“Hud thrives,” the UnTexan wrote or or about 9.20.10, following the death of screenwriter Irving Ravetch, who co-wrote Hud with his wife, Harriet Frank. “His offspring litter their shit in McMansion-sized heaps across the landscape. They’re everywhere and they go by various names. Texas Governor Rick Perry is a hardcore Hud-ite. Wasn’t Jesse Jackson just warning President Obama to beware of Hud-ism and its many charms?

“Now Texas is all over the place. Hud’s world is our world. It’s the world of the minor character writ large. That makes it a scary place. See the movie. It’s a good movie. And think about Irving Ravetch, the man who saw Hud coming down the road, and tried to warn the rest of us what was headed our way.

“Ravetch found a relatively minor character in Larry McMurtry‘s novel, “Horseman, Pass By“. He was called Hud Bannon and Ravetch recognized him for what he was, and pumped him full of bullshit and hot air and turned him into the unprincipled, greedy, Bible-thumpin’, money-grubbin’, land-grabbin’, stripmall-buildin’, queer-baitin’, Mexican-cheatin’, black man-draggin’, prisoner-executin’, sleaze-baggin’, fuel-suckin’, George W. Bush-electin’ (a minor character writ large if ever there was one), aw-shucks-dumbass-from-Dumas shit kickin’ good ol’ boy we all have come to recognize as the charming Texan next door.

“Ravetch saw Texas for what it was and called it Hud.

“Here’s what Hud’s old daddy Homer Bannon says in the movie: ‘You don’t care about people, Hud. You don’t give a damn about ’em. Oh, you got all that charm goin’ for ya. And it makes the youngsters want to be like ya. That’s the shame of it because you don’t value anything. You don’t respect nothin’. You keep no check on your appetites at all. You live just for yourself. And that makes you not fit to live with.’

“Or as Hud himself puts it: ‘This country is run on epidemics, where you been? Price fixing, crooked TV shows, inflated expense accounts. How many honest men you know? Why you separate the saints from the sinners, you’re lucky to wind up with Abraham Lincoln….I say let us dip our bread into some of that gravy while it is still hot.’

“To which Hud’s daddy replies: ‘You’re an unprincipled man, Hud.’ To which Hud answers: ‘Don’t let that worry you none. You got enough for both of us.’

“It’s ‘The Hud-ite Creed.’ It’s as American as Obama and apple pie. And it’s a pretty good description of the Republicans (official motto: ‘We don’t care about you’) and the way they do their business in Texas and everywhere else. In fact, it’s a pretty good description of the world we’ve let ourselves get cozy with whether we’re Republicans or not.”