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The pathetic “I was just representing constituents” defense

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Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) gestures toward a crowd of supporters of President Donald Trump gathered outside the U.S. Capitol to protest the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral college victory Jan. 6, 2021 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Some demonstrators later breached security and stormed the Capitol. (Francis Chung/E&E News and Politico via AP Images)

Josh Hawley decided to fully join Team Trump’s false claims that the election were stolen, helping to incite a riot that killed 5 people and could be have been much worse than that. Hawley keeps trying to claim that he was merely a passive vessel representing his constituents, who collectively and spontaneously decided that Donald Trump should be declared president by fiat because of baseless claims that the election was stolen:

Hawley just offered some new comments on this front. Asked by CNN reporter Manu Raju if he regretted his role in what happened, Hawley said he did not.

“I was representing my constituents,” Hawley claimed. “I did exactly what I said I was going to do. And I gave voice to my constituents, and I have condemned mob violence in all its forms.”

When the reporter pointed out to Hawley that the insurrectionists thought they could change the results while citing objections to the electors from Hawley and other Republicans, Hawley dismissed the point.

“I was very clear from the beginning that I was never attempting to overturn the election,” Hawley said.

It’s hard to capture how ludicrous this argument truly is. First, there is no meaningful sense in which Hawley’s efforts constituted “representing” his “constituents” or “giving voice” to them.

Before Jan. 6, Hawley tried to justify this notion by noting that “Missourians have been loud and clear that they do not believe this election is fair,” and that he merely planned to “raise their concerns in the forum allowed to members of Congress.”

But even by that point, all the claims made to sustain the idea that the election wasn’t “fair” had already been endlessly litigated and dismissed in dozens of courts. If Hawley’s constituents did “believe” the outcome wasn’t fair, they were wrong, and Hawley should have told them so.

By purporting to object on their behalf, Hawley’s actual impact was to keep them trapped in the delusion that their beliefs were grounded — and could still change the election’s outcome.

Indeed, this very development — that so many voters kept on believing lawmakers could alter the outcome — itself arguably played a major role in inspiring the insurrection. 

Needless to say, Hawley feels no need to represent Missourians who have taken to the ballot box to vote to expand Medicaid and oppose “right to work” laws. Just the ones gullible enough to believe his own authoritarian propaganda, which of course is the only thing he’s actually representing.

Meanwhile, it will not surprise you to learn that Jeffrey Clark, the DOJ lawyer, who tried to get himself installed as acting AG so he could order Georgia to steal the election for Trump, is another seditionist who is a highly prominent member of the nonpartisan debating society that was unilaterally ceded the right to pick federal judges for four years:

But he was just representing his constituents!

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