What exactly does that sticky cow pie represent? Hm?

This is the cover of last month’s issue of Texas Monthly, which I temporarily forgot about after angrily chucking it. (Forgetfulness is a blessing. It’s what keeps me from sounding and looking like Lewis Black, not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Wendy Davis, Recipient of Texas Monthly 2014 Bum Steer Award
Texas Monthly, December 2014

As Andrea Grimes at RH Reality Check rightly points out, the “Bum Steer” distinction is usually reserved for prominent Texans who engage in acts of buffoonery like accidentally shooting your buddy in the face, or being Rick Perry.

But this magazine cover, y’all. This magazine cover is something else. Just months after Texas Monthly lauded Davis as a potentially serious political threat—along with San Antonio’s Joaquin and Julian Castro—under the headline “Game On?“, the magazine flung her into a cow pasture in an act of pure, derisive mockery. All for the crime of running for office and losing.

And, perhaps more pointedly, for the crime of running for office as a woman.

I subscribed to Texas Monthly about a year ago, partly out of nostalgia for my home state, and partly because its long-form articles tend to be really well written. It’s a fairly reliable (or at least non-insane) source of insight about what makes Texas tick.

It’s getting harder and harder to find those meaty articles, however, hidden as they are among pages of ads for fracking companies and brokers of million-acre tracts of land stocked with exotic game.  And as much as I love barbecue, I believe we’ve gotten to a point in our culture where there is really nothing more we can say about slow-smoked meat. I emerge from this magazine exhausted by its tapdance and vaguely sad that I don’t own a really good silver and turquoise statement piece.  But at least I know where to go if I want to spend $20,000 to shoot an ibex.

Yeah, I think I’ll just let that subscription lapse.