by Will Lloyd
Wednesday, 13
January 2021
Reaction
08:30

Don’t count Josh Hawley out

The senator is the object of enormous hatred and fear, but all may not be lost
by Will Lloyd
Sen. Josh Hawley gestures towards pro-Trump supporters on Capitol Hill.

A striding man in a blue suit, with a grim look on his face, raises his fist to the crowd out of shot.

It was only after the mob dispersed — and the pipe bombs were defused at the offices of both major parties — that Francis Chung’s photo of Senator Josh Hawley began to go viral.

Since he joined the Senate in 2019, for his social conservative supporters Hawley has picked the right fights and made the right enemies. Liberals, though some agreed with him that Big Tech should be broken up, saw someone to worry about. Hawley was Trump with a brain and a conscience — a potentially more dangerous prospect — but he never had much profile among the Donald Trump base.

Then last week, even after the militia bros made their attempt to prevent Congress from carrying out election law, Hawley put loyalty to the President above everything (including, arguably, loyalty to the constitution) and objected to the counting of the Electoral College votes that confirmed Joe Biden’s win.

In the days since, he has been the subject of a sustained rolling ignominy, including the cancellation of his book on Big Tech with Simon & Schuster, his home state’s largest newspaper calling for his head, and David Humphreys, one of his earliest donors, saying that supporting Hawley was “the worst mistake I have ever made in my life.”

But is this the end for the junior Senator? He is typically spoken of as a potential ‘heir to Trump’ — has he now blown it by going one step too far?

Revisiting his keynote speech from the National Conservatism Conference in Washington last year, I can’t help feeling that it would be a mistake to count him out. That address hit every post-liberal talking point — family, faith, flag — but he makes them sound fresh. It combines aww shucks, down-home American political loquacity (“…the kind of people who built this nation are here still, waking early and working late, manning the fire department and coaching the Little League”) with imperial references to Horatius at the bridge and Macaulay

What the Ivy league lawyer was missing was any roughness or sense of being an insurgent, an outsider.

In that fist raised to the Stop The Steal crowd, Liberals, and many Republicans, saw a mask being ripped off. No longer an interesting (if scary) renegade, Hawley was transformed into a traitor, and a pariah. He suddenly finds himself one of the most despised men in America. 

But the other America does not see it that way. As Republican politicians reverse away from Trump, Hawley has neither apologised for nor explained his actions. What does that America see when it looks at that photo of Hawley? Certainly not sedition. 

The senator is only 41. In raising his fist he claimed the only part of Trump’s mantle he didn’t have before, and never expected to take — the dangerous part.  

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steve eaton
steve eaton
1 year ago

For all the latest talk about how anyone objecting to certifying the electoral votes is somehow subverting the Constitution, I’d think that people didn’t realize that formally objecting to the certification IS a part of the Constitutional process. Strange in the reporting of this latest example, I have yet to see anyone point out the fact that the Democrats have done the exact same thing every election since 1985 if I recall. I remember very well the objections raised by Democrats over the votes in OHIO in 2017 in an attempt to overturn Trumps election. Seems that what is subverting the Constitution when done by Republicans is simply doing one’s Constitutional duty when done by Democrats.The hypocrisy here stinks like an open sewer in a Leper colony.

Don Butler
Don Butler
1 year ago
Reply to  steve eaton

Bravo, Steve. I was poised to write almost exactly the same thing. Mr. Lloyd needs to take a closer look at the Constitution, as did Senator Hawley, the former Attorney General of Missouri, who graduated from Stanford and Yale and clerked for John Roberts.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
1 year ago
Reply to  steve eaton

Yes, but this is just like when d**k Tuck ran into Bob Haldeman after Watergate. To Tuck, a known and practiced political trickster who had plagued the campaigns of Richard Nixon over the years, Haldeman said “Tuck, you b*****d, you started all this”, to which Tuck answered, “Yes, Bob, but you guys ran it into the ground”.

