Kinky Friedman Announces for Governor, Doesn't Like How LBJ Passed Civil Rights

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Key Point: Kinky Friedman believes that all the arm-twisting David Dewhurst did to bring voter ID to the floor in order to limit minorities' participation in elections is the exact same thing as LBJ working to pass the Civil Rights Act.

Kinky Friedman is not serious. We already have one joke of a Governor in Rick Perry, and Texas can't handle the failures of another one. He has no policy, he is not serious, he is not credible. Moreover, he has no intention of ever becoming serious, of becoming credible, or caring about policy for more than the two seconds it takes for him to exhale his stank-filled cigar smoke — or for him to go on his next book tour.

The fact that he is now denigrating Civil Rights is just the latest in a long line of disgusting remarks he's made in the guise of running for office.

If you want the long list of questionable and ridiculous things he did in 2006, read it all here. If you forgot, and want to listen to the disgusting “jokes” — jokes for which he never apologized, and still doesn't care about — you can listen to them here. If you want to read his thoughts on policy, just remember what he said the last time he went on a book tour (re: ran for Governor):

“All the little issues you're talking about are all (expletive),” he said. “It's all (expletives).”

Kinky Friedman wants to run as a Democrat to sell books? Fine. Let's just remember how much he hasn't changed. From the Statesman's First Reading with Jason Embry:

Friedman has a new book that’s about to come out, and it highlights his conversion to the Democratic Party. It’s called “Heroes of a Texas Childhood,” and he described it as a Profiles-In-Courage-type book that highlights the lives of folks including Sam Rayburn, Sam Houston, Ralph Yarborough, Molly Ivins, Ann Richards and Lady Bird Johnson. But, interestingly, not Lyndon B. Johnson.

“I don’t think he’s a hero,” Friedman said. “He’s not one of mine. I think he did a lot for civil rights but he demonstrated one way of doing things: arm-twisting in the Senate, petty points of procedure. If you go with LBJ, you could go with David Dewhurst, Bernie Madoff would be good.

Kinky Friedman believes that all the arm-twisting David Dewhurst did to bring voter ID to the floor in order to limit minorities' participation in elections is the exact same thing as LBJ working to pass the Civil Rights Act.

Not serious. Not credible. No policy. Just jokes, book tours, and now a backhand to the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

Why would anyone ever want to vote for him?

About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

40 Comments

  1. Utopia
    I really admire the work with homeless animals he does out at his ranch. He needs to go back there and shut up.

    Really, can't Willie Nelson or someone just go have a quiet word with him? The last thing we need is anyone splintering the Democratic vote this year…or worse, making Dems look any more pathetic than we do ourselves.

    • pathetic?
      i don't agree that “we” Dems make ourselves look “pathetic”.

      “our” party in texas is on the rise…big time.  we have gained seats in the house, senate and local level.

      we have legislative leaders that literally drive debate on big issues. we have more resources available to candidates than in our party's history.

      how is any of that “pathetic”???

      • We need a credible candidate
        to run for Governor and LT Governor.  Then we will stop looking pathetic.  Why can't one of our legislative leaders step up to the plate?

  2. Kinky needs reminding.

    He was a pretty good satirist before he started taking himself seriously. He used to be a pretty entertaining character, until he turned himself into a caricature. And he's always been a half assed musician, that's a fact.

    Shoot, he's not even a native Texan.

    Riddle: Why does Kinky hate Texas? He doesn't. He just loves himself more.  

    :-

  3. due respect
    i think there is a misunderstanding.  he did not denigrate the civil rights act.  totally inaccurate statement. no way, no how. that is not accurate.

    if you re-read the quote, he actually says:

    I think he did a lot for civil rights

    additionally, Kinky NEVER said anything about voter id. not sure where you get that from…pretty big leap. the conversation was about letting the ideas drive the legislation or leaning on the process. i know that isn't apparent from the quote, but that was the context.

    i understand that there will be a lot of skeptics until Kinky proves that he is serious…i was skeptical as well.

    i became convinced through literally months of conversations that Kinky IS serious and that he is right on the big Democratic issues. that is why i signed him as a client.

    if you give him a fair chance to win your vote i think you'll see a big difference from 06. i see it.

    as typical, i know that we are all going to say horrible things and spin horrible angles and scratch at each other's eyes for a few months, but that is the process we have at BOR and i think we're prepared for it.

    i've said from day one “the more the merrier”. just a few days ago i applauded gilbert's entrance to the race. i think having people line up to run on our ticket is awesome and exciting.

