“I’m Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL, and today we’re going RINO hunting.” Greitens says as he walks down a sidewalk with a gun in hand.
The video cuts to a house where Greitens, surrounded by a tactical unit, waits by the door. “The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice,” says Greitens. The unit smashes the door down and throws what looks like a smoke grenade. Greitens strides through the door. “Join the MAGA crew,” he says. “Get a RINO hunting permit. There’s no bagging limit, no tagging limit and it doesn’t expire until we save our country.”
Um, what? Like, what the actual heck?!?
1) Given the extremely contentious nature of our political climate — not to mention the recent mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas — is it really wise to post a video that shows the house of a political opponent being stormed by people with big guns?
2) The inherent message in Greitens’ video is that it’s totally ok for armed individuals to storm a private home because, um, the person living there doesn’t agree with your views on politics and policy. Sit with that one for a minute.
What would prompt Greitens to post a video that’s, at best, irresponsible and at worst, outright dangerous? Because he believes it will work.
And by “work” I mean two things:
1) It will draw a massive amount of attention — negative or positive — to his campaign. (Within three hours of being posted to Twitter, the video had already racked up more than 1 million views.)
2) The attention Greitens gets for the video will be used by the candidate as proof positive to the Republican base that Democrats and the media are freaking out about him and his candidacy. I’d be surprised if it took Greitens’ team more than 24 hours to turn the negative reaction to the video into a fundraising appeal.
Which speaks to how fundamentally broken our political system is. It shouldn’t be a partisan debate that a video like the one Greitens posted Monday is beyond the pale. But unfortunately, that’s exactly what it is.