Under Donald Trump, the Republican Party invited every bigoted racist, every QAnon crazy, and every morally and mentally compromised MAGA-head into their fold with open arms. Now they are paying the price. Of course, the House January 6th Committee is providing perfect examples of the consequences of the GOP’s drastically lowered standards for their leadership, but, at an event today at the Republican Party of Texas convention, Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) and his staff were assaulted by far-right extremist Alex Stein and a group of alleged Proud Boys for failing to be sufficiently radically right-wing for their tastes.
Never mind the fact that Rep. Crenshaw opposes abortion and gun control, argued against the necessity of wearing facial masks to prevent COVID, wanted to repeal Obamacare, and was a staunch supporter of Donald Trump.
Stein and his mob reportedly roughed up Crenshaw’s campaign manager and others with Crenshaw while taunting the conservative Congressman with shouts of “eyepatch McCain,” a derogatory nickname for the one-eyed veteran popularized by the deplorable Fox News babbling-head Tucker Carlson.
Carlson clearly intended the sobriquet to compare Crenshaw to another Republican congressional figure who was also a decorated veteran and who was criticized by others in his party as a RINO after his decisive vote to torpedo the GOP attempts to repeal Obamacare.
A witness at the convention of Texas Republicans told Mediaite that:
“They got physical with multiple people, including hitting them with cameras.” the witness said. “His campaign manager was assaulted by being pushed aggressively into a pillar.”
Stein and his group of disruptors were reportedly escorted out of the convention after the incident, with news of some arrests at the scene circulating in the wake of the confrontation.
Wherever he went after the incident, Stein made sure to find the time to post a video of the encounter on Twitter, apparently learning nothing about self-incrimination from the actions of the glory-seeking January 6th insurrectionists now seeing their social media posts being used as evidence in their trials for their actions on that fateful day.
— Alex Stein #99 (@alexstein99) June 18, 2022
After Alex Stein posted his tweet, another far-right radical on the scene posted his own video of a harangue he foisted upon Congressman Crenshaw at the GOP gathering, calling the lawmaker a “fraud” and a “World Economic Forum sell-out,” and shouting “Dan Crenshaw is a traitor! He needs to be hung for treason!”
— Alex Rosen (@football_56OL) June 18, 2022
While it may seem somewhat amusing that a congressman viewed as a dangerous reactionary by most of the nation’s progressives is assaulted by even more radical right-wing extremists, signaling a dangerous fragmentation within the Republican party’s own ranks, the continued visibility — and viability — of these ultra-radicals as a political force is a disturbing trend that further threatens the possibility of reconciliation and political stability in the post-Trump era.
While it may be reassuring to some that there are people out there who are even worse than the most extremist members of the Republican Party, that truism simply demonstrates how far our nation has truly fallen since it allowed Trump to pollute our politics.
Original reporting by Caleb Howe at Mediaite.