MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace could not figure out why Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) would be opposed to a domestic terror law, but panelists explained that it's likely personal.
"The issue here is blame, and he is feeling the heat, obviously," said New York Times reporter Peter Baker. "He's been excoriated not just by Democrats, but even fellow Republicans like John Danforth, former senator from Missouri, Republican, and one of his mentors, who said endorsing him was one of his biggest mistakes. He's been excoriated by his home state newspapers. He's trying to distance himself from the actions of Jan. 6th in making the case to some of the more extreme people out there on the right that the government is really to blame, the government's excessive power is the real problem here, and that appeals to some in the crowd that day."
That said, Baker explained, if Josh Hawley wants to run for president, as people seem to believe, but Hawley is trying to claim "law and order" while opposing the law and order on Jan. 6. It appeals to "the most Trumpy part of the base," said Baker.
"He's appealing to and defending the actions that everyone who testified yesterday said were white supremacists," said Nicolle Wallace. "I don't understand the whole frame. When they say sit around and let's defend white supremacists, let's defend -- why are they rowing against the fact-finding mission around Jan. 6th?"
Los Angeles Times reporter Eli Stokols explained that Hawley and those like him are "rowing against a reality that the entire country" experienced on Jan. 6.
"That's elemental to Trumpism and the continuing project of creating this alternative world," he said. "Really a world-building exercise that happens every night on Fox News. It used to happen with the president's Twitter feed and it happens with a lot of the Republicans like Josh Hawley who are vying for position in that Trump lane, as Peter called it, looking ahead to the 2024 presidential election policy."
He explained that keeping "the Big Lie" alive means "all of these myths and lies and enemies and scapegoats" that ultimately "precipitated the events of the 6th, the insurrection, the lie that the election had been stolen and now a bunch of lies to explain what happened. To dismiss what happened. To brush it away, to excuse insurrectionists and blame it on Democrats or other enemies because that's where we are on the right."
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Josh Hawley's feeling the heat www.youtube.com