Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) may only have a single eye, but he is able to easily discern how to put the attention-grabbing tactics of the modern Republican Party into play.
In the current GOP, legislative accomplishments matter little, while scoring your daily 15 minutes of fame on right-wing news outlets is the most paramount goal to ensure a successful political career and attract copious campaign donations.
Rinse and repeat, and one has the formula for a thriving future candidacy and the opportunity to climb to the highest echelons of the party.
Representative Crenshaw, who lost one eye to an improvised explosive device while serving as a Navy Seal in the Afghanistan war, figured that he had a surefire winner of a manufactured controversy when he accepted an invitation to join the hosts of Fox & Friends this morning.
Relying on long-standing antipathy from the MAGA crowd towards any athlete who dares to express a political opinion to the left of the KKK, as the vocal opposition to sports figures who dared to take a knee to express the unacceptability of continued police violence against people of color amply demonstrated, Crenshaw boldly announced that track star Gwen Berry should be removed from the U.S. Olympic team because she staged a protest during the national anthem after securing a position on that team by winning a bronze medal in the hammer throw event.
Cawthorne was apparently horrified that Berry turned away from the stars and stripes and covered her head with a T-shirt reading “Activist Athlete” during the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner.
“We don’t need anymore activist athletes,” Crenshaw told the Fox & Friends hosts. “She should be removed from the team. The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America. That’s the entire point, OK? So, you know, it’s one thing when these NBA players do it. Fine, we’ll just stop watching. But now the Olympic team? And it’s multiple cases of this. They should be removed. That should be the bare minimum requirement, that you believe in the country you’re representing.”
While Gwen Berry has subsequently stated that she had not expected the anthem to be played at that point in the ceremony and that her turning away from the flag was not an intentional act of protest, the Texas lawmaker found an explanation that was more politically expedient for himself.
In keeping with the latest GOP talking points, Congressman Crenshaw attributed Berry’s defiant activism to the perils of the teaching of critical race theory in America’s schools.
“This is the pathology that occurs when we’re teaching critical race theory into our institutions, because critical race theory, again, basically teaches that our institutions are racist, that our systems are deeply racist,” he said. “You can’t see the racism, because it’s subtle, and if you deny it, it’s because of you teaching people this constantly, and this is what it results in, in these displays of hatred towards our own country, and it’s got to stop.”
Of course, the frantic Republican warnings over critical race theory is nothing more than a warmed-over rehash of the unquestioning brand of misplaced patriotism prevalent during the depths of the Vietnam War of the 1960s and 1970s that had the parents of today’s MAGA fanatics screaming “America — Love it or leave it” at the sensible anti-war protestors of an unjustified foreign war.
Denizens of social media were quick to point out the hypocrisy of Crenshaw’s stance since he was among the vast majority of GOP legislators who voted against establishing an independent commission to investigate the January 6th invasion of the Capitol in the Trump-inspired insurrection.
— stonecircle (@stone_circle) June 28, 2021
— WVgirl77 (@ahcw1230) June 28, 2021
Brought to us by the guy who said that Trump shouldn’t be removed from the highest office in the land for inciting the violent Capitol Riots. What’s the real issue, @DanCrenshawTX ?
— Señor Nash-san (@SenorNashSan) June 28, 2021
Crenshaw thinks these deplorables are patriotic also. He would hired their crazy as$ pic.twitter.com/j1qstZJJkw
— Margari R (@margari_r) June 28, 2021
The best response to Crenshaw’s Fox & Friends rant came from the target of his vitriol herself.
At this point, y’all are obsessed with me https://t.co/HBWCE28s7x
— Gwen Berry OLY (@MzBerryThrows) June 28, 2021
While it’s doubtful that the storm of negative reaction to his commentary will do much to change Congressman Crenshaw’s right-wing propaganda campaign against critical race theory, It’s good to know that so many people see right through his cynical attempts to manipulate public opinion.
Hopefully, a Texas electorate increasingly trending towards the state’s Democratic candidates will end Dan Crenshaw’s congressional career in the 2022 midterm elections and restore a measure of competence and intelligence to the state’s 2nd Congressional District.
Original reporting by John Wright at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.