July 29, 2009
Texas is a really big state. Crazy big. Emphasis on the crazy. We may be the 11th largest economy in the world (according to the Texas comptroller), but look at our gubernatorial candidates. It’s a good thing Moe, Larry, and Curly are already dead and buried or they’d probably end up in the Governor’s Mansion. Oh, the things they could do with some wallpaper and a portly old rich lady. And yet, how could the Stooges ever top the madcap hijinks of Kinky, Kay, and Rick? Two ex-cheerleaders and a class clown? Really? And of course there’s Democratic front-runner Tom Schieffer, anchorman Bob’s brother, former Bush ambassador to Australia and Japan. Yes, the Democratic front-runner. Is there a mass grave outside of Vidor full of intelligent, well-spoken, progressive Texas Democrats? Much love to the Kinkster too, mind you. He may not have the mandate of anyone but himself, but he’s written some very funny songs and some other stuff. He ought to just announce as a Democrat and get on the ticket. He’s much more entertaining than his opponents, mainly because he embraces his Stooginess. It’s one of the things that makes him seem less of a politician and more of a regular guy. Yet, as authentic as Kinky may seem with his Johnny Cash togs and his big Texas ceeegar, he is still as much a politician as any of his opponents. He wants it as bad or worse than they do and very likely has convinced himself, like his opponents, that he is in it for the good and glory of Texas. Altruism is a disease that afflicts just about anyone seeking public office – or a seat at the right hand of the Father for that matter – so it’s foolish to call any of the candidates out on that score. If you consider the candidates’ professed altruism and authenticity a wash, all you’re left with is their ideas, qualifications, and experience. You would think that leaves Kinky dead last (which is a likely possibility come election time), but regardless of his lack of experience and qualifications, Kinky does have some good ideas, ones actually worth giving him your vote. Unfortunately, he also has some crazy fucking shit on his platform that should give you significant pause, regardless of how entertaining a governor he would be. For instance: Kinky wants to repeal all smoking bans. Fair enough, Kink, as long as the repeal has a provision that allows nonsmokers to fart in smokers’ faces in retaliation. Freedom for everyone. Anyone badass enough to fog up a room full of complete strangers with cigar smoke shouldn’t mind a little butt mist on his nose. Kinky also wants to legalize casino gambling to pay for public education. Hey, it worked for Louisiana didn’t it? Whoops! Maybe not. Didn’t we solve our education funding crisis with the Texas Lottery anyway? He also wants to get rid of the TAKS test because teachers are “teaching to the test.” Would the Kinkster prefer they teach to their whim? Surely the teachers in the poorest school districts would hold themselves to the same lofty standards of rich school districts like Westlake or Highland Park. Surely they feel the same sense of altruism he does. And yet, when all is said and done, as goofy as Kinky is he still outshines the pep squad. Yes, it’s preposterous, but as the least of evils, he seems at present the most rational choice. Why? He supports increased teacher salaries, renewable energy, the right to choose, gay marriage, health care for uninsured Texas children, and the legalization of marijuana. The pep squad and Ambassador Tom can’t and won’t match that sort of political lunacy, so it appears our best choice comes with some pretty ugly flaws, which should make for some spirited lampooning in the upcoming months, starting first and foremost with Austin’s own Esther’s Follies, who are currently performing their How to Secede in Texas Without Really Trying, a comedy variety show that pokes fun at the Texas gubernatorial candidates as well as national political figures and celebrities. They also throw in plenty of song, dance, and, yes, even magic – something Kinky’s going to need plenty of if he wants to hang wallpaper in the Governor’s Mansion.