Seriously, Texas: Buc-ee's Is Not a Legitimate Campaign Issue
In case you haven't been following one of the stupider developments of the primary election cycle -- and there have been plenty to choose from -- Buc-ee's is officially an issue in the race to become Texas' next lieutenant governor.
Dan Patrick for Texas We're voting for the beaver.
To recap: Buc-ee's is a chain of enormous roadside convenience supercenters, most famous for its absurdist billboards, extravagant whiz palaces and Beaver Nuggets. (These, for the record, contain negligible amounts of beaver but lots and lots of corn derivatives -- think Corn Pops, only puffier.) Over the weekend, Dan Patrick announced the endorsement of the chain's co-founders Arch "Beaver" Aplin and Don Wasek, and its eponymous beaver mascot, Buc-ee.
Wait -- it gets dumber. In a tweet that appears to have since been deleted, U.S. Congressman/rising Democratic star Joaquin Castro pledged an informal boycott of Buc-ee's:
Won't gas up there anymore since they support a fear mongering immigrant basher. "@KoltenParker: Buc-ee's endorses Dan Patrick for Lt. Gov.— Joaquin Castro (@Castro4Congress) March 10, 2014
Wonder how Bucees patrons in Freeport, Lake Jackson stores feel abt their endrsmnt of DP who spoke abt immigrants bringing diseases to TX.— Joaquin Castro (@Castro4Congress) March 10, 2014
Buc-ee's the company quickly distanced itself from the Patrick endorsement, telling the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy that the founders were expressing their personal political views, not those of the company.
"We believe Beaver Nuggets and beef jerky taste good regardless of political affiliation," their attorney said, apparently with a straight face.
Now, just to bring the stupidity full circle, Patrick has turned the imbroglio into a campaign ad accusing the Castro brothers of "liberal bullying" and "attacking Texas businesses to further their hatred of all things conservative":
Last night, Patrick declared a "victory for small businesses in Texas" after the Castro brothers "cancelled their Buc-ee's boycott," which was never a boycott so much as a handful of tweets, and which wasn't so much "called off" as subtly backed away from on the grounds that Patrick made it sound like he had the endorsement of the convenience-store chain itself.
It doesn't have to be this way, Texas. Sure, there's probably something of a partisan divide on Buc-ee's, at least among those who fuel themselves with divisiveness, with lefties more inclined to dismiss it as the most decadent possible expression of America's soul-destroying car culture, and right-wingers extolling it as a roadside shrine to free enterprise.
But this really isn't something that has to divide us. Hipsters and rednecks alike can appreciate a giant novelty beaver.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.