Missouri Senator Joshua Hawley’s rise to the top of the MAGA pile has been quick. Not long ago he was an obscure figure on the far right. Now he’s gotten so big that he’s been denounced by one of his hometown papers, who called him out for playing a key role in what turned out to be the failed coup by fellow supporters of outgoing president Donald Trump.
The Kansas City Star, published in the town where Hawley attended private school, released a scathing op-ed about someone who’s become one of the state’s least favorite sons. “No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible for Wednesday’s coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol than one Joshua David Hawley,” wrote the paper’s editorial board. “Hawley’s actions in the last week had such impact that he deserves an impressive share of the blame for the blood that’s been shed.”
The Star points out that Hawley, who sworn in as a Missouri senator last January, was the first to say he would oppose Joe Biden’s Electoral College win. That joint session that was interrupted by Trump supporters, who stormed the Capitol, bringing Washington to its knees, even resulting in the death of a woman.
“That action,” the Board wrote, “motivated by ambition, set off much that followed — the rush of his fellow presidential aspirant Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other members of the Sedition Caucus to put a show of loyalty to the president above all else.”
They also claimed that Hawley and his fellow Republicans “knew all along that his claims were bogus.” They added:
“Now that they’ve seen exactly where those lies have landed us, decency demands that they try to prevent further violence by making clear that Joe Biden did not win by cheating. Please, gentlemen, surprise us.”
They also pointed out that Hawley sent out a fundraising email in the middle of the chaos that resulted.
As the grim day wore on, a picture taken of Hawley that morning went viral. It showed him raising a defiant fist-bump to the Trump supporters who would soon start one of the darkest days in D.C. history.