Gayatri Agnew
of Bentonville, a Democratic candidate for the District 93 seat in northwest Arkansas currently held by Rep. Jim Dotson, revealed on Twitter that she was once a bassist in an all-female grunge band.


Dotson, a right-wing graduate of Ecclesia College, has never been in a grunge band, so far as I know.

Agnew was responding to the Texas GOP’s sad effort to shame Beta O’Rourke — the Democratic candidate challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz — for having been in a punk rock band when he was young. When I was a child I sometimes thought of the Republican Party as basically the Town Council in “Footloose,” which was an inaccurate and childish thing to think, mostly, but there’s something to it.


My recommendation to Texas voters is to pick the adult that they think will make the best senator. But if we’re choosing on teenage vibe, let’s give the full choice: Punk Rocker O’Rourke or Aspirational Creeper Cruz? It’s almost like “The Breakfast Club.”

Twenty years from now, when our future politicians have voluntarily recorded every embarrassing moment from their youth on social media, will political campaigns just be warring memes of unfortunate haircuts and teenage rants and kegstand tomfoolery? My stars.


Agnew, the senior director of Walmart Giving and a mother of two toddlers, was already a hero in my book. She previously made news during this campaign by asking the Ethics Commission if campaign funds could be used for childcare while she was out on the trail. The Commission voted unanimously that such expenditures were allowed. I’m not usually one to applaud an expansion of allowable campaign expenditures, but in this case: Three cheers.

p.s. More details have surfaced today on actual transgressions from O’Rourke’s past, which have nothing to do with his outfit or musical style.

p.p.s. I failed to pull off a hat trick and sneak a “Some Kind of Wonderful” reference into this post, and for that I apologize.