We’ve had a piece of trash campaign mail on our kitchen island for several days from an outfit called FranklinAndLee.com. It attacks Eric Greitens.
We wrote about FranklinAndLee on April 27, should you want to read how it and one of the other Republican candidates know of one another but both claim they don’t speak.
Greitens, whose campaign has emphasized that he can shoot a gun and pound on a punching bag but has not indicated HOW he will straighten out a state government that has been left in shambles by those blasted professional politicians (of which he wants to become one of), is Missouri’s Donald Trump.
He’s the Republican that Republicans don’t want to recognize. But he has tied a lot of knots in GOP knickers because he showed up in some recent polls as the leading candidate.
One poll had him ahead of John Brunner 29-22 with Hanaway at 16 and Kinder with 12. Another poll shows him ahead of Hanaway 24-22 with Brunner and Kinder at 16 and 15. The results are inconsistent except that both show Greitens in the lead, Kinder lagging badly for a three-term Lieutenant Governor, and 21 to 23% of the potential voters not sure what to make of it all.
FranklinandLee, which has close ties to Brunner’s campaign although he denies any connection to it, is harping on the “He is not one of us” theme. We heard that throughout the national presidential primary campaign, didn’t we? .
What are Greitens’ big sins? If you’ve gotten one of these pieces of trash mail and you haven’t trashed it yet, take a look. He went with Governor Bob Holden in 2008 to hear Barack Obama’s presidential nomination campaign speech. In 2013 he committed the heresy of liking St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay because Slay had helped veterans get help, training, and jobs. (Pssst—In case you have missed any of Greitens’ commercials, he’s a former Navy SEAL.)
One criticism is that he met with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which was courting him, and met with Congressman Russ Carnahan. Conveniently left out is WHEN his meeting took place. It had to be in 2012 or earlier because Carnahan lost a re-election bid that year.
But within inches of the criticism of his meetings with the DCCC is a quote from Greitens, “When Democrats asked me to run, I told them no, because I am a conservative, and I am a Republican.” So he was recruited and he went to Washington where several influential Democrats tried to convince him to run for Congress and he said no.
Not one of us? What is he, then, after telling the D’s he wasn’t going to be one of THEM?
Apparently it is an unpardonable offense that he didn’t lemming-like get in line behind Senate Joint Resolution 39 in the legislature this year (there are plenty of previous entries here about that if you want to put yourself through reading them). And to compound the crime, Claire McCaskill, one of those heathens in the other party, agreed with him.
So Eric Greitens, exercising his First Amendment Freedom of Association with Mayor Slay, should be considered a political leper by Republican voters. And because Claire McCaskill exercised her same First Amendment Freedom by associating herself with his position of SJR39, he is even more leprous.
And there’s a quote from MSNBC’s Joe Klein, who is demonized in this piece of trash as a “liberal author and journalist.” Klein described Greitens as “a Pro Gay-Rights Pro-Immigration Reform Republican.” Let’s seen, what was one of the major points in the primary campaign of the Republican presidential nominee? Immigration reform? That’s it. And that same nominee said several years ago of Elton John’s marriage to his longtime boyfriend, “If two people dig each other, they dig each other.” And in 2000, he urged Congress to amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Clearly, being a “Pro Gay Rights, Pro-Immigration Reform Republican” makes one UNqualified to be (a) a Republican and (b) a chief executive of a state or a nation. At least it didn’t in Cleveland last week.
To summarize: Eric Greitens is “not one of us” because he was heavily courted by Democrats from 2008-2012—we surmise— before he proclaimed his GOP loyalty. He’s “not one of us” because he could not conscientiously support a divisive and, many felt, discriminatory proposal masquerading as a religious liberty issue. He’s “not one of us” because Joe Klein indicates he thinks non-heterosexuals have some kind of a place at the table. He’s “not one of us” because he said a good thing about a Democrat that he thought had done good things for people like him.
So much for the “big tent” that we’ve heard both parties claim they have.
So what happens to the Missouri GOP if “not one of us” wins the primary election for Governor? We’ve seen at the national level what happens when “not one of us” comes out a winner. In Cleveland we heard calls for the party to unify although many of those voices did not call for it to unify behind the party nominee. Republicans are not alone with concerns about what “party unity” will mean after this. Democrats are in the boat with them.
Eric Greitens, as an American citizen, is free to call himself a Republican if wishes to do so. It’s his right.
Eric Greitens, a Republican, does not forfeit his mind, his conscience, or his right to associate personally or politically with anybody he chooses.
Eric Greitens, American citizen, does not have not to pass any litmus test of narrowness or broadness to be a member of any political party he chooses. And to be a candidate within that party.
When you come down to it, the FranklinAndLee.com piece of junk mail might be more damaging to the Republican Party than it is to Eric Greitens. The portrait it paints of who a Republican must be is not flattering to the party.
A party that makes such a big deal of letting individual citizens exercise their sincerely-held beliefs is not helped by junk mail like this that says Eric Greitens is not a member of the party because he has done just that.
There is a reason stuff like this is called “junk” mail.
Both of our political parties are in a fix this year because both have had to deal nationally with “not one of us” candidates who have caused big problems for party orthodoxy.
What was that again about a big tent? Is it only for winners?