A Symptom of the New GOP — Eric Greitens

Eric Greitens … does that name ring a bell for you?  It probably does today, but a month ago, unless you live in the state of Missouri, you probably hadn’t heard of him.  Before I get into his current newsmaking event and the ramifications, let me give you a little bit of background on Mr. Greitens.

He is a Rhodes scholar with a doctorate degree from Oxford.  He is a former Navy Seal who served four tours of duty, rose to the rank of lieutenant commander, commanded a unit targeting Al-Qaeda, and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.  Greitens founded a nonprofit organization, The Mission Continues  , to benefit veterans. In 2013, Time included him in its list of the 100 most influential people in the world.  Sounds like a pretty decent all-round guy so far, eh?

A Democrat-turned-Republican, he ran for and won the office of Governor of the state of Missouri in 2016 and took his oath of office on January 9th, 2017.  And here’s where it starts to go downhill.  Greitens left office on June 1st, 2018 – just 17 months after moving into the governor’s mansion – due to a felony indictment for campaign-related offenses including computer tampering, and a credible sexual assault accusation.  A General Assembly had convened to commence impeachment proceedings, but Greitens resigned before the Assembly was able to decide on impeachment.

And yet, after leaving the governor’s office under a dark cloud, Mr. Greitens threw his hat in the ring and in March 2021, announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring incumbent Roy Blunt in the 2022 election.  Now, nothing thus far would have qualified him as one of the nastiest in the GOP, but then last weekend he released a violent campaign advertisement showing him wielding a shotgun, flanked by men dressed in full military gear carrying assault rifles.  In the ad, Greitens declared:

“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.”

Numerous times lately I have commented that the Republican Party ‘eats its own’ these days, and this terribly violent “anti-Rino” advertisement seems to affirm that.  The party is split along the lines of the Big Lie … if you believe, or at least pretend to believe, that Donald Trump won the 2020 election and if you are willing to swear an oath of fealty to Donald Trump, then you are part of the core GOP.  But if, as numerous brave souls like the ones we heard from in Tuesday’s January 6th committee hearing, you are fact-oriented, believe in democracy, believe in upholding your oath of office, believe that, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Democracy is a rule of the people, for the people and by the people”, then you become a GOP outcast, or as they refer to it, a RINO – Republican In Name Only.

Yesterday I talked a bit about the violent threats that had been received by election officials and their families, and I also noted that there had been, since Tuesday’s hearing, a significant increase in the threats of violence against the committee members and their families.  We all understand that the threats against such people as Brad Raffensperger, Rusty Bowers, Gabe Sterling, Adam Kinzinger, Shaye Moss and her mother Ruby Freeman were instigated and incited by none other than Donald Trump and his minions as he tried, illegally, to cling to power.  In the same way, Mr. Greitens’ ad is fully intended to stir the masses, the maga crowd, as they are known, and incite them to commit violence against any who disagree with the maga lies.

This, friends, is the new GOP.  Now, logic tells us that the GOP cannot survive long as a single political party under these conditions, but that it will crumble as it destroys itself from within.  Disagreements over policy are one thing, and a natural part of political discourse, but calling for violence raises the stakes and is untenable in the long term.  But the concern is … what happens in the interim and at the end of the day, where are we left?  The U.S. clearly needs two viable … viable being the key word here … political parties and today we do not have that.  It’s past time for the GOP, if there are any members who haven’t sold their souls to Donald Trump, to take a long, hard look at itself, its members, its ideology and decide what, if anything, they actually stand for.  Eric Greitens is but a symptom of a much larger, lethal disease.

34 thoughts on “A Symptom of the New GOP — Eric Greitens

  1. My sister works on Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s campaign. Hartzler is running against Greitens in the GOP primary. Word is that Greitens is a ruthless machine politician who has the moral character of an iguana in heat. Greitens cheated on his wife shamelessly. GOP women hate wife cheaters with a purple passion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jill, to be brutally frank, the real RINOs are the folks following the deceitful, bullying and seditious acting former president, These folks stand for contrived and overblown issues to get people to vote for them. They stand against actually helping people wanting to see things fail, so they can blame others. They have a currency of untruthfulness and condone too much violence as normative. While the traditional Republicans are far from perfect, there is clear light of day between the folks called RINOs and these MAGA followers. The latter have destroyed the Republican Party and, if people let them, they will destroy our democracy. That is what this independent and former Republican and Democrat believes. Keith

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    • I fully agree. They have gone far beyond what the Republican Party ever stood for. Ten years ago, they would have been the outcasts within the party, but today … the ARE the party. A sad state of affairs for what was once a decent political entity. I have long hoped that the voters would take off their rose-coloured glasses and vote the monsters out, but even that hope has now died. The GOP is, in my eyes, a vast wasteland littered with the debris left by the former guy.


