Before being dubbed Fistpump McRunpants by fellow Republican Congressman Adam Kitziner (R) Illinois., for running away from rioters during the failed Jan 6. 2021 insurrection, Josh Hawley was a phony from Missouri whose glib bullshit made him the Show Me State’s junior senator. After graduating from Stanford University in 2002 and Yale Law in 2006, he moved back home on a rising political star. He assumed his high office on Jan. 3, 2021 after unexpectedly jumping ship as Missouri’s attorney general. Hawley’s current term doesn’t end until Jan. 3, 2025.
Hawley has since offered an amazing number of political gaffes by saying and doing stupid things that put him on the wrong side of the Republican Party and the nation in both internecine and very public national politics. Since then, he really let his ass hang out with a fist-pump to rioters and seditionists assembling to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6 2021. He thought he had finally gained center stage until the J6 Committee provided entertainment to a national audience, replaying Hawley’s first fist-pumping performance before running like a convict with the bloodhounds on his ass.
After the showing, tattooed and outspoken former Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer Michael Fanone called Hawley a “pussy”.
Hawley was elected by the religious and political right in a state divided among moderates, left-leaning city slickers and corn-pone Republicans who find church their major attraction. There’s also the just plain disinterested, who only rouse themselves from political stupor whenever the local board of election commissioners send them a voter ID card identifying where they should go to vote.
Here’s what tough-talking, fast-running Hawley had to say about himself on April 3, 2017 when he was setting himself up for his first Senate run: “As attorney general of Missouri, I am my state’s chief law enforcement officer. I swore an oath to uphold the rule of law, and that means fighting violence and oppression wherever it exists, especially violence against the poor and vulnerable.”
Here is Hawley in mid-July of this year, questioning witness Khiara Bridges, a UC Berkeley law professor, about why she kept using the term “people with a capacity for pregnancy” when she was describing who would be affected by abortion bans: “Would that be women?” Hawley craftily asked, clicking his golden pen over and over with his right thumb. Hawley is a snarky, avowed anti-abortionist.
Bridges replied that the term identifies the different groups of people who would be affected by the draconian anti-abortion laws becoming prevalent in Red states. “Many cis women (cis is short for cisgender, which means whatever gender you are now is the same as what was presumed for you at birth). . . . There are also trans-men who are capable of pregnancy as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.”
“So this isn’t really a women’s rights issue, it’s a — ” Hawley responded in his best Mr. Smith goes to Washington style.
“We can recognize that this impacts women while also recognizing that it impacts other groups. Those things are not mutually exclusive,” answered Bridges. After some more inane give and take, the pen-clicking Hawley asked her what she thought the “core of this (abortion)) right” was about.
Bridges, her expression slightly more inflamed, said, “I want to recognize that your line of questioning is transphobic, and it opens up trans people to violence,” Her quote went viral. It was only the latest gaffe that the reckless and garbled Republican messenger has offered since he marched into the Senate full of piss, vinegar and bullshit.
Hawley inadvertently admitted his self-serving motive on Sept. 17, 2019, during what became another controversial snippet of stupid speech: “Government serves Christ’s kingdom rule; this is its purpose. And Christians’ purpose in politics should be to advance the kingdom of God — to make it more real, more tangible, more present.”
So much for separation of church and state.
That kind of bullshit draws crowds in Missouri’s Bible-thumping hinterlands, but it doesn’t do much for the Republican Party nationally except reinforce that it is filled with dunderheads. Samuel Clemons, another Missourian, once observed that Hawley fits his bill of particulars, said, “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
For those of us in Missouri who pay attention to Hawley, whether right, left or moderate, like me, often wonder what sort of moron we elected to the U.S. Senate. Former Republican senator and Episcopal priest John Danforth is probably the most visible pol in Missouri to take the young gentleman to task. The dean of the Missouri Republican Party was a member of the Senate between 1976 and 1995. He called Hawley’s plan “radical” and dangerous.
Danforth once viewed Hawley as a “special talent” with a keen intellect . Now he’s disgraced the institution. Danforth told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he now “regrets” that he ever supported him.
“This guy,” Danforth told Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger, “is doing real harm. What he’s doing to his party is one thing. What he’s doing to the country is much worse.” Danforth called his support of Hawley the ‘worst mistake’ of his life.”
Hawley, ever the con artist, even had a prescient thought about Danforth’s evident dismay. During a stump speech in 2017, Hawley noted, “It’s not a secret that we have a crisis in confidence in public institutions in our country. . . . If you want a politician, then you probably shouldn’t vote for me.”
Nobody expected a clown either.