It’s Time for Josh Hawley to Pay Up
The gambit was high stakes.
As it became clear there was a groundswell of support on the House side of Congress among Republican members to challenge the results of the Electoral College in key states, attention shifted to the Senate. House members would need a senator to sign onto their objections in order to advance them.
Speculation drifted. If indeed anyone was willing to ‘go there,’ who would run point? Would it be Ted Cruz, seeking to cement his apologetics for his abusive messiah? Would it be Ron Johnson, seeking to add another wild-eyed accusation to his expanding portfolio? Or perhaps Tommy Tuberville, seeking an early opportunity to virtue signal to the base that elevated him to office.
Ultimately, it was one Joshua Hawley who stepped into the vacuum of uncertainty. While we can’t know what the full extent of his motives were, they’re not hard to muse about — anger turns out voters. If he could establish himself as the standard bearer of post-Trump Trumpism, he could put a red rocket on his otherwise junior status and vault himself to prominence on the national stage. Given he knew full well Trump was a fast depreciating asset, perhaps he sought garner for himself the passions and allegiances of the MAGA set.
Not to mention their votes.
So on he signed to the purely ceremonial virtue signaling sham effort to call into question validated election results from Missouri. Right? Oh wait, no, it was actually…Arizona and Pennsylvania?
Talk about meddling in foreign elections.
The dice had been hurled in a gamble the senator may have thought had free stakes. Raise the objections, and even in the midst of your getting voted down, you gain the sympathies of the MAGA masses. Then, as Trump recedes from the spotlight, you come to hold a position of privilege — if not as a candidate to replace him, then as a fixture in the tight orbit of the one who does.
As it turns out, the masses were not content to passively wait for these machinations.
Nobody is accusing Senator Hawley of wishing death on those who died in the Capitol on January 6th and thereafter. But if he’s a half as smart or a quarter as familiar with farming as he claims to be, he should know the historical precedents of one’s ability to control the hornets once you kick their nest.
Blood was spilled on Capitol marble in part because he didn’t have the moral backbone to tell his constituents or the nation the truth about what happened at the ballot box in November. His jaded, self-interested ploy was part of what led to the chaos and carnage that, given the rioters pictured with flex cuffs on the Senate floor, could have resulted in a hostage situation or a mass assassination.
And of course Democrats are calling for censure and resignation. If the death glare from Mitt Romney wasn’t clear enough, everyone seems to be backing away. The editorial pages of both the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch and the Kansas City Star are calling for Hawley’s resignation or ouster. Former Missouri Senator John Danforth said supporting Hawley’s rise to power was the worst mistake of his life. A major donor called for his censure. And to pile on, Simon & Schuster cancelled a book deal with Hawley, which seemed to provoke more ire within him than the insurrection had.
Add this Missourian’s name to the list. We’ve seen the fruit of cynical, naked ambition, and its poisonous squeezings have drowned our national discourse in vitriol and recrimination. There’s a price to pay for the stakes you played, Senator Hawley.
Trump told the insurrectionists to go home.