Josh Hawley

Josh Hawley Played With Fire and Burned His Political Future

The senator is a performer and nothing more.

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I wrote last year that Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) is the ultimate Karen. Out of touch with reality and combative when he doesn't get his way, the senator's short tenure in federal government has been infused with classic Karen-esque trademarks. He might be missing the bob, but mark his words—he wants to speak to the manager.

Yesterday gave us more of the same, with Hawley demanding to speak to the manager of the 2020 election over vague allegations of widespread voter fraud that he has not been able to substantiate. The day was different in other ways, including the fact that the U.S. Capitol was overtaken by people who had been emboldened by the steady stream of delusion that Hawley and some of his GOP colleagues fed them over the last two months—a riot that culminated with the fatal police shooting of a woman.

But after the chaos subsided, Hawley resumed that familiar perch. "This is the appropriate place for these concerns to be raised, which is why I have raised them here today," Hawley said, expounding on accusations of "voter irregularities" while also managing to say nothing at all. "And I hope that this body will not miss the opportunity to take affirmative action to address the concerns of many millions of Americans."

Hawley was not able to provide much information on his own allegations, because he doesn't have it. Though there are peculiarities in every election, evidence of something metastatic simply doesn't exist. The courts have rejected a slew of post-election lawsuits from President Donald Trump, with some of the biggest eyerolls coming from his own judicial appointees. And asking that Congress engage in election reform during a legislative session is one thing; urging that it overturn the results of an election, as Hawley has implied it should, is something else entirely.

Those details likely matter very little to Hawley himself, who is almost certainly aware that he's painting a bogus picture. He knows there is no manager to speak to, but he hopes you don't.

That's because the performance is more important than the outcome. Or rather, the actual desired outcome—the one someone like Hawley is searching for—has less to do with prescriptive policy solutions and more to do with the outrage he can whip up and the attention he can draw to himself. He has written the play and cast himself as the hero.

Yesterday lawmakers grappled in real time with the consequences of peddling fictions completely divorced from the real world. Some Republicans changed course and revoked their electoral objections, including Kelly Loeffler, the ultra-Trumpian senator recently defeated in Georgia's runoff. For his part, Hawley cheered on the mob earlier in the day and sent out a fundraising pitch while the riot was underway.

"Thank you to the brave law enforcement officials who have put their lives on the line," Hawley said in a statement. "The violence must end, those who attacked police and broke the law must be prosecuted, and Congress must get back to work and finish its job."

By any standard, that's a lily-livered response. But it's especially so for anyone familiar with Hawley's history of misleading people in a flamboyant fashion. There was the myth about the Asian sex trafficking ring he cracked. (He didn't.) There was the wild accusation that Amazon had engaged in criminal behavior with their data practices. (It hadn't.) There is his free flow of vitriol against social media companies for violating Section 230—the law that allows those firms to moderate content online—accusing them of acting as "publishers." (That's not even what the statute says.) In each of those cases, his responses to his critics have been scathing and condescending, as if Twitter taking down a tweet is somehow more worthy of condemnation than a violent mob.

That's not a mistake. The senator is an intelligent lawyer who understands the rules and regulations he distorts. He knows far more than he lets on. But what's the point of letting on when you're performing? This time, the deception's results played out in the most public way possible. Hawley got the audience he was looking for, but he didn't get to play the hero's part he'd written. He's the villain, and it's time the curtain came down.

NEXT: The Capitol Rioters Were a Right-Wing Cancel Mob

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    2. Josh Hawley Played With Fire and Burned His Political Future

      LOL. This is delusional. Hawley will be leading in the coming years.

      I wrote last year that Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) is the ultimate Karen. Out of touch with reality and combative when he doesn’t get his way, the senator’s short tenure in federal government has been infused with classic Karen-esque trademarks.

      Reason libertarileftist staff complains about republican representatives because they are so uncompromising and purist to allow their support of a candidate that isn't completely theoretical. Which is why there are zero libertarians in congress.

      1. LOL. This is delusional. Hawley will be leading in the coming years.

        LOL. This is delusional. Hawley will be a broken alcoholic in the coming years.

        Am I doing it right?

  2. Sure whatever Billy. You aren’t a good prognosticator and you don’t know much about politics. Hawley may never be president but his constituents like him just fine.

    He just needs to dump the mob and throw them under the bus.

    1. Fuck Hawley, and fuck you, traitor!

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      2. Hey, are you actually Tuccille?
        He just wrote some stuff that sounds a hell of a lot like a your schtick.

      3. Wow, they really did break you.

    2. What are you talking about? Of course Hawley burned his career, he stood against the party. He should be happy if he gets to keep his life, that doesn’t happen in other countries.

