Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has only been in Congress for six months, but he's already managed to make an impression on many political observers.
In May, for example, Slate's Mark Joseph Stern said the Missouri Republican "is vying with Ted Cruz for the mantle of most disingenuous, least principled senator." Last week, TPM's Josh Marshall added, "Hawley is one of the most dangerous figures in contemporary American politics, a more polished version of all of Trump's hostility to democracy and the rule of law."
Welcome to Capitol Hill, senator.
It's against this backdrop that the 39-year-old Hawley spoke this week at the National Conservatism Conference, where the lawmaker shared his vision of what ails American politics. His office published a transcript of the remarks online, and there were elements of the speech that struck me as important.
Consider an excerpt from the remarks as written for delivery:
"The cosmopolitan agenda has driven both left and right. The left champions multiculturalism and degrades our common identity. The right celebrates hyper-globalization and promises that the market will make everything right in the end, eventually ... perhaps.
"In truth, neither political party has seemed much interested in the American middle for quite a long time. And neither has seemed much interested in the republic the middle sustains.
"But the old political platforms have grown stale. And the old political truisms now ring hollow. The American people are demanding something different, and something better. It's time we ended the cosmopolitan experiment and recovered the promise of the republic."
In light of the rise of Trump, certain elements of far-right populism have become more common, though they often lack a slick veneer. It's been a while, for example, since I've heard a sitting senator tie together progressive support for "multiculturalism" and the degradation of Americans' "identity."
And then, of course, there was Hawley's stated concerns about "the cosmopolitan experiment."