Let them fight.
That was my first thought after hearing Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), fire rhetorical shots at a Texas Liberty Alliance PAC event, calling out some of his Republican colleagues as “grifters” and “performance artists” who only “know how to say slogans real well,” which they use to “get all of the attention.” He accused them of reciting lines “they know our voters want to hear.”
He was referring to the absurdly named and violent insurrection-supporting House Freedom Caucus and members like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Louie Gohmert, and Mo Brooks, who have accused him of voting for a “vaccine database” to track and punish unvaccinated citizens. In reality, Crenshaw said it was a House bill allocating state funds to update immunization information systems, but to the same group that routinely promotes QAnon conspiracies, a life-saving measure during a pandemic might as well be a mark of “deep state” oppression and a violation of their liberty to stay sick, dumb, and vulnerable.
Whether Crenshaw is thirsting for some of the Traitor Tots’ limelight or sincerely concerned about their destructive tendencies that are harming the party, he decided to defend Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who announced he’s no longer running for re-election after his own party turned on him for opposing Trump’s Big Lie.
Crenshaw noted that Kinzinger voted with Trump 99 percent of the time, much more than the Freedom Caucus members attacking him. But Kinzinger also believes a violent insurrection seeking to overthrow a free and fair election is a step too far—and that is a step too far for these fascists. As such, his political career as a Republican public official is over and he is subject to ex-communication, much like Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted with Trump 93 percent of times, is a freaking Cheney, and was the No. 3-ranking GOP leader last year until she was booted out of the leadership for standing up to Trump.
Crenshaw didn’t stick his neck out for Cheney, and while he accepted the election results, he also signed on to the Texas attorney general’s lawsuit seeking to help Trump’s coup by tossing out votes from swing states. Crenshaw’s hypocrisy and “both sides” waffling on the Big Lie was so egregious that it forced Chuck Todd to become a good journalist and call him out on Meet the Press.
The reality is that the modern GOP death cult demands absolute obedience, and Greene has emerged as its Aunt Lydia willing to settle scores, call out traitors, and keep loyalists in line.
In November, Greene criticized Crenshaw, a war veteran and Navy Seal, for having a “loser mindset,” after he tweeted that Americans should “accept the final results” of the 2020 election. She urged Republicans not to “back down,” which was the same advice she gave to Rep. Lauren Boebert after she was rightly criticized for her hateful Islamophobic comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar, which resulted in Omar receiving death threats.
Greene believes that “President Trump has fought for us, we have to fight for him.” And that means fighting for his supporters, violent insurrectionists who overtook the U.S. Capitol, resulting in the deaths of five people including a police officer. On Monday, Greene, who has been removed from committees for her rants about Jewish space lasers and more, held a press conference bemoaning what she considers to be the oppressive treatment of Jan 6. prisoners at D.C.’s detention facilities.
Backing her there was a confederacy of dunces including Gaetz, Gohmert, and Gosar, who was recently stripped of his committee assignments after posting a violent anime showing him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. These clowns couldn’t bother to honor the brave Capitol Hill police officers who saved and defended their colleagues, or complain about the cruel detention of Guantanamo Bay prisoners and individuals in solitary confinement, but for a radicalized cult willing to overturn an election? They ride or die.
Greene even promoted the bizarre lie that these defendants are being pumped full of “critical race theory training” in jail. Maybe a surprise plot twist to this absurd drama would reveal the House Caucus joining some progressives in supporting the abolishment of prisons.
Crenshaw’s broadside came days after Greene attacked Rep. Nancy Mace, a fellow Republican with a staunchly conservative voting record, for condemning Boebert’s ugly, vicious attack on Omar. Greene called Mace “the trash in the GOP conference” and claimed she’s never attacked by Democrats “because she is not conservative, she’s pro-abort.”
Mace told reporters, “All I can say about Marjorie Taylor Greene is bless her fucking heart.”
Again, let them fight.
House Minority “Leader” Kevin McCarthy failed to quench this feud and has voluntarily condoned and emboldened the Fascist Five (and friends), by refusing to condemn their behavior. This growing, vengeful Frankenstein monster threatens to annihilate the remaining “sober” Republicans.
But if they’re really sober, they’ll get out now. Greene doubled down on Steve Bannon’s podcast, declaring that hateful politicians like her and Boebert represent the “base” of the GOP now, not the fringe. For once, I completely agree with this crazy person. The modern GOP is a radicalized, weaponized death cult that believes in the “deep state,” QAnon, the Big Lie, the Replacement theory, and is against cancel culture and vaccine and mask mandates since it’s “my body, my rights” but has no issue at all with overturning Roe v. Wade, promoting voter suppression, and canceling elections when their preferred candidates don’t win.
Even cowardly, sycophantic loyalists like former Sen. David Perdue are not sycophantish enough to win over scorched-earth extremists like Steve Bannon. Like Crenshaw, Perdue also supported the lawsuit to invalidate millions of voters in swing states, and he also called for the resignation of Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, who rejected Trump’s request for him to “find votes” in Georgia. Still not enough for the cult. On his “War Room” podcast, Bannon condemned Perdue as Trump’s pick to challenge Republican Governor Brian Kemp, because Perdue allegedly “did not support” Trump’s coup.
The sad reality is these modern GOP members like Crenshaw and Greene may fight, but they have plenty in common starting with their shared Islamophobia and hate. While running for office, Crenshaw was a Facebook administrator of a group that made posts and comments calling Islam a “cancer,” criticizing Black Lives Matter, pushing conspiracies such as Pizzagate, and claiming the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in the killing of an anti-racism protester, was “orchestrated by the left.” Crenshaw, like Greene, doubled down on his Islamophobia against Omar, and he still refuses to apologize for deliberately misinterpreting a segment from her speech that eventually resulted in her receiving hate mail and death threats.
Still, I’m hoping that the GOP’s increasing radicalization, pettiness, paranoia, and immaturity keep them firing at each other rather than at the most vulnerable and marginalized Americans. In light of Democrats’ utter inability thus far to call out these hatemongers for what they are, Republicans ripping into each other ahead of the 2022 elections may be America’s last, best hope.