Dan Crenshaw
Dan Crenshaw (R-TX). Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) offers a masterclass in blaming the US government for everything.

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Prominent House Republican Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) knows exactly who is to blame for the implosion of a submersible that was on a deep-sea sightseeing trip in international waters far away from the US coast. Was it the company that built this rickety miniature U-boat? Oh no! It was clearly the fault of the Biden administration and possibly the White House itself.

“What appears to be the case is epic failure in leadership,” Crenshaw told reporters on Thursday. “Where exactly that leadership failure is, I don’t know. Is it the White House, Coast Guard, Navy? I’m not sure.”

His reason for laying the blame for this tragedy at the feet of the Biden administration and not, for example, the people who decided to take this risky trip, the engineers who designed the craft, or the company that operated it knowing it was a potential death trap, is simple: If only the US government had authorized the deployment of two pieces of specialist equipment, maybe things would have turned out to be fine.

It should be noted that Crenshaw is a former Navy SEAL and likely knows a lot more about this than your average person. And, as a Republican, he is also an expert in blaming the US government for everything.

When asked about his assessment on Fox News, he offered a more detailed explanation.

“If you had just deployed those assets [immediately upon hearing about the craft’s disappearance], they would have arrived on scene by Wednesday morning at the latest,” Crenshaw said.

At that point, there were still reports of tapping noises coming from the bottom of the ocean.

“That tapping continues to be heard and chatted about in all these channels throughout Wednesday. Then it stops late Wednesday,” Crenshaw added. “They finally deploy that 6K ROV, the only thing capable of actually going to that depth and seeing what’s down there, this morning. It deploys down there and the wreckage was exactly where they thought it would be. So where’s the failure here? The failure is to not put all your options on the table.”

It seems pretty ridiculous to point fingers at the US government for not doing enough to fix an issue that was the result of questionable decision-making at every other level. And, of course, this didn’t happen in US waters. The implosion took place at the site where the Titanic sank, which is hundreds of miles away from the US coast.

At the same time, Crenshaw’s response is very much on brand for Republicans.

This tragedy was a direct result of corporate greed, lack of government oversight, and rich people doing rich-people things. And then, when that predictably went wrong, of course it was the fault of the government, which should have used all available, taxpayer-funded resources to bail out those wealthy folks immediately.

But at least Crenshaw found a sympathetic audience for his mental gymnastics at Fox News.

When the lawmaker questioned whether “these people” should be in charge of future recoveries, host Trace Gallagher managed an impressive leap of logic of his own, and connected this tragedy to other issues that aggrieve conservatives.

“I think it’s a fair assessment, because this administration has been criticized from the start from Afghanistan to the Chinese balloon of just slowly responding to a lot of this stuff,” Gallagher said. “And a lot of people have said this should have been an all-hands-on-deck event, and it wasn’t.”


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a senior editor for Politics and director of the Mentor Apprentice Program at WhoWhatWhy. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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