Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), better known affectionately as “Eyepatch McCain” in honor of his ideological forefather, has tepidly apologized for smearing his anti-McCarthy colleagues as “terrorists.”

Here was Crenshaw’s stated position on the holdouts on Wednesday last week:

We just can’t allow that to happen. That’s why those of us are saying like, look, you pushed us into this corner. So now we’re now we’re saying we won’t vote for anyone but McCarthy. That’s why we’re saying it, because we cannot let the terrorists win. That’s basically what’s happening.

And here is the apology now, via The Hill:

To the extent that I have colleagues that were offended by it, I sincerely apologize to them. I don’t want them to think I actually believe they’re terrorists. It’s clearly a turn of phrase that you use in what is an intransigent negotiation.

Tossing the “terrorist” label around willy-nilly has been the lazy neoconservative reflex for decades at this point, so it’s actually possible that he’s gotten so comfortable smearing any opponent as a terrorist that he didn’t foresee the pushback.

In the end, of course, despite the tough-guy Texan character he plays, Crenshaw lacked the fortitude to back up his smear, probably because he got a phone from one of his donors whom he dutifully obeys.

You don’t earn the honorary title of World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, after all, as Crenshaw himself acknowledges he did even while calling it a “conspiracy theory,” for standing on principle.

For all Crenshaw’s hackneyed PR talk about being on Team Republican, in actuality, he serves the exact same interests as the corporate Democrats — just more effectively for a representative from the other side of the aisle in the role of controlled opposition.

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