Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) gave a speech last week during a Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on election integrity that unfortunately got buried in all the reporting on the rollout of the Wuhan virus vaccine.
Considering there are still a lot of questions and concerns from Republicans over what happened in the November presidential election, and that the general sense among many that there is so much more to the story than what we’ve been told, Hawley’s opening remarks in which he defended average Joe and Jane Republicans from “nutcase” accusations from the left and the media could not have been more timely.
He started off by talking about why he felt it was “so important” to have the hearing. “Let me just give you an example why.”
“Yesterday, I was talking with some of the constituents back at home [in Missouri], a group of about 30 people. Every single one of them, every one of them, told me that they felt they had been disenfranchised, that their votes didn’t matter and that the election had been rigged,” Hawley noted.
He went on to mention how the people he talked to were not the type of people you could credibly describe as “nutcases” for their views. “These are normal, reasonable people. These are not crazy people,” he stated. “These are reasonable people, and who by the way, have been involved in politics. They’ve won, they’ve lost, they’ve seen it all. These are normal folks, living normal lives, who firmly believe they have been disenfranchised.”
In other words, the people he talked to are like so many other Americans who, for as long as they have voted, generally felt like the process worked even when their candidates did not win. But they have questions now about what happened and they are being treated as crazy folks over it and it’s not right.
Hawley then ripped into the media and his Democratic colleagues who have denigrated such people and told them that they need to shut-up and stop being unpatriotic, this after four years of “Russia collusion” nonsense.
“And to listen to the mainstream press and quite a few voices in this building tell them after four years of non-stop Russia hoax — it was a hoax. The whole Russia nonsense was based on, we now know, lies from a Russian spy! The Steele dossier was based on a Russian spy. After four years of that, being told that the last election was fake and that Donald Trump wasn’t really elected and that Russia intervened — after four years of that — now these same people are told ‘you just sit down and shut up if you have any concerns about election integrity, you’re a nutcase. You should shut-up,'” Hawley recalled.
“Well, I’ll tell you what, 74 million Americans are not going to shut up,” the Senator predicted, pointing out that “telling them that their views don’t matter and that their concerns don’t matter and they should just be quiet is not a recipe for success in this country. It’s not a recipe for the unity that I hear now the other side is suddenly so interested in after years, years of trying to delegitimize President Donald Trump.”
In other words, Republican voters have long, long memories, and this issue isn’t going to go away even assuming Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are certified the winners in a couple of weeks when Congress convenes.
“So, suffice it to say, I’m not too keen on lectures about how Missourians and others who voted for President Trump and now have some concerns about fraud, about integrity, about compliance with the law, should just be quiet and that they are somehow not patriotic if they raise these questions. It’s absolutely unbelievable.”
Hawley then went on to describe various measures he believed need to be put in place to ensure more transparency of the vote-counting process so as to give voters more confidence in the future that elections were decided fairly and without any shenanigans.
.@HawleyMO: "After 4 years of being told the last election was fake, the same people are telling us if you have any concerns about election integrity you're a nut case, sit down and shut up. That is not a recipe for success in this country." pic.twitter.com/JwiOUnTb6g
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) December 21, 2020
Though Hawley’s comments were targeted towards Democrats and the media, his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate should take note, too, and not forget them. There are millions of Republicans out there like Hawley describes, people who aren’t prone to yelling “stolen” every time an election doesn’t go their way (unlike Democrats).
But they do have serious issues with the outcome this time around now and their questions shouldn’t be swept under the rug in the interest of “muh unity” and “moving on.” If those concerns are ignored, Republican voters are going to remember and act accordingly during the primaries in future elections. As well they should.