Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas is a conservative publicity machine creation. He is not alone in his party but Crenshaw made the mistake of agreeing, relatively early on, that Joe Biden defeated disgraced former guy Donald Trump in the 2020 election. At the time, it seemed like the easiest layup of a “disagreement” with one’s own political party to have. Unfortunately for Crenshaw, having a mind of your own—unless you are a billionaire or a billionaire’s mouthpiece—is not how fascism works.
As the months have gone by, the far-right Crenshaw has fallen out of favor with many of the MAGA-monsters who once salivated over his military bona fides. Fox News’ Orwellian O’Brien, Tucker Carlson, has labeled him “Eyepatch McCain.” Get it? He has an eye patch because his right eye was badly injured when an IED went off in a 2012 attack in Afghanistan's Helmand Province—where Crenshaw was serving at the time. Man, Tucker is wicked clever and funny for a rich brat homophobe.
Now, Crenshaw is making news after going on a podcast recently and saying that behind closed doors, all of the election deniers, the profligate mouthpieces of the Big Lie, know it’s a lie. They aren’t zealots backing some delusional conspiracy: They’re intentionally lying.
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Nick Troiano appeared on Crenshaw’s Hold These Truths podcast. The two spoke about the merits of ranked-choice voting, with Crenshaw acting very ambivalent but amenable to the concept (for primaries only). But when Troiano brought up the fact that there are so many big liars pushing the idea that our elections are completely bogus and the only America that matters is the one where a minority of mostly white guys make decisions about everything, Crenshaw mentioned that in conversations he has had over the past couple of years, he is unwilling to say his GOP wants to overthrow democracy.
Sidenote: Rep. Dan Crenshaw signed on to the amicus brief back in December 2020, for a lawsuit from Texas to the Supreme Court hoping to overturn the results of the 2020 election. You can see his name on page six. When this part of the coup d’etat didn’t work out, Crenshaw tried to spin the thing as not a big deal. “That amicus brief was a simple question of the Supreme Court, in saying, ‘Can you please speak to this question of whether, of whether process changes in the election—last minute, not approved by the legislature—can be deemed constitutional?’ It was a question, and they didn’t want to answer that question.” University of Washington law professor Marshall Mannheim told CNN that the amicus brief “repeatedly stated that the conduct of defendant states was unconstitutional.”
Anywho! Crenshaw’s reasoning, which is either naively or disingenuously wrong-headed, is that all of these Republican officials and candidates know that the Big Lie is a lie: “It was always a lie. The whole thing was always a lie. And it was a lie meant to rile people up.” Crenshaw claims he is frustrated with his fellow Republicans because he says that the “the promises you’re making that you’re gonna challenge the Electoral College and overturn the election, there’s not even a process for you to do that. It doesn’t even exist.” It is also the reason he believes our democracy is safe, because in his estimation, there isn’t a way for Republicans who are already wildly disproportionately represented in two of our three branches of government to do it. “It cannot be done.”
Crenshaw also chalks up the continuing disinformation campaign to partisan lies and rhetoric simply becoming “more extreme.” He tells Toiano that he has had conversations with fellow Republicans and “they’re like, ‘Yeah, we know that, but we just, you know, people just need their last hurrah. Like, they just need to feel like we fought one last time. Trust me, it’ll be fine.’ And I was like, ‘No, it won’t. That’s not what people believe and that’s not what you’re telling them. And maybe you’re smart enough to know that but …’ So we have a lot of people in the political world that are just willing to say things they know aren’t true, they know aren’t true and it’s a huge manipulation.”
His twisted reasoning sounds a little bit like a child saying that the tooth fairy cannot be fake because every time Danny put his tooth under the pillow, the tooth fairy replaced it with money by the time he woke up. On the one hand, Crenshaw admits that there are a lot of people that believe these lies and are voting based on believing the lies being cynically pushed. However, Crenshaw wants to also believe that while this secondary part is true—lots of people believe the lies being told to them because these people running for office’s job is supposed to be about things like leadership and truth and integrity—the fact that the liars don’t actually believe the lie makes this just a messier version of politics, and not an actual threat to our democracy.
The root of Crenshaw’s ambivalence on the matter is easy to understand. If you remember, it was very similar and undemocratic behind-the-scenes machinations that helped get Crenshaw into power in the first place. You need go no further than looking at how rigged his district was by the Republican majority in 2010, to see that Dan Crenshaw owes his job to right-wing think tanks’ active overthrow of our democracy. You need look no further than Dan Crenshaw’s shady storytelling about fellow veterans to understand his true character.
On The Brief podcast we discuss what the polls are saying—and what the polls cannot predict. The traditional and right-wing narrative continues to champion polling that downplays Democratic candidates’ successes, while ignoring polling (including their own, in some cases) that flies in the face of that narrative. Either way, it does not change the fact that you need to get out and vote! And after you vote, make sure to encourage others to get out and vote—especially those younger folks in your life.
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