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Eric Greitens’ latest “RINO” hunting campaign ad is everything conservative critics say it is:

“Deplorable ... no place in our political system ... dangerous,” according to a statement released by the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police.

“Deeply disturbing ... advocating violence,” according to the Eagle Forum.

“Very distasteful,” said U.S. Rep. Billy Long, of Springfield, who, like Greitens, wants to replace Roy Blunt in the U.S. Senate.

“Completely irresponsible,” said another U.S. Senate contender from Missouri, Dave Schatz.

While all that is true, equally undeniable is an even bigger problem with the ad.

From Greitens’ perspective, at least, it accomplished just what he wanted it to, generating all kinds of buzz with a fringe part of the base who see it as clever, getting viewed by millions and even raising money.

You can criticize Greitens for making that ad until the cows come home, but you can’t ignore the fact that it worked with a part of his base who were just as giddy about seeing it as Greitens appeared to be when making it.

This wasn’t a lapse in judgment by Greitens and his team; this was deliberate.

That’s the point, and that’s the problem.

Tim Garrison, a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said this is exactly what Greitens was after. “His latest bonkers ad for promoting violence. … It’s completely intentional. The grotesqueness is a feature, not a bug.”

Greitens wanted Twitter and Facebook to suspend him “so he can play the victim again,” according to Garrison.

More than a year ago we noted that not only had Greitens previously failed Missouri when he was governor, but that he was done in by his own poor judgment and ethical lapses and that he was unfit to represent Missourians in Washington, D.C. Nothing we have seen since then has changed that view.

As long as Greitens and other candidates play to that faction of their base that gets ginned up by this, these kinds of insane ads will continue.

The real issue is that Republicans like Greitens are trying to empower that small fringe of their base to get elected, rather than talking to the other 80% of Republicans who are looking for a responsible voice to represent them in the Senate.

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