Josh Hawley Is From the Government and He’s Here to Help

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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21 Responses

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    Won’t you think of the children!?!?Report

  2. Aaron David says:

    That’s as smart as all the anti-vaping junk going around.

    He is thinking of the Children(tm)!Report

  3. Philip H says:

    We tried that level of nannyism once – Prohibition – and it failed miserably.Report

  4. Kazzy says:

    Random thoughts…

    1.) I have never heard of this guy but upon starting the essay, I assumed he was a Dem. I was a little surprised to learn he was GOPer. Not sure what that means but it was curious.
    2.) What does it say about my age that as I read the following sentence, I had the noted thoughts (in parentheses)…

    “It was a silly argument for video games in the 80s (Obviously… people didn’t understand them), rap music in the 90s (Obviously… racism), the internet when it first came out (It has it’s ills, but still a positive gamechanger), cell phones (Well, I do try to use mine less…)” and then when I think of “social media”, my response is, “Weeeeeeeeellllllll…. maybe he’s got a point.”

    I’m oldReport

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

      What it means is that the Right considers tech companies to be liberally biased and intends to destroy them by any means possible.

      I am not making this up. Nor joking, nor exaggerating.Report

      • Doctor Jay in reply to Mike Schilling says:

        I’m in basic agreement with your thesis. The tech industry spins out a lot of money, and most of that money does not go to support Republican candidates or causes. Therefore it’s bad.

        This is very likely why Republican politicians oppose Net Neutrality. If it’s good for Google, it’s bad for Republicans, is the thinking.

        Meanwhile, Comcast has given us lots of money.

        Republicanism used to be very solid for the free market. Whatever else you could say about Darrell Issa, he supported Net Neutrality, because that meant a freer market and more competition.

        There are legitimately multiple sides to many questions, and it is very helpful to have people and parties that represent the various sides. It is not at all helpful to have people who advance bad-faith arguments for policies that would simply give them more political advantage.

        The truly horrifying part of this is that by doing this, and not being super secretive about it, they destroy faith in democracy and the entire democratic process. People will assume that everyone is doing this, and that there are no honest arguments.

        Such are the times we live in.Report

        • Chip Daniels in reply to Doctor Jay says:

          Something I saw over at LGM, a quote from a Confederate officer which I am going to use from now on:

          “The Anglo-Saxon will accept tyranny rather than surrender to the inevitable consequences of a putrid electorate.”

          All the things that Republicans used to consider important like markets, defense, morality have collapsed before the fear and loathing of those they consider inferior.

          Tech companies= Liberals
          Liberals= brown people and uppity women;
          Therefore- Must Destroy

          They will pay higher prices, or higher taxes, they will suffer all sorts of privation and hardship, or whatever indignities a police state will inflict, so long as they can be held one rung higher than their enemies.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Doctor Jay says:

          Matt Y wrote the same thoughts on Vox regarding net neutrality. Republicans are used to telecoms, they are not used to tech companies so net neutrality is bad.

          I also think they dislike tech companies because the tech companies choose to stay in “overregulated” and “ungovernable” Bay Area, California instead of moving to Alabama or Missourri but they never stop to think that their hardcore social conservatism might turn off companies that employ lots of young people including young women that might not like the sexist paternalism and anti-abortion views in those states.Report

      • New communication technologies, more broadly adopted by younger people rather than oldsters, always have a liberal bias. Related question I heard from Republican campaigners in 2008 (I think) when the Obama campaign was inventing ways to use big data and targeted communication: “Why do young tech people volunteer to work for the Democrats for three months for pizza and Mountain Dew, but don’t do the same thing for the Republicans?”Report

  5. The current disastrous state of the republic stems from the rage addiction that fuels right-wing media. If we can ban them as well as Instagram, this might be well worth it.Report

  6. George Turner says:

    Infinite scroll is something the government should probably ban. How many people have dropped out of the labor force just because they’re determined to get to the end of the thread?Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to George Turner says:

      I could probably count them on one hand, even if I was missing a few fingers.Report

      • George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        I’m not so sure. I hashtag about it and ever since then I’ve been trying to get to the bottom. I’m thinking of hooking my cordless drill to my scroll wheel.

        What if the Russians or Chinese come up with a hack that links the bottom of one thread to the top of another random one, essentially turning the entire Internet into one large but finite thread, longer than any person could scroll through in one human lifetime? What if the Iranians then link the bottom of it back to the top to make a finite but infinitely repeating thread that continuously grows, similar to expansion after the Big Bang?

        Clearly, we need Congress to set fixed rules about threads, nesting, and display preferences, with enforcement responsibilities given to the FCC, FEC, NRLB (because scrolling is work), DHS, DoD, CIA (Russian bots!), and NSA. I’d include NASA but they’d be happy to scroll down for fifty years as long as their budget doesn’t get cut.Report

  7. Hawley is one of the worst members of Congress right now. There’s no problem that he doesn’t think has an authoritarian solution. And he’s perfectly willing to stoke racial/religious tensions.

    We’ve often wondered what it would be like if Trump were competent. Hawley is the answer to that question. And that fascist is going to run for President one day.Report

  8. DensityDuck says:


    This is what it looks like when people call for The Government To Do Something About The Problems. People wanted Something To Be Done about all the fake news on Facebook that got Trump elected. Something To Be Done about all those Nazi transphobes spewing their hate speech, making actual legitimate death threats. Something To Be Done about how evil capitalist bastards were using secret psychological power to hack the human brain, to turn people into zombies and suck all their money out of them. (it’s too bad Kim isn’t around anymore to tell us all about this, although she’d probably go into some side rant about how white women have been selectively bred to be affected by alcohol and susceptible to ASMR-induced hypnosis and that’s why she got drunk and cheated on her husband.)

    But, anyway. This is what it looks like when you yell long enough about how there’s a Problem that needs Fixing (but, also, that we can’t expect the companies to do anything about it themselves because they’re private companies and thus not subject to any kind of restrictions on anything.)Report

  9. Chip Daniels says:

    So there is something interesting happening here.

    Here is an article in National Review by Joel Kotkin:

    Where he lists the ills afflicting workers of the world.
    In ordinary times, Kotkin could reliably be expected to identify heavy government taxation/ regulation as the culprit and prescribe a dose of free market economics.

    But oddly, here he never identifies a culprit, and even more interestingly, locates the ills across the world, from America to France to China all of which have drastically different economic systems and policies and political structures and history.

    He writes awkwardly:
    “In embracing the “absolute premium of labor-saving measures” and loyally serving the needs of the least needful, we are undermining the social basis of both democracy and capitalism, creating an expanding market for ever more dependence on the state while undermining the dignity of large parts of our populations. ”

    But of course…How would the flagship magazine of conservatism suggest we stop “loyally serving the needs of the least needful”?

    Then there is this piece on National Conservatism over at Quillette:

    Wherein the author Alexander William Salter documents the emerging divorce between the free market and social conservative wings of the conservative movement.
    “Today we declare independence,” Hazony announced, “from neoliberalism, from libertarianism, from what they call classical liberalism. From the set of ideas that sees the atomic individual, the free and equal individual, as the only thing that matters in politics.”

    I was thinking of these things when I noted that most of the Dem candidates (except Warren, Sanders, Harris and maybe one other I am overlooking) seem to be thinking in terms of how to do battle with a Republican party which is unified in its adherence to Reagan/ Thatcher free market dogma.

    So they instinctively flinch from charges of socialism, and stay away from any sort of “big government” New Dealerism as if it were a third rail.

    I don’t think we are in that Kansas any more.