Eric Greitens Wants You To Shoot Some People

Eric Greitens, an actual Republican candidate for the US Senate in Missouri, released perhaps the most unhinged political ad of the campaign season ... well, so far. The ad shows Greitens racking up a shotgun as he prepares to go “RINO hunting.” He’s not targeting actual rhinoceros, like some asshole Trump kid, but so-called “Republicans In Name Only.” He accompanies a group of vigilantes dressed like SWAT-team members and armed with assault rifles. They break into an unidentified RINO’s home and hurl a smoke bomb before entering. This presumably breaks several laws. Greitens boasts:

Join the MAGA crew. Get a RINO hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit, and it doesn’t expire until we save our country.

There is in fact no “permit" for hunting human beings.

Here’s how Moms Demand founder Shannon Watts (correctly) summed up the situation: "After former Missouri governor Eric Greitens was charged with violent sexual misconduct, his ex-wife says he bought and hid a gun. He also threatened to shoot himself unless she supported him publicly. Now he’s threatening to kill his political opponents.”

PREVIOUSLY: MO Senate Candidate Eric Greitens Is Somehow Even More Trash Than We Knew

That's what makes this so bizarre. Republicans frequently release campaign ads with violent imagery. Senator Joe Manchin shot the cap-and-trade bill. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has "blown up” government spending. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has gunned down "socialism.” They were all vaguely symbolic. Greitens overtly targets actual people with violence. A candidate who’s credibly accused of physically abusing his ex-wife and their children should avoid going full Travis Bickle. Senator Raphael Warnock was armed with puppies in his successful campaign ads. Greitens is making a compelling case for red flag laws.

However, the ad definitely got people talking. For instance, Missouri state Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden immediately spoke with law enforcement. He tweeted: “We have been in contact with the Missouri Highway Patrol and hope that former Gov. Greitens finds the help he needs. Anyone with multiple accusations of abuse toward women and children should probably steer clear of this rhetoric.”

Facebook has removed the video from its platform for violating its policies “prohibiting violence and incitement.” It’s not a tough call, as the ad clearly does both. Twitter did its thing where it declared that a tweet violated its rules about abusive behavior, but it’ll keep up the content anyway (with a warning) because it's from a high-profile public figure with significant reach. You can’t share Greitens’s tweet, which declares, "We are sick and tired of the Republicans in Name Only surrendering to Joe Biden & the radical Left. Order your RINO Hunting Permit today!”

Who’s surrendering to Joe Biden? He’s simultaneously an old man who can’t ride a bike and the Freddy Krueger of the West Wing. Greitens and Breitbart both whined about apparent Big Tech censorship because Twitter and Facebook have basic content standards.

Big Tech is once again meddling in our elections and putting their thumb on the scale. When I’m U.S. Senator, I will fight against the disgusting tech oligarchs from stealing any more elections.

Twitter let Greitens complain about its service without interference, so it’s obvious that it only draws the line with promoting stochastic terrorism. Greitens is also free to threaten people on Truth Social.

CNN’s Kasie Hunt lamented all this violence that generic politicians have normalized.

What's a truly “troubling trend” is the media’s apparent inability to identify Republicans as the bad actors. Democrats — Manchin aside — don’t run gun-toting ads. Republicans aren’t just threatening liberals now but fellow Republicans who aren’t suitably loyal to Donald Trump. They don’t define “surrendering” to the “radical Left” as compromising on policy but simply letting us live in peace.

We didn’t seriously expect an official rejection of Greitens from Republican leadership. They probably fear the RINO death warrant. However, Democratic Senate candidate Lucas Kunce put it best: "Terrorists, child abusers, and criminals like Eric Greitens shouldn't even be able to get a weapon. I'm the Marine veteran running against this guy. Send me to the U.S. Senate, and I'll keep our families safe from criminals like him.”

Greitens is trash but so is the party that enables him.

[Kansas City Star / New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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