On this St. Paddy's Day, a special message from noted Irishman Robert Francis O'Rourke. pic.twitter.com/JRjMEXhZRY— GOP (@GOP) March 17, 2019
I see that the GOP account is reflecting a few things here--they would like to remind us that the hot, new thing on the campaign trail for 2020 had a DUI (George W. Bush, anyone? Matt Gaetz?) They would also like to remind us that Beto O'Rourke's given name is "Robert Francis O'Rourke" and not actually "Beto". (Although this would be true of a person whose name was "Roberto" as well--it's a nickname like so many "Dick's", "Bill's" and "Jimmy's". Politics is full of people with nicknames. I'm not sure what the problem is here--are they trying to do a "Pocahontas" thing as Trump did to Sen. Warren, where somehow, O'Rourke is pretending to be someone he isn't?)
But what this GOP post did was refer to Robert O'Rourke as a noted Irishman (he was born here in the US, making him as Irish as the Kennedys, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and me). And called up a stereotype of the Irish as being drunks. It isn't always untrue, that poverty, tragedy, loss and homebrew/pub life have intersected, but it was used against a whole class of immigrant in the US to deny jobs and to blame the Irish immigrants for the problems they had in assimilating. The drink was a signifier people could moralize about, instead of just looking at these Irish Catholics through a snobby Protestant lens, which was less sympathetic.
But even if alcoholism was an inheritance among Irish people--it is a disease that can be overcome and not a moral failing, however the wearing o'the green and beer-bonging Guinness have been identified with this Irish-American holiday. And alcoholism is a familial tragedy that touches many in terms of interdependency and co-dependency. It isn't a joke. It isn't a casual thing to throw around for politics' sake.
My own response to this was "Way to stereotype, dipshits." On today, of all days, to use Irish identity to slam a Democrat with outdated and vulgar stereotypes shows a lack of class and character and good sense. I am employing my prerogative to take this insult against O'Rourke personally myself, and will hold a grudge against the GOP until I die, and rise in the morning and go to bed at night cursing their very existence. In increasingly satirical and devastating ways, along the function of a seanchaí.
Which I was going to do anyway, as a matter of fact, but because of this, more so.