Propped up by Fox

By Philip Pearson

Propped up by Fox News for an extended op-ed during the anniversary week of his ignoble rise to stardom, disgraced Senator from Missouri Josh Hawley! The white-power fist pumping doofus who, immediately following the Capitol insurrection of 1/6/2021, became the youngest senator ever to vote to deny the country certification of its duly elected president. 

Nearly a year to the day after the riots which he not only condoned but openly encouraged, Hawley writes that “2021 was a year of fear instigated by Democrats and the Left.” 

Yes, you read that right. Hawley wants us to remember 2021 not as the year in which Republicans endorsed The Big Lie, rammed plainly racist voting restrictions through the legislatures of whichever states they held power, and excommunicated Republicans countrywide for not being sufficiently Trump-y. For Hawley, 2021 was a “year of fear” because Democrats “censored” Conservatives with their terrible and unjust “wokeness.” And he spends the entirety of his Fox News op-ed comparing himself to Thomas Jefferson, inciting his audience to resentment and fear of censorship, and claiming that “the Left” has somehow conspired to co-opt everything from school board meetings to Major League Baseball in their ongoing effort to censor “citizens’ questions about election integrity, and then about the origins of COVID, and then about the assault on women’s sports.” 

Ah, yes. That assault on women’s sports. Surely he means one of the many abuse scandals that have plagued women’s sports during the past few years. Surely he’s referring to Larry Nassar, or the abusive behavior endured by the U.S. Women’s National soccer team?

Unfortunately, no, Hawley here is referring to the made-up “problem” of transgender teens competing in high school athletics—yet another common area of Republican repression in 2021. And we’re using the phrase “made-up problem” here deadly seriously. According to the AP, “Legislators in more than 20 states have introduced bills this year that would ban transgender girls from competing on girls’ sports teams in public high schools. Yet in almost every case, sponsors cannot cite a single instance in their own state or region where such participation has caused problems.”

But for Hawley, complaining about the injustice of the Left and their wokeness is nothing new. Hawley penned a similar op-ed back in early 2021 for the NY Post, in which he whined about being “canceled” after Simon and Schuster canceled his book deal. (Apparently, the Senator was unaware of the irony of a Senator claiming he’s somehow being “silenced” from the cover of the New York Post). And nor is it new for Hawley to function in the Senate solely as an obstructionist. Here, you can read about how Hawley was the only Senator to vote no on each and every one of Biden’s cabinet appointments. And here’s a fun one where Hawley claims that Trump’s behavior and Richard Nixon’s behavior as President shouldn’t be compared, because Nixon was a long time ago. (Remember, he spent most of the op-ed just published on Fox News comparing himself to Thomas Jefferson.)Yes, 2021 was a year of fear for Josh Hawley, who began facing calls for his resignation. And if we’ve learned anything at all about the tactics of conservative politicians and Fox News re: exploiting their viewers and constituents fears and resentments, 2022 will be a year of fear too, and 2023, 2024, 2025…and on and on, until it stops being a useful fundraising tool.

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