Conveniently forgetting the fact that he ran for Kerrville Justice of the Peace in 1986 as a Republican and voted for George Bush in 2004, Kinky Friedman is now claiming that he is a longtime Democrat ("I was a Democrat before you were born"), as a preface to saying that he will run again for governor in 2010 as a candidate for the Democratic nomination if he can raise $3-5 million for the primary challenge. Kinky is betting that Texans who supported Obama and Clinton during the presidential primaries, as well as Ron Paul Republicans and Libertarians, can propel him to victory in 2010. Kinky seems to be a bit detached from reality about both his prospects in the next election, and his performance in the last one: he thinks that "there was never a black community against [him]" because of his racially insensitive remarks, just "some bloggers who felt that I was doing too well." In fact, the NAACP demanded an apology from him, and not just for remarks that he made "27, 29 years" earlier, as he now claims,but for stuff that he said as recently as 2005.
I like Kinky as a personality and a musician, and I certainly think he's well within his rights if he wants to run - if he does, I'd certainly rather see him do so as a Democrat than as an independent again (mostly because I don't want to see him cockblocking the Democratic nominee in 2010 like he did in 2006). But he shouldn't be taken seriously as a politician, and he isn't somebody that we as Democrats can count on to stand up for or promote our values. He supports organized prayer in schools, supports posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms, supports putting up a wall between Texas and Mexico, and despite his expressed support for gay marriage, he couldn't be bothered to vote against the state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. I certainly don't think he's a racist, but I hold no illusions about the fact that because of some of the statements that he's made in the past, African-Americans at best will have little or no enthusiasm for him as a candidate, and at worst will stay home on election day or even vote against him if he's at the top of the 2010 ballot. Kinky would certainly get more than a few votes from people due to his name and celebrity status, but he's just not viable as a general election candidate, and if he runs as a Democrat in 2010, we would be foolish to give him the party's nomination.