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OPINION | EDITORIAL: Hunting for RINOs in season

June 23, 2022 at 2:54 a.m.

"Back in the days when I performed my part as a keel boatman, I made the acquaintance of a trifling little steamboat which used to bustle and puff and wheeze about in the Sangamon River. It had a five-foot boiler and a seven-foot whistle. And every time it whistled, the boat stopped."--A. Lincoln.

Apparently, Eric Greitens was in the United States military. The former governor of Missouri (and current candidate for U.S. Senate) even made it into the Navy Seals. Thank you for your service, sir.

But unlike most vets we know, he apparently didn't learn how to apologize while in uniform. It should be done with no ifs, ans or buts.

After his campaign for United States Senate issued a now-infamous ad on social media depicting him with a shotgun hunting RINOs (Republicans in name only), he said, aw, come on: It was only a metaphor. And every "normal person" understood it as such.

Yes, but not everybody is normal.

We can't imagine what might go through the minds of some of the more, shall we say, susceptible among us on seeing the advertisement the Greitens campaign put out. Lord, it featured flash-bang, no-knock warrantless entry, complete with an armed tactical unit storming through a house, all while Mr. Greitens walked among them shucking a shotgun through the smoke:

"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."

That ad seems exactly the sort of thing that would set off those who set off Jan. 6, 2021.

Or those who set off June 14, 2017--the date the crazy man shot up a congressional baseball game in Alexandria, Va.

Or those who set off Jan. 8, 2011--the date the crazy man shot U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords in Arizona.

And there are many other examples. The FBI arrested 13 men in the fall of 2020 in a plot to kidnap the governor of Michigan. Earlier this month, an armed man allegedly planning to kidnap and harm a sitting United States Supreme Court justice was arrested near that justice's home in Maryland. Just this past week, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (a Republican from Illinois) said he received a letter threatening to execute him, his wife and their newborn child. Representative Kinzinger, you'll recall, is one of two Republican members on the Jan. 6 Committee, so things have come full circle.

Mr. Greitens--who may be trying to get voters to forget he resigned as governor of Missouri in 2018 amid accusations of ethical problems and sexual misconduct--said only RINOs and their media friends were upset about the ad.

Well, not exactly. Conservatives in his state have been heard from, and many aren't happy. And according to The Kansas City Star: "Some of the most forceful criticism came from the Missouri State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police . . . . It said the ad suggested Greitens was prepared to use violence against his political opponents."

Given the state of the country, this ad is more than unfortunate. It's dangerous. Are we not divided enough? Are we not violent enough? And this from a candidate who's attacking people in his own party, because some of them aren't extreme enough for his tastes. Not that this ad would have been okay if it would have attacked Democrats, but this just goes to show how extreme our politics have become when moderates in your own ranks are considered all but treasonous--and worthy of putting down, Old Yeller style.

Abraham Lincoln once said of an opponent who had a habit of going overboard in his rhetoric: "The oratory of the gentleman completely suspends all action of his mind." That's the polite way to put things. And perfectly describes Eric Greitens and his huffs and whistles.

There are suggestions that Eric Greitens' campaign might want this kind of publicity. Because it would help fundraising to (1) produce such an advertisement, (2) get it banned from social media and scorned by the MSM, and (3) claim censorship in campaign material. If that sounds completely cynical, we're happy you don't misunderstand.

It also might be completely cynical to think that there will be people who will vote for him just because of the media outcry in the aftermath of this advertisement.

If so, that doesn't speak well of those voters. And it doesn't speak well of the Eric Greitens campaign. But that's where we are, until this fever subsides.

Print Headline: On the hunt


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