    3. It seems to me that Hawley would make a fine Pinochet.

      1. On a scale of Kris Kristofferson to Stevie Ray Vaughan, what are his feelings about helicopters?

        1. Vic Marrow?

          1. Slow clap

    4. At least he stood up and was counted as objecting to this. There weren’t many in the Senate that did. I’m disappointed in Rand.

      https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes

      The Republican Party is fucked with a capital F. Not because they turned their backs on Trump, but because they turned their backs on supporting their party’s candidate. Two years from now is a long time, but I am amazed to read from a bunch of formerly staunch Republican voters writing, “Fuck ’em, I’m done with this.”

      1. How could you not be done with Republicans if you believed the stuff they believe? Fuck, they may start attacking Republicans.

        1. Fuck off Tony

      2. All voters the libertarian party could probably pull in but they’d rather shit talk them and not win elections

        1. They didn’t do anything with the Tea Party. I doubt the Libertarian Party will be successful in wooing these disaffected voters. Not that the Libertarian Party leaders would be happy if they succeeded in doing so.

      3. Not because they turned their backs on Trump, but because they turned their backs on supporting their party’s candidate.

        There was a time in this country when people put country and the institutions of governance above party loyalty.

        If that has changed, it will prove to be the death of the US.

        1. Check out the young guy still in high school that has no memory of anything Before Twitter.

        2. “institutions of governance”

          like spying on Americans?

          1. Like not storming the Capitol when Congress is in session.

            1. Where was your ire when it happened during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings? Where was the pearl-clutching from the media when that happened. Hell, there they actually pounded on the hearing room door. And surprisingly no one got shot.

              Fuck off, you Leftist tub of shit. Catering to people like you is why this rag has taken a cliff dive off of Respectability in the last five to ten years.

              Anyway, the observation on Republicans was to convey my surprise at reading a bunch of decades-long members of the Party claiming that they changed their registration after yesterday. People with houses, net taxpayers, held jobs—at least until that pants-shitting fuck JFree’s virus obliterated many of them: respectable members of Suburbia.

              Nearly all of them wrote to basically say, “Fuck Those Guys.” It was surprising.

        3. It did change, on Nov 3.

        4. LOLOL, you actually are as stupid as it seems. I always thought it was an act.

  3. Fuck off, Reason.

    1. Fuck off.

      1. you first sarcasmic

        1. Sarcasmic, whatever xer warts, is not TWK.

          1. Wrong

      2. Ra’s right you know, spazcakes.

      3. Suck a dick, dumbshit.

  4. There was a time when members of Congress smacked each other with canes over disagreement. Joshy will be just fine.

    1. He looks like he would benefit from a few stripes.

      1. Fuck off sarcasmic

        1. Can I also be sarcasmic?

          1. sure, just start drinkimg and never stop

            1. Be sure to throw in some, “Both Sides!” and some cop hate. Unless the cop blasts a Trump-supporter, then it’s, “Oh Well.”

              Disappointing.

  5. Binion….Missouri does not sound unhappy with their Senator.

      1. 2020: the nation is dead.

    1. I am still voting for him until there’s a better option.

  6. I was somewhat confused by the difference between the article and the comments – I assumed by the article that Hawley had been voted out of office because he’s such a creep. The comments suggest that he has not in fact been repudiated by the voters. I know I can’t trust Wikipedia to give me the straight dope on anything so I guess this is something that will have to remain a mystery. Did Hawley torpedo his own career or didn’t he? Is he still in office or not?

    1. Hawley has political ambition and would like to President. That is off the table. He can run but he is not going far. He might be able to remain a Senator for a few years but he has peaked politically.

      1. You know who else we said that about?

        1. Joe Biden?
          Kamala Harris?

  7. Why does reason need Binion when Vox already exists?

    1. What’s BuzzFeed, chopped liver?

      1. Buzzfeed is a highbrow version of ENB, with fewer listicles.

      2. Gawker is no longer an option.

  8. That’s because the performance is more important the outcome. Or rather, the actual desired outcome—the one someone like Hawley is searching for—has less to do with prescriptive policy solutions and more to do with the outrage he can whip up and the attention he can draw to himself.

    It’s like Binion has no idea how politics works in this country: this is 3/4 of the job he was hired to do.

    Hawley is Ted Cruz with a less punchable face. They’re both all about 2024/28 and everything they do needs to be looked at through that lens. Now that he’s solidified his positions with the SoCons and the hardcore Trumpists he can spend the next few years making jabs at the centrists and building a national campaign infrastructure.

  9. “I wrote last year that Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) is the ultimate Karen. Out of touch with reality and combative when he doesn’t get his way, the senator’s short tenure in federal government has been infused with classic Karen-esque trademarks. He might be missing the bob, but mark his words—he wants to speak to the manager.”

