Just saying “I condemn the violence” isn’t condemning violence.
Actions speak louder than words, Senator Hawley.
In the aftermath of the January 6th Capitol riots there was bipartisan agreement that the violence was bad. That same day Republicans went ahead with their objections to the election results--the same objections to reality that fueled the riots to begin with. While in public Trump’s sycophants howled that the election had been stolen, when they came before court, they didn’t actually have any evidence that it was, because of course, the election wasn’t stolen. I’ve already written about how these riots were a result of a failed constitution. Here I want to look at how we are failing to take the riots seriously.
Let’s focus on one man, Senator Josh Hawley. Prior to the riots I argued that Hawley’s plans to object to the object to the results was merely the most recent rotten behavior from him. Then he sunk even lower than I expected.
When Hawley got to speak on the Senate floor after the election he proclaimed that “Violence is not how you achieve change. Violence is not how you achieve something better.”--before he even did that though he equated the treasonous coup attempt with protests against police brutality. He then went on to do the bullshit he had planned from the beginning “For those who have concerns about the integrity of our elections, those who have concerns about what happened in November, this is the appropriate means, this is the lawful place.”
Now I don’t think that Hawley wanted the riots, it’s just that he didn’t really mind that there were riots. Hawley repeatedly made it clear that Trump supporters ought to consider the election fraudulent and stolen. What did he think was going to happen? If you were repeatedly told that your way of life was about to be stolen from you--you would fight it. If somebody kept whispering in my ear “The man behind that window wants to destroy the world as you know it.” then it’s only a matter of time before I break that window.
Hawley wanted to overturn an election, but in a polite, civilized way. He’s just such a careless buffoon he happened to gin up a mob along the way. Now Hawley would object to my characterization of what happened, but he’s a liar. He clearly stated beforehand that who would be inaugurated on January 20th and the integrity of our elections was up for debate.
Since January 6th, Hawley has had plenty of opportunities to do a mea culpa and try to undo some of the damage he’s done. Instead most of his energy has been poured into defending the true victim here: Josh Hawley. In fact the mob has actually been coming for him!
He has had a rough month. Hawley’s book has been dropped by prestigious publisher Simon & Schuster and he will have to settle for being published by Regnery, a leaky arsehole of right wing schlock. Loews hotels has dropped his fundraiser. His mentor has said supporting him was a huge mistake. The biggest newspapers in Missouri have both called on him to resign.
The thing is, Hawley seems incapable of grasping why this is happening to him. He hilariously declared that he was being censored on the front page of a newspaper.
Don’t go feeling too sorry for Hawley though. For one thing, since the riots he’s received $700,000 in campaign donations (Fucking why? He won’t even face re-election till 2024). Probably more important though is that his profile has been hugely boosted. You think he’s going to resign when he’s become one of the most famous men in America? Think again.
While Hawley has decried the repercussions he’s faced, he hasn’t faced nearly enough. We’re not taking the January 6th coup attempt seriously because it failed. You know what else failed? Hitler's Munich Beer Hall Putsch. In the aftermath a show trial gave Hitler a slap on the wrist and he went from being a local goon to being internationally famous.
Let’s be clear here, Trump is a fascist. By fully becoming his henchman, Hawley is by extension a fascist.
The party of “state’s rights” is having the senator from Missouri object to how Pennsylvania runs its elections (Hawley complained that issues weren’t addressed by the state supreme court, when he knows full well the court declined to hear the case because it was meritless.) The party of “law and order” is seeking to let Trump off the hook for his crimes. The party of “blue lives matter” seems to have already forgotten that a mob of its supporters beat a police officer to death. The Republican party doesn’t stand for anything real, it’s all a scam.
Hawley and his ilk need to face real consequences, not just a canceled fundraiser. People never thought Trump could be elected until he was. People never thought the capitol could be overtaken until it was. Things in 2021 are not as bad as it was in Germany during the Interwar period, but let’s not wait to see what happens next. Punish the treason.