If you can’t see the difference between a president, the entire administration and 95% of the ruling party declaiming a fraudulent, rigged election WITH NO PROOF WHATSOEVER (as proven again and again in the American judiciary system at all levels, from state courts to federal courts and all the way to the US Supreme Court, 63 losses out of 64 cases) and then SUPPORTING a wholly illegal effort to overthrow the constitutional order of the reading of the VALIDATED STATE ELECTORS while a mob, again flying Trump and Confederate flags, stormed the capital illegally and violently… if you can’t see the difference between all that and the unsupported individual democrats who objected to A PARTICULAR STATE’S ELECTORS (AND NOTABLY NOT SAYING THAT THE OVERALL ELECTION SHOULD BE OVERTURNED!!!) … then I’m very sure that my words will bounce harmlessly off the tin-foil had you’re clearly wearing.

Ask Liz Cheney or Mitch McConnell what they think if you want to willfully disregard the above facts. Like Nixon and Haldeman, you guys ran it into the ground.

Don Butler
Don Butler
1 year ago

I couldn’t care less what Cheney and McConnell think. Opinions are opinions. It’s reasonable to argue that Pennsylvania and other stated ignored their own election laws because…well, THEY DID.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
1 year ago
Reply to  Don Butler

Yes, and I note the many legal wins you had pursuing that lie. What, exactly, will it take for you to accept that it was a LEGAL. FAIR. ELECTION.

Only if Hair Furor tells you? Thought so.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

You have to admit that is pretty funny coming from a democrat. When did you accept Trump’s win in 2016? Your Furor HRC still hasn’t accepted it after four years.

But if you have no problem with some states changing the rules right before an election, you’ll be okay when it happens in other states, is that correct? Say changing polling places at the last minute.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

Cheney has always been anti-Trump so I wouldn’t put much store in anything she says. McConnell is more problematic but even he hasn’t said everything that happened during the election was okay. Changing the rules in several states on the eve of the election, counting ballots days after the election, counting unsigned undated ballots. That sort of stuff.

44benn
44benn
1 year ago

There are far too many capital letters here for me

Gerald gwarcuri
Gerald gwarcuri
1 year ago
Reply to  steve eaton

Leave the unfortunates who have leprosy – a dread disease – out of your metaphors.

Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
1 year ago

A snowflake enters from the wings.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

It’s curious how the article fails to mention the recent attempted assault on Hawley’s home and family in DC while he was back in his Missouri district. Why the oversight? Is it okay to have mobs baying at your door, harassing your wife and kids? There is going to come a point when one of these attempts is going to be met by the business end of a shotgun, whether the weapon is fired or not, because that’s what out of bounds behavior deserves. Then what? Will the mob be covered for once more?

Dave H
Dave H
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The associated press is carrying an article in which the local police, who were present, said it was a peaceful event. While some local laws were violated (you can’t protest outside a private residence, no littering), it was peaceful and the protestors departed peacefully when the officers explained the violations to them.

It seems that local law enforcement don’t agree with the characterisation of attempted assault or harassment, and no arrests were made.

Chauncey Gardiner
Chauncey Gardiner
1 year ago

The Hawley pile-on does not reflect the wisdom of crowds.

Hawley is a very good speaker. He won’t be going anywhere. He would next be up for reelection in 2024 — about 2,000 political lifetimes from now. We will see how things go after this manufactured episode blows over.

Stephen Hoffman
Stephen Hoffman
1 year ago

Hawley in 2024″for President.

Joe Francis
Joe Francis
1 year ago

“The dangerous part” is the part that actually changes things for the better. The Republicans have always had one great weakness – their spine. That’s why so many of them are backpeddling away from Trump. Hawley appears to have found an antidote.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Francis

Big Business is removing sponsorship from Republicans who don’t renege and they can see the terror and the purges looming before the corrupt fraudsters are even in office.

rosie mackenzie
rosie mackenzie
1 year ago

“Then last week, even after the militia bros made their attempt to prevent Congress from carrying out election law”

Congress was going to devote two hours to each of the disputed states. This was the first and last chance to hear any of the evidence which the courts had suppressed, in a forum with power to do something about it.

The incursion was just as the first speech on Arizona was beginning.

