Critically Endangered As It Is
June 20, 2022 4:49 PM   Subscribe

In his new Senate campaign ad, military veteran and disgraced former governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens, goes RINO hunting.

[...] one of fascism’s key features is the glorification of violence as a domestic political tool. Keep that idea in mind as you watch this new ad from Eric Greitens, a Missouri Republican running for U.S. Senate: With a shotgun in his hand and a pistol on his belt, Greitens accompanies soldiers busting into what appears to be a suburban home. Then he says to the camera: “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.” [...] Greitens is not deploying some subtle metaphor here. You can even order a “RINO Hunting Permit” sticker from his website. If asked, I’m sure he would say he’s not literally advocating the hunting and killing of human beings. But he kind of is.

In case you’re unfamiliar with him, Greitens’s campaign for Missouri governor six years ago featured an ad showing him firing hundreds of rounds with a gigantic machine gun while the narrator said he was “under attack from Obama’s Democrat machine.” Greitens won that election, then resigned amid multiple scandals. The most appalling of them concerned a woman who charged that he coerced her into sex and then blackmailed her. (He admitted having an affair but denied the blackmail accusation.) (Elite Republicans are now openly encouraging political violence, Washington Post opinion piece, June 20, 2022; archived link)

In the web ad, a gun-toting Eric Greitens and a group of armed men in tactical gear burst into a home hunting for RINOs — Republicans in name only. (NBC News, June 20, 2022) David Lapan, a retired Marine colonel and former Department of Defense and Homeland Security spokesman, tweeted that Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, "has dishonored himself, his oath, and the Navy. This clear call for violence against his political opponents, using military images, is depraved & dangerous." [...] "He is unfit for elected office & should be held accountable," Lapan said.

Greitens, 48, holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and was a Rhodes scholar. His doctoral thesis, Children First [2000], studied best practices of international humanitarian organizations serving children in war-ravaged countries, and formed the basis of his book, Strength and Compassion: Photographs and Essays [2008]. Greitens, a Bronze Star recipient, served 4 tours of duty as a Navy Seal, rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and in 2007 survived a chlorine bombing in Fallujah; he sustained injuries, and was awarded the Purple Heart. Other military honors include the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. (From 2005-2006, Greitens left full-time active duty for his appointment as a White House fellow, assigned to HUD.) His second book, The Heart and the Fist, was published in 2011; other works include The Warrior's Heart: Becoming a Man of Compassion and Courage (the 2015 adaptation of The Heart and the Fist aimed at teens), and Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life (2016).

Greitens, one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2013, is a former Democrat. Greitens uses FOX News editorial to explain party switch, goes on listening tour (Missouri Times, July 15, 2015) just before his September gubernatorial bid (his first bid for any elected office). The son of a Jewish special-ed teacher and a Catholic accountant, Greitens was born in St. Louis, MO and raised Jewish. In 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Tufts University, and has taught public service as a senior fellow at that institution's Truman School of Public Affairs. From the candidate's website: "Eric is a sub-3 hour marathon runner and the winner of the Shamrock Marathon at Camp Fallujah, Iraq. As a boxer, he won two Oxford Boxing Blues and the Gold Medal at the BUSA National Boxing Championships. A Missouri state and USNTF national champion in sparring, he holds a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo." Ballotpedia entry.

Seven years ago: The Great Jewish Hope (Washington Free Beacon, Feb. 19, 2015; archived link) This Navy SEAL who works to help veterans is entering politics. And he’s a Republican. If Eric Greitens sent you his résumé, you wouldn’t believe it.

Feb. 22, 2018: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’s sexual blackmail scandal, explained (Vox) Greitens stands accused of secretly photographing a woman nude and threatening to release the photos to buy her silence. [There's worse details; he allegedly struck the woman, and she's quoted: I didn’t even know. I feel like I don’t even know. I was just numb.]

March 21, 2022: Ex-wife accuses top Missouri GOP Senate candidate of abuse (AP) Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, now a leading Republican Senate candidate, was physically abusive and demonstrated such “unstable and coercive behavior” that steps were taken to limit his access to firearms, according to new allegations from his ex-wife revealed in court records on Monday. [Phone records blast holes in Eric Greitens’ conspiracy claims, attorney says, is a STL NPR article from May 2022]

March 22, 2022, Ex-Wife Accuses Missouri Senate Candidate Eric Greitens Of Domestic Abuse (NBC) In an affidavit for a custody case in Boone County, Missouri, Sheena Greitens said she was the victim of domestic violence while she was married to Eric Greitens for almost a decade.[...] Vicky Hartzler, a GOP rival who is also seeking the nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Roy Blunt, called on Greitens to drop out. "Real men never abuse women. Period," she said in a statement Monday. "It's time for Eric to get out of the Senate race and to get professional help." The Senate’s No. 2 Republican, John Thune of South Dakota, weighed in on Greitens’ electability Monday in light of the allegations.

“I don’t know why you would want to continue the race in this case,” Thune told reporters at the Capitol. “I mean, it just seems like with that, coupled with all the other scandals, it’s hard to see how he could be a viable general election candidate.”
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[Sheena Greitens’ lawyer says she will ‘absolutely’ use Eric Greitens’ ad in custody dispute (Kansas City Star, June 20, 2022) In the sworn statement dated March 15, Sheena Greitens alleged that in June 2018 she became afraid for her safety and the safety of their two children — now 7 and 5 — because of Eric Greitens’ “unstable and coercive behavior.” “This behavior included physical violence toward our children, such as cuffing our then three-year-old son across the face at the dinner table in front of me and yanking him around by his hair,” the affidavit said.]

March 22, 2022, Lawmakers who worked with Eric Greitens say he's unfit for Senate (Fox News)

March 23, 2022: The Latest Eric Greitens Scandal Is Surprising to … Absolutely No One (New Republic) Court papers allege that he abused his ex-wife and one of their children. But will it stop his Senate candidacy?
posted by Iris Gambol (89 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
If the rest of my life is just a continued escalation of this nonsense I’m going to be fucking pissed.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 4:52 PM on June 20 [101 favorites]


i've been told ar-15s are needed for hunting. as are, i guess, full combat gear and flashbangs

i don't think i've ever seen poachers and rich pricks on safari standing proudly next to a bloody rhino carcass wearing that though
posted by i used to be someone else at 4:54 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


Emailed the mods about a significant typo: at "March 21, 2021: Ex-wife accuses top Missouri GOP Senate candidate of abuse," the date should read March 21, 2022.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:55 PM on June 20


This is some fucked-up repugnant shit.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:58 PM on June 20 [33 favorites]


Why give this douche eyeballs?
posted by dobbs at 5:05 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


Take your pick was this promising young man ruined by frontal lobe damage from proximity to the use of high explosives, amphetamine psychosis from abusing “go pills”, alcoholism, prescription opiate addiction or just the trauma of operating in war zones.
posted by interogative mood at 5:06 PM on June 20 [30 favorites]


Mastriano, Masters, Abbot, Sanders, Lee, Vance, Rubio, Walker, Oz, Paul, Kari Lake, MTG, Boebert, Gaetz:
Hold my beer.
posted by thecincinnatikid at 5:13 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


His doctoral thesis, Children First [2000], studied best practices of international humanitarian organizations serving children in war-ravaged countries,

... it's hard to believe there isn't some actual physical neurological damage involved here.
posted by suelac at 5:20 PM on June 20 [31 favorites]


Why give this douche eyeballs?

Encouraging an exit from a campaign is less taxing than prying someone out of a Senate seat.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:22 PM on June 20 [30 favorites]


Maybe the military ruined him or maybe he was a bright sociopath that joined up for the thrills and now continues with the same behavior in the political arena.
posted by mon_petit_ordinateur at 5:23 PM on June 20 [11 favorites]


His doctoral thesis, Children First [2000], studied best practices of international humanitarian organizations serving children in war-ravaged countries,

... it's hard to believe there isn't some actual physical neurological damage involved here.
posted by suelac at 5:20 PM on June 20 [+] [!]


Total cognitive dissonance. It has become the firmly entrenched stock in trade of MAGA mindset.
posted by thecincinnatikid at 5:32 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


June 20th, 2022: Missouri Senate leader says he contacted law enforcement after Greitens campaign video
Hours after former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens released a video saying he would hunt members of the Republican party who he considered not conservative enough, the Republican floor leader of the Missouri state Senate said he had contacted law enforcement. “We have been in contact with the Missouri Highway Patrol and hope that former Gov Greitens finds the help he needs,” Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden posted on Twitter Monday.
posted by gwint at 5:40 PM on June 20 [41 favorites]


Why give this douche eyeballs?

It's a valid question. We're not doing too much serious about right-wing domestic terror, these days. Lots of theater, definitely; not much in the way of hard prison time.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:46 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


His editorial claimed that he switched parties because he was super angry that Democrats suggested spending money on veterans when he advocated helping veterans, so I'm leaning toward "sociopath who will say whatever".
posted by Scattercat at 5:48 PM on June 20 [20 favorites]


I'm mad that Twitter reviewed the ad and decided to continue hosting it, calling it public interest. The argument is that because he's a politician this stuff should stand as evidence of his perfidy, or something liket hat. But we're in an era of increasing fascism; allowing politicians to use Twitter to spread their fascism is the opposite of what we need now. A bunch of people are going to see this ad and decide "yes, I want to vote for him because he is threatening to kill other politicians".

Twitter has gotten much better on policy and enforcement but still makes bad decisions. Not that any of this policy detail matters once Musk finishes his purchase.
posted by Nelson at 5:50 PM on June 20 [11 favorites]


A bunch of people are going to see this ad and decide "yes, I want to vote for him because he is threatening to kill other politicians".

Some percentage of people are going to see this ad and think "yeah, I have a gun, I know people who deserve it, I have permission now."

That is the really bad place this is going to go. You can't perform violence against people like this without it becoming violence against people.
posted by hippybear at 6:04 PM on June 20 [49 favorites]


As is seemingly ever-more-often the case, there's too much awfulness here to be encompassed in the amount of thought a reasonable person has to spare for Eric Greitens, but - particularly because the write-up is thorough and links a ton of stuff - it feels like it would be easy to overlook his abuse of his ex-wife and his attempted use to use non-consensual sexual photographs as a lever to control another woman from his past. I very strongly believe that that part needs to not get lost in the mix.

If we knew nothing else about him, that alone would make me want to keep the man away from weapons for the rest of his life. We have reams and reams of evidence about the connection between abuse of intimate partners and the likelihood of engaging in further violence and by any reasonable standard, if we took these matters as seriously as they deserve to be, this asshole would have lost his right to weapons a long time ago and be a social pariah. But (as a society) we not only do not take such things seriously, we seem prepared to not simply tolerate but reward a walking bundle of red flags for using performative violence as a means of joking (not joking) self-promotion.

It's disgusting.

Also: dude should be in prison, not the Senate.
posted by Nerd of the North at 6:22 PM on June 20 [61 favorites]


yes, he'd be a lot less likely to be corrupted in prison
posted by pyramid termite at 6:26 PM on June 20


I...like...have met this man and spent a couple days with him at veterans' shit? This is..absolutely wild.

But I also think there's this thing that happens with some veterans, where they have never been trained to accept limitations or barriers to whatever it is they want to do, and when things first start going south, they start doing incredibly weird and terrible things in order to try to keep all the balls in the air.

Before he started his political career, he was kind of gently forced out of some veterans charitable orgs for...kind of authoritarian tendencies. I am concerned, though maybe unsurprised, that he has gotten to this.

And I don't think Navy Seals are okay, really.
posted by corb at 7:06 PM on June 20 [60 favorites]


This is the direction that Republicans are headed - more violence leading to more fascism. Their followers eat it up because it then justifies all the hidden little things they fantasize about and it goes into a tighter and tighter feedback loop.

Anything sensible people can do about it? I doubt it it, except maybe just keep them pointed at each other and let nature take its course.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 7:11 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


Anything sensible people can do about it? I doubt it it, except maybe just keep them pointed at each other and let nature take its course.

Except even within this example, it's not really aimed "at each other" meaning people like this madman. It's aimed at "anyone who isn't like us". I'm feeling its aim directly at me as a gay man who attended a Pride a couple of weekends ago that was only 40 miles from a sister Pride in a sister City that was going to be assaulted by neo-nazis. I'm feeling its aim as it points at sisters and brothers of all kinds and stripes around me.

"they came for ______ and I did nothing because I was not _______"

This is going on right now. It's starting. The thing to do is for right and just people to stand up against it at any and every moment they see it happening.

That does mean standing between the neo-nazis and those from their own party who they want to "pretend" to hunt. Because they are "not like us" just like the rest of us are.
posted by hippybear at 7:25 PM on June 20 [48 favorites]


The more of these people I see, the more I question whether the Allies really won WWII

And it feels really weird to have to have a thought like that
posted by SystematicAbuse at 7:25 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


And it feels really weird to have to have a thought like that

Have you never noticed how much (until recently) US monuments and military bases were celebrating the Confederacy and their "heroes"?
posted by hippybear at 7:27 PM on June 20 [16 favorites]


Trump
Bolsonaro
Le Pen
Morrison
Modi
Putin
Xi

And many others
A perfect storm... It's getting really ugly fast
posted by SystematicAbuse at 7:31 PM on June 20 [7 favorites]


And you didn't even mention Queen Of Earth, Romana Didulo
posted by hippybear at 7:39 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Between that post and this one I really feel like the near term trajectory of the human race is some kind of middle ages style tribal warfare a la the visigoths and vandals. The rise of people believing in anti-scientific superstitions in particular seems to point this way. But, alas, I am a fatalist and see the global rise of fascism as the obvious, logical response to the climate crisis, and I don't want to rain hell truth on anyone else's interpretation of the nightmare.

In any case, this dude has been an untenable bastard for years, and frankly, as an American, I'm insulted I have to keep putting up with this kind of shit. I am so, so angry at the idiotic level of political discourse.

Ok, deep breaths, stepping away from thread.
posted by SystematicAbuse at 7:53 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


... it's hard to believe there isn't some actual physical neurological damage involved here.

Person with actual physical neurological damage here. Please don't, neurological damage doesn't make you a fascist. Believing fascist propaganda makes you a fascist. The two are different things.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:56 PM on June 20 [74 favorites]


Maybe we should just suggest to Cornyn and all of the "RINOs" to come over to the Democratic party. It's basically what the Republicans were 20 years ago anyway.
posted by nushustu at 7:56 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


... it's hard to believe there isn't some actual physical neurological damage involved here.

Person with actual physical neurological damage here. Please don't, neurological damage doesn't make you a fascist.


MetaFilter does way too much psychological and neurological diagnoses of people they've never met. It needs to stop.
posted by hippybear at 8:01 PM on June 20 [27 favorites]


I think in this case it was more trying to square the "abrupt apparent reversal of personality," which is an infamous symptom of some kinds of neurological damage. (Phineas Gage is in basically every book about brains.)

I'm sticking with "he was always lying and said whatever he thought would get the most people following him," myself.
posted by Scattercat at 8:07 PM on June 20 [4 favorites]


Republican Party of 20 years ago, maybe the Republican Party of Eisenhower 70 years ago, but that was before the Goldwater wing took over and recast southern segregationists as evangelical Christian fundamentalists. The Republican Party of George W Bush 20 years ago is not the Democratic Party of today.
posted by interogative mood at 8:09 PM on June 20 [19 favorites]


I think in this case it was more trying to square the "abrupt apparent reversal of personality," which is an infamous symptom of some kinds of neurological damage. (Phineas Gage is in basically every book about brains.)

I know what it was trying to do. I was asking people not to try and do that. Using a thing that people suffer from because you don't want to face the possibility that people can suddenly swing wildly in their beliefs is a crappy thing to do and makes the people who have the condition you're talking about feel alienated.
posted by Gygesringtone at 8:10 PM on June 20 [18 favorites]


Big Money Floods High-Stakes Gubernatorial Contests (American Prospect, Nov. 4, 2016). During his campaign for governor, Greitens received $1.975 million in a single day from a dark-money super PAC. In 2020, he settled with the Missouri Ethics Commission and paid a pittance in fines. Dark money playbook exposed in Greitens’ settlement with MO ethics commission (Citizens for Ethics, Mar. 3, 2020) [T]he facts detailed in the settlement provide an all-too-rare look at the inner workings of “dark money” in elections.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:41 PM on June 20 [16 favorites]


In addition to the thing where it’s kind of gross to speculate about the health and/or trauma histories of people you’ve never met, I also submit that it’s not worth trying to glean the reasons for Greitens’ thought processes because he’s never do the same for anyone to his left.

There is zero introspection to this ad at all. It is an announcement that this guy is going for a brazen power grab. Asking “but why does he want to do the power grab” is beside the point when he’s signaling willingness to shoot anyone in his way.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:02 PM on June 20 [9 favorites]


That ad is not a symptom of mental illness or brain damage. It is a threat and the man needs to be arrested. He needs to be out of circulation as soon as possible for as long as possible.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:16 PM on June 20 [25 favorites]


the Phineas Gage story turned out to be, well, a story, not at all what actually happened to him, but it fit the existing neurological narrative neatly. I have told a biologist I work with about how the “abrupt change in personality” did not happen 3 times in 5 years and every time he looks at me in disbelief. Internal narratives can be very hard to change.
posted by marcpski at 9:36 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


I think the ad's signaling: moderates, get out of the party and out of our way; we fancy your seats for our hand-picked extremists. Theater, in a way, possibly in the same vein as the senatorial bid itself? Republican strategists are very good at engineering desired outcomes: If A happens, perfect; if B happens, pretty great; if C occurs, it's a less than ideal net gain; results D through Z will still support their goals. If he drops out, Eric Greitens will make more money (personally and for the party) and be more useful for the GOP doing the speaking/fundraising circuit for the next few election cycles.

He could throw his hat back in the ring afterward, because the abuse allegations go back years and haven't mattered to his supporters yet.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:49 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


Person with actual physical neurological damage here. Please don't, neurological damage doesn't make you a fascist.

I'm very sorry for implying that.
posted by suelac at 10:35 PM on June 20 [7 favorites]


... it's hard to believe there isn't some actual physical neurological damage involved here.

Person with actual physical neurological damage here. Please don't, neurological damage doesn't make you a fascist.

Same here, and sometimes it does. My interlude of delusions was mercifully brief, but some of them had political content and could have gone in that direction over time, in my opinion.

One of the most common brain syndromes, multiple sclerosis, often involves psychosis, and the psychiatric symptoms have been correlated with the extent of neurological damage in many cases
50% or more of the patients with MS have symptoms of affective disorder or cognitive decline. Smaller proportion of these individuals develop psychotic symptoms during the course of the disease. Studies done in past have reported presence of depressive symptoms (79%), agitation (40%), anxiety (37%), irritability (35%), apathy (20%), euphoria (13%), disinhibition (13%), hallucinations (10%), aberrant motor behavior (9%), and delusions (7%) and the risk to develop psychiatric symptoms increases with age. Various studies have found that the occurrence of psychotic symptoms is related with lesion (demyelination) size, location and quantity of lesions. Speaker is presenting a case of 56 year old female with diagnosis of MS who presented with delusions of paranoia and delusions of parasitosis (sometimes called as delusional infestation) and how her symptoms correlated with the progression of MS.
NMDA receptor encephalitis, which is most often a side effect of cancer in which the immune system attacks the brain, is another illness in which brain damage can precipitate psychosis.
posted by jamjam at 11:02 PM on June 20 [5 favorites]


I wonder if Goldwater ever fully realised what he had unleashed.
posted by Pouteria at 11:22 PM on June 20 [1 favorite]


There are a long list of Reagan quotes which would get him evicted from the GOP faster than you could say Hinckley pardon. According to his son, Ron Reagan:

He would be horrified by the Republican party right now. The spinelessness in the face of this pathological entity in the White House right now would shock him.

I don't think Saint Ronnie would have tolerated this odious man's presence, just for being a dignity sinkhole.

Most of us grew up with Reagan though, that's where our understanding of what a republican is comes from. That's what republicans will claim as their inspiration.

Except in practice. In reality it's only a label they wear, like um... what's a better way to put it? Republican by label only? Something like that.

If you're looking for RINOs, try a mirror.
posted by adept256 at 3:29 AM on June 21


I have nothing to add to the physiological hypothesis discussion, but I don't blame people for wondering what's behind the apparent change in beliefs, because it's... kinda scary. I mean, you don't really ever know what's inside someone else's head. We are forced to judge others by their external words and deeds, drawing inferences and theorizing about their internal mental state (and future behaviors!) based on it, and this guy (apparently, based on most reporting) seems to have been a okay-ish dude for a number of years, until... he wasn't.

That doesn't matter politically, so if you're only looking at him as a Senate candidate, sure, it seems irrelevant. He seems pretty fuckin' unhinged now, so to some extent how he got there doesn't matter.

But I think there's a more fundamental question there, which is basically: could that just happen to anyone? Can you ever really trust that anyone you know isn't going to suddenly go Full Nazi? Because I'd imagine that some people who knew "award-win­ning inter­na­tion­al human­i­tar­i­an pho­tog­ra­ph[er]" Eric Greitens circa 2008 would be surprised to meet Actual Fascist Eric Greitens circa 2022. How do you get from Point A to Point B?

(I've got a bit of a theory, just from reading the linked articles: it seems like Greitens was a cool enough guy, as long as everything was going his way. When he flew too close to the sun—in the form of a very public extramarital affair—it looks like his whole personality melted down, and suddenly he's extorting his former sexual partner, threatening his wife, hitting his kids, pretty much going for the Shitbag Royale title all at once. And now he's just doing the pro Shitbag circuit, which these days includes running for Congress as a Republican.)

Saying "well, he was like that all along" is a bit unsatisfying, because presumably people around him didn't know he was like that all along, or they wouldn't have been around him. The "shitbag in disguise all along" theory seems reducible to Calvinism.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:46 AM on June 21 [18 favorites]


but I don't blame people for wondering what's behind the apparent change in beliefs

It's easiest to just assume grift.
posted by DreamerFi at 3:49 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


> During his campaign for governor, Greitens received $1.975 million in a single day from a dark-money super PAC. In 2020, he settled with the Missouri Ethics Commission and paid a pittance in fines. Dark money playbook exposed in Greitens’ settlement with MO ethics commission (Citizens for Ethics, Mar. 3, 2020)

FYI I couldn't get the Citizens for Ethics link to work, but found this archive.org version.

One of the travesties there was that the $1.975 million donation was during the Republican primary. That amount of money was the single factor that lifted Greitens above the other candidates in a very crowded race.

Now, where did that money come from? It was disclosed at the time that it came from a nonprofit named "Seals for Truth". But that is all we knew.

What we found out later - 2-4 years later, far, far too late to have any influence on the election itself:

- Seals for Truth was a complete sham shell corporation, created to launder that one, single $2 million campaign contribution. The $0.025 million missing was their cut of the total. They never transacted even ONE further piece of business.

- Seals for Truth received the $2 million from a completely scammy OUT OF STATE Republican slush money fund. See linked article above for some details.

This is the sort of info that could and would have swayed even Republican primary voters if it had been known in time. Why is the majority contributor to this candidate (the vast majority of the $$$ he raised as a primary candidate, if I recall) some kind of shady out-of-state slush fund clearly full of money from super-shady, super-rich and super OUT OF STATE billionaire types

- The same shady out-of-state fund, run by sleazy political operators and lawyers, that funneled this money to Greitens campaign, also gave a bunch of $$$ to the Super PAC that supported Greitens gubernatorial bid.

- This is the PAC that, BY LAW, is not supposed to coordinate with the campaign in any way but which was caught red-handed coordinating with the campaign left and right. Details in the article linked above.

What is remarkable about this is not all of it happening, but rather that this one single time it is all documented in black and white.

Do campaigns coordinate with these "independent" PACs? Uhh, you'd better believe it. They're doing nothing BUT coordinating, every day of the week.

Just that usually they make sure to do it by some untraceable method. The only thing remarkable about this case is that they were caught.

But even here - they were not caught until 4 YEARS afterwards, way too long a delay to make any difference.

And then given a slap on the wrist, which allows Greitens - EVEN NOW - to be able to say with a straight face that some of his underlings sure were naughty boys and girls but he himself wasn't guilty of a single thing.
posted by flug at 3:56 AM on June 21 [20 favorites]


Even though he's a vociferous critic of Trump and Trumpism, I can't stand watching Joe Scarborough on MSNBC because he always circles back to the defensive posture of "Republicans weren't like this when I was an elected Republican member of Congress! Ronald Regan would be ashamed of the current GOP! Trumpism isn't Conservatism!".

No matter how scalding his rebukes are, he just can't get it through his thick skull that there's a direct line from Goldwater to Reagan to Gingrich to G.W. Bush to Sarah Palin, and on to Trump and he's too shameless to admit that he occupied a point on that line and helped to advance it. He always has to defend and distance himself by disclaiming that the past has anything to do with the present and always has to inject some praise for Tip O'Neill or present some anecdote about how everyone worked together when he was in office. And it's just too hypocritical for me to take.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:02 AM on June 21 [19 favorites]


FYI here is a decent roundup of recent polls in the Missouri Senate primaries.

Greitens has been leading the Republicans in most polls lately.

His numbers took a bit of a dive when the details around his divorce proceedings came out - the problem being all-too-believable and very well substantiated allegations of physical abuse of his ex-wife and children. The guy just loves to knock people around.

But three months down the road, his poll numbers seem to have recovered. He is somewhere between +3 and +6 in what is shaping up into a 3-way race.
posted by flug at 4:17 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Don't get me wrong, Reagan is an irredeemable shithead. I'm just noting that by today's standards, they'd call him a RINO.
posted by adept256 at 4:17 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


The long history of domestic violence rather shows that the current violent posture this guy is selling himself with has been present in him for a long time, and isn’t some sort of sudden or recent change.
posted by eviemath at 4:53 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


Due to the structural misogyny within our society, people tend to overlook domestic violence or discount it, but the only thing that seems to have changed is that the group of people this guy views as potential targets who he won’t get in trouble for being violent toward has expanded due to recent political shifts in the US, in ways that do not have as widespread acceptance/complacency as violence against women in an interpersonal setting.

I don’t disagree that societal complacency around domestic violence is “unsatisfying”, but the part that should be unsatisfying is its existence, not its explanatory power. Guarantee you people around the dude knew or had some inkling, they just ignored it when it was “only” violence against women.
posted by eviemath at 5:03 AM on June 21 [10 favorites]


How many more Republicans will see this "ad" as the perfect way to suck Trump's cock and get into office? Far to many people ignoring how dangerous this. Far to many responding positively to this.

People who saw what was happening in Germany through the 30s left the country (because they could it must be said). Some could come here to Canada but then how safe is Canada?

The MAGA crowd probably think British Columbia is over run with drugs and crime because "Columbia" or it's the province they most love because the British version of Colombia couldn't possibly be like the South American Colombia.
posted by juiceCake at 5:29 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


I would think the military in general, and Seals specifically, would want to disown him. He's using military uniforms and military insignia.
posted by hypnogogue at 6:09 AM on June 21 [3 favorites]


... it's hard to believe there isn't some actual physical neurological damage involved here.

High functioning sociopaths are often canny opportunists and manipulators.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:38 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


People who saw what was happening in Germany through the 30s left the country (because they could it must be said). Some could come here to Canada but then how safe is Canada?

Coming to Canada to stay away from the devolution of the U.S.A. would be like someone fleeing Germany for Austria or Czechoslovakia.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 6:47 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Well people talk about demilitarizing the police*, but maybe you need to think bigger even than that. Without thinking too deeply about it, I think you can argue that America itself has a militarized culture. Consider the symptoms, odious advertising like this but one example of many.

The blindingly obvious symptom is the normalization of guns. You know how weird that looks to other societies? When you make that a normal thing, it follows that you'll end up with things like this ad. And Rambo and Dirty Harry. Your sports begin with a song about warfare and maybe fighter jets flying over. People need insulin more than Spaaaaaaace Force, but your priorities are all fucked up. I think a single word description of this problem could be militarization.

*If you think people convicted of domestic abuse shouldn't have a gun, that's a problem for about 40% of police.
posted by adept256 at 6:54 AM on June 21 [16 favorites]


The modern GOP had its inception here...
posted by jim in austin at 7:17 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


"Greitens, 48, holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and was a Rhodes scholar"

Yes. That's Duke University, btw, not some marginal school. And he got a M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Oxford.
posted by doctornemo at 7:27 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


not the first and certainly not the last person who reveals monstrous impulses "even though" they earned advanced degrees.

monsters walk among us. come up with reasons, go so far as to create language to describe what they are and explain it in refined ways. but here we are, plunging into dark times for all our ideas, descriptions, words.
posted by elkevelvet at 7:57 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


It's been ten years since Todd Akin took the Republican party to defeat in Missouri, by being unacceptably extreme (and saying out loud what Republicans think, but aren't supposed to say in public). The question now is--have things deteriorated in the last ten years?

here is a decent roundup of recent polls in the Missouri Senate primaries

It's also worth considering the R vs D matchup polls further down the page. Greitens is the weakest candidate in the R field at this point. Ten years ago, a Greitens primary win would mean a D victory in November. This year? Who knows.
posted by gimonca at 8:08 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


Umberto Eco's The 14 Features of Eternal Fascism
1. The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”

2. The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”

3. The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”

4. Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”

5. Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”

6. Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.”

