Josh Hawley has always been awful.
Trying to reverse a settled election is just the latest rotten behavior.
When Josh Hawley announced that he planned to challenge Joe Biden’s victory on the Senate floor on January 6th, It was the first time many Americans were aware of Missouri’s junior Senator. He even got ahead of long time liberal boogieman Ted Cruz in his bid to undermine democracy to boost his own profile. As a resident of Missouri I can tell you, this is nothing new, he’s always been awful.
Hawley made his repulsiveness clear when he was running for Missouri Attorney General in 2016. He ran ads with a sinister Chinese businessman pulling up to a Missouri farm and announcing his plans to buy it all. A fumbling lackey questions how this will be possible, the businessman scoffs, Kurt Schaefer (Hawley’s opponent in the primary) would make it happen. Besides being brazenly racist, these ads were just weird. They were being run in St. Louis, a metropolitan area, where I have never heard anyone mention “foreign control of agriculture” as an issue that concerned them.
Yet they worked. Hawley seized the Republican's nomination and then was elected to be state Attorney General. As AG he took on such tasks as trying to nullify a law against animal cruelty in California. If you’re wondering on what grounds he could be involved in such a case, he cited the increased cost it would have on feeding Missouri prisoners. Hawley also blamed his subordinates when Missouri judges said he wasn’t doing his job.
Probably the biggest action he took as AG was spearheading a coordinated raid of a 13 Asian massage parlors in Springfield, Missouri. It was declared the biggest anti human-trafficking action in state history. Except it only resulted in few charges of operating without the proper license. It seems to have been more about harassing small immigrant owned businesses than human trafficking. That and being a pretense under which he could push his puritanical views--more on those below.
In 2016 Hawley also ran ads of himself walking past ladders, saying he wasn’t just a ladder climbing politician who wanted to be AG as a stepping stone to the next position. Nevertheless he would start positioning himself to run for senate in 2018 almost as soon as he took office. He did hit a bit of hiccup when audio of a speech he gave in private was released:
“Let me briefly mention one of the major area, one of the major source of challenge I think that we are facing, and this is the effects in our society of the so-called sexual revolution. You know what I’m talking about. 1960’s, 1970’s it became common place in our culture, and among our cultural elites, Hollywood and the Media, to talk about, to denigrate the biblical truth about husband and wife, man and woman, to denigrate the biblical teaching about the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of family. The sanctity of children. And the appropriate place for sexual practice and expression within the family, within marriage. And we’re living now with the terrible after effects of this so-called revolution, which was in-fact a great step backward. And one of the myths, one of those effects is a crisis in our country which goes by the name of human trafficking. Human trafficking and more and more particularly trafficking in sexual labor. People are willing to purchase women, young women, and treat them like commodities. They’re willing… there’s a market for it. Why is there? Because our culture has completely lost its way. The sexual revolution has led to the exploitation of women on a scale that we would have never have imagined. Never have imagined.”
In a speech meant to be heard by pastors only, Hawley claimed the sexual revolution was the root cause of trafficking. His opponent, Senator McCaskill noted that “evidence of trafficking of women for sex goes back to before 2000 BC. It didn’t begin with women’s rights and the birth control pill.”
The whole speech is so cynical. Hawley pines for the days prior to the 1960′s sexual revolution when he was born in 1978. He rails against elites when he attended Yale. His hatred of Hollywood comes through, which is clearly a code word for liberals. And most of all he equates a horrendous crime with any kind of sex that he doesn’t approve of (which is most).
Yet Hawley’s campaign hardly slowed down. McCaskill didn’t capitalize on Hawley’s shameful speech and ran an ill conceived campaign. She ran ads saying she wasn’t one of those “crazy democrats” who wanted to impeach Donald Trump. She wanted to work with Republicans! Of course trying to appeal to people who wanted a liberal senator but also wanted Donald Trump as president was never going to get her far. Polls showed the election as close, but in November 2018, Hawley thumped her.
As a senator Hawley has focused much of his energy on big tech companies, calling them modern day robber barons. At a glance this seems a positive, big tech deserves more scrutiny. Yet Hawley is mostly driven on by perceived censorship of conservatives online. His proposed “Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act” which would have actually mandated massive audits--that is to say, censorship--of online media companies to ensure that conservatives were being treated fairly. This law failed to even get any support among Republicans as it so clearly was unconstitutional. The first amendment exists to protect the press from the Government--not the other way around.
Hawley also found plenty of time to go after China. His own web page proudly touts how he’s pushed to ban Chinese owned TikTok from government phones (a pressing issue of our time) and berated the NBA for showing more support for Beijing than American law enforcement (unlikely). If you haven’t noticed, Hawley has had a career-long fixation on the Chinese.
But hell, Hawley didn’t start being terrible when he got into politics, he’s always been bad. The Riverfront Times dug up an old school report he wrote and found that “Young Josh Hawley Was Just as Sanctimonious as Josh Hawley Today.”
Just as Hawley started positioning himself to run for Senate once he became attorney general, Hawley started positioning himself to run for president once he became a senator. He has a greater chance of doing it than anyone reading this article. We should all be concerned. Imagine someone with the same lack of ethics as Trump but more intelligent and with a degree of self control-- that’s Josh Hawley. He’s awful, and he always has been.