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Illustration for article titled Smelling Out A Liar

I was happy to see Karen Handel fail in her bid for Senate last week, and now David Dewhurst of Texas is another fine casualty of the Republican primary process. He was trying to get reelected as lieutenant governor, because Texas is one of the 18 states where the gov and lt. gov are elected separately rather than running on the same ticket. They might even end up belonging to different political parties! Weird. Anyway, Dewhurst got beaten pretty badly by Dan Patrick, state senator and conservative radio show host. Patrick's main selling point is that he's a raving Tea party loon and religious nut, so the thought of him being in office isn't all that reassuring either.

At a televised debate in Dallas, Mr. Dewhurst and Mr. Patrick were asked whether the religious theory of creationism should be taught in public schools. Mr. Dewhurst struck what in Texas is a middle-of-the-road chord by saying that creationism, evolution and intelligent design should be taught. Mr. Patrick savored the chance to appeal to Christian conservatives.

"We as Christians have yielded to the secular left and let them rule the day in this country," Mr. Patrick said. "When it comes to creationism, not only should it be taught, it should be triumphed. It should be heralded."


So, why be happy at the demise of Dewhurst's political career? My antipathy dates to the aftermath of Wendy Davis' successful filibuster of a bill full of new restrictions on abortion. Rick Perry recalled the legislature for a special session just to pass it, people were heated, and protestors were jam packing the Senate building. State troopers provided security, and on the basis of an unsubstantiated rumor, they started confiscating all tampons, pads, and other feminine hygiene products. The fear was that they'd throw them at the senators or something, and it was part of a pattern of the cops having a one-sided fixation on pro-choice groups. They like to call it "gathering intelligence," but it's mostly just the po-po fucking around on Twitter and believing every damn thing they read on there.

Tampongate rapidly developed into an embarrassment, and in the resulting search for justification, a mysterious press release appeared from the Texas Department of Public Safety. It said that the threat was really real, because in their searches of peoples' bags, "DPS officers have thus far discovered one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint." I call the press release mysterious because to this day, they still haven't admitted who wrote it or where the information came from. Suffice it to say, the doo-doo bombs never existed and none of the troopers on duty ever reported seeing any.

At 3:22 p.m., an official whose name was redacted sent a text to troopers — "Were any of you aware of urine or feces taken during our shakedowns?"

At 3:23 p.m., a trooper replied, "Just what DPS put out in its email."

At 3:24 p.m., another wrote, "I never observed any."

Then at 6:16 p.m., a third trooper cast doubt on the news release's central claim.

"I was inside the Senate gallery and did not see or hear any of the above being taken," the message said.


What does David Dewhurst have to do with this? Well, as lieutenant governor he's president of the senate, and it was his ship that was overturned by Wendy Davis's filibuster. He failed to wind things up on time and the clock ran out on the session. This was a huge frustration and embarrassment for him, so when Poopgate rolled in, he jumped right on the dookie train. In an interview with the Waco Tea Party, he claimed to have seen the infamous jars with his own eyes.

Toby Marie Walker: "There were—

David Dewhurst: "Bottles of urine, bags of feces. Awful."

TMW: "I know there's people who say, 'Oh that didn't happen because DPS didn't save it'."

DD: "It did. It did. It did. I saw some of it."

TMW:"…I've heard from members and other people who saw some of it."

DD: "Absolutely and it's the same as myself I walked over to where they were screening and they were getting bottles out and smelling them, they were getting water bottles out and smelling and they had urine in it. And there were bags they had set aside and were going to put in the trash and throw it out, of feces. Just despicable. Despicable."'


First of all, he couldn't have seen that crap since it didn't exist, and second, his movements within the senate that day are pretty well known. At no point did he just decide to head out to the security area for no reason and chill for a while in front of a huge crowd of people that despise him and would have gone apeshit immediately. On the one hand, it's like okay, that's pretty funny how he lays out this hallucinatory scene where the ladies are peeing in bottles and the cops are sniffing it. On the other, the stories he invents are weird and gross on top of being trifling and ridiculous. If you were going to school with that guy, you'd have to listen to so much bullshit where he puts himself at the center of events and swears that he saw everything.

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