narcissism is easier to do as a man. Mothers are still seen as indispensable for child rearing. Fathers -- not so much. For an unbaked imp like Beto who enjoys a good scatological jape, his wife might even appreciate his prolonged absence.

Sexist double standards aside, it’s still funny to hear liberals scoff at the idea of discovering one’s identity, as if leftist ideology doesn’t adulate extreme solipsism. The left’s talk of collective betterment is undercut with its fetish with radical individual subjectivism.

“Who’ll hold families together, if everybody has to live? Living is a compromise, between doing what you want and doing what other people want,” said Peggy Fosnacht in Updike’s Rabbit Redux. Adults understand and live the balance. The serious liberal can’t help but bristle at any suggestion that puts their personal satisfaction behind the needs of others, especially when it comes to their self-conception.

Beto’s campaign, sparse and directionless as it is, has been an experiment in what happens when an overgrown child runs for president. What he stands for, what he’s fighting for, what the entire point is of an unemployed flash-in-the-pan former congressman vying for the White House, are questions that remain up in the air.

I’m not sure Beto could answer them. The mile markers on Route 54 only measure distance, not maturation.

The once wunderkind from El Paso has lost his shine of late, and is now being eclipsed polling-wise by a Midwestern mayor whose sexual predilection scratches off one of the Democrats’ diversity boxes. Perhaps O’Rourke’s gringoish nickname is no longer fooling liberal voters; after all, his baptismal name of “Robert Francis” is the kind of icky Anglo-Irish stuff that is de trop in the diversity party.

Or, in a crowd of divas and inflated egos with legs, maybe Beto O’Rourke’s assumed qualities no longer stand out. Anyone can give a speech while practicing a manic form of port de bras. Even at a spry 77 years of age, Bernie Sanders has mastered the art of stern finger-pointing and raising his arms barely above his torso.

Maybe Beto supporters once held out hope the rapid flapping of his arms would somehow help him take flight, like a bird after rooting for scraps at the hustings.

It might even be the case that Beto’s schtick, callow and self-possessed as it was, has just worn thin. Existential crisis in the form of a road trip? Please. The Beat era has long passed. So, why’s the former Texas congressman acting like Ike Eisenhower is still in the White House?

Beto’s one-man kitchen-sink drama has lost purchase among the Democrat faithful, particularly women. How do I know? The barometer for insipid progressive opinion: “The View.”

The prating ladies of the daytime cable gabfest have lost interest in the Democrats’ former Sirius in a powder-blue button-up. What they object to isn’t Beto’s desperate attempt to compensate for his dearth of substantive policies by releasing pie-in-the-sky proposals for ridding America of Sunoco stations by 2050. What they take umbrage with is Beto’s knack for leaving his wife and kids and driving aimlessly around the country, visiting rustic locals and munching on flapjacks at way station diners.

“No woman could ever lose running for Senate, then go on a Jack Kerouac road trip, abandoning his wife and kids, finding himself,” Meghan McCain vented. Whoopi Goldberg, nobody’s idea of a culturally conservative mother, concurred: “If you have children as a woman… you can go… [but] nobody will understand.”

Goldberg then imitated Beto with all the theatricality of an Elizabethan actress. “Men are always…’Oh, I’ve got to find myself.’” Lord, what fools these mortals be, indeed.

The chattering crones are right on this one. Beto’s quest to find purpose after losing to the most detested man in the Senate was the kind of thing only afforded to those well-endowed enough to take a few months off from cashing a paycheck. Were Beto not worth a packet, we would not have been gifted with his stream-of-consciousness Medium diary. And, had his wife not been more than financially secure in caring for their three children, we might have missed out on the treacly Vanity Fair profile, which featured, among other embarrassingly aggrandized personal details, Beto announcing he’s “just born to do this.”

Yes, well, I’m born to be George Will, but the Washington Post won’t return my calls.

As the Democratic contest of personalities slogs on, it appears that Beto’s warmed-over Obama appeal, his choose-your-own-liberal-adventure campaign, is stuttering. Born to run? Born to hyperbolize under troffer lights in half-filled taquerias is more like it.

Joy Behar and her coven of snitty termagants do have a point about the subtle sexism of Beto’s Nora Heller-like quest of self-discovery. Absconding from familial responsibilities to feed your own narcissism is easier to do as a man. Mothers are still seen as indispensable for child rearing. Fathers -- not so much. For an unbaked imp like Beto who enjoys a good scatological jape, his wife might even appreciate his prolonged absence.

Sexist double standards aside, it’s still funny to hear liberals scoff at the idea of discovering one’s identity, as if leftist ideology doesn’t adulate extreme solipsism. The left’s talk of collective betterment is undercut with its fetish with radical individual subjectivism.

“Who’ll hold families together, if everybody has to live? Living is a compromise, between doing what you want and doing what other people want,” said Peggy Fosnacht in Updike’s Rabbit Redux. Adults understand and live the balance. The serious liberal can’t help but bristle at any suggestion that puts their personal satisfaction behind the needs of others, especially when it comes to their self-conception.

Beto’s campaign, sparse and directionless as it is, has been an experiment in what happens when an overgrown child runs for president. What he stands for, what he’s fighting for, what the entire point is of an unemployed flash-in-the-pan former congressman vying for the White House, are questions that remain up in the air.

I’m not sure Beto could answer them. The mile markers on Route 54 only measure distance, not maturation.