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Home state paper calls Hawley a ‘fleeing coward,’ ‘laughingstock’

Missouri's newspapers are condemning Josh Hawley's "cowardice" and his "laughingstock" status. The Republican came up with a response, but it didn't help.


A week before the Jan. 6 attack, as Senate Republican leaders implored their members not to object to the results of the 2020 presidential election, Sen. Josh Hawley ignored the pleas and announced he’d do it anyway.

The next day, as regular readers may recall, the Missouri Republican started raising money off his anti-election scheme, encouraging donors to reward his hostility for democracy with cash.

Two days ahead of the assault on the Capitol, Hawley appeared in conservative media and suggested to the Republican base that there was still a chance Donald Trump would remain in office. It would "depend on" what happened on Jan. 6, the GOP senator said in a message many radicals no doubt noticed.

Shortly before the insurrectionist violence began in earnest, Hawley raised his fist in solidarity and signaled his support for the rioters — and then sent out another fundraising appeal, seeking more financial rewards for his anti-election plans.

Soon after, as the barriers fell and the Capitol was breached, the editorial board of The Kansas City Star said Hawley had "blood on his hands" for his role in helping create the conditions for the violence. The Star’s editors added that the Republican had “disgraced his office and our state,” and “must either resign or be removed from the U.S. Senate.”

A year and a half later, the public saw footage of Hawley literally running from the rioters, prompting the Kansas City Star’s editorial board to return to the subject over the weekend, labeling the Republican a “fleeing coward” and a “laughingstock.”

Hawley has never apologized for attempting to reinstall a man who everyone around him knew had lost the election, as witness testimony continues to confirm.... And that’s the reason watching Hawley racing away from the Capitol invaders struck so many people as blackly hilarious. Saluting the Trump posse was politically expeditious for him before the siege began. Yet once he realized his own safety was in real danger from the angry revolutionists swarming the building, he hotfooted it away from “his” people to the protection of the security forces charged with protecting him. Where’s that fist in the air now?

The editors added, “We said that day Hawley has blood on his hands for his role in perpetuating the lies that drove thousands of people to violence. That remains true.”

It’s not just the Star. After the assault on the Capitol, the editorial board of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, his home state’s other major daily, also called for the Republican to resign, adding that he “deserves to be cast into political purgatory.”

The same editors also followed up in the wake of the video released on Thursday night, arguing that Hawley’s run “encapsulated his core cowardice” and “demonstrated beyond any doubt that Hawley understood, in real time, the physical danger he helped uncork that day.”

For his part, the Missouri Republican spoke at a far-right conference on Friday night and struck a defiant note.

“I just want to say to all of those liberals out there and the liberal media just in case you haven’t gotten the message yet, I do not regret it and I am not backing down,” he said at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit. “I’m not going to apologize, I’m not going to cower, I’m not going to run from you.”

A quick tip for the hapless senator: When thumping your chest about how tough you are, it’d probably be a good idea to avoid boasting about those you’re “not going to run” away from.