Representative Dan Crenshaw continues to draw comparisons to the late Senator John McCain. Unfortunately for Crenshaw, none of these comparisons are especially complimentary. The Texas Representative has repeatedly managed to alienate both parties since his election to the House in 2018. His latest controversy comes from an incident in which Crenshaw was confronted at a fundraiser with questions about the 2020 election.
A new McCain?
Crenshaw dismissed a heckler who brought up the election, rejecting the idea that there was significant fraud which influenced the outcome of the election.
The Republican Rep. may have hoped that this would silence some criticism from Democrats who affiliate him too strongly with former President Trump.
If so, Crenshaw was mistaken. Democrats quickly pointed out that Crenshaw supported attempts to reexamine results in swing states after the election.
Unlike McCain, Crenshaw has seemingly changed his stance on Trump several times. He was opposed before 2016 and then became a staunch supporter in time to win his 2018 campaign.
Now Crenshaw is, like many other prominent Republicans, apparently unsure about how to approach the Trump issue without alienating voters.
The moderate wing of the GOP might approve of his most recent comments, though they are unlikely to forgive the enthusiastic support he voiced for Trump in the past.
Criticism from left and right
Comparisons to John McCain stem in part from the fact that both men had distinguished careers in the military; Crenshaw lost an eye while serving in Afghanistan.
While his past military service undoubtedly helped Crenshaw as a candidate, it has not shielded him from being criticized by both the right and left.
Already thoroughly distrusted by the left for his usual pro-gun stances, Crenshaw has been condemned by Republicans for supporting “red flag” laws which would restrict gun ownership.
Generally hawkish views on foreign policy have also earned him unfavorable comparisons to McCain; more intervention in the Middle East is something which neither party is especially interested in.
While Crenshaw remains a prominent and popular enough figure within the GOP for his past service and his usually conservative persona, his specific stances have increasingly alienated potential supporters.
With Afghanistan collapsing, firearms sales still strong, and Trump as popular among Republicans as ever, Crenshaw may need to reevaluate some of his positions.