Sen. Josh Hawley’s revisionist act falls flat at CPAC

Even the crowd attending the past week’s Conservative Political Action Conference didn’t buy Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley’s phony act.

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Opinion

March 3, 2021 - 9:09 AM

Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. (Tom Williams/Pool/Getty Images/TNS) Photo by (Tom Williams/Pool/Getty Images/TNS)

Even the crowd attending the past week’s Conservative Political Action Conference didn’t buy Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley’s phony act. Despite the privileged elitist’s best effort to pose as a populist everyman — American as apple pie, served with a heavy dollop of white nationalism — just 3% of attendees of the far-right annual conference supported Hawley as the next Republican presidential nominee. It’s a fitting snub for a man whose blind ambition led him to betray his oath as well as the Constitution that he both studied and taught.

Missouri’s junior senator, widely condemned by members of both parties for his supporting role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, delivered a strange speech filled with revisionist history and them-versus-us rhetoric at the four-day conference of conservatives in Florida. Hawley painted himself as a warrior fighting against an “unprecedented alliance of radical liberals and the biggest, most powerful corporations in the history of the world” intent on destroying America. Or at least, Hawley’s version of America.

Standing beneath a large sign bearing the theme of this year’s conference — “America Uncanceled” — Hawley told his audience of self-declared “patriots” that the history of systemic racism in America is false. “All of that is a lie,” he said. America is the nation that “liberated slaves,” he told the crowd. He conveniently omitted hundreds of years of legalized oppression, a Constitution that counted Blacks as three-fifths of a person, and a whole Civil War.

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