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Republicans Pummel, Punch, and Kick Biden Effigy At Kansas City GOP Event

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Attendees at a Johnson County GOP event in Kansas City were invited to pummel an effigy of President Joe Biden at a fundraiser on Friday, and many of them posted their punches, kicks, and stomps to social media, drawing mass condemnation from both sides of the aisle.

Footage posted to the right-wing social media site Rumble showed multiple attendees gleefully landing blows to a dummy mannequin wearing a Biden mask and a “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirt.

One woman used a black bat to repeatedly hammer the mannequin’s face, as though she were playing a life-size game of whack-a-mole.

The likeness was featured at a Johnson County Republican Party fundraiser that boasted musician Ted Nugent and former Kansas attorney general Phill Kline as headliners.

The dummy was part of a booth set up by a local martial arts studio intending to promote their self-defense class, according to the Kansas City Star and confirmed by the Kansas Republican Party.

Maria Holiday, Johnson County GOP chairwoman, said in an email to The Daily Beast that the incident was “regrettable” and the dummy was “removed,” without specifying when. She said that a “mask depicting President Biden was added to an outside exhibitor interactive self defense display,” without naming whether the outside exhibitor, an attendee, or event organizer had added the mask.

“The mask was regrettable and removed. No one collected or solicited any funds or donations in exchange for hitting the training device.”

In a statement posted to Facebook, the Kansas Republican Party claimed the person responsible is “a disgruntled former member of the state party, who did not attend the event,” and who “saw an opportunity to capitalize on the poor judgement of the outside exhibitor.

“No one from KSGOP leadership or staff attended the event or had input on exhibitors," the statement continued, adding, “It’s unfortunate the events took place, and even more so the former state party member created a false narrative in order to spew rhetoric and capitalize on continued attempts to divide the party. The internal fighting and false narratives within the Republican Party risk 2024 election outcomes in Kansas and across America and they must end.”

The party is now under fire from both Republicans and Democrats, who argue that the Biden-bashing is more than a display of vulgar unprofessionalism—they say it promotes political violence.

Kansas’ House Speaker Dan Hawkins compared the event to when Kathy Griffin held up a replica of Donald Trump’s severed head for a photoshoot in 2017.

“What may seem like a joke for many will be seen by some as an expansion of acceptable behavior with potentially tragic consequences,” Hawkins said in a statement.

Former Kansas Republican Party chair Mike Kuckelman denounced the incident and called on Holiday and the current state party chair Mike Brown to resign.

“This conduct is shameful, and it is WRONG. Brown and Holiday must resign,” Kuckelman said in a statement. He called on other Republicans to demand Brown and Holiday’s resignations over the incident and also invoked the Kathy Griffin incident in comparison. “Please, we must speak equally as loudly in our opposition now,” he urged conservatives.

“I don’t agree with President Biden’s policies, but he is a fellow human being. No one should condone or defend this horrific and shameful conduct,” he said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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