It’s hard to pick the most awful Republican in Congress, but Trump superfan Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) is blazing a trail of foolery and terror that may make it difficult for his colleagues to catch him.
Hawley led the shameful Senate protest against President-elect Biden’s certification, incited a riot with his colleagues and Trump, provided the mob approval with a raised fist, and caused the murder of a police officer. The shocking violence in the videos of the Trump terrorists at the U.S. Capitol provides evidence that they stormed with the intent to capture, kidnap, and kill.
An unrepentant Hawley defended his effort to exclude Arizona and Pennsylvania’s votes by claiming that he should have the right to challenge the election results. Since there’s no evidence of any foul play in the election, he shouldn’t have the right to contest it, especially given the consequences. If Hawley tried this shenanigan in court, a judge would overrule him, prevent him from proceeding, and threaten contempt. That’s what happened when Trump and his lawyers tried it 86 times, and every judge summarily dismissed their bogus claims. But Trump operates in a kangaroo court, so he proceeded without evidence because it’s much easier to make things up.
Imagine the gall and total absence of conscience it takes to stage a fake protest to reverse the country’s will while opposing investigations into Trump’s multiple episodes of evidence-laden election interference. It’s a level of dishonesty and corruption most people can’t fathom. A stunning six U.S. senators and 121 representatives voted to overturn Biden’s win–without presenting any evidence of voter fraud.
Hawley knew exactly what he was doing. He knew about Trump’s rally outside the Capitol, and he knew about the neo-Nazis’ threats of violence on Parler. He proceeded anyway. But why would a freshman senator from Missouri carry the terrorist torch for Trump?
Elected to Congress for the first time in 2019, Hawley hasn’t hidden his 2024 presidential aspirations. He sent out a fundraising email praising his “courage” as the riots unfolded. His porous rage over the election results aimed to curry favor with Trump’s base. He continues to play dumb like Trump in the aftermath because that’s their formula. They stoke anger in mentally unstable followers and then shrug their shoulders in disbelief when the cult erupts.
Even after the siege on the U.S. Capitol and attempted coup, Hawley wouldn’t back down. He said it was his job to give voice to the millions of Americans concerned about the election’s integrity–a lie he promoted. People were only concerned because he told them there was fraud when there wasn’t any. Millions of people can’t discern truth from fiction, don’t engage in due diligence, lack media literacy, and listen to everything their leaders tell them. Hawley, Trump, and other Republicans told them a lie and then told the rest of the country they had to investigate the lie they told for the people they lied to.
Hawley didn’t care about the injuries and killing his charade caused. The damage his reprehensible behavior inflicted on American democracy and its image meant nothing to him. He wasn’t concerned about how his actions would impact people coping with a pandemic and recession. Hawley saved his outrage for Simon & Shuster, who backed out of publishing his book, by threatening to sue them because it’s the Josh Hawley Show.
In what other professions would an employee not lose their job immediately for inciting a riot that led to terrorism and the murder of a police officer? The Kansas City Star editorial board said Hawley has “blood on his hands” and called for his “immediate resignation or removal from office.” Former Republican Senator John Danforth, who supported Hawley’s Senate bid, called it the “biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life.”
Peggy Noonan, a conservative Republican and former Reagan speechwriter, said the Capitol riot happened because Trump is “a really bad person.” He has plenty of company. Josh Hawley is a really bad person, too. We should expect really bad people to do really bad things. But we don’t have to accept them.
If you live in Missouri, please contact Hawley’s office and demand his resignation for fomenting a terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol and supporting a coup on preposterous claims of fraud. All others, please sign this petition to demand Hawley’s resignation and call your elected officials in the U.S. House and Senate to express your views. This incident can’t be forgiven or forgotten; it needs to be pursued and prosecuted. American democracy remains at stake.