FTN Capitol Hill Profile: Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO)

A new series presenting in-depth analysis of individual lawmakers.

FTN Capitol Hill Profile: Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO)

One of the most prominent figures to come out of the 2018 election was Josh Hawley, the junior Senator from Missouri who unseated Claire McCaskill in one of the most watched races in the nation. Senator Hawley’s recent meteoric rise in politics has led to many asking whether the handsome and articulate conservative maverick has Presidential ambitions. He certainly seems to have a bright future, destined for leadership in the Republican Party.

This quick appearance on the national stage, in addition to his recent controversy (more on that later), has piqued my interest in Senator Hawley. I decided to do some research into the charismatic young Republican in order to present you the first FTN Capitol Hill Profile, a series dedicated to covering the important information on our legislators in Washington. 

Background

Josh Hawley first began to get involved with conservatism as a student at Yale Law School, where he was the president of the Federalist Society, a highly influential legal organization which advocates for textualist and originalist interpretation of constitutional law. Upon graduating from law school, Hawley clerked for Judge Michael W. McConnell of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He would later serve as a law clerk to Chief Justice John Roberts, a point which underscores how impressive Hawley’s legal resume was, even as a young man.

After his prestigious legal clerkships, Hawley worked briefly as an appellate litigator for a big law firm in DC, before finally settling into a role more suited to his political inclinations at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. As an attorney for Becket, some of Hawley’s notable experience includes writing briefs and giving legal advice in two Supreme Court cases: Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.

Eventually, Hawley would accept a position as an associate professor at the University of Missouri Law School, where he taught constitutional law. During this time, he was admitted to Supreme Court bar, allowing him to argue cases before the highest court in the land.

Josh Hawley’s political career officially began in 2016, when he was elected Attorney General of Missouri. Shortly thereafter, Hawley launched a campaign for Senate in 2018 and his underdog victory saw him explode onto the national stage.

Upon taking office, the junior Senator from Missouri was given several committee assignments:

– Committee on Aging Members

– Committee on Armed Services Members

– Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Members

– Committee on the Judiciary Members

– Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Members

A quick glance at Hawley’s career in the Senate thus far can be quantified using FiveThirtyEight’s “Trump Score”, which tracks legislators’ voting records to compare with President Trump’s policy agenda. As of writing this, Senator Hawley has voted in line with Trump’s position 81.8% of the time. Combining this metric with Trump’s 2016 margin of victory in Missouri (R+18.6), Senator Hawley is expected to support Trump 72.5% of the time.  

At age 39, Hawley is currently the youngest serving member of the United States Senate.

“Cosmopolitan” Controversy

Many people have been speculating that Josh Hawley is /our guy/ after he used some choice words in a speech back in July. This was at the subversive National Conservatism Conference hosted by the Edmund Burke Society, where Hawley gave the closing keynote address. I’m going to breakdown some key pieces, but for those who are interested, the full speech can be viewed here

This speech created quite a controversy at the time over Hawley’s repeated use of a single word:

“For years, the politics of both Left and Right have been informed by a political consensus that reflects the interests not of the American middle, but of a powerful upper class and their cosmopolitan priorities.”

Who is this so-called “cosmopolitan elite,” one might ask? Hawley elaborates, pointing out that they reside in the United States, yet self-identify as “citizens of the world.” They are united across partisan lines by a shared agenda of globalist values, such as “the importance of global integration and the danger of national loyalties, the priority of social change over tradition, career over community, and achievement and merit and progress.”

Hawley declares that the end goal of this cosmopolitan elite is the elimination of national borders and consolidation of markets in order to establish a monolithic one-world economy: “Call it the ‘cosmopolitan consensus.’”

Just when you think Hawley won’t push the envelope any more, he takes it even farther, calling attention to the kosher sandwich which our political discourse must fit into:

“The Left champions multiculturalism and degrades our common identity… The Right? Well, the Right celebrates hyper-globalization and promises that the market will make everything alright in the end. Eventually. Maybe. Hopefully.”

As we are all too familiar with, “cosmopolitan” is an extremely touchy word for a certain group of people. Naturally, this speech instantly became the outrage of the week. Jews and Jewish groups scrambled to decry the bold anti-Semitism of Hawley’s speech. Clearly, his use of the word “cosmopolitan” was an anti-semitic dogwhistle

Ultimately, nothing of any substance ever came about from these neurotic shrieks of anti-Semitism. Hawley’s initial rebuttal to the accusations of anti-Semitic dog-whistling was to take to Twitter to rant about how much he loves Jews and that the Democrats are the real anti-Semites.

We shouldn’t really take this as a shock though. We knew relatively early that Senator Hawley was a good goy. In our current climate, it’s virtually impossible for a politician to criticize Jewish power and come out on the other side unscathed. Surely Hawley wants to continue the smooth, upwardly mobile trajectory that his career has enjoyed thus far. Hawley seems to have his eyes set on even bigger aspirations.

The Good

In the remaining sections of this article, I’m going to delve into Senator Hawley’s specific stances in order to paint a complete picture of the man. Hawley isn’t perfect on the issue of the Jewish Question, but that doesn’t mean we should write him off entirely, especially since I foresee him being a prominent face in American politics for a long time to come.

To his credit, Hawley has an exceptional conservative record on a number of issues. His strength in these areas can be observed through “report card” rankings that various think tanks or lobbies give to lawmakers. For example, Numbers USA has graded Senator Hawley’s opposition to immigration in 2019 as a B+ overall, with A+ grades given to him specifically on the issues of reducing chain migration, reducing the visa lottery, and reducing illegal jobs and presence. Senator Hawley has been firm and consistent on his immigration stances. 

Additionally, Hawley received a 93% rating from the National Rifle Association, who also gave their endorsement to his Senate campaign. Here’s a list of some other notable organizations who endorsed Hawley in 2018:

– National Right to Life Committee

– The Missouri Farm Bureau

– Campaign for Working Families

– The Family Research Council

– FreedomWorks

– The Senate Conservative Fund

– Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund

– Club for Growth

Another area where Hawley has demonstrated a solid record is the realm of big tech. Last summer, Hawley and Ted Cruz teamed up to send a letter to the Federal Trade Commission urging an investigation into shadow-banning and other censorship tactics practiced by Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

Senator Hawley has proven himself one of the few Republicans in Congress willing to challenge the Orwellian practices of social media companies. At a White House Social Media Summit in July, Hawley was introduced by President Trump before giving a speech in which he admonished these sinister tech companies. In this speech, Hawley demanded that big tech companies stop discriminating against conservatives, vaguely threatening the cozy deals they have with the government. He justified this request by suggesting that tech companies should comply with the First Amendment. His zeal for this crucial issue is a far cry from the standard Republican position: “but they’re private companies!”

As the Missouri Attorney General, Hawley even went so far as to launch an official investigation into Google over their shady business practices. This wasn’t the only remarkable action Hawley took as the Attorney General, however. Another investigation that Hawley led as Attorney General was Missouri’s first state-wide probe into child sex abuse and the Catholic Church. Hawley clearly isn’t afraid to call out sex pests – last year he made the provacative statement that the sexual revolution opened the floodgates of degeneracy, resulting in the modern sex trafficking issue.

Looking at Hawley’s career in the Senate, he certainly seems eager to take on some of the biggest bad actors in the country. Back in July, Senator Hawley introduced an amendment to the Higher Education Act which would hold colleges and universities responsible for paying back 50% of any defaulted student loans while also preventing them from raising tuition to offset the liability. Once again, Hawley offers a breath of fresh air amidst all the stuffy Congressional Republicans who offer no solutions to any given problem, and then complain when Democrats actually take action.

The Bad

Despite all the good positions Senator Hawley has taken, it’s important to keep in mind that he’s still fallible to the same imperfections as any other politician in the swamp. Interestingly enough, while the good stuff about Hawley is in his actions and positions, the bad stuff about him is mostly contained to the financial side of things. Hawley isn’t outright involved in any corrupt campaign finance or crooked business dealings, but examining his backers lends some understanding into how and why he acts the way he does.

On the surface, it appears that the Jewish donors favored Hawley over incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. That’s not to say that Hawley is completely absolved from accepting Jewish money. During the 2018 election, for example, the Republican Jewish Coalition PAC contributed $25,629 to Josh Hawley For Senate via an independent expenditure to advocate his election. Hawley’s campaign received $23,178 from pro-Israel political action committees, whereas McCaskill’s campaign only received $9,700 in donations from pro-Israel political action committees. It is noteworthy whenever pro-Israel lobby groups favor a challenger over an incumbent, such as in this example. However, McCaskill took in $73,900 in individual pro-Israel contributions, compared to $11,400 donated to Hawley.

Conclusion

Obviously, there’s both good and aspects to Senator Hawley. Is he /our guy/? Absolutely not. But that doesn’t mean that he isn’t capable of taking action where it’s favorable to us, such as with big tech censorship and immigration.

As I’ve stated before, I believe Hawley will have a long and ambitious political career. He’s definitely someone I could see running for President in 2024. That’s what some conservatives are speculating.

So regardless of whether or not he’s based and redpilled, I just find Senator Hawley to be an interesting figure to watch and follow.  

 

Who do you want to see featured in the next FTN Capitol Hill Profile? Let me know!

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