Gov. Oops, O Canada Cruz, and now Lt. Gov. Dweebhurst: Our Texas Republican Bounty Is Boundless.

There is a silver lining in the David-Dewhurst-calls-the-cops thing. It's just more fun with Republicans.

Nobody thinks it's terrible that the lieutenant governor called the Allen cops to get his relative out of jail. Anybody would do that. It's not even that Dewhurst tried to pull rank. Everybody does that.

It's that he was such a dweeb about it. Here he is on the phone with these suburban cops -- this happened last August 3, a Saturday, but the cops just released the recording this week -- and he's talking in a warble-voice like Eleanor Roosevelt, all jacked out of shape and amazed that somebody related to him could be arrested and accused of a crime.

He tells the cops again and again that he personally knows this person -- such a distant relative he can't even remember her exact relationship to him -- is utterly totally absolutely innocent of all charges. At various points in the 12-minute recording Dewhurst uses the phrases, "a mistaken charge," "a school teacher," and (one of the) "sweetest women in the world."

He says, "This lady did not, I know in my heart, was not involved in intentionally walking out and stealing 57 dollars." He says, "This is ridiculous," and "This lady, in my mind, is 100 percent innocent." He calls her arrest "a miscarriage of justice."

OK. Maybe so. But put yourself in the position of the Allen cops. According to what Dewhurst himself says on the phone, his relative checked out of a grocery store through the self-serve lane where you scan your own stuff and then pay for it. Somehow she left the store with $57 worth of stuff that didn't get scanned but did wind up in a bag.

Could that happen by accident? Sure. One package of steaks could take care of the $57. It could happen. You, me, we probably operate on the assumption that an evil grocery store spy is watching us at all times when we go through the self-check lane, so we are very careful to make sure everything gets scanned, especially the steaks which would make it a Class B misdemeanor. But maybe the steaks were wet or something and didn't scan properly. We do not know.

But the thing about it? She wound up outside with 57 bucks worth of stuff she didn't pay for. The cops were called. The rest is pretty automatic. If they get you on the tarmac with more than 50 bucks worth of boodle, you're going for a ride, even if you're a school teacher and one of the sweetest women in the world.

The part about the wet steaks (and remember, I just made that part up to give her an excuse) and maybe the scanner didn't work: Yeah, the cops don't want to really chat with you about that. Fifty-seven bucks. No receipt. They need you to get in the car. Now. Then they have to go check on the lady who called to say her husband was threatening her with a chainsaw. Again. You are not their number one priority.

Aren't we all supposed to sort of know that?

You know who Dewhurst reminds me of every time I listen to this call? Mitt Romney. For some reason. I just keep hearing Old 47 trying to play regular guy to the Detroit Economic Club by telling them, "Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs, actually."

Actually. There's a certain ring to it, don't you think? A Republican ring. Hey, wasn't that a terrific primary, by the way? The Republican one. The black guy who was nuts? Our own guy, Governor Oops? Don't you wish we could watch that again? Maybe it's on video-on-demand by now.

Actually. Love that word. She doesn't just drive two Cadillacs. She drives them actually. What would we do without Republicans?

By God, I know people are real hard on our Texas Republicans these days, and I personally don't like to listen to what they're actually saying, but the Dewhurst business is a reminder that they sure can be fun. Just a few weeks ago Governor Oops was sort of wearing out for me, getting boring, and then guess who came along? U.S. Senator O Canada! Cruz.

O Canada! Cruz, after all, is the Tea Party guy who wants to pack immigrants onto "self-deportation" freight trains. But he's having to go around with a Richard Nixon five o'clock shadow holding up two fingers and wobbling his jowls to say, "I am not a Canadian!" You couldn't make this stuff up!

O Canada! Cruz was just starting to fade, in fact, when Dweebhurst came along to occupy the Republi-fun limelight. Who's next? I predict it will be something to do with Texas Attorney General Greg anti-Obama Abbott. One can only hope.

Yeah, it wasn't making the call that was bad. If anything, there was something almost sweet about it. This guy's a zillionaire ex-CIA agent -- he really is -- and he makes the call himself. That's crazy. I had a friend who worked for a high-end department store in Dallas where there was a kind of ambient ongoing problem with very rich Park Cities ladies who walked out with six-figure purses stuffed up their skirts. Sweetest ladies in the world. Their husbands just didn't give them big enough purse allowances.

The call telling the store to drop all charges never came from the lady's rich powerful well-connected husband. It came from the CEO of the store. The husband got the fix in and everything taken care of way up the line from any peons. Normally, that's what being rich and well-connected is for.

No, I think it's kind of nice that Dweebhurst made the call himself. And I even like that he was so dweeby about it, in the same way I like that our governor couldn't remember the third government agency he wanted to abolish and our United States senator is having to go around to Tea Party groups denying that he's a Canadian terror baby.

It's like the Cadillacs, actually. It reminds us that we all have feet of clay; money is not I.Q.; and Republicans can be the funniest people! As long as they're not trying to be.

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze

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