The left-leaning media is uniformly in praise of Democrat Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rouke, and Democrat gubernatorial candidates Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum, of Georgia and Florida respectively. They predict great futures for them not only in the Democratic Party, but as national leaders. There has even been speculation about future presidential bids.
With all that laudatory news coverage, you might have thought that they actually won their elections. They did not. For some reason, their losing garnered more favorable publicity than was received by the candidates who actually beat them – Senator Ted Cruz, who rarely gets good press, Governor-elect Brian Kemp and Governor-elect Ron DeSantis.
Buried in the weeds of election night coverage was a guy with an eyepatch named Dan Crenshaw, who got himself elected to Congress in Texas’ 2nd District. One might view him as just another Republican who managed to hold a congressional seat that was vacated by a Republican retirement. But that would be short-sighted.
Crenshaw was not expected to win the seat because he was not expected to survive the elimination round in the GOP primary – and he almost did not. He won a place in the two-candidate runoff by besting his better known and far better financed Republican opponent, Kathleen Wall, by a mere 155 votes.
Crenshaw entered the race with modest credentials. He was a military man from the time he graduated from Tuft’s and then Harvard Universities. He was a Navy Seal Lieutenant Commander who saw action in Afghanistan, where he lost an eye to an improvised exploding devise (IED). The resultant eye patch is not only a testimonial to his patriotic service and sacrifice, it is now an iconic symbol of his public image – his unique brand, if you will.
It caught the attention of Saturday Night Live (SNL) comedian Pete Davidson, who mocked then candidate Crenshaw as looking like a “hitman in a porno movie.” Davidson seemed to question the legitimacy and seriousness of the injury by dismissively saying, “I know he lost his eye in war or whatever …”
The Davidson comments brought an immediate social media backlash of such intensity against Davidson and SNL that they were forced to extend a formal apology. How much the publicity may have helped Crenshaw in the General Election can be debated, but he defeated Democrat Todd Litton by more than 20,000 votes.
Recognizing the error of their ways, SNL invited Crenshaw to appear on the show in a skit written around the controversy. Crenshaw was allowed to heap scripted insults on Davidson, after which they engaged in a serious conversation on the importance of civility – even in humor. Or should it be “especially” in humor?
The controversy and the eyepatch have made Crenshaw arguable the most recognizable member of the House of Representatives with the exception of those in leadership, who appear on camera ad nauseum.
With Crenshaw, it is not vacuous fame. He is a person of skill and substance. He is one of the rare congressional newbies who will rise faster and further than most of the others in the freshman class. His is a person of intellectual substance and oratory skills.
If you want to see a real comer, keep an eye on Crenshaw – no pun intended.
So, there ‘tis.
Editor’s note: Here’s a guy to keep an eye on (no pun intended). I watched him face down several new Congressional Democrats on one of the liberal Sunday talk shows. They were stunned and rendered speechless. Crenshaw is articulate, high intelligent and fearless. Its like having Jordan Peterson in Congress.