“Don’t question my faith”: Dan Crenshaw snaps at young critic at tea-party event

Here’s the latest episode in an ongoing series that I’m calling “Why does Dan Crenshaw want to be a congressman?”

There’s a rumor going around that the “little girl” who posed this question to him was all of 10 years old, making his irritated retort seem that much more impolitic. It’s one thing for a member of Congress to get angry with a constituent, it’s another for them to get angry with a child. Lefties and MAGA types each dislike Crenshaw for their own reasons so each side has a motive to spread that rumor. According to Crenshaw’s own primary opponent, however, the girl is 18 — an adult. She’s just short.

Does she have a point, though? She asks Crenshaw about this soundbite from a podcast interview he did nearly two years ago:

It’s an … interesting coincidence that the woman questioning him managed to dig up such an obscure exchange and later was seen holding his opponent’s campaign sign for a photo, no?

But never mind that. Crenshaw’s phrasing is curious for a Christian, citing Jesus and Superman as “hero archetypes” and then naming “real characters too” like Rosa Parks and Ronald Reagan. Jesus isn’t a real character?

What he probably meant was average people. Jesus was a real person but he certainly wasn’t average to Christians. Even so, the woman put Crenshaw on the spot and he couldn’t hide his irritation:

Newsweek has a transcript if you can’t make out what’s being said. Another angle:

It’s, uh, not a pro-Crenshaw crowd, as you can see.

Is Dan Crenshaw a pretend Christian? I highly, highly doubt it:

Miraculously, surgeons saved his left eye but then they discovered his retina had a hole in it.

“So we were hoping for another miracle because then the conversation there was do you just let yourself go completely blind slowly and at least you’ll get to see for a while longer, or do we try this surgery out which, your eye is so fragile right now – it’s a really bad idea,” explained Crenshaw.

But God performed that second miracle and saved his sight.

“If I had been anxious about it, I couldn’t have dealt with that mentally. I think I would have had irreparable PTSD consequences,” recalled Crenshaw. “Looking back on that, there’s no other way to describe it except God giving me the strength to believe the impossible.”

If his faith is sincere, why are people on both sides so interested in this clip of a woman demagoging him as a phony, possibly at the behest of one of his challengers? Simple: Crenshaw is too MAGA for the left and not MAGA enough for the right. On the one hand, he signed on to Texas’s legal bid to get the electoral votes of swing states thrown out in December 2020, a lawsuit that would have caused a constitutional crisis in the name of keeping Trump in power had it prevailed. He’s also not above pandering to Trumpists on some of their January 6 hobbyhorses, which he did at this same event:

Progressives hate him for that. On the other hand, he’s crossed Trump and his sycophants too many times to ever be a member of MAGA in good standing. He declined to object to the certification of Biden’s electoral votes on January 6, 2021 and then, a week later, stuck up for Liz Cheney when she announced she would vote to impeach Trump for the insurrection:

Last summer he was heckled at a fundraiser by an election truther and swatted the guy down, insisting that it was delusional to believe the vote could have been rigged in massive numbers across multiple states. Then in December he dismissed the MAGA stalwarts in the Freedom Caucus as “grifters” and “performance artists” who are less interested in legislating than mugging for populist media.

He can’t please anyone. Which brings us back to our question: Why does Dan Crenshaw want to be a congressman?

What does he enjoy about having to attend events like the one above and have Trumpists question his devotion to Christ while leftists accuse him of being an insurrectionist? It can’t be that having the opportunity to legislate is that enticing to him. Rank-and-file congressmen don’t write bills anymore; the leadership does. And a GOP House majority that’s under Trump’s thumb and led by Kevin McCarthy is more likely to be influenced by those same “grifters” and “performance artists” than it is by Crenshaw.

It’s possible that he’s hanging around the House in hopes that a higher office in his home state of Texas will open up. But if it does, why does he think he can win it when his MAGA cred is already so damaged? If, say, Ted Cruz decides not to run for reelection in 2024, there’ll be a hundred Trumpists who jump into the Senate primary and start competing for Trump’s endorsement. One of them will eventually get it. Crenshaw certainly will not. So what chance does he have?

He’s a young man with stellar credentials, starting with his military service. He should go make money or at least do something more meaningful than serving as a cog in a Trumpist congressional machine. Which is literally anything.

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