Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is up for reelection, and the Republican Party of Missouri is in turmoil.
McCaskill’s likely Republican opponent, state Attorney General Josh Hawley, has been embroiled in a worsening sexual scandal involving the Governor of Missouri, Eric Greitens.
In February, Greitens was indicted for having allegedly forced a violent sexual encounter with a former lover. Then he made it clear he’d refuse to resign. His decision was not altered even after the
In response to that report, Hawley made a statement which was filled with high indignity and moral outrage. He called on Greitens to “resign immediately” and stated flatly that the conduct described in the report was “certainly impeachable.”
Greitens fired back by seeking a restraining order against Hawley, and the two of them are now well into a worsening feud.
But they used to be friends. Back in 2016, Hawley accepted a $50,000 campaign contribution from Greitens.
In his capacity as Attorney General, he turned a blind eye to Greitens’ use of a charity donor list for over a year. He decided to investigate only when the Governor became a political liability. Even so, he gave the St. Louis Circuit Attorney less than four days to file charges.
It’s very convenient for Josh Hawley to go after Greitens now that the former is making a Senate run and the other a political liability. This fact did not escape the notice of Claire McCaskill, who is one of the Senate’s brightest and toughest people.
On Wednesday, she tweeted her opinion that the governor should resign, and it wasn’t long before someone else did too.
“As soon as I called for his resignation, I anticipated Hawley would,” McCaskill said, and Hawley did. Eleven minutes later.
Thursday morning, McCaskill held court with reporters just outside the U.S. Senate chamber, and she broke it down very well.
“Listen, there’s one thing that’s very clear: Josh Hawley ran for office saying he was going to clean up public corruption,” she said. “This doesn’t sound like the guy who ran for office saying he was going to clean up public corruption. This sounds like somebody who’s hiding under his desk.”
Hawley’s own record regarding women’s issues is far from admirable. In December he made a speech in which he blamed the sexual revolution for the rise in sex trafficking.
Another sign of Hawley’s hypocrisy is that he and Greitens are directly connected by the donor list of Chicago-area businessman Richard Uihlein, whose donor list seems to create a pattern.
Recently the super-PAC Club for Growth Action Missouri filed an FEC report showing that it has raised $2 million to help Hawley’s Senate bid. All of that money came from one donor, Richard Uihlein, who also donated to Eric Greitens.
As with ex-convict Don Blankenship’s run for Senate in West Virginia, this is a good example of a Republican race to the bottom. Scandals, allegations of sexual abuse, and endless coverups are the ties that bind the Republican leadership to the 45th president of America.
America can do better, and the path ahead is clear. Vote a straight Democratic ticket, in 2018, 2020, and every other year.