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What did he know? When did he know it? Everything. Always.
I know this image of active seditionist Josh Hawley is everywhere but it should be. American voters—particularly those in his home state of Missouri—need to be reminded at every turn what an abject coward Hawley is.
As committee member Congresswoman Elaine Luria said, with her signature understatement, “He raised his fist in solidarity with the protestors already amassing at the security gates.”
A Capitol police officer told the Committee that Hawley’s gesture “‘riled up the crowd’ and it bothered her greatly because he was doing it in a safe space protected by the officers and the barriers. Later that day Sen. Hawley fled after those protesters he helped to rile up stormed the Capitol.”
We need to be clear about the source of Hawley’s cowardice, though. It’s not located in his running away from the murderous mob—that was an entirely reasonable thing to do under the circumstances. No, the supercilious fascist twit Josh Hawley is a coward because he knowingly incited the mob believing he would be safe (sound like somebody else we know) while, at the same time, being completely unconcerned about the lives of those—Capitol police officers, Congressional aides and other support staff, and his own colleagues—whom he put in danger. It was gratifying to watch Hawley’s presidential ambitions (as absurd as they may have been) implode in the space of one very short gif.
Although I don’t think the revelations about Hawley are among the most important in the grand scheme of things, they are illustrative of what may be an ancillary benefit of these hearings, which is uncovering just how fragile and broken our institutions and system of government are. Hawley and the nine other senators and 137 members of the House of Representatives who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and actively tried to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power remain sitting members of Congress. They are free to spread Donald’s lies about both his massive loss and the insurrection, while blocking President Biden’s agenda at every turn.
Over the course of the Trump administration we learned the extent to which the smooth running of our government is more or less based on the belief that anachronistic concepts like shame, honor, or a sense of fairness would be enough to motivate our elected officials to play by the rules. Donald, however, very explicitly showed his fellow Republicans that doing so was for suckers. In real time, the biggest casualties of this attitude were the Department of Justice (headed first by Jeff Sessions and then Bill Barr, with Matthew Whitaker’s brief stint sandwiched in-between) and the State Department, led by Rex Tillerson and then Mike Pompeo (arguably the two worst Secretaries of State in the American history). The new revelations about the Secret Service reveal just how widespread the institutional rot really is while simultaneously reinforcing the urgency of ensuring that everybody involved in the planning and execution of the insurrection be indicted, from Donald J. Trump on down.
[On The Mary Trump Show I’ve been live streaming all of the hearings with my spectacular Nerd Avengers—Wajahat Ali, Kurt Bardella, Charlotte Clymer, Kathy Griffin, George Hahn, Brian Karem, Dahlia Lithwick, Dean Obeidallah, Norm Ornstein, Adam Parkhomenko, Ally Sammarco, Cliff Schecter, and Jen Taub. Our special guests have included John Fugelsang, Allison Gill, Judy Gold, Jody Hamilton, Rosie O’Donnell, Kavita Patel, Rob Reiner, Alex Vindman, Rachel Vindman, and Maya Wiley.
I don’t know about you but I find watching these hearings extremely draining—it stirs up a very complicated mix of rage, despair, and hope. This is what we looked like at the end of hearing it #8:
I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to negotiate analyzing and commenting on these hearings without the support of these intelligent, kind, and empathetic people.
One of the fascinating things about the January 6th Select Committee hearings has been the way in which each hearing has been distinct not just thematically but also tonally from the rest—from the relatively cut-and-dried to the deeply moving to the visceral—the Committee has succeeded in reaching out to its viewers from a number of distinct angles each with its own unique impact.
And, of course, there have been a number of jaw-dropping revelations. So this week I’m curious to know:
What, in your view, has been the most effective structural aspect of the hearings?
Which revelation do you think has the greatest potential to make a difference in terms of whether or not these hearings have the desired effect—either to force the DOJ to indict Donald and everybody else implicated in the insurrection and/or to convince American voters that our democracy is not safe in the hands of the Republican Party?
Or let me know what else might be on your mind.
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