    • Yes, it is accurate
      A “Pretty big leap” — oh come on now, Colin. Friedman used his own words, calling the procedural ways LBJ passed civil rights “petty points of procedure” and then immediately said this:

      If you go with LBJ, you could go with David Dewhurst

      He compared the arm-twisting of LBJ and the arm-twisting of David Dewhurst. Not me. And I called out that comparison as a denigration of the Civil Rights Act, because comparing those two — Dewhurst's arm-twisting (which happened with voter ID) and LBJ's (the Civil Rights Act) is disgusting.

      Kinky Friedman compared Dewhurst to LBJ; I just explained what he was comparing. Don't blame me for him saying something stupid.

      • again
        it is not accurate to say that kinky denigrated civil rights. you come on. that is just not true. i agree that denigrating civil rights act would be disgusting. that is not what he did. you are a smart guy, phillip. you know that isn't what he said.

        kinky says enough stuff that you can legitimately jump on him about without reading in something that isn't there.

        you are clearly excercised about this and brewing for a fight. you're not going to get one here.

        i'm not going to be posting a lot about this race. but whenever there is a clear misrepresentation, or in your case a misinterpretation, i'll attempt to clarify from time to time.

        calmate, phillip. no one blamed you for anything. i think if you re-read my post you'll see that no one attacked you. i thought i was fairly measured in my reply.

        • You said I was not accurate. I simply argued that I was.
          The guy compared two things. I pointed out the details of that comparison. Thanks for saying I'm a smart guy, but I don't think it takes intelligence to compare two things.

          Now, you may disagree with my characterization or interpretation of what he said. That's totally fine; disagree with my opinions all day. Kinky's supporters have disagreed with my interpretation of his remarks ever since he made those despicable jokes. I'm totally comfortable if they don't agree with my opinions of Kinky, because I sure as hell don't agree with their opinions of Kinky.

          But my headline is accurate. I quoted him accurately. The comparison is accurate. I don't think my clarification of the fact that I was accurate in my writing is “brewing for a fight” — I think it's not letting someone say I'm inaccurate.

          I'd love to forget Kinky Friedman and not post a lot about him, too. But when his cigar is chomping up column inches in my newspaper, I will post on this race. Otherwise, if he stays out on the book tour between now and the primary, I don't intend on writing about him at all.

          • Yes, but…
            Kinky was denigrating the legislative sausage-making process with his comment.  The tone of your post is a tad harsh.  Ok, great, you don't like Kinky/think there are better candidates.  I'm a Hank Gilbert fan.  But this post in particular comes across as the type of noise game that the far right employs, and that I cannot abide.

            Otherwise, big fan of all the work yall do here.  Keep it up.

  4. Kinky Running in the 2010 Democratic Primary is a Good Thing
    Just as soon resolve policy matters and internal party issues in the primary season for both Democrats and Republicans. The less independant candidates running in 2010 the better. We should want our next governor to be atleast Governor 50%, plus 1 vote. Primary elections have runoffs, general elections do not; resulting in Governor 39% in 2006.

  5. Kinky is correct
    He's not saying he disagrees with the Civil Rights Act just that there is a similarity of how Dewherst and Johnson “twist arms”.  He probably doesn't like Voter ID and is saying that if Dewhurst could have twisted arms as well as Johnson we may now have Voter ID.  

    Johnson was able (with assistance) to procedurally get the legislation to a vote against strong opposition from many in his own party.

  6. Colin Kalmbacher on

    Bad call, Phil.
    I agree with the other Colin.

