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Monday, December 09, 2019

Tag: eric greitens

Facebook Pulls Missouri Senate Candidate’s Video For Inciting Violence

If you want to know where the Republican Party has going, there’s been one guiding light since 2016. Not Donald Trump … former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. And here is where Greitens’ is going today.

Greitens: “Today, we’re going RINO hunting. The RINO feeds on corruption is marked by the stripes of cowardice. 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.”

The video that accompanies this has to be seen to be believed and yes, trigger warning barely seems to cover it.




In 2016, Eric Greitens ran a campaign entirely focused on shooting things. Shooting things. Shooting more things. And also blowing up things. Seriously, this was Greitens’ first campaign ad and it was by far the least offensive. From there, the guns, explosions, and promise of violence only went up.

Greitens, who had never held any sort of public office, went on to win the Missouri gubernatorial election by a large margin over Chris Koster, a moderate Democrat who had been the Missouri Attorney General and a state senator. Then, a year after taking office, Greitens had to resign in disgrace after finding himself charged with felony invasion of privacy “over allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman he was having an affair with, tied her up, took photos of her, attempted to blackmail her, and subsequently participated in publicly humiliating her.”

Yeah, that. Subsequently, Greitens’ ex-wife—the one he was cheating on when he did all of the above—has claimed she has documentary evidence that he abused both her and their children.

In spite of all this, Greitens announced that he is running for Missouri Senate this year to replace the retiring Roy Blunt. And, because the world is the way it is, he is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination.

It would be easy to dismiss Greitens as some kind of backwoods idiot, waving guns around because he doesn’t know anything else. Nope. This guy? He’s a Rhodes Scholar. He wrote two books about the importance of caring for others, fighting genocide, and ending the use of landmines. One of his books opens with a foreword by Paul Rusesabagina, the central figure of Hotel Rwanda.

Until 2015, Greitens called himself a Democrat. But as the already malignant Tea Party movement metastasized further into MAGA, Greitens is one of those who jumped on board, spotting a ripe opportunity for self-promotion and profit. It’s hard to say he’s a hypocrite … because it isn’t clear if that term can really be applied to a sociopath. Like Trump, Greitens loves the uneducated. Loves to feed them a stream of pseudo-strength and not-even-disguised fascist imagery.

And every time he has turned the dial toward a nightmare police state in which people are hunted down and summarily executed for failing to have the correct thoughts … he’s been rewarded.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

Top Missouri Paper Torches Greitens And GOP Over Abuse Charges

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's editorial board is weighing in on the latest scandal involving former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (R), who resigned from his leadership post back in 2018 amid sexual misconduct allegations and multiple campaign finance violations.

This time around, the former disgraced governor is at the center of domestic violence claims as a result of allegations from his own ex-wife, Sheena Greitens. The newspaper notes that on Monday, March 21, court documents allege that her ex-husband "was physically violent toward her and their children and engaged in such 'unstable and coercive behavior' that she and others around him limited his access to firearms."

Now, amid Greitens' latest Senate bid, the St. Louis-based newspaper is calling on the Republican Party to see him for who he really is. The editorial board explained why the latest allegations are actually worse than the initial scandal he faced.

"The new allegations are in some ways even more disturbing than those voiced by Greitens’ former mistress during his 2018 impeachment hearings," said the editorial. "Among Sheena Greitens’ many claims is that he struck one of their kids and dragged him by his hair, and once 'knocked me down and confiscated my cell phone, wallet, and keys so that I was unable to call for help or extricate myself and our children.'”

As Republicans fight to regain control of the Senate during the upcoming midterm elections, the editorial explained why Greitens' latest scandal could not only be problematic for him but the entire political party.

"The polls showing Greitens leading the Republican pack come with an important caveat: The GOP field is crowded, which is what has allowed Greitens to rise to the top with only about 30 percent support among Republicans (because the rest of the votes are divided among multiple other candidates)," the board noted. "In hypothetical head-to-head races with Democratic front-runners, Greitens does far worse than several of his fellow GOP candidates. That’s encouraging regarding Missouri voters at large, at least."

However, that's not all. The level of support Greitens already has, according to the editorial, suggests serious changes need to be made among voters. The board concluded writing, "For this man to have garnered support from almost a third of Missouri Republicans should occasion some serious soul-searching within the party."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Media Must Stop Whitewashing Republican Worship Of Dictator Putin

American politicians cheerleading a dictator as he sends tanks into a neighboring country and bombs a sovereign nation ought to be a huge news story. The fact that portions of a major U.S. political party, and its aligned media outlets, sanction Russia’s massive invasion of Ukraine represents a stunning turning point for the Republican Party and how this country traditionally deals with foreign crises.

Assigning its loyalty and admiration to the Kremlin instead of the West Wing, key parts of the GOP, led by Trump who called Putin’s move “genius,” is embracing a truly radical worldview. But that’s not how the treasonous behavior is being portrayed by the press, which for days has matter-of-factly described the GOP as being “divided” over the prospect of a tyrannical Russian leader — his adversaries regularly end up dead — launching an invasion.

Ho-hum language abounds. There’s been a “split,” the New York Times reports, suggesting that Republicans who turn a blind eye to Putin’s invasion are merely “America First” “isolationists.” The party is facing “foreign policy factionalism,” Politico insisted. It’s sending “mixed messages,” NBC News announced, which went on to describe the GOP’s pro-Putin wing as “a newer brand of America Firsters,” “Republican doves,” and “the libertarian right” which has an “anti-interventionist strain.” None of that accurately describes this unprecedented trend in American politics of endorsing murderous autocrats.

