Missouri’s Disgraced former Governor and current GOP Senate candidate, Eric Greitens, sank to a new low this morning.
“A new low for Eric Greitens!” you’re probably thinking, “Why, that could mean literally anything!”
You’d be right. Greitens past few years have been so scandal-plagued that “a new low” could mean almost anything. So let’s narrow it down.
No, the man who was forced to resign Missouri’s governorship amid a scandal of sexual deviancy and blackmail claims wasn’t in the news for tying-up yet another lover and photographing her without her consent.
And no, the plurality frontrunner for Missouri’s GOP Senate nomination—who is credibly accused of domestic violence against his ex-wife and young son—didn’t have incriminating photographs of that abuse come to light…yet. (According to The New York Times, Sheena Greitens, Eric Greitens’s ex-wife, has said that “she stood ready to provide ‘photographic evidence’ of the child’s injuries ‘at the appropriate time.'”)
Instead, a day after Rep. Adam Kinzinger revealed he’d gotten death threats for being one of two Republicans to participate in the January 6th Committee, Greitens released a campaign ad Monday that explicitly called for violence against “RINOs.” (Republicans In Name Only). And make no mistake about it, Greitens new ad is a disgrace.
Joking About Killing Your Friends and Neighbors is Not Actually funny:
Pumping a shotgun, Greitens looks into the camera and says, “I’m Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL, and today we’re going RINO hunting.”
The ad then portrays Greitens leading a group of storm troopers with smoke grenades into the home of a purported RINO—evidently to kill them? Or perhaps to take a page from Greitens own playbook and just hold them against their will?
Either way, Greitens new ad represents a hideous departure from the usual virtue-signaling narcissism of Republicans campaigning with guns. Kristi Noem firing a shotgun in a South Dakota cornfield, Dr. Oz doing the same in a Pennsylvania one (or maybe it’s New Jersey?)—as gun-base cotton-candy as those ads are, they at least operate under the guise that there are reasons Republicans want to own guns besides killing humans.
Greitens takes no such pains. And while the ad itself is probably ludicrously comical enough to avoid claims that it’s a legitimate incitement of violence, “joking” or not, it’s an ugly reminder of just how mainstream it’s become to advocate political violence in polite Republican company.
Further, Greitens’s ad would be easier to dismiss if, at the moment, he didn’t also seem to be the frontrunner for the GOP’s nomination. But this is deeply red Missouri, and Greitens is running in a crowded field from which the winner could easily emerge with less than 30% of the total vote. He currently leads with 26%, although nearly a quarter of Missouri’s registered republicans still tell pollsters they’re undecided.
Chances for Missouri Senate:
In any other environment Greitens would be considered a very weak candidate. He’s scandal-plagued, and there is good reason to think that more would be revealed should he advance to November’s general election.
But, like the Pennsylvania Governor’s race, where Doug Mastriano emerged from a crowded field with only a plurality of the vote, plurality races in 2022 have favored whoever appeals most to the extremist base.
So while Greitens has been a poor overall fundraiser who faces serious skepticism from the Republican establishment, in a state like Missouri there is no guarantee that nominating so flawed a candidate would lead to better outcomes for Democrats.
Meanwhile, (unsurprisingly), national Republican leadership has been silent on Greitens new ad. Perhaps because they’re cautious of being labeled a RINO in an environment where murdering RINOs is fodder for campaign ads?