    Kinky didn't say anything that a reasonable person could in any way, possibly assume was denigrating toward civil rights.

    You've just used some really tortured logic and assumptions to paint the guy in a bad light.

    So what if he doesn't like Johnson? The guy was a murderer.

    You're simply smearing Kinky because you don't like him.

    Leave that crap to Republicans.

    The netroots are supposed to be reality-based.

    • OK
      I respect that people may not think LBJ is a hero; I think that's a valid point to make, if put in the context of the Vietnam War.

      But the guy compared one person's arm-twisting to another, specifically in regards to Civil Rights. The results of that arm-twisting was to pass Civil Rights (LBJ) and to limit minority participation in elections (Dewhurst). I think that is an awful comparison, and I said so.

      Tortured logic is saying that fast food is actually healthy for you because it forces you to gain weight which, in turn, forces you to exercise. Using another's words to compare two like things is not tortured logic.

      I stand by my opinion that such a comparison is disgusting. I don't like it, and I think anyone that followed BOR over the past three years is surprised. But I do respect that some people disagree with me.

      • LBJ did some great things in 1964 and 1965
        Sadly, they were only possible because of the shock of the Kennedy assassination.  However, if you look more closely at LBJ's history in the Senate, you would not be so proud.  He rose to his leadership by kowtowing to the Southern segregationists — all Democrats, of course.  He showed absolutely no interest in civil rights until he became president.

        His pre-1960 record was a civil rights disaster.  There is no other way to interpret it; Dugger documents it detail.  However, the fact that Johnson passed such monumental civil rights legislation after he became president is testimony how a man can grow and overcome grave errors.  Few men are capable of such growth.

  7. Easy there, killer…
    Harsh words.

    But look, Kinky has zero chance of winning the nomination; there's no reason to attack him like he's a serious candidate. He's a joke of a candidate, and I'm sure he'll even be an entertaining joke–hell, I'm actually glad he's running, because it'll probably be fun to watch.

    And yes, he says stupid things (and this LBJ thing doesn't rank too high on the stupidomenter compared to some of the stuff he said last go-round), but going after him for it like he's actually a legitimate candidate just makes you look silly.

  8. If you would just read history instead of play with your iPhone you would know …
    One of the reasons Nixon won in 1968 was because the left abandoned LBJ, and HHH by association, and the Democratic Party, over the war.  LBJ = Vietnam War.  JFK left a measly 22,000 troops in Vietnam.  LBJ left 500,000+.  

    Once in office, Nixon was sincerely puzzled by the outcry over his jackboot politics.  He figured, Johnson did it, so what's the big deal?  So LBJ enabled Nixon, at least a little.  I'm not kidding myself; jackboot thuggery was in Nixon's blood.  But LBJ did it first.  Without his example, Nixon might not have felt so empowered.

  9. Was it LBJ
    or was it the military/industrial complex that had kicked in. Is any mortal man or woman (or president) a match for that? And there were over 58,000 Americans who died, no?

  10. Yes and no
    Nixon killed the other 29,000.  LBJ started it and Nixon ended it, but he took so long to do it that he doubled the body count.

    And LBJ was bought and paid for by the military industrial complex … his entire career was funded by Brown and Root and its ilk.  Why do you think the left went to the streets to protest him?  For instance, Brown & Root's first contract was to build the Mansfield Dam, which created Lake Austin.  Guess who got them the job?  LBJ.  BTW, it went over budget and over schedule by 2-1/2 years, because B&R had never built a dam before.  George Brown was LBJ's #1 campaign contributor.  During Vietnam, B&R was the Halliburton of its time, building the “tiger cages” that were used to inhumanly imprison Viet Cong prisoners.  It wasn't torture, but it was the next worse thing.

    The military industrial complex is only as powerful as the politicians who give them contracts.  Guess who that was from 1961 to 1969?

  11. I think
    I will read the book you have suggested. And then check back later. ;) Who's your favorite politician of all time…assuming you have one?

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