Missouri Senator Josh Hawley was complicit in the sacking of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. He should have been removed then. Next year he’ll have to face Missouri voters and explain himself. Today he got the opponent best equipped to hold him to account and to represent the interests of Missourians in the Senate— Lucas Kunce.
In his announcement this morning, Kunce, a 13-year Marine veteran, said
“When things get tough, Missourians deserve someone who will stand up for them, not run for the nearest exit. Our politicians have betrayed Missouri. They’ve forgotten that their job is not only to defend our democracy, but also to fight for the people in it. Josh Hawley is 0 for 2. The frontline in the fight for democracy is right here in Missouri.
Communities across our state have been stripped for parts by power-hungry politicians who have no idea what it’s like to live a single day as an average Missourian. Unlike Hawley, I’m no stranger to real life. When times were tough for my family growing up in Jeff City and we were on the edge, our community came together and supported us.
Everyday people know what it means to look out for each other, to serve their community, and to fight for the place they call home. Those are the Missourians I’m fighting for this race. Those are the Missourians who are fed up with Josh Hawley being a fraud and a coward. And that’s why we’re going to beat him.”
As Americans look on in horror as extremists in the House— Hawley’s fellow insurrectionists— bring the government to a halt fighting with each other. And how ironic would it be for McCarthy to be elected speaker on January 6, the anniversary of the coup he— and Hawley— countenanced? This morning Politico reported that even mainstream conservatives are furious at the extremists. “Some members are privately angry that McCarthy is empowering hard-liners with rules changes to the point that they worry it will be difficult, if not impossible, to govern. There’s also concern about policy commitments he’s considering for the far right, including a vote on steep budget cuts that defense hawks will never swallow. Many Republicans are fed up with his apparent willingness to hand plum committee posts to his detractors— especially, talk of possibly awarding them gavels.” This is the kind of nihilism people like Josh Hawley have built performative careers around, while accomplishing nothing for Missourians.”
Meanwhile, this morning members of Congress gathered at the Capitol to mark the second anniversary of the January 6th riots. Hawley was not among them. In fact, the only Republican member of Congress who was, was Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, who told reporters “There’s a lot of terrible emotions. A terrible day that we can never let happen again.” True enough. Does Hawley feel the same way? I don’t think so. AP reported today that “The homes or offices of four elected Democratic officials in New Mexico have been hit by gunfire over the past month.” Bernalillo County Commissioners Adriann Barboa and Debbie O’Malley, plus state Senators Linda Lopez and Moe Maestas were attacked by this extremists straight from the Hawley wing of the Republican Party. No one was killed— this time.
Since Blue America has been active in trying to recruit Lucas to run, you can imagine that we have endorsed him this morning. Please consider contributing to his 2024 campaign here.
As Lisa Lerer and Reid Epstein wrote in the NY Times yesterday, “As the chaos and confusion on the House floor stretched into a third day, Republicans made it abundantly clear who was leading their party: absolutely no one… [T]he party is confronting an identity crisis unseen in decades. With no unified legislative agenda, clear leadership or shared vision for the country, Republicans find themselves mired in intraparty warfare, defined by a fringe element that seems more eager to tear down the House than to rebuild the foundation of a political party that has faced disappointment in the past three national elections.”
A good day to help Lucas get his campaign underway? Please help him do just that here.
Gaetz, Boebert, Biggs, Good, Norman… there’s not a centimeter of difference between Hawley and any of them. John Fredericks, a syndicated right-wing radio host and former chairman of Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns in Virginia told the Times reporters that “Nobody is in charge. Embrace the chaos. Our movement is embracing the chaos.”
That ideology of destruction defies characterization by traditional political labels like moderate or conservative. Instead, the party has created its own complicated taxonomy of America First, MAGA and anti-Trump— descriptions that are more about political style and personal vendettas than policy disagreements.
This iteration of the Grand Old Party, with its narrow majority in the House empowering conservative dissidents, represents a striking reversal of the classic political maxim that Democrats need to fall in love while Republicans just fall in line.
“The members who began this have little interest in legislating, but are most interested in burning down the existing Republican leadership structure,” said Karl Rove, the Republican strategist who embodies the party’s pre-Trump era. “Their behavior shows the absence of power corrupts just as absolutely as power does.”
Elizabeth Sena, Lucas’ pollster, told reporters that “Missouri presents the most compelling case for Democrats to flip a GOP-held Senate seat next cycle. At the ballot initiative level, Missourians continue to vote on issues championed by Democrats— raising the minimum wage, fighting back against Right to Work, and passing medical marijuana. It will take a different kind of Democrat— someone who can speak to moderates and independents and make the direct contrast with an extremist like Josh Hawley.”
I hope you can sense the immense opportunity this gives us– to help bolster the Senate and unseat a traitor at the same time. Please, give what you can, if you can –and if you can’t, please help spread Lucas Kunce’s fantastic Campaign launch announcement video everywhere on social media:
Thank you for always doing what you can to help make this a better world,
Howie, for the entire Blue America team