  3. Clearly, the USA needs more than 2 viable parties, so that when one self-destructs, the others can pick up the pieces, and government will still go on. My personal preference is both parties split, to have a far right, a right-centreish, a left-centreish, and a far left. Then the far right can self-destruct and no one will even notice.

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      • Ten years ago, an ad like Greitens ran would have gotten him removed from the GOP ticket, but today … they just shrug their shoulders, chuckle a bit, and move on to the next aberration.


    • I’ve looked at some multi-party systems such as that of the UK, and they seem to bring even more chaos sometimes, but yes, more than two choices would be good. Especially given that one of the two choices can no longer be considered to be legitimate.


      • Using Canada as my guide, two does not work. Three offers more choice, but stil does not meet the needs of the people. Four, I think, is the best number. I will not say what these parties should represent, only the voters can say if they accept them. But beyond four gets unwieldy. The thing I like is no one party should get to get all their policies passed without help from someone else, someone who can have a real effect on what goes into the policy, and what does not. And that means giving up on pre-scheduled elections. There needs to be not just a recall policy for individial legislators, but a recall policy for entire governments. When a govrnment can run without the support of the People, then it can turn into a dictatorship.
        There is not time and dpace here to delve into all the problems of democracy. But democracy can be saved. The people need to take back the powers democracy was supposed to provide them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I need to do more research on multi-party systems, coalitions, etc., before I can comment intelligently, but I can certainly see the advantage of having more than two viable options. Here we do have other “third parties” like the Green Party, etc., but the system is such that they will only be able to be on the ballot in a handful of states and there is no way their candidate will win the presidency, although there are a few Independents in Congress.


          • The only way to win the Prime Ministership is to be the leader of the Party with the most seats in Parliament. But if no party has a majority, the first step is for the party with the most seats to find support from one or ore of the other parties, forming coalitions than together have a majority. This usually requires the “majority partner” to take the other party’s platform into account when trying to pass legislatoon. If the minority partner does not like what the majority partner is doing, they can withdraw support without notice. This helps to keep the majority partner from going overboard with legislation other partners do not agree with. Generally, this works well for all parties in the coalition.
            The thing is, in Parliament, if a bill put forth by the majority partner gets defeated, it results in an immediate “No Confidence” vote. Losing a No Confidence vote results in the dissolution of Parliament, and a new election is then held.
            Tnix is a quick and therefore simplistic description of the Parliamentary system, but it should give you something to go on when researching multi-party systems. The more parties you add, the harder it becomes to get a majority, which I think is a good thing. Majority governments, one party holding more than 50% of seats, always seems to bring trouble.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I like what I’m hearing so far. I would have concerns, though, about the automatic vote of no confidence if a bill by the majority party is defeated. Here, that would be an almost daily occurrence, but apparently not there, as Trudeau has been PM for quite some time. Thanks for that helpful summation … I’ll be looking more into it when time permits, but frankly I doubt this country would even consider adopting such a system, at least in the current divisive climate.


              • I am not saying adopt it. But I am suggesting finding some way to combine the two. No matter what, the two party system has to go. Just, don’t let the number get out of hand. Especially don’t allow regional parties in federal elections. Our government was horrible when Quebec elected a regional party to be the official opposition for the entire country. They cohld not and would not psak for the rest of the country. That par.iament got little good done, as I remember.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Agreed … I can envision 15 parties, nobody ever being able to form a coalition, nothing ever getting beyond the bickering state. But, I think it’s likely to be a cold day in hell, as my grandmother used to say, before this nation even considers anything beyond the current two-party system.


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  5. Pingback: A Symptom of the New GOP — Eric Greitens — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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