Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke — the unaccomplished Vicar of Bray of novice politicians who is bankrupt of original ideas and has no clear vision for the country — now finds himself proselytizing on the backs of future dead infants and the victims of the El Paso shooting because he lacks an authentic political identity.
One example of this came on Monday.
At the College of Charleston's "Bully Pulpit" lecture, an exchange from a question and answer session only added to Beto O'Rourke's identity crisis as a presidential candidate.
In a predictable exchange with an attendee, O'Rourke took legalized abortion to its furthest extreme.
"My question is this," the man asked O'Rourke, "I was born Sept. 8, 1989, and I want to know if you think on Sept. 7, 1989, my life had no value?"
O'Rourke, who is a father of three children, offered a very confusing and contradictory response.
"Of course, I don't think that," replied O'Rourke. "And of course I'm glad that you're here. But you referenced my answer in Ohio, and it remains the same. This is a decision that neither you, nor I, nor the United States government should be making. That's a decision for the woman to make."
His reply was met with disappointing cheers from the crowd.
What O'Rourke essentially endorsed was limitless abortions, or whatever he thought he needed to endorse now to stay relevant in the 2020 presidential race.
And even though he agreed that the young man's life had value hours before birth and that he's glad he's here, O'Rourke affirmed that the choice of whether to terminate life in the womb up to birth remained the mother's decision and offered no exceptions to this.
The habit of backing extreme positions for political gain is a pattern of O'Rourke's.
On the issue of gun rights, a few months ago he told voters, "If you own an AR-15, keep it" so long as they used it "responsibly and safely" — as if law-abiding gun owners weren't already doing that.
If that phrase sounded all too familiar, that's because it is.
"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor," is what former President Barack Obama said when he was trying to sell his signature health care legislation — the Affordable Care Act.
After a white nationalist opened fire on unsuspecting shoppers at a Walmart earlier this month leaving 22 dead in the hometown we share, O'Rourke took no time in using the tragedy to elevate his campaign.
As El Paso became the focus of media interest, O'Rourke unscrupulously used the opportunity to condemn the president for the shooting in the strongest terms possible instead of using it to unite mourners and the country.
He called President Trump a racist, which only increased tensions and disagreements broke out at the memorial behind the Walmart where the shooting happened.
He also, very publicly, disinvited President Trump to El Paso, which only further polarized residents of El Paso and the nation.
And then came the cable news rounds where he faulted Trump for the murders, called the president a white supremacist and endorsed radical gun control legislation two weeks later.
"He's been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals … Members of the press, what the f***?" O'Rourke said.
We all know the president was talking about MS-13 gang members and not all immigrants. O'Rourke was only looking to stoke outrage during a hyper-emotional time.
His current stance on guns calls for mandatory gun buybacks for "assault weapons" and said that anyone who failed to comply with this will be fined. He also called for gun licensing.
To quote his Vanity Fair cover, being "just born to be in it" isn't enough in a clamorous field of Democrats all vying for the White House.
O'Rourke's willingness to readily pivot on the issue of the border, gun rights, and abortion in hopes that he'll clinch the nomination and defeat President Trump are coming off as insincere and self-serving.
It's surprising that O'Rourke, who lacks specifics on key policy issues and didn't accomplish much while representing Texas' 16th Congressional District in El Paso, has made it this far.
On securing the border, O'Rourke is calling for the demilitarization of immigration enforcement, no border wall, and the removal of El Paso's decade-old, 131-mile fence that protects the city from violent crime and drug smugglers from one of the most dangerous cities in the region – Ciudad Juarez.
On gun rights, following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida in 2016, O'Rourke participated in a sit-in with other Democrats on the House floor to call for stricter gun laws that included "universal background checks, magazine size limits, and restrictions on some semiautomatic weapons."
At the time of the sit-in, O'Rourke also opposed concealed carry reciprocity which was backed by the National Rifle Association and would have permitted concealed carry permits authorized in a single state to be valid nationwide.
As mentioned above, his stance on this has since radically changed.
His health care plans remain murky too. During his time in the House in 2017, he backed universal health care but wasn't clear on what path would lead there. Then he backed "Medicare for All" but support for that also dwindled until he finally settled on calling for "universal, guaranteed, high-quality health care for all." Another radical idea that doesn't seem to be well thought out.
Coupled with the fact that his polling numbers are low even after the relaunch of his 2020 presidential campaign, his last-ditch effort to become as radical as he can on the issues in a desperate attempt to remain relevant is, well, pathetic.
He's fallen short of fundraising goals for August and publications typically sympathetic to progressives like Politico, New York Magazine and the New York Times are running columns questioning whether the end is near for the fickle ex-congressman.
Beto's lack of big ideas isn't a new revelation; however, his latest radical positions are.
Being that we're both from El Paso, I understand why his allure attracted the momentum it did in Texas.
He's homegrown, he's relatable, he's fluent in another language, he's likable (to some), and he isn't the archetypal D.C. politician. He has a youthfulness to him.
But that isn't enough, not on the national scale and not when you're in a crowded field of Democrats who are much more polished and experienced than a one-term representative with hardly anything to show and no clear plans for America.
Perhaps this is why O'Rourke, to fill the hollowed-out parts of the corpse of his campaign, has latched onto gun control and abortion — or any issue he can take the most radical stance as his poll numbers continue to whimper.
O'Rourke's attempt to usher in a new era of his campaign by chastening the victims of a tragedy and future victims of abortion is the same reason why Americans have largely rejected his Janus-faced candidacy.