On Monday Eric Greitens, the former governor of Missouri and a current US Senate candidate for Missouri tweeted out a video urging people to order a “RINO Hunting Permit” to kill Republicans who are insufficiently crazy and depraved enough to be part of MAGA Nation. You probably remember that Greitens pulled a gun on his wife, and was credibly accused of sexual assault by the woman he was having an affair with. He was also accused by his ex-wife of abusing their young son.
You might think this video would be a roadblock for Greitens’ campaign because, in a normal society, threats of violence against members of your own party whom you deem insufficiently MAGA would turn voters off. However, it’s 2022 and this is the current iteration of the Republican Party.
And if you think I’m overstating my case, please allow me to mention Greg Gianforte, the governor of Montana who was recently in the news for abandoning his state during a massive disaster, a la Ted Cruz. Gianforte’s rise to fame was built on an incident when he assaulted a reporter on the campaign trail in 2017. He was also convicted on a charge of assault, but that was a feature, not a bug, to Republican voters.
The 1/6 Committee’s hearings have been a tale of Republican violence, from the first night’s walk through of the violence on the ground at the Capitol, to Tuesday’s painful and brave testimony from Shaye Moss (ably covered here at First Draft by Our Fearless Leader). Because the current GOP is a hate group, I was saddened but not surprised by the testimony Moss gave about how she and her family were targeted by TFG’s loser followers. What they went through was absolutely wrong and just shameful. But in the wake of Greitens’ video I was struck by the GOP’s raging desire to hurt its own members.
Both Rusty Bowers and Brad Raffensperger spoke about the threats that were not just made against them but against their family members. And the Republican members of the 1/6 Commission have also come under fire. The hatred the MAGAs have for Liz Cheney is well-documented, and now Adam Kinzinger and his family have received death threats.
I’m not surprised that Rudy Guiliani is behind a lot of this violence. Rudy has never been a decent person, and he committed to violence back before he was elected mayor. In 1993 he led a mob of New York City cops to riot outside the mayoral mansion then inhabited by David Dinkins. The catalyst for the riot was Dinkins’ announcement that he was creating an all-civilian police oversight board. Rudy’s behavior 30 years ago is perfectly in keeping with today’s Republican Party.
The violence that is so integral to and embedded in the MAGA movement is deeply unsettling. The open desire to purge the GOP of people who don’t support TFG is an even worse omen, because if they’re willing to kill members of their own party, what is the fate of the rest of us?
Stay safe out there. Here’s some Bowie for our collective anxiety: