Skylar Jordan in The Independent:
There is a photo of a Senator from Missouri — young and handsome, hair perfectly coiffed, suit beautifully tailored — which has circulated on social media since lawless rioters stormed the Capitol on Wednesday night. In it, the man in question raises a defiant fist in salute of the braying mob he is about to unleash upon the very heart of our Republic. It is a chilling image, one of a person with a clear lust for power. Donald Trump is our past, but this young man, already a powerful politician, could be our future.
Josh Hawley is the most dangerous man in America. He was before the attempted coup. He certainly is now. Like Trump, he has wicked ideas. Unlike Trump, he is not stupid. He knows, surely, that this election was not stolen. He knows, surely, that there was no widespread voter fraud. He knows, surely, that the American people elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris freely and fairly. He knows, surely, but it seems he does not care. This is a man who apparently cares only about his own political advancement. He ran for Missouri Attorney General in 2016, promising not to use it as a springboard to higher office. Then, he promptly ran for US Senate in 2018. Barely two years into his first term, he is now jockeying to be the anointed successor of Donald Trump, his eyes firmly fixated on 2024. This is why many believe he contested the results of the 2020 election in the first place. Presumably, it is why all of the Senators who objected did. The only nefarious plot to steal the election is their own, after all.
Some, when faced with an insurrection on their doorstep, had a change of heart. Just-defeated Senator Kelly Loeffler was one of them, saying in a speech from the floor of the Senate that the attempted coup which she supported not twelve hours before had “forced me to reconsider.” She went on to lament “the violence, the lawlessness, and siege of the halls of Congress.” While she didn’t disavow the very conspiracy theory which had prompted the violence and which she had peddled herself, at least she had the shame to pump the breaks as we neared the precipice of fascism.