Former congressman and failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke was at an event in Austin, Texas called Tribfest, a three-day extravaganza conducted by the Texas Tribune described by Hot Air as, “a far-left wonderland where people like Nancy Pelosi are not adequately liberal enough for most of the audience. Whether Beto meets the criteria is open to debate, but he was, at the very least, memorable.”

According to ABC News, Beto was asked by a moderator how he might qualify for the next Democratic debate’s fund-raising goals. The candidate replied that his “master plan involves a Facebook Livestream and a cute, innocent kitten name Miss Whiskers.”

“You know, it’s kind of raising the ante or the bar for how we compete for those dollars,” O’Rourke said. “I mean, I could maybe do a Facebook Livestream with a kitten and, say, you know, Now, we don’t want anything to happen to the kitten … and so, you know, send your $5 or $10 or $15 in now. And, you know, Miss Whiskers is going to be fine.'”

Lots of laughing and jocularity was had by all.

No one knows whether O’Rourke ever read National Lampoon. The humor magazine ran a cover story back in 1973, which predates Beto, which depicted a dog named Cheesehead with a gun to its head.

The caption read. “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill This Dog.” His approach to funding raising, which he subsequently claimed was a joke, was of a similar bent to the Lampoon’s attempt to goose up circulation.

Mind, the 1970s were a golden age of edgy humor. The decade was the heyday of such comedians as Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Saturday Night Live premiered two years later to much acclaim. In politics, Jimmy Carter, a confessed born again Christian, could confess that he often felt lust “in his heart”

Of course, Beto is running for president in 2019, not 1976. The 21st Century is the era of cancel culture during which one insensitive tweet can cause one to be made into an unperson, to coin a word from the Cold War Soviet Union.

Beto went on to say that he was so desperate for campaign funds that the idea of threatening a kitten for money did cross his mind.

Hot Air notes that while O’Rourke will be on the stage for the October Democratic Presidential Debate, he has not yet met the polling requirement for the debate in November. He has the money to qualify, but he needs more supporters than the paltry two or three percent he enjoys now.

The Hot Air article notes that Beto swung for the fences in his gun confiscation gambit in the wake of two mass shootings in Texas, including one in his home town of El Paso. He was quite upfront about his plan to grab everyone’s “assault rifle” by a forced buyback under penalty of law for those who choose not to comply.

Beto’s attempt to ride the massacres to electoral glory appears to have fallen short. The specter of the government forcibly taking firearms from people kindled a great deal of pushback.

Beto’s poll numbers in the first caucus and primary states would be discouraging for any rational candidate, but not to O’Rourke. He is well below two percent in Iowa and New Hampshire and just at two percent in South Carolina.

Most political pundits suggest that Beto has zero chance of getting the nomination, though he has enough money in the bank to linger around for a while, like an unquiet ghost, suited for entertainment value and little else.

Speculation abounds about what O’Rourke’s real game is. Is he looking for a vice-presidential spot? Does he think he can get a cable news network gig? The first idea is unlikely. Embarrassing running mates have been the bane of many presidential campaigns. The second is certainly within the realm of possibility, depending on how desperate the network is for ratings.

One can pose an exit question. If Beto were to appear on a Facebook Livestream, stroking Miss Whiskers like Ernst Stavro Blofeld., would he threaten the hapless kitty with an AR-15? The imagine seems macabrely appealing.