Hartmann: Greitens’ Announcement Sets Up Clash of the Erics | Hartmann | St. Louis | St. Louis News and Events
When Eric Greitens and Eric Schmitt were born a year apart in St. Louis County, Republicans were just ordinary people.
Then Republican President Gerald R. Ford was a really decent man. Republican governor of Missouri, Kit Bond, was a courageous and progressive young reformer. As for Donald Trump, he wasn’t a Republican at all, just a racist trustee who popped up from the Nixon administration for refusing to rent New York apartments to blacks.
Greitens was born in April 1974 (four months before Richard Nixon stepped down in fact) and Schmitt was born only 14 months later, both here in the county. Any man would have a good career, and in 2015 neither the converted Democrat Greitens nor the conventional Republican Schmitt seemed ideologically unusual.
Greitens ran as an outsider for an office that cleaned up corruption, banned gifts from lobbyists and the like. Sure it all turned out to be fraudulent, but it sounded normal enough at the time. Schmitt was your fundamental pro-business Republican who pushed ideas like developing a China hub for St. Louis Lambert International Airport, an idea far more rational than what he has to say about this nation today.
But then came Trump. And people got to know Greitens and Schmitt. And that was it.
Today the two Erics are full-blown politician demagogues. Both identify as Republicans, but are far better described by their wormy allegiance to Trump, who has grown into a full-blown fascist and owner of the GOP. Whatever normalcy they once had, they have long since subscribed to the Trump grassroots policy of red meat.
The two Erics could be on a collision course for the U.S. Senate seat, which Senator Roy Blunt will retire next year. Schmitt almost threw his hat into the ring. Greitens decided to get out of his basement today and announced his candidacy on Fox News in hopes that the Missouri Republicans have forgotten how much he bullied and embarrassed them as the half-time sleazeball governor.
There are other career politicians waiting in the wings to pursue Blunt’s seat. Two are incumbent Republican Congressmen who would have to quit to run: Rep. Ann Wagner, St. Louis County; and Rep. Jason Smith, Limbaugh Country. Both apparently hear voices in their heads, as translated from their Twitter accounts.
Wagner says: “I am humble that the people in our great state are being encouraged today. I take its scope seriously and plan to discuss with my family what the future holds for me in the coming days.”
Smith says, “I am truly humbled by the reach of Missourians interested in Missouri continuing to have a strong voice in the United States Senate.”
What a coincidence. Either Wagner and Smith share a speechwriter, or it is a trend in the political class to humiliate oneself in public. Seriously, is there anything more pathetic than a politician inventing a movement to draw himself and then collapsing from emotions about the honor of it all?
Whether Wagner or Smith decide that the common people of Missouri can’t stand the thought of not being a Senator is likely due to the math: if there’s a solid lead to work out in a multi-candidate field race, they will run. If not, the masses will provide a tremendous amount of support so that they can stay in their house seats.
There will of course be others: The right-wing businessman John Brunner is wondering whether he would like to lose again. Brunner’s main claim to fame was being brutally brutalized by Greitens in a mocking phone call in the 2016 gubernatorial contest.
On the Democratic side, former Senator Scott Sifton is already in the running, along with newcomer Lucas Kunce, a Yale graduate and former naval officer. Expect humble support from numerous other politicians.
Still, the main attraction would be the clash of the two Erics if God only smiled once at the media. Counteracting this is the fact that Schmitt was one of only two nationwide Republican officials who never called for Greiten’s resignation when his chin-up bar crashed against him in 2018. (The other was Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who decided not to seek Blunt’s seat).
However, one can only assume that Schmitt’s previous lack of political courage (or didn’t he have a moral compass?) Doesn’t matter to Greitens, the world-class narcissist who was never known to put principle above self-interest. And what a struggle it would be to stake out the claim to be the most faithful subject of the Almighty Orange.
I can see the debate now:
Schmitt: “I’ve taken the lead among all of the Republican attorneys-general by spending tax dollars to stop the theft in 2020! We’ve all sued for overthrowing that election! Damn, that’s all I’ve done in the last four Months ago. “
Greitens: Yes, of course. But if I had been in office, we would have had some Missouri boys do a little education in the Capitol on January 6, if you know what I mean. Not to say we didn’t. At least not, or as we did. Just like we said in the Navy SEALs, ‘Where we go one, we all go’. “
Schmitt: “Big deal. Where were you when that urban woman tried to persecute the great patriots Mark and Patricia McCloskey? Damn, I was one of the first to declare her innocence, and I’m still part of the law enforcement side! You add.” add to me that I never disappoint white people, and I have some MAGA going on here. “
Greitens: If I had been governor, the McCloskeys would have felt free to shoot these people, and that would have been the end.
Schmitt: “Big talk. I’m the only one who sued China and personally brought Xi Jinping to his knees.”
Greitens: “China? Ha! The Home Office in Moscow says it has never heard of you.”
Schmitt: “Well, I’m the only one making headlines by demanding that the radical socialist von Biden remove illegal immigrants to save us from sex crimes.”
Greitens: “Big whoop. As governor I wanted to close the border with Arkansas and would have built this wall had it not been for so-called ‘sex crimes’. By the way, only one of us has an ex-wife, a buddy, and one day I could have three, like the greatest president in the history of our country. “
There would be nothing like a fight for the Erics to make Missouri politics great again. Or at least more memorable.
In contrast to the earlier political stories by Eric Greitens and Eric Schmitt.
Ray Hartmann founded the Riverfront Times in 1977. Contact him at [email protected] or catch him on Nine Network on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and on KTRS (550 p.m.) Monday through Friday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Donnybrook.