    Maybe if you bring it up 2 or 3 more times someone will finally thinks it’s funny

  10. Pro tip: they are all performers.

    1. Yes, but some performances such as Cuomo’s are worthy of an Emmy.

  11. One of my first jobs out of high school was working as a temp for a horrible woman at a stadium concession stand. She was counting the till in front of me my first night and she kept making errors and, to her annoyance, I kept pointing them out. Until she finally pulled me aside and growled at me to leave and that she would make sure I never worked anywhere in town again. I don’t know if she was just bad at math or actually trying to cheat. But nothing she said made any difference to me, other than to look back and laugh at it later.

    Hawley will be fine.

  12. That’s because the performance is more important the outcome. Or rather, the actual desired outcome—the one someone like Hawley is searching for—has less to do with prescriptive policy solutions and more to do with the outrage he can whip up and the attention he can draw to himself. He has written the play and cast himself as the hero.

    Welcome to “news” reporting in the age of social media. That’s not just Hawley, that’s all of the political “inflluencers” out there as well.

    1. And you.

  13. (He didn’t.) There was the wild accusation that Amazon had engaged in criminal behavior with their data practices.

    We’ve seen a number of interesting stories over the last four years– often times derided as conspiracy theory and laughed off, then quietly re-inserted back into the zeitgeist by respectable people.

    I’ll be curious to see, two, three years from now when all of this madness is behind us, if some stoic, respectable Democratic Senator, seriousness on his countenance and with the aid of NPR and the New York Times, doesn’t in fact discover possible criminal behavior by Amazon et. al in their data practices.

  14. Hey Billy! How many times have you called Marxist academics and Socialist Democrats “out of touch with reality”? They are far more out of touch with economic reality than a bunch of disgruntled politicians calling for flaky investigations.

    TDS on display.

    1. Ending the nuclear family is pretty mainstream these days.

  15. The idiot hour on display on Reason today is breathtaking.

    Time to get Eric July to party.

    This place is done.

  16. And now his book deal was nixed.

    Win for Reason and free speech.

    When does that dingbat Elizabeth come in with her ‘muh corporation’ take on this?

    Fucken idiots.

    1. And he is suing the publisher – read using government to coerce people into stealing money and giving it to him.

      His generation of R is really no different from D’s. Everything in life must be 100% politicized and must signal the appropriate political virtues. Where electoral politics becomes entirely about which political virtues win and therefore which political virtues will lose and be stripped from citizens.

    2. Free speech requires a book deal? Then Thomas Jefferson never had free speech.

  17. Ending Section 230 can’t happen fast enough. I want to see internet companies punished severely for their fraud and corruption.

    If it takes out a few others well that’s life, right?

    1. Do you stupid fucks think making media companies liable for lies they post would do anything but eliminate rightwing trash from the face of the earth?

      1. Why would that upset you?

        1. It wouldn’t necessarily. I think one of the most important things we can do right now is figure out how to eliminate rightwing propaganda.

          If you guys want to shoot yourselves in the nuts yet again, I’ll take the help. You already did more to discredit the Republicans than a thousand Antifas.

      2. You’re absolutely RIGHT Tony!!!! Heaven forbid. The only “punishment” will be to Patriotic Outlets ( thinking somewhere one exists still ). We are in this fix because National Socialists are pushing to control ALL USA media – handing them that POWER isn’t a smart thing at all to do!

        1. I mean seriously; just look at the way Facebook is already claiming every tweet from President Trump is mis-information. Stossel was already flagged. The “Fraud and Corruption” will be ENTIRELY deemed so by an unbalanced racist/sexist/globalist “Woke” panel.

  18. No. His political future is fine.

  19. There’s no reason to rule out Hawley as a future president. The American people have demonstrated that there is no depth to which they won’t sink. He might have to battle Omarosa or Joe Rogan for the nomination.

  20. American politicians suck because American voters suck.

    1. I’m starting to think maybe American voters don’t suck; but instead (which fits much better) the election process is getting hacked.

      [D] cities are failing and people are moving out but [D] wins are all entirely due to [D] city election counts which are growing substantially. I’m just waiting for them to run-out-of-room and pretend 200% of a cities population voted for the [D] runner. lol… 🙂 They’re already pretending 9 out-of 10 is voting by mail; there ain’t much more room to play this game unless they start false-publishing population numbers ( which I’m sure they will ).

  21. Nothing you wrote will make the cult of Trump followers abandon Hawley. He stood by Trump and that’s the only fact that will matter to them.

  22. ‘Josh Hawley Played With Fire and Burned His Political Future
    The senator is a performer and nothing more.’ Once Reason gets the damned edit feature for the comments, hahahahahaha, maybe start labeling articles that are opinion pieces as, opinion?

  23. Can someone help me to understand why people who are obviously not Libertarian minded read Reason? It appears they get off on being offended. I mean do they actually get a woody or something. Why get all stirred up and post grunts and other animal sounds? Confusing. The grunters may all lash out at me now. I’m sure their witty response will be impressive.

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