Wednesday, December 30, 2020


Michael Brendan Dougherty at National Review last May:

Horseshoe theory holds that at a certain point, the political left and the political right bend around and begin to get closer together again. You can see it on economic issues when Senator Josh Hawley is talking with Matt Stoller. I noticed it often among my fellow “restrainer” foreign-policy friends.

And here's Stoller himself on December 5, after Hawley "joined" (for some sense of the term) Bernie Sanders in requesting $1,200 checks for stimulus relief in the senate:

"Bipartisan cooperation a welcome sign on Capitol Hill" marveled the Boston Herald. "If our lawmakers can do it on stimulus payments," the Herald went on, "maybe there are other areas where the left and right can find populist common ground: criminal justice reform or paid family leave perhaps." 

"Josh Hawley, populism's philosopher-in-chief," swooned Charles Fain Lehman in a long, lubricious ode at the Washington Examiner that had Hawley denouncing the Pelagian heresy "that you can 'emancipate yourself from God by creating your own self'" and extolling "the original Populist Party" of the early 20th Century:

"It was a moment of significant social, economic, international upheaval, which we’re experiencing now as well,” Hawley said. “The late 19th, early 20th century was also a moment when the existing political coalitions were in a state of collapse and reforming, which is clearly what we’re in the midst of right now."

Populist and anti-Pelagian -- a 2024 dream candidate! Hawley also joined the more recent Sanders push for $2,000 checks -- even less likely to go through than $1,200  (and it hasn't), but a great way to keep the rubes paying attention. 

Well, today the horseshoe is on the other foot:

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) announced Wednesday that he would object next week when Congress convenes to certify the electoral college vote, a move that all but ensures at least a short delay in cementing President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Turns out the dreamboat is just another crackpot grifter like Louie Gohmert and Tommy Tuberville. Being a boring old-fashioned type of liberal I could smell Hawley walking in. Here's your humble narrator in June 2019 on Hawley's lionization at The Federalist as one of two "Brand-New Senators" who "Cast Light on the GOP's Post-Trump Future" (the other one was, lol, Rick Scott): "Josh Hawley's the young, hip kind of theocrat creep who's bound to appeal to hypothetical young people who think like Roy Moore."

About the only good thing about Hawley is that his horseshoe-y idea to make Federal workers decamp to rural districts so's to make everything more equal-like -- 'cause he don't like no "cosmopolitan elites" nohow! -- inspired me to my Gulchville, KY Winter White House series*.

But gratitude only extends so far. When we talk about Trump being succeeded in the hearts of conservatives by cleverer fascists, this is what we're talking about.

* BTW that edition of Roy Edroso Breaks It Down isn't the only freebie presently available to non-subscribers -- today's Twitter feud among leading conservative lights is also yours for the clicking. Consider subscribing before your company's Substack benefits for the year run out! 

UPDATE. Some people never learn.

After January 20 Tom Cotton will start referring to Biden as "the so-called president" and McArdle will wonder if he's a body double. 

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