When the Senate voted on the Asian hate crimes bill a couple weeks ago, the only senator to vote against it wasn't Ted Cruz (R-TX). It wasn't Rick Scott or Marco Rubio of Florida. Not even notorious contrarians Rand Paul, Tom Cotton, Ron Johnson, Marsha Blackburn or coup-plotter Tommy Tuberville voted no. Only Missouri right-winger Josh Hawley. Missouri's other senator, Roy Blunt, also a conservative Republican, voted for the bill. He's retiring after the current session and next year Missouri will elect a new U.S. senator.
Blue America has endorsed Lucas Kunce, a progressive former Marine officer and a advocate in the anti-trust arena. Several run-of-the-mill, careerist Democratic politicians are also running. But most of the sturm und drang is on the other side of the aisle, where the Republicans are confronted with a whole array of sociopaths and misfits, from former s&m governor Eric Greitens to Rep. Billy Long-- known only for one thing, being the fattest member of Congress, to a NASCAR driver and half a dozen politicians who see the Senate seat as the next step in their personal odyssey, quite irrespective of Missourans.
And then last night... a guy named Mark McCloskey, known for only one thing-- he and his wife waving guns at peaceful racial justice demonstrators in St. Louis last June-- tossed his hat into the ring. Charges were filed against the McCloskeys who were indicted and the case is on-going, although Mark has used it in a bloody shirt campaign-- mostly on Fox New-- as he seeks fame and fortune. His attorney is right-wing ambulance chaser Albert Watkins who came to national prominence this week when he offered a unique defense of the QAnon Shaman and other insurrectionists who invaded the Capitol on 1/6: "A lot of these defendants-- and I’m going to use this colloquial term, perhaps disrespectfully-- but they’re all fucking short-bus people. These are people with brain damage, they’re fucking retarded, they’re on the goddamn spectrum. But they’re our brothers, our sisters, our neighbors, our coworkers-- they’re part of our country. These aren’t bad people, they don’t have prior criminal history. Fuck, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since fucking Hitler."
Last night, on Fox's Tucker Carlson Tonight, McCloskey launched his Senate bid. "God," he claimed, "came knocking at my door last summer disguised as an angry mob-- and it really did wake me up." He claimed that as he campaigned for Trump last fall he learned people are "sick and tired of cancel culture and the poison of critical race theory and the big lie of systemic racism," adding that voters don’t want any more "poseurs and egotists and career politicians going to D.C."
His campaign website, mccloskeyforsenate.com, says that on the day of the gun-toting incident, “a mob came to destroy their (the McCloskeys’) home and hurt their family”-- a description that contradicts livestream footage and other accounts from the scene.
The live feed showed the first few protesters move through the gate onto Portland Place, away from the McCloskey property and onto the private street. No one was on his property when a rifle-holding McCloskey confronted the protesters, the Post-Dispatch has reported.
The crowd was headed to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house blocks away as part of racial justice protests.
Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis, blasted Parson at the time for portraying the protesters at the McCloskeys’ as “some bloodthirsty, rampaging mob.”
“We practiced peaceful civil disobedience and had the threat of violence imposed upon us,” said Aldridge, who said he was in the crowd.
McCloskey, 64, is a St. Louis personal injury attorney and the third Republican to announce a campaign for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Roy Blunt.
Former Gov. Eric Greitens and Attorney General Eric Schmitt have also announced campaigns. Neither campaign responded to a request for comment on Tuesday.
I spoke with Lucas Kunce this morning and he noted that "Mark McCloskey got famous threatening peaceful protesters. My Marine buddies and I didn't risk our lives so he could play toy soldier. We signed up to defend our freedoms-- like the right to demand justice. Missouri, we can't let a guy like him be our next U.S. Senator. Campaigns like this are designed by the special interests who back them-- the same corporate forces that are stripping our state for parts. While they're trying to divide and distract us, they're writing the laws that leave everyday people-- black, white, and brown, gun-owning and not-- behind. It's class warfare from the top."
If you'd like to make sure Missouri doesn't send another crackpot or self-absorbed careerist to the Senate, please consider contributing to Kunce's grassroots campaign here. One Josh Hawley is enough for any state.