Why Did a US Member of Congress Take the Pro-Truth Pledge?

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Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D. TX) killed it tonight on Real Time with Bill Maher. O’Rourke emphasized his top issues in his campaign are jobs, health care (he backs Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All bill), immigration, the environment and of course marijuana legalization. His interview showcased his confidence and charisma and it’s worth watching the whole interview:

 

But here the part that The Dallas Morning News picked up and I had to laugh and agree with it:

In a HBO appearance on Friday, El Paso Rep. Beto O’Rourke didn’t call Texas Sen. Ted Cruz a “giant a--hole.”

He just agreed with late-night host, Bill Maher, who described Cruz as one.

The exchange occurred during O’Rourke’s roughly 10-minute interview with the host of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” as the Democrat hoping to defeat the powerhouse Republican in a closely-watched Senate race described his decision to refuse money from political action committees.

“In this campaign, we have outraised Ted Cruz by well more than $1 million dollars without taking money from PACs. All people, human beings,” O’Rourke said, prompting applause from the audience.

Maher, a left-leaning comedian known for being "politically incorrect," interjected: “Well, don’t forget he’s a giant a--hole.”

“That’s true,” O’Rourke replied, before adding: “Folks, though, will never have to wonder who it is I represent or who I’m voting for. It’s going to be the people of Texas, every single time.”

Of course, Ted Cruz will have a shit storm about this but he was probably going to hit Beto for just going on Bill Maher's show in the first place. But while that moment was true and real, the part of the interview that really stood out to me is that Beto highlights that Texas is a Red State because it’s a non-voting state. He points out how gerrymandered Texas is and how it’s ranked 49% in high voter turnout. That couldn’t be truer:

Deep in the heart of conservative Texas lies its liberal capital of Austin — a city jokingly referred to as “a blueberry in the tomato soup of Texas.” Given its left-leaning politics, it might seem strange that of Austin’s six congressional representatives, five are Republican.

That’s because during 2011 redistricting, Texas Republicans effectively diluted the voting power of Austin — and the equally liberal Travis County it sits in — by splitting the county into five congressional districts and carving Austin into six districts.

But with signs of a blue wave potentially ready to hit Texas along with the rest of the country during the 2018 midterms, some political observers are wondering whether Texas Republicans’ dramatic gerrymandering could backfire. Austin voters now have the potential to erode Republican margins in each of the five Republican-controlled districts and perhaps even flip one — the 21st Congressional District.

“Partisan mapmakers tend to overreach,” said elections analyst Dave Wasserman, the US House editor of the Cook Political Report. “Just because the plan has worked well until now doesn’t mean it will work well in 2018.”

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