Missouri Governor Eric Greitens loves to show off his Navy-Seal skills for maximum political effect. You may recall that he blasted off his campaign for governor in a TV ad that featured him spouting campaign promises while posing with and then firing off an assault weapon. A second campaign ad didn’t even pretend to be about issues: He simply, gleefully, strafed a set of targets with an even bigger, military-issue machine gun.
Now, he’s done it again. On September 9, 2017, he hitched himself up in the upper reaches of JQH Stadium in Springfield, Mo., and rappelled down to the arena floor. It was a showy kickoff to—of all things—a professional bull-riding competition. He made his dramatic entrance in front of an audience of thousands, as an announcer touted Greitens’ military commendations, and as four Army National Guardsmen floated down carrying the American flag. Watch:
— JQH Arena (@JQHArena) September 10, 2017
Need I point out the humorous possibilities, puns and ironic political commentary that this silly display inspires? He did, after all, jump into a bull-riding event. The bullshit joke opportunities are endless. [I’ll leave the actual punch-line writing to Steven Colbert, Trevor Noah and John Oliver.] I’d call it a “rappellant” display of self-aggrandizement and military worship. And one also might see his descent as a metaphor for what is happening to the state of the State of Missouri’s well-being under his stingy, conservative-Republican regime.
Donald Trump is probably drooling with envy at the imagination and showmanship Greitens has displayed. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch article notes that, “Greitens frequently posts videos showing himself in physically challenging situations, such as working out with first responders, riding in high speed maneuvers with the State Highway Patrol, and sparring in a boxing ring with troubled youth.”
All Trump could muster, after all, was a [can I call it “pedestrian?”] Trump Tower down-escalator ride to announce his candidacy for president.
You have to wonder what’s next. Parachuting? A Houdini-like escape from a water tank? More likely, a political disappearing act, in which Greitens vanishes from Missouri when he runs for president in 2020.