Josh Hawley Says He Wasn't Trying To Overturn The Election When He Was Trying To Overturn The Election
Senator Josh Hawley has been feeling really unpopular lately. He lost a book deal, he's not well-liked at his job, and a lot of people have been saying some really mean things about him! Some have even been calling for his resignation.
Thus, he's been making the rounds, writing columns and appearing on practically every television show known to man to endlessly prattle on about how he is being silenced. Maria Bartiromo even recently deemed him a a "vocal victim of cancel culture" during an appearance on her show where he, a sitting United States senator, complained about not having a platform to express his views.
What oh what did poor Josh Hawley do to deserve this "cancellation"? Was it some small infraction? Did he say something he could not reasonably have known had recently been deemed politically incorrect? Did he publicly but ever-so-politely disagree with a liberal? Did he ask a sincere question someone didn't like? Or any of the other minute things that conservatives like to pretend that people get "canceled" over?
Not so much!
Rather than "cancel culture," Josh Hawley is actually experiencing a phenomenon known as "people are mad at you because you did a fucked up thing." It's a common misconception, like thinking "irony" means "having 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife," when it really means "going on a cable television show to talk about how you are being silenced."
What people are mad about in Hawley's case is that he not only promoted the Big Lie that the election had been stolen from Donald Trump by way of some kind of voter fraud, but also that he made some very dangerous and desperate people believe they actually had some chance of overturning the election on January 6. Hawley, who was the first senator to announce a plan to object to certifying the election, said repeatedly that nothing was "over" until January 6. On that day, Hawley, along with Ted Cruz, six other Senators, and 139 House representatives voted to overturn the election results of Arizona, Pennsylvania, or both, claiming that those states were compromised by voter fraud.
Those who invaded the Capitol on January 6 believed Trump and Hawley and Ted Cruz and other Republicans when they said there was enough "evidence" of voter fraud to question the results of the election and also when they insinuated that they could actually overturn it. Why else would they refuse to vote in favor of certifying the election results?
But now Hawley is claiming that he wasn't objecting to the results to keep Trump in office for another four years, despite having explicitly led people to believe that was the case. Now he says he was just trying to "spark a debate" about "voting irregularities" in the state of Pennsylvania.
On Thursday, CNN pressed Hawley on the discrepancy between his claim that he never attempted to overturn the election and his January 4 comments that Trump could still be President depending "on what happens" on January 6 and his refusal then to rule out Congress could change the outcome. Hawley contended he's been consistent on the point that January 6 was the final day of the electoral process, arguing his sole intention behind objecting was aimed at sparking debate over Pennsylvania's voting system.
"I said to (Bret Baier), what I consistently said ... To me, January 6th is the end of this process, that's when the votes are counted, certified, the election winner under the Constitution is officially declared," Hawley claimed. "To, me that's the end of the line."
That's some quality mincing of words there — except for the fact that it is fairly obvious that if you say it's not over until January 6, some people are going to hold out hope at least until then. They are going to believe there is something that can happen to change things, even when there obviously isn't. And Hawley knew that.
Josh Hawley most likely did not actually think that his vote against certifying the election was going to overturn the election. That much is probably true. But he disingenuously led people to believe that it might, and that's actually worse.
When asked if he regretted phrasing things that way instead of being clear that Biden was going to be the next president of the United States, Hawley claimed that liberals just would have lied and said he didn't.
"I think that the liberal onslaught of lies to twist and misconstrue and attack me, it doesn't matter what I say or what I do, they're going to tell the lies no matter what," Hawley said as he walked through the halls of the Capitol. "They are going to say you wanted to overturn the election, they are going to say you incited violence, all of which are lies."
Well that is certainly some bullshit. Hawley should note that when he says things that are not terrible, the Left is more than willing to give him credit for that. No one twisted his good, decent words to mean evil things. They correctly noted the shitty things he said and the effect they had on some very dangerous people who took him at his word, and that those people taking him at his word put the lives of his coworkers in peril. The problem wasn't us unfairly scrutinizing his words, it was other people believing them.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse