- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 9, 2021

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Texas Republican, just called out GOP members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group that includes Reps. Louie Gohmert, Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, as “grifters” and “performance artists” who only “know how to say slogans real well.”

Can you say, thanks, Dan? Democrats are.

Now Democrats are drooling. Now left-leaning members of the media are buzzing. Now water carriers for the Democratic Party masquerading as truth-telling pundits in the press are giggling and exploiting.

Republicans need to stop handing the Democrats easy pickin’ wins. It’s one thing to express a differing opinion — something which the Republican Party ought to and rightly does embrace. It’s another thing to attack conservative colleagues in a public setting so that the enemies of America — that is to say, the socialist and Marxist influencers in the Democratic Party — have the proverbial golden egg tossed into their laps.

There’re enough usurpations of the Constitution going on that Republicans should be way too busy fighting on behalf of American citizens, on behalf of individual freedoms, on behalf of God-given rights, than to engage in petty infighting — particularly when the petting infighting targets a segment of the Republican Party that’s well supported by their own constituents. By the Republican voters. By a committed conservative base that was ignited and set on fire by a previous president, Donald Trump, who spoke a language that still resonates: America First.

That fire still burns bright among conservatives. And guess what? Crenshaw just waded straight into it.

Here’s what he said at a recent Texas Liberty Alliance PAC event: “You heard online that 80 Republicans voted to track you in a vaccine database. If it sounds too ridiculous to be true, it’s probably not true.” Then he went for the slam.

“There are two types of members of Congress,” Crenshaw said. “There [are] performance artists and there [are] legislators. Performance artists are the ones who get all of the attention, the ones you think are more conservative because they know how to say slogans real well. They know how to recite the line that they know our voters want to hear. … [But] what you hear so often is not true. It’s not true. We have grifters in our midst. Lie after lie after lie, because they know something psychologically about the conservative heart.”


The fact is H.R. 550, The Immunization Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2021, which included the support of dozens of Republicans, does indeed provide $400 million so that states might update immunization systems. Crenshaw, who voted for the bill, may not see this as a vaccine database.

But critics call it a backdoor attempt to create a national vaccine database. And sometimes, when fighting a political battle, it’s necessary to sum up the opposing force in a concise, bullet-point, made-for-TV phrase that draws attention to the cause and elicits outrage because, a) leftists are sneaky and never label their anti-constitutional designs with language that reveals their anti-constitutional designs and b) leftists are sneaky and know that an inch leads to another inch leads to a whole bunch of inches and ultimately a mile, and that if they can slide by the inches undetected, they will eventually reach their end zone and score — at which point it will be nearly impossible to take away their win.

It’s how leftists push gun control, one red flag law at a time.

And isn’t it interesting that Crenshaw himself supported red flag laws in 2019?

Give him points for consistency in thinking. Where one Republican might see a vote for a bill that funds updates to state vaccination records as an innocuous, even necessary, bit of legislating, another might look a bit down the line about where this funding will lead — about how power-hungry Democrats might take that inch and turn it into a mile. And honestly, both can be right in their thinking. 

So why trash talk and name call?

Conservatives in America don’t give a hoot that Crenshaw thinks so-and-so’s a grifter, or that Crenshaw believes you-know-who lies and lies for theatrical effect. Conservatives in America don’t give a dang that Greene thinks fellow Republican Rep. Nancy Mace is “trash” or that Mace thinks Greene can best be described by Twitter emojis of a poop pile and crazy clown, or that fellow Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger thinks Greene is a “circus barker McSpacelaser,” or that fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz retweets a label of Mace as a “scam artist,” or that Mace thinks fellow Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert is guilty of making “racist” and “disgusting” remarks — or even that Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar got her little feelings hurt when Boebert made a joke about her Muslim beliefs. Nope; sorry; American conservatives don’t care about any of that.

That’s political bickering.

Those are Capitol Hill cafeteria and watercooler concerns.

American conservatives care about the fate of the nation, beginning with the preservation of God-given liberties and ending with the state of the Constitution. You know, the things all these battling Republicans take oaths to protect in the first place?

Do better, Republicans. Stop handing out headlines like these — “Republican Recriminations Point to a Rocky Path to a House Majority,” from The New York Times, and “GOP infighting just gets uglier,” from The Hill, and “If the GOP’s civil war keeps up, voters are likely to flee,” from The Washington Post.

Stop helping the Democrats.

Stop feeding the anti-America frenzy from the left.

Stop fighting stupid skirmishes.

And get in the war. Band voices to fight for the individual freedoms upon which this country was built, and upon which the exceptionalism of this country depends. That doesn’t mean opinions can’t differ. But it does mean that if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE. Her latest book, “Socialists Don’t Sleep: Christians Must Rise Or America Will Fall,” is available by clicking HERE.

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