Hartmann: Grifters for Eric Greitens

Eric Greitens has Rudy Giuliani on his side. Lucky him.
Eric Greitens has Rudy Giuliani on his side. Lucky him. DANNY WICENTOWSKI

It's official: Disgraced Eric Greitens has received the endorsement of disgraced Michael Flynn in his campaign for Missouri senator.

The "patriot" who twice pleaded guilty to lying to Congress wants you to know how much the nation needs the "patriot" who resigned as governor over sexual misconduct and in exchange for felony computer tampering charges getting dropped.

What a pair. What a country.

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It takes a special type of crazy to garner the blessing of arguably the most revered figure in QAnon world. In a recorded statement, Flynn praised Greitens as the sort of "America First" stalwart that Missouri needed to send to the U.S. Senate. That fit nicely with Greitens' promise to serve as a "MAGA warrior" if elected.

But this was hardly Flynn's most bizarre statement of the week. That honor would go to what he said on a national podcast at about the same time.

It seems that the former general believes that the Deep State is scheming to put the COVID-19 vaccine in your salad dressing. And no, I didn't make that up. As reported by Rolling Stone, Flynn appeared on host Clay Clark's freaky podcast, "Thrivetime Show: Business School Without the B.S." Here's its reporting:

"The interview with Flynn begins with a lot of talk about 'waking up' to reality, followed by Clark claiming that PCR Covid tests are rigged, and that once you're into the hospital doctors give you drugs developed by George Soros to kill you (one of the drugs he cites, Remdesevir, was administered to President Trump), all the while withholding '100-percent effective' treatments like hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, also known as the horse paste that has caused a flood of calls to poison control from victims of Clark-type con men.

"'Does it shock you that the CDC protocols, General Flynn, are actually causing people with a soul who love America, doctors, to be accidentally euthanizing Americans at scale?' Clark asks eventually. 'Does that shock you?'

"'It doesn't shock me,' Flynn replies, adding that even though the doctors may be accidentally euthanizing Americans with the Soros drugs, they're also to blame because it's incumbent upon them to understand what they're giving people. 'You can't say you're just following orders,' Flynn says. 'It sounds like the Nazis.'

"The discussion continues like this, conspiracy theory on top of conspiracy theory, one playing off of the other. It's hard to overstate how far afield of reality, or even mainstream conspiracy-theory culture, the discussion ventures. At one point, Flynn suggests that the government could be secretly administering the vaccine through salad dressing, as Ron Filipkowski first pointed out on Twitter.

"'Have you seen this?'" Flynn asks.

"'YES!!!' Clark yells."

Perhaps it will turn out that Flynn was lying like he did those two times to Congress for which he got pardoned by Trump. Or maybe he's telling the truth and millions of Cracker Barrel customers are about to be robbed unknowingly of their God-given freedom to spread a pandemic disease.

Either way, this is no isolated incident. In June, Flynn was the featured attraction at the For God and Patriot Roundup — the largest QAnon gathering to date — and he responded to a question as to why "what happened in Myanmar shouldn't happen here."

Flynn's response: "No reason. I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That's right."

Myanmar just had its government violently overthrown. So what better guy to listen to than Flynn when it comes to electing a senator?

Flynn is just the most recent dirtbag to offer Missourians his unsolicited advice as to which Trump toady they should inflict upon the rest of the nation in 2022. He joins an impressive list of shysters, scoundrels and scamps in presuming that anyone should possibly care what they think about anything.

Just look at these lowlifes. You've got Rudy "The Tucker" Guiliani, presently in the conversation for "Worst Human Alive." You've got talking head and Nazi impersonator (or is he one?) Sebastian Gorka. There's Kimberly Guilfoyle, a person shameless enough to accept the title "Donald Trump Jr.'s girlfriend."

One can only assume that Greitens believes there's benefit to be accrued in the Republican free-for-all to fill the seat of retiring Senator Roy Blunt next year. But one thing is certain: Not a soul who's not voting in that primary could possibly be tempted to take advice from a grifter like Flynn.

Maybe that's why Republican insiders are so freaked out at the notion of Eric Greitens coming out of his basement, breaking the chains of bondage — or at least putting them away — and returning to public life. Let us not forget that it was this very Republican Party that exorcised him from the body politic in 2018.

It was not the left, not Kim Gardner, not the media. Nope. It was Greitens' own political party — the one he had subjected to a hostile takeover in 2016 — that was appalled by his moral unfitness, his lack of candor and character, and his cartoonish arrogance.

Some governors aspire to a bully pulpit. Greitens just relished being a bully.

But far be it from me to call Greitens names. I'll leave that to others.

"Eric Greitens is a sexual assaulter and a blackmailer; if he's the Republican nominee, there's a real chance Democrats win this seat," Missouri Republican strategist Gregg Keller said. "All Republican efforts need to be bent toward ensuring our party doesn't nominate a sociopath, which Greitens most certainly is."

Oh, it would be so nice for Keller to be proven right for one of the first times ever. And herein lies the beauty of a Mike Flynn endorsement. Or a Rudy Guiliani endorsement. Or a Sebastian Gorka endorsement.

The set of all people who would be persuaded to select their senator based upon the advice of one of these horrible people is most certainly limited to the hard-core, insurrection-loving, low-information, twisted Trump base.

If Greitens should win the Republican primary — and breathe life into Missouri's downtrodden Democratic Party — whichever candidate emerges on the blue side has got to double down on these endorsements.

It's not enough that the worst of the worst are telling Missouri Republicans to elect Eric Greitens to the Senate. The Democrats need to spread the word.

In a general election, Mike Flynn's endorsement of Eric Greitens would write the best campaign ad they could ever hope for.

Ray Hartmann founded the Riverfront Times in 1977. Contact him at [email protected] or catch him on Donnybrook at 7 p.m. on Thursdays on the Nine Network and St. Louis In the Know With Ray Hartmann from 9 to 11 p.m. Monday thru Friday on KTRS (550 AM).

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