Jake Bequette is only the latest of three Republican challengers to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, but his slick media rollout depicting a gun-toting, Christian, Razorback conservative indicated he’ll have some backing.

So welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Bequette, in this Los Angeles Times column by LZ Granderson.


It starts by deflating Bequette’s claim to NFL football glory then moves to guns, always a popular totem for Republican politicians in Arkansas.

In listing his qualifications for the U.S. Senate, the former Arkansas Razorback and NFL player told potential voters he won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.

What he didn’t mention was that he didn’t play in the Super Bowl — or even a single playoff game. In fact, the former 2012 third-round pick only appeared briefly in eight regular season games during his two-year career.

The 2014 season in which the Patriots won the championship, Bequette was on the practice squad and he didn’t play a single snap. The following season he was cut and out of the league. In 2017 he joined the Army.

Now that’s still a heck of an athletic career. But when Bequette said he “played with Tom Brady and won a Super Bowl,” accompanied by an image of him kissing the trophy, he is misleading people.

But I’m not bent out of shape because he inflated his NFL career. Hell, I would do the same if I had a ring. It’s his idea of patriotism that irks me.

Twice when Bequette spoke of being a patriot, he is shown shooting an assault rifle. In fact, one of those times the word patriot is superimposed in big letters as the bullet casings fall as if directed by Michael Mann.

Guns? Guns used by Mexcian smugglers come from U.S. factories. States with tough gun laws are plagued by guns from neighboring states that are softer on them. People who amass arsenals suitable for mass killings are treated with little concern in a recent case.



This is the part of the story we don’t like to talk about because it holds us accountable. We would much rather talk about “our constitutional right” as if it exists in a vacuum, detached from the proliferation and worship of guns as well as its consequences.

Perhaps that’s the most jarring aspect of the Bequette video — his comfort with marrying guns to American patriotism. In the ad, he says he is “100% pro-life” between clips of him squeezing the trigger because nothing says pro-life like a weapon of war.

Such a good story.