The Republican Party has nominated a group of seemingly unstable candidates for various political races around the country.
And in the case of Missouri, the GOP Senate nominee is downright disturbing. Eric Greitens—the Trump-backed former Governor of the state—actually resigned in 2018 amid horrifying allegations of sexual assault, abuse against his ex-wife and a raft of felony charges.
That was all before he created a campaign ad last month in which he, armed with an assault rifle, subtly called for violence against Republicans not aligned with the far-right and Trump's "Big Lie" accusations of 2020 election fraud.
He is currently polling far ahead of any potential GOP challenger in the Missouri Senate race. And Greitens' former friend and roommate, nonprofit executive and former Navy pilot Ken Harbaugh, is doing his damnedest to change that.
Harbaugh took to Twitter to post a video in which he calls Greitens a "broken man" and begs him to withdraw.
See his post below.
Along with his video, Harbaugh wrote:
"I have known @EricGreitens for 30 years."
"He is a broken man, who will do anything, including inciting violence, to regain power."
"He’s not the same person whose weddings I went to."
"Eric, drop out. Try to repair the damage you have done, to your family, your country, and yourself."
As searing as those words are, they are nothing compared to the video. In it, Harbaugh tried to appeal to Greitens' better angels. He said:
“...[What you’re doing now is not honorable. Even if you do win, you’re going to lose more than you can imagine by campaigning like this."
Harbaugh went on to use Greitens' once heartfelt relationship with Harbaugh's mother to try to talk some sense into him:
"Your call to hunt down Republicans who disagree with you? That’s my mom, Eric."
"Just because she doesn’t think the election was stolen, and let’s be honest, you don’t either. That’s not a reason to threaten her."
"She was one of the few people to reach out when you were forced to resign as governor."
"She wrote to you about grace, and redemption. She reminded you that even the greatest sins, those against one’s own family, can be forgiven."
Unsurprisingly, given the seemingly total lack of shame all too many MAGA-oriented Republicans show, Greitens was unmoved. Asked to respond to Harbaugh's video by The St Louis Post-Dispatch for its article about it, Greitens said:
"Ken is obviously a disturbed individual hoping to profit from his former friendship with the governor for 40 seconds of the leftist spotlight."
And just 45 minutes after Harbaugh posted his video, Greitens posted a new campaign ad even more disturbing than the last, in which he claims "they came for me" while subtly calling for civil war.
Greitens' unhinged thirst for violence is all the more shocking given the details about his past that Harbaugh reveals in his video and to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which make his rising Republican star seem sordidly opportunistic at best.
As Harbaugh tells it, the Greitens who ran for Governor of Missouri was a pro-choice, pro-same-sex marriage Republican who'd been a supporter of former Democratic President Barack Obama.
Harbaugh even donated to Greitens' campaign, thinking though he'd rather have a Democratic Governor, a Republican on the right side of history "wouldn’t be the worst thing for" deep-red Missouri, where Democrats have fared poorly in recent times.
Greitens' alignments rapidly changed once he was in office and according to Harbaugh, people who've known him for a long time are "appalled" by his radical lurch to the fascistic far-right.
This includes another old friend, former Democratic Missouri Governor Bob Holden, who told the Post-Dispatch he and Greitens traveled together to Denver in 2008 to see Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Harbaugh's video may not have changed Greitens' mind, but it certainly made an impact on people on Twitter, especially among those who've watched loved ones make similarly horrifying lurches to the right.
Greitens' Democratic opponent will be chosen in Missouri Democratic Primary on August 2.