Have you met freshman Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw? If the name (or face) seem familiar it’s because SNL’s Pete Davidson said the Republican looked like a “hitman in a porno movie.” The remark provoked a wave of conservative outrage because Crenshaw happens to be a combat veteran who lost his eye in the line of duty.
Davidson apologized and Crenshaw was game about the whole thing, making his SNL debut to accept. He also used it as an opportunity to cast himself as the “hip and reasonable” Republican seeking to “bridge the divide” but offering no policy concessions, kind of like a less dorky Ben Sasse with a gun (and an eyepatch).
Some of the air went out of Crenshaw’s “rational” persona when people pointed out that he (along with other GOP hopefuls) was an admin of a racist Facebook group that hosted right-wing conspiracy theories and Nazi memes.
Crenshaw, who posted two of his campaign videos to the far-right group, removed himself when questioned about it and claimed ignorance saying, “They contacted me once and said they’d sign me up as an admin, in case I ever wanted to post. I quickly forgot about the page and never saw it again. How exactly is this news?” Just a cool, detached, no-drama dude!
Like all Republicans who strain to be seen as reasonable to the vast and diverse culture outside of the Fox News bubble as well as the media, Crenshaw employs a glib “common sense” re-framing of issues that completely ignores reality. His latest tweet, however, is completely delusional.
As Trump’s shutdown officially became the longest in history, Crenshaw tweeted that the real problem is that Republicans don’t control the House of Representatives:
In an alternate universe where Republicans still held the House, the government would be open, federal workers would have their paychecks, and Border Patrol would have the funding and tools they need.
Just something to think about.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) January 11, 2019
“Just something to think about,” Crenshaw smugly signed off.
So we’re all on the same page, the shutdown started after Trump caved to, shall we say, “unreasonable” right-wing media pressure and backtracked on a deal that passed the GOP Senate unanimously to keep the government open. This happened on December 22, 2018 when Republicans were very much in control of the House, as they had been for the past eight years. For two of those years, I don’t need to remind you, they also had the Presidency (and the Senate).
Obviously, Twitter was ready with some brutal fact-checking for Crenshaw, who is definitely in touch with reality and not at all just another intellectually dishonest far-right conservative:
Like…..the time when the shutdown started? https://t.co/M0QUWpIv7V
— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) January 11, 2019
The — the shutdown started when Republicans still controlled the House https://t.co/6ut3sv63No
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) January 11, 2019
Bless your heart do you not realize the GOP was in control of the House when they shut down the government https://t.co/3FwP9hjW5n
— Fiddler (@cFidd) January 11, 2019
Republicans controlled the House for two years and they never considered wall funding to be an "emergency" during that time.
When they had power, they used it to give rich people tax cuts. Now they're out of power, they focus on whipping up hate.
Something to think about. https://t.co/3D3Z1eSn5G
— Leah Greenberg (@Leahgreenb) January 11, 2019
They held it when the shutdown started, galaxy brain. https://t.co/IGI9wZbMg2
— Joselito (@60th_Street) January 11, 2019
The alternate universe known as … December? https://t.co/mscKVg6V42
— Kaili Joy Gray (@KailiJoy) January 11, 2019
While I’m a fan of science fiction-themed satire, the laughs here never really take off. Too many plot holes too. Thanks for the look, but it’s a pass. https://t.co/6uR4y9gbSa
— Christopher Monks (@crmonks) January 11, 2019
Dude, your president said this, when Republicans held the House, and they did, in fact, when the shutdown started: “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck. I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.” https://t.co/Ys7cQ9HoTu
— James Morrison (@JamesPMorrison) January 11, 2019
is that the universe where you won the midterms https://t.co/rg8Bm8ZJkz
— blaine capatch (@blainecapatch) January 11, 2019
explore this mysterious alternate universe in Black Mirror: Three Weeks Ago When This Shit All Started pic.twitter.com/3RWEEKC4yM
— Jake Currie (@jakecurrie) January 11, 2019
People say it’s hard to do comedy on Twitter these days, and while I don’t think this is funny, it must be a joke because there’s no way this fucking guy is serious https://t.co/Iuc5vcp9qF
— Andy Richter (@AndyRichter) January 11, 2019
For a guy who love the never forget slogan, he has a shit memory. https://t.co/Vk028gaHzG
— Jakob Jarecki (@jakob_jarecki) January 11, 2019
Hey, remember when everyone lionized this idiot for being a good sport on "Saturday Night Live," and then it turned out he helped run a racist far-right Facebook page, and now he's posting transparent bullshit like this?
Stop giving cookies to Republicans for performing decency. https://t.co/Qru4Z7pk9m
— A Blog of Their Own (@BlogOfTheirOwn) January 11, 2019
someone call Pete Davidson because Dan is attempting suicide by ratio https://t.co/kJOTua5LVd
— Johnny McNulty Will Not Screw Up 2019 (@JohnnyMcNulty) January 11, 2019
Some people juxtaposed Crenshaw’s jaw-dropping ignorance with the intense scrutiny his fellow freshman representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been getting for her misstatements:
I'm sure this will receive just as much scrutiny in the press as @AOC got last week, right?
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 11, 2019
I eagerly await the media firestorm about how this freshman congressperson is uninformed, not serious, and only won because of his quirky good looks.
Any time now… https://t.co/QiYmwcWIX3
— Andrew Thaler (@DrAndrewThaler) January 11, 2019
Crenshaw’s counterfactual is obviously false, but I’d like to put forth a different one: If there were a Democratic president and either a GOP-controlled House or Senate, the government would STILL be shut down because… that’s what Republicans do! Hell, not even unified Republican control prevented conservatives from shutting down the government—twice. In fact, it seems to have encouraged it!
Republicans love holding the government hostage to extract policy concessions, especially from from Democratic presidents. And when they can’t shut the government down, they use the debt ceiling to get their demands. In 2011 they refused to raise the debt limit, threatening a fragile recovery from the 2008 economic collapse they presided over only to reverse course when they took power and blow an even bigger hole in the deficit—for no good reason!
Mark my words: If a Democrat beats Trump in 2020, Republicans will suddenly re-discover that the deficit—the one they just ballooned with a needless tax cut for the rich—is too high and raise holy hell if spending isn’t cut. It’s absolutely insane, completely divorced from reality, and an ongoing crisis in our democracy.
But I don’t want to sound unchill or alarmist about all of that, so you know, just something to think about!