Sen. Josh Hawley (Stanford '02, Yale Law '06) Sick And Tired Of Snooty Elitists Hatin' On Reg'lar Heartland Folks
Senator Josh Hawley, the simple country lawyer who clerked for simple country Chief Justice John Roberts after graduating from simple country Yale Law School, has made quite a brand for himself as an avatar of wholesome midwestern values, an enemy of elitists, and as a "conservative nationalist" who wants to protect ordinary Americans from the globalist predations of the "cosmopolitan elites" -- not that he means Jews, not at all. So it shouldn't be any surprise that Hawley took GREAT OFFENSE at Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent when Sargent insulted the sacred honor of the Heartland. It's exactly the sort of underhanded move you'd expect from a "smug, rich liberal elitist" who is typical of America's oppressors, "the new left," which has nothing but "utter, open contempt for the people of the heartland and all we love."
You know, the rootless cosmopolitans again. The baddies. The enemies of everything real Americans care about.
The whole stupid display of down-home posturing started with a Washington Post op-ed Monday by one of the Department of Agriculture economists and researchers the Trump administration declared war on over the summer because the USDA kept doing science and economic research Trump and his corporate pals don't like, especially on the topic of climate. The author, economist Andrew Crane-Droesch, decried the administration's strategy of hollowing out USDA's research arm by moving the agency's headquarters in Washington DC to Kansas City. He said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue claimed the move
would lower costs and bring us closer to "stakeholders." That stated justification was a fig leaf for the administration's true intentions. We didn't need to sit next to a corn field to analyze agricultural policy, and Perdue knew that. He wanted researchers to quit their jobs.
And that's what happened, largely, and Crane-Droesch makes a solid argument that the abrupt relocation of the agency has to be understood in the context of the administration's broader war on science and facts that might get in the way of Trump's rightwing, pro-industry agenda.
So you can see why Hawley was upset: Why was this snooty elitist Washington Insider suggesting that Missouri would be a hardship post? What's the matter with Kansas City, you hater?
Suddenly an argument about the administration's animus toward expertise was reframed as a scurrilous insult to the Good Decent People Of The Heartland. We can imagine Hawley must miss the good old days when senators could demand satisfaction over such a slight, on the field of honor. (Go read historian Joanne Freeman's book about that already!)
Greg Sargent, who knows bad faith posturing when he sees it, said if anyone was writing with contempt, it's Hawley, who must assume people don't see through his How Dare You Insult My Beloved Midwest Home bullshit:
Well! Josh Hawley, who's just a simple country lawyer who did appellate litigation for the international law firm Hogan Lovells before becoming a simple country lawyer at the rightwing DC religious advocacy group that argued Burwell v. Hobby Lobby before the Supreme Court, has no idea what that crazy elitist guy is talking about, but he sure knows when his beloved Missouri home has been slandered!
The "whatever that means" is a beautiful touch. Heck, Josh is just a reg'lar fella who doesn't know what these elitist Washington types are even saying half the time, except he knows he's laughing at ordinary patriotic folks like YOU, and are you going to let a snotty elitist get away with that? Who does he think he is, hating all that the people of the heartland hold dear? That media elitist probably burned a flag this morning, laughed at the agonies of Christ, and then had fetus kebabs for lunch -- the halal kind!
It's all bullshit, of course, but it's a flavor of bullshit that Hawley seems to think his constituents will eat right up as long as he keeps telling them they're being victimized by liberals who aren't really American like them. It's his brand.
That's because liberals are so divisive, you see. They can't stand the idea that anyone knows better than them, but you do, don't you, and that's why you'll never let them wheedle and manipulate you. You're too smart.
At least Sargent got a pretty good column out of the sniping, in which he detailed just how performative Hawley's heartland populist schtick is, and how it's
centered on a conception of middle class virtue that lives or dies on being from "the heartland" — rural and exurban Red America — and on holding the suite of conservative nationalist values that are actually being rejected by a vast swath of the real American mainstream.
Well of course the majority reject decent heartland values. They are corrupt, and not as pure as the real Americans Hawley represents.
On Twitter, Jake Tapper had to go and make things worse, which is Tapper's brand:
Naw, Jake, calling Sargent an elitist America hater isn't anti-Semitic in itself, at least not like Hawley's little Nuremberg speech about the cosmopolitan elites was. It was demagogic, populist phony baloney bullshit, but thanks for giving Hawley an excuse to struggle and bleed a little more as he hangs on his cross:
Nothing like a member of the most exclusive club in the world, the US Senate, complaining that he's been mercilessly bullied by elitists, just for standing up for his home state, and his people.
Gosh, we sure hope he catches a break some day.
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