7. The obsession with a plot. “The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia.”

8. The humiliation by the wealth and force of their enemies. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”

9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.”

10. Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.”

11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”

12. Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”

13. Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”

14. Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.”
Via kottke; original essay at The New York Review of Books.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:26 AM on June 21 [34 favorites]


But three months down the road, his poll numbers seem to have recovered. He is somewhere between +3 and +6 in what is shaping up into a 3-way race.

Yeah, this guy is scary and a bit of a mystery, but the real mystery is why the fuck so many Americans respond to this shit. You haven't all been hit in the head by shrapnel. You aren't all on the grift. How is it that so many of you supposedly normal, everyday people don't this to be absolutely horrifying?

He doesn't win elections because of what he does, he wins them because enough people respond positively to what he does.
posted by klanawa at 8:56 AM on June 21 [20 favorites]


Roger Griffin gave a really effective two word definition of Fascism: Palingenetic ultranationalism.

Of course, each word requires its own definition so it's not quite as short as it could be. But I think in a lot of ways he captures it better than even Eco did.

Palingenesis is the belief in an apocalyptic rebirth of a formerly glorious people now reduced to less than their due respect and power. Violence is an inherent part of a belief in palingenesis, the chosen people are depicted as being hated and oppressed by the lesser people due jealousy over how how awesome and good the chosen people are.

This evil oppression must be ended in fire and blood so the chosen people can resume their former glory as the rulers of the Earth, or they will be driven to extinction.

There's no middle ground, the only options presented are total success (and building temples out of the skulls of their enemies) or being completely eradicated by the lesser hordes who hate them.

And that's why I have to disagree with dobbs. I get the urge to say "ugh, this is clearly just pandering for clicks, don't feed the trolls, let's talk about real issues not these twerps".

The problem is that's what people were saying about Hitler, and Mussilini, and more recently Trump and Putin and LePen and the others.

Fascism has always had a sort of aura of silliness right up until the instant it takes over and starts murdering "undesirables" by the millions. It's like a sort of protective coloration. Surely they can't be serious. It's got to just be a handful of assholes. Ignore them and they'll STFU and go away. Just look at how stupid they are, no one will ever take this seriously.

Except they win sometimes. And then that faint aura of silly over the top hyperbole that always seemed to make them look rediculous and incapable of taking power goes away and all the stuff that looked preposterous turns out to be deadly serious.

So no, we do have to confront this. The Republican party is headed straight to being an outright Fascist party. Not that they'll ever use the term, that word is tainted in modern times. They'll just be Good Patriotic Christian Real Americans and wrap themselves in the flag, carry a Bible, and kill a lot of people if they get power.

How we work to prevent them from getting power is the real question. Calling out their extremism may work. So far virtually all Republican voters have been content to vote for Fascist candidates regardless of that voter's own personal support of Fascism.

The Republicans who see getting any Republican into office as superior to letting any Democrat win an election are either in denial, justifying voting for Fascists as not really all that bad because reasons, or Fascist themselves.

That last group, Fascist Republican voters is probably not even a majority in the Republican party and may not even be a plurality. But they're vocal, powerful, and right now the not actively Fascist Republican voters are going along with the Fascists.

We saw this in history too, it's no surprise to see run of the mill conservatives facing the choice between Fascism and higher taxes for billionaires, or more rights for minorities, or whatever it is they hate, and picking Fascism. To people who are part of that cis het white Christian conservative group there's not a lot of downside to picking Fascism becasue they aren't in line to be marched to the death camps. So they pick Fascism.

Maybe bringing attention to the Fascism, and especially emphasizing how the Fascists are entirely willing to use violence against even cis het white Christian conservatives who aren't loyal to the Fascist cause, will help.

I don't see a way it makes things worse.
posted by sotonohito at 9:00 AM on June 21 [29 favorites]


Totally normal party they got there.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:39 AM on June 21


This is the sort of info that could and would have swayed even Republican primary voters if it had been known in time.

I was troubled by the "Nov. 4, 2016" date on Big Money Floods High-Stakes Gubernatorial Contests: Corporate interests are funneling hundreds of millions into a dozen state-level gubernatorial battles article, detailing "the nation's three costliest gubernatorial contests" in Missouri, Kansas, and Indiana. The Missouri section links to a Nov. 1, 2016 Citizens for Ethics "Nonprofits funding super PACs benefiting Greitens have links behind the scenes" reveal. (Archived link, just in case)

While Twitter left the campaign video up, Facebook removed it “for violating our policies prohibiting violence and incitement.” (WaPo, Yahoo News, June 20, 2022)
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:39 AM on June 21 [1 favorite]


This looks a lot different when you realize that capital and the PMC elite prefer the Biden/Obama Democratic Party but are preserving the Republican Party to be their refuge and bulwark in the event that the Democratic Party succumbs to radicals. In fact, they're doing more to preserve the Republicans than any particular subset of Republicans is doing!
posted by MattD at 9:48 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


I don't see this linked anywhere above, but apologies if somehow I missed it. Turns out that the Navy Seals aren't really that fond of him anymore either....as seen in this video where they question nearly everything about his claimed service record.
posted by griffey at 10:51 AM on June 21 [6 favorites]


Turns out that the Navy Seals aren't really that fond of him anymore either

Seeing SEALs complaining about one of their own inflating his service record is like seeing seals complaining about one of their own eating fish.
posted by Etrigan at 11:13 AM on June 21 [12 favorites]


... it's hard to believe there isn't some actual physical neurological damage involved here.

On the other hand, a person who willingly joins a sport where blows to the head are encouraged is already a bit suspect before they ever step into the ring.
posted by pwnguin at 11:16 AM on June 21


I hate that there is a very small, but non-zero, chance that if he and his ilk get in, and have another MAGA President, that those RINO hunting licenses will be both used and cashed in for pardons.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 12:15 PM on June 21


Wow, nice to see some Republicans get concerned when violent rhetoric is aimed at them. Didn't seem to give a shit when it was aimed at everyone else.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:10 PM on June 21 [6 favorites]


But I think there's a more fundamental question there, which is basically: could that just happen to anyone? Can you ever really trust that anyone you know isn't going to suddenly go Full Nazi?

Historically? Yes, that can happen to anyone. Yes. Unless you're willing to argue that somehow that large of a percentage of Germany suddenly suffered brain damage at the same time.

People are talking about it like people with neurological damage are somehow fundamentally different, and from where I'm sitting, that's not a good look. To be clear, I'm not arguing that people with neurological damage can't become fascists, I'm arguing that people without that can.

I mean, look, here's my problem with the whole thing: It's presented as unbelievable that a "normal" person can seem to have a huge reversal in beliefs, but for someone who's had damage to their nervous system, suddenly it makes sense. That tells me that: a)the people saying it don't think the folks with damage system are normal, which is shitty. and b) they think we're more likely to be a danger to society, which is shitty.

Also, encourages people not to look deeper into the processes by which people (anyone!) can get indoctrinated into extreme and violent belief systems. Which is probably why it looks like "OMG this person suddenly went full Nazi!" because people weren't looking for all the little steps they took from "o.k. guy" to "RINO license."

So I don't know what to tell you, I get that it's much more tempting to believe that the reason someone believes abhorrent things believes them because they belong to a group that you can think of as other, but that doesn't make it an o.k. thing to do. I've got enough that I deal with in my day without being used as a shield against truths you don't want to believe. Sorry.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:19 PM on June 21 [19 favorites]


Out of all of the possible popular left-wing policies or practices he could have co-opted he chose the circular firing squad. A real genius this one.
posted by srboisvert at 1:41 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


As a veteran, it's not the concussions, it's not the chemicals, and it's not the trauma that turns people. It's being surrounded by an insular group trained to destroy the Other. You really can't make a bubble stronger than eat, sleep, and shit with people who will literally die for the thing they believe in. "Kill Kill Kill" makes you think that any conflict is solved by...killing.

A lot of us come back and then shift that "Other" from enemy combatants to anyone who thinks differently than they do. Some heal and reintegrate with society. Many don't.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:45 PM on June 21 [23 favorites]


People who saw what was happening in Germany through the 30s left the country (because they could it must be said). Some could come here to Canada but then how safe is Canada?

We can put them in Alberta.
posted by srboisvert at 2:07 PM on June 21


I like Walter Benjamin's description of fascism as "the aestheticization of politics." Not only of appearances, but of behavior, rhetoric, and philosophy. "Attitude."
posted by rhizome at 2:12 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


nothing to worry about, just a joke! /s

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens hit the conservative talk radio circuit Tuesday, arguing that a campaign video showing him storming a house with soldiers in search of “Republicans in name only” was intended to be a humorous metaphor.

“I don’t think there is a real person in Missouri who thinks about it literally. Not one,” Greitens said in an interview on KFTK (97.1 FM) radio. “What you’re seeing is a tremendous amount of faux outrage from leftists and RINOs.”
posted by Clowder of bats at 4:18 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


Again: “We have been in contact with the Missouri Highway Patrol and hope that former Gov. Greitens finds the help he needs,” Missouri Republican Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden tweeted on Monday afternoon. “Anyone with multiple accusations of abuse toward women and children should probably steer clear of this rhetoric,” Rowden continued. (Vice, June 21, 2022).

Rowden's a real person. In Missouri.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:01 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


... Rowden appeared with John Rizzo, the minority leader of the Missouri Senate, at a youth leadership event last week, and later tweeted: "Thank you to @moboysstate for inviting @JohnJRizzo and I to speak to the citizens last night. We talked about bipartisan cooperation and being friends while maintaining our principles" which probably makes him already dead to Greitens but highly responsive to a "RINO-hunting" themed ad
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:05 PM on June 21 [1 favorite]


makes him already dead to Greitens

awkward choice of words!
posted by Nelson at 5:23 PM on June 21


Learning that the story of Phineas Gage as popularly told is garbage is the kind of thing that keeps me coming back to this site. Thank you so much marcpski and others for pointing this out.
posted by interogative mood at 5:30 PM on June 21 [7 favorites]


So no, we do have to confront this. The Republican party is headed straight to being an outright Fascist party.

I don't think fascist covers it anymore. We are heading straight to totalitarian tyranny.
posted by Pouteria at 6:30 PM on June 21


“I don’t think there is a real person in Missouri who thinks about it literally. Not one,” Greitens said in an interview on KFTK (97.1 FM) radio. “What you’re seeing is a tremendous amount of faux outrage from leftists and RINOs.”

Or put more succinctly, Greitens's position is that "leftists and RINOs" are not real people.
posted by solotoro at 6:33 PM on June 21 [7 favorites]



Historically? Yes, that can happen to anyone. Yes. Unless you're willing to argue that somehow that large of a percentage of Germany suddenly suffered brain damage at the same time.


I am willing to argue something which goes pretty far in that direction, starting with the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920.

Because it turns out that areas in Germany which had the highest death tolls from the Spanish flu voted in greater numbers for the Nazis in 1932 and 1933:
High death tolls from the 1918 influenza pandemic likely helped the Nazis gain power in “crucial” German elections, according to new research.

In a staff report published on Monday, researchers from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that German regions with higher mortality rates from the virus had a higher vote share for the Nazi Party in the elections of 1932 and 1933.