More pedestrian presentation from NBC:

The fissures point to a growing divide in the Republican Party, between traditional foreign policy hawks who have advocated for a more confrontational U.S. posture to the Russian strongman and a Trump-aligned “MAGA” faction that has expressed some sympathy for Putin's tactics or described them as effective.

The Washington Post on Wednesday suggested it was a “novel phenomenon” that a portion of a U.S. political party was siding with the Kremlin over the White House. Novel? The Post article didn’t quote one Democrat or one expert on the rise of authoritarianism to put the GOP’s shocking behavior in context.

The Beltway press treats this as if it were nothing more than an inter-party squabble over taxes or immigration policy, not portions of the party tacitly supporting the largest land invasion in Europe since World War II, a possibly brutal blitzkrieg that could leave thousands of civilians dead. And spearheaded, ironically, by the former Soviet Union, which for decades served as the epicenter of right wing suspicion and hostility; the proverbial Evil Empire.

Today’s kind words for Putin would be like in 1990 after Saddam Hussein’s Iraq invaded Kuwait, if the Democratic Party had been “divided” over whether the deadly incursion was a good thing or a bad thing, and the D.C. press shrugging and treating it as normal political posturing. In truth, if a single elected Democratic official had even breathed a sentence of support for Hussein back then it would have been a huge story and created a maelstrom of media trouble for the party. Yet Republicans singing Putin’s praise in 2022 is treated as no big deal.

It’s the latest example of the media constantly normalizing reckless conservative behavior. “Trump’s own giddy rush to side with a foreign leader who is proving to be an enemy of the United States and the West is shocking even by Trump’s self-serving standards,” CNN’s Stephen Collinson wrote. It’s “shocking” if you haven’t covered politics for the last six years.

The Putin appeasement coverage also lacks key context — what does this mean that one of America’s two major political parties supports a tyrant who invades his neighbor without cause? A U.S. party that politely regurgitates Kremlin talking points and embraces institutional appeasement for Putin, who in the previous decade stridently defended a Syrian regime that killed tens of thousands of its people in a civil war.

It’s not a minor faction either. Thanks to Trump’s worshipful embrace of Putin for years, 62 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents insist Putin is “a stronger leader” than Biden, according to a recent poll.

The GOP’s Putin bromance actually began under President Barack Obama, when Republicans and the right-wing media marveled at Putin’s political prowess. (Matt Drudge: “Putin is the leader of the free world.”) Why the sudden Republican attraction? Putin (a “macho man”) was defying the U.S. with regards to Syria and when Russia invaded Crimea.

Today it’s not just about oppositional politics — it’s not the GOP conveniently and temporarily embracing Putin because he’s squaring off against another Democratic president. Instead, it’s genuine admiration of an undemocratic strongman imposing his will, which is exactly why Republicans slavishly supported Trump for four years. This is another glimpse into the growing, and unapologetic, undemocratic movement within the GOP — and the press portrays it as normal.

That’s why Trump’s former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who is rumored to have presidential ambitions, told Fox News that Putin is “a very talented statesman” with “lots of gifts," adding, “He knows how to use power. We should respect that.” It’s why the Republican Senate candidate in Missouri, former Gov. Eric Greitens, warned about “bloodthirsty Washington elites" and their "warmongering” against Russia.

And it’s why Tucker Carlson tells his millions of Fox News viewers each night that Biden is the one who needlessly provoked Russia, and that Ukraine is not a country worth saving.

Stop whitewashing the madness.

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

Another Trump-Backed Senate Candidate Vows To Dump McConnell

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Regardless of whether Republicans retake control of the upper chamber next year, the Republican caucus that emerges from the midterms will undoubtedly move to the right as GOP candidates across the country vie to out-MAGA each other in their primaries.

The Senate Republican caucus that emerges was already bound to be less beholden to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as Donald Trump plays kingmaker in some critical swing-state contests in, for instance, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

But in addition to those races, several Trump-aligned candidates in states where Republicans will almost certainly prevail are not only pledging their loyalty to Trump but also serving notice to McConnell that his days may be numbered.

Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski for her Alaska seat, is the latest GOP Senate hopeful to say she'll vote to send McConnell packing if elected, according to Politico.

"When I defeat Murkowski and become Alaska’s next U.S. Senator, I will not support Mitch McConnell as leader," Tshibaka told Steve Bannon in a Monday appearance on his War Room podcast. "It’s time for new, America First leadership in the Senate.”

Tshibaka's pronouncement sounds a similar note to that of Missouri Senate candidate and disgraced former governor Eric Greitens, who also appeared on Bannon's podcast to serve notice to McConnell.

"We've got to have new leadership in the Senate. The Republican Party is now the MAGA Party," Greitens said. "No more weak, woke, establishment Republicans!" Greitens added when he tweeted out the clip.

Another Trump toady, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who is running for that state’s open seat, has hinted at something similar.

"I will support the candidate for Senate majority leader who is the most conservative and best reflects the values of Alabama citizens," he told Politico early this month. Brooks was a bit cagey, saying McConnell “could” get his vote. But he wouldn’t commit, as if he were still hedging his bets on whether the McConnell or Trump wing of the party ultimately prevails. That type of slippery answer also isn't panning out well for Brooks, who is underperforming in his race despite Trump’s endorsement and recently shook up his campaign staff.

But expect to see more anti-McConnell pledges as GOP candidates continue to compete for Trump's endorsement in ruby-red states where whoever wins the primary is a shoo-in for the Senate.

If and when they get there, McConnell could have a real problem on his hands.