Now who on earth would have wanted to stop those twelve hours of privileged revelations being debated in front of the whole world? And who would have wanted them heard?

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
1 year ago

More fuel for the conspiracy fire – who on earth indeed? But crowds can become unruly mobs quickly without proper supervision. Not to blame the poor police who were outnumbered but to management who had prior warning.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Hardee Hodges

Crowds can become mobs? really? Never seen that before in the USA!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

Hawley is young which is a plus in my view, I’m kind of tired of really old leadership of any party. I would never have thought I could support term limits but now that we have the crypt keepers everywhere at the top, it really is time to consider it. The WWII generation has had a long time in the spotlight, may be time to let them go now,

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
1 year ago

In raising his fist he claimed the only
part of Trump’s mantle he didn’t have before, and never expected to
take ” the dangerous part.

He may find he doesn’t have the choice. You lie down with dogs you’re going to wake up with fleas.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

this is the sort of reaction usually associated with people who fantasize that the “okay” hand symbol means something more sinister.

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I don’t care about hand gestures. My point was that he may find that he doesn’t get to choose what he inherits from Trump.

Ian Howard
Ian Howard
1 year ago

Nice that you de-humanize Republicans as ‘dogs’ that sort of rhetoric is what divides further (just my opinion)

Real Horrorshow
Real Horrorshow
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Howard

It’s a well-known proverb that has been applied in countless circumstances. I think you know that and are playing the victim, which doesn’t help.

Remember, Hawley was making a gesture of support towards people who later that day would invade the Capitol and try to lynch the VP. Dogs have more loyalty.

Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
1 year ago

Who are these “many Republicans” the author of the article refers to? The latest polling shows Trump holding on to 91% of the GOP vote, the remainder presumably being that outcast breed known as RINOs. Their influence in the vote, if not in the generally despised establishment (think of Mitt Romney), is dying on the otherwise the robust vine. Look for big things from Hawley. Among other things, he is making the right enemies in the legacy media. I suspect they hope pumping the vitriol at Hawley this early will somehow substitute for the bawdy and colourful figure that inflated their audiences over the past five years or so and enriched them to an enormous degree

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
1 year ago

Meh. The problem with your theory is that after the Republican knife fights are over in a year, the Cruz/Hawley/Trump faction will represent less than 30% of Republican voters… so yes, he can be counted out. The stink of dead bodies and lies will be with them all forever.

Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
1 year ago

Baloney. Your numbers belong to the vanishing RINO contingent, who belong in the Democrat Party anyway. You, too, is my guess.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

Remember how no republican would ever be elected president again during GWB’s term? Lol, took only two terms of Obama.

Sidney Eschenbach
Sidney Eschenbach
1 year ago

Remember that only one republican president has won with a majority of the popular vote since 1988, GHW Bush. See you in ’22.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

No one ever wins with the popular vote.

Andrea X
Andrea X
1 year ago

Reagan did, and handsomely.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrea X

No, he actually won by the rules of the Electoral College, which is the only way to win. No president wins by popular vote.

Andrea X
Andrea X
1 year ago

Don’t be ridiculous. Of course the rules are what they are, but Reagan, and Nixon before him, won handsomely the popular vote.
Republicans CAN win the popular vote.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrea X

Even Reagan and Nixon won by the rules. We do not elect presidents by popular vote.

Dave Tagge
Dave Tagge
1 year ago

No, GW Bush also did so in 2004.

In any case, the Republican Party’s issue isn’t really a presidential popular vote problem. Democratic presidential candidates run up huge popular vote margins in CA and NY, but those don’t matter (as Trump showed in 2016) if Republicans can win enough other states. (Including large states. Trump won 7 of the 10 largest population states in 2016 – all except CA, NY, and IL.)

The Republican Party’s problem – made even more difficult by Trump’s post-election behavior – is having a party/candidates who can attract the voters who Trump brought to the party while also holding onto enough of its traditional affluent suburban voters.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
1 year ago

Awww Sidney you poor sport you. Why would you object to me bringing up democratic predictions of republicans in the wilderness for generations after GWB?