Using regional data on fatalities and historical voting figures, the study found that the share of votes won by the Nazis was higher where a greater share of the population had died during the pandemic.

Around 287,000 people died of influenza in Germany between 1918 and 1920, according to the research.

The study analyzed the link between death rates and other “extremist” parties, but referred to the Nazis as the “clear party of the extreme right.”

While the Nazis benefited from the aftermath of the outbreak, extreme left parties, such as the Communist Party, saw their vote share decrease where the pandemic had caused more deaths.
The Spanish flu was an H1N1 flu, and we know from our experience of the 2008 pandemic that H1N1 flu leaves an elevated level of narcolepsy in its wake:
Narcolepsy: Association with H1N1 Infection and Vaccination

Abstract
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated an association between H1N1 influenza infection and vaccinations. This article reviews the various studies, and suggests the biological mechanisms explaining why and how H1N1 influenza infection or vaccine stimulates the autoimmune response, thereby resulting in narcolepsy. Among the vaccines, the effect of Pandemrix was scrutinized more than other vaccines, due to its higher association with an increase of narcolepsy onset. The consequences of using other vaccines which contain same or different adjuvants as Pandemrix, were also analyzed.
And narcolepsy in turn is associated with higher levels of psychosis:
Background: Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that is likely to have neuropsychiatric comorbidities. Psychotic disorders are characterized by delusion, hallucination, and reality impairments. This study investigates the relationship between narcolepsy and psychotic disorders.
[…]
Conclusions: This nationwide study revealed that narcolepsy and psychotic disorders commonly co-occur. Pharmacotherapy for narcolepsy was not associated with the risk of psychotic disorders. Our findings serve as a reminder that clinicians must consider the comorbidity of narcolepsy and psychosis.
There's more to be said along these lines, including a discussion of the rise of the German chemical industry and a study that shows an association between narcolepsy and chemical exposure for certain HLA types, and I think it’s worth noting that Trump was elected 8 years after the 2008 H1N1 pandemic.
posted by jamjam at 6:47 PM on June 21 [4 favorites]


I mean... Correlation ! = Causation?
Is there any time in history that was without disease or pollution or whatever else we want to use to explain people being awful?
Why the urge to point to physiology, neurological damage, mental health etc?
Since some of us don't follow this pattern even when we have neurological damage and mental health problems? Why are we so drawn to this kind of explanation?
posted by Zumbador at 10:41 PM on June 21 [5 favorites]


We can put them in Alberta.

Unfortunately, when Kenney actually leaves, I fully expect Albertans, like many in Ontario, will elect yet another conservative, incompetent, ignorant, self-interested, science denying moron supremacist.
posted by juiceCake at 4:53 AM on June 22


Taking German election results in the late 1920s and 1930s at face value ignores the considerable election violence and fraud that were mainstays of the Nazis’ electoral strategy.
posted by nickmark at 4:55 AM on June 22 [4 favorites]


Also missing: any evidence-based link between psychosis and fascist political tendencies.

Psychosis is a specific medical term. It absolutely does not mean the same thing as the common misuse of “psychotic” as violent and not having empathy for others. That comes for a long history of pretty ugly ableism.

But if you’re thoroughly convinced that having a break with reality in some form causes violent behavior, I’m happy to flag your comment pushing such conclusions unsupported by evidence as violent and in urgent need of mod oversight.
posted by eviemath at 4:58 AM on June 22 [5 favorites]


Taking German election results in the late 1920s and 1930s at face value ignores the considerable election violence and fraud that were mainstays of the Nazis’ electoral strategy.

It's almost like you haven't been watching the Jan 6th hearings. The parallels are well beyond striking.
posted by hippybear at 5:17 AM on June 22 [7 favorites]


Right down to the disbelief in existence of a pandemic or lack of cooperation with common sense public health measures (almost as if individualist opposition to pro-social policy were a consistent feature of the value systems of the people in question).
posted by eviemath at 5:42 AM on June 22 [3 favorites]


The Republican Party primaries in Missouri take place on Aug. 2, and there are 21 contenders vying to be the Republican candidate for the Senate election on Nov. 8. Missouri utilizes an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.

Greitens’s violent ad sets off GOP scramble to stop his Senate bid (Washington Post, June 23, 2022; archived ungated link) State and national Republicans are feverishly shopping super PACs, planning an independent candidate and lobbying Trump, hoping to sink the scandal-ridden ex-governor’s comeback. But the opposition is split among factions backing different rivals in the Aug. 2 primary and over disagreements on who should attack Greitens or how, according to people involved in the discussions. They, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters. Others are preparing to pour millions instead into an independent bid by John F. Wood, a senior investigative counsel on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. And some are concerned that intervening in the race could play into Greitens’s hands by feeding his anti-establishment posturing — or even prompting former president Donald Trump to endorse him. [...]

Top investigator leaving January 6 committee early (CNN, June 22, 2022) John Wood, a senior investigator for the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, is leaving his position this week, which is earlier than expected, according to a source familiar. [...] Wood is being encouraged to run for Senate in Missouri, after the recent controversy over GOP Senate candidate Eric Greitens' ad, in which he suggested hunting political opponents. Wood previously worked for former US Sen. Jack Danforth, a Republican from Missouri. Wood is the senior investigative counsel on the committee, as well as counsel to Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican. [...]

Danforth, 85, is an ordained Episcopal priest, and was Missouri's AG before he was in the Senate; "after his elected service, Jack held appointments in both Republican and Democratic administrations. He was U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and later, special envoy to Sudan, where his focus was negotiating an end to the civil war in the South. Before that, Jack was special counsel in the investigation of the federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas." Danforth was on GWB's shortlist for VP in 2000, but lost out to Liz Cheney's dad.

During the Bush Administration, [John Wood] served as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, deputy associate attorney general and counselor to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, and deputy general counsel in the White House Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Wood was a partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed law firm and served as a law clerk for Justice Clarence Thomas and for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:18 PM on June 23


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