The constant harassment and death threats that Donald Trump’s supporters heap on his perceived enemies and those he singles out for abuse is one of the most appalling changes that he’s brought to American politics. No matter who the target might be — a union leader, a United States Congresswoman, Georgia’s Secretary of State — a single tweet is all it takes to unleash an avalanche of hateful vitriol and naked threats of violence from rabid conservatives.
Which makes it particularly infuriating to see one of Trump’s lapdogs crying wolf and pretending he’s been a victim of left-wing hate. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who is personally leading Donald Trump’s effort to contest the electors and somehow steal the 2020 election, took to Twitter last night to post a weepy complaint about how “antifa scumbags” threatened his wife and daughter and tried to “pound open the door.”
Tonight while I was in Missouri, Antifa scumbags came to our place in DC and threatened my wife and newborn daughter, who can’t travel. They screamed threats, vandalized, and tried to pound open our door. Let me be clear: My family & I will not be intimidated by leftwing violence
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) January 5, 2021
This would be deplorable — if it were true, which of course it isn’t.
Around a dozen protesters held a peaceful candlelight vigil outside Hawley’s house last night, holding signs demanding that he drop his plan to contest the 2020 election results. They also — shudder — knocked on the door to see if he was home. They also wrote slogans on the ground in chalk. Video of the event shared on social media shows there were no vandalism, no violence, no threats of any kind — but that didn’t stop Hawley from crying about how he’s the victim and setting off a firestorm of ginned-up outrage on right-wing social media.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) January 5, 2021
In response, the activist group ShutDownDC tweeted with: “It was a candlelight vigil, snowflake. And your house isn’t in DC, it’s in a suburb 30 mins outside of the District.”
Even more infuriating is the fact that Hawley is basessly smearing protesters who were there in defence of our democracy and simply demanded that Hawley accept the results of our election that every reputable news organization has certified as legitimate.
Hawley’s pathetic and undemocratic stunt is clearly just to set himself for a 2024 presidential run that will inevitably finish with a fourth place finish in the Iowa caucuses behind Don Jr., Michael Flynn Jr, and a gun. But the threat to the integrity of our democracy that his selfish standoff represents cannot be understated.
Social media quickly erupted in fury:
Josh Hawley is blatantly lying. It was a peaceful candlelight vigil. The entire event was captured on video.
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) January 5, 2021
This is more gaslighting. There were a handful of people, they were peaceful, the police came, no arrests were made and there was no vandalism (unless you count chalk messages on the sidewalk). They weren't even aware that Hawley wasn't there.https://t.co/UwQvleYyKP https://t.co/yqgZr2AM52
— Adrien Litton (@adrien_litton) January 5, 2021
If Josh Hawley thinks the group of 15 people who showed up at his house last night for a candlelight vigil and to give him a copy of the constitution are dangerous, maybe he should try on Gretchen Whitmer's skirt.
— Rob Viehman (@TRPpublisher) January 5, 2021
Here’s the video of the entire protest: