For a while, Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw seemed like a rising star in the conservative wing of the Republican Party.
A former Navy SEAL who lost an eye while deployed to Afghanistan, Crenshaw, elected in 2018, caught the attention of conservatives as he endorsed opposition to abortion, repeal of Obamacare and support of President Trump.
He spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention.
But there have risen some red flags about Crenshaw.
One is the concept of red flags themselves. Although possessing a 92 percent rating by the National Rifle Association, Crenshaw has broached the idea of so-called red flag laws – confiscation of firearms in certain situations under questionable due-process provisions.
Also, he has publicly criticized the Freedom Caucus, calling its members “performance artists” and “grifters,” rather than serious legislators.
While he signed an amicus brief in Texas v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court case challenging the 2020 election (and which the Court refused to hear on the questionable contention of lack of standing), Crenshaw declined to join 147 House and Senate colleagues in refusing to certify the Electoral College results.
Crenshaw has said Trump could have told his supporters to halt the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol (although Crenshaw may not have been aware of increasing evidence of federal collusion or initiation of the ensuing riot).
Also, Crenshaw has supported Rep. Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. Although not seeking re-election in 2022, Kinzinger was one of ten Republicans who voted to “impeach” Trump after Trump was already out of office, and he was one of two Republicans to vote for the Democrats’ show trial regarding the Jan. 6 event.
Recently, Crenshaw took to task members of the House Freedom Caucus, “Grifters in our midst,” Crenshaw called them.
Prominent among them are Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and Lauren Boebert of Colorado.
“I’ve been in Congress almost three years now,” Crenshaw recently told the Texas Liberty Alliance, “There’s two types of members in Congress — There’s performance artists. (And) there’s legislators.
“Performance artists are the ones that get all the attention,” he continued. “They’re the ones you think are more conservative because they know how to say slogans real well. They know how to recite the lines and they know what our voters want to hear.
“… In the first two years of the Trump presidency, when Republicans were in control, when every single time when we were voting on Donald Trump’s agenda, who do you think was at the top of that list, voting with Donald Trump [and] who do you think was at the bottom?
“A lot of names you would recognize were at the bottom of that list. A lot of names you would recognize were at the top of that list … Adam Kinzinger voted with Trump almost 99 percent — he was number two.
“And who was at the bottom? Everybody in the Freedom Caucus. All of them. What you hear so often is not true. It’s not true. We have grifters in our midst … in the conservative movement. Lie after lie after lie, because they know something psychologically about the conservative heart — we’re worried about what people are going to do us, what they’re going to infringe upon us.”
What is going on with Dan?
— Alex Bruesewitz (@alexbruesewitz) December 7, 2021
Contrary to what Crenshaw said, Greene and Boebert voted with Trump 100 percent of the time on agenda items tabulated by fivethirtyeight.com, while Kinzinger’s score was 90.2 percent.
Crenshaw, who says he is a supporter of the Second Amendment, has been caught in controversy since 2019 when he tweeted the possibility of a red flag law.
The solutions aren’t obvious, even if we pretend they are. But we must try. Let’s start with the TAPS Act. Maybe also implement state “red flag” laws, or gun violence restraining orders. Stop them before they can hurt someone.https://t.co/2G2pZSWaF1
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) August 4, 2019
A red flag law calls for an immediate secret court order to confiscate firearms in the event of a person becoming a risk to themselves or others.
But such laws raise questions: they involve family, but does that include a bitter ex-spouse or a disgruntled relative? Also, would they encourage an individual suffering from depression to decline treatment for fear of losing their firearms?
Crenshaw has been attempting to walk back his statement on red flag laws, but some gun owners are not buying it.
And Crenshaw is putting down the most conservative members of Congress.
Also, what about the support he has had for Kinzinger?
Crenshaw is working to boost his conservative bonafides and, true, he’s on the right side on a lot of key issues.
But consistency is important, too. And there’s a time to not criticize those who should be your friends or give support to those going down the wrong paths.