His self-defense stays with the strategy he followed before and on January 6th (and which I have criticized here). He doesn’t say Biden stole the election; he doesn’t say Biden won the election fair. He does not spread baseless conspiracy theories about voting machines, neither deny nor acknowledge their existence. Instead, he talks about whether Pennsylvania’s electoral law was properly changed. Trump’s weeks of lies about the election and attempts to overthrow it are also out of line; The name Trump does not appear in the article. Hawley explains that he was only trying to stand up for those voters in Missouri who were deeply concerned about the sanctity of the Pennsylvania constitution.
To buy his defense, one need only diligently ignore the context that made Hawley’s campaign so harmful and politically alluring to him.
Ramesh Ponnuru is the senior editor for National review, Columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Senior Fellow at the National Review Institute. @ Rameshponnuru