Sen. Josh Hawley must think he is funny. Despite all the damning evidence produced so far thanks to the work of the January 6 committee, Hawley is doubling down in his embrace of insurrection. Hawley’s latest fundraising effort is a shameless $20 ceramic mug depicting the infamous photo of him raising his fist to salute the gathering mob outside the Capitol.
In an e-mail to supporters on Monday, Hawley called the mug a “great way for proud, fearless conservatives to support” his campaign. “Liberals are so easily triggered and this new mug is really whipping the left into a frenzy!” Hawley then boasted that the mug is “the perfect way to enjoy Coffee, Tea, or Liberal Tears.” As funny as this may all seem to Hawley, he is not getting the last laugh.
On Tuesday, the Federal Election Commission released filings covering all of 2021, which show that all 93 members of Congress who failed to confirm the certified Electoral College ballots on January 6 have lost substantial business support. Hawley is among the leading losers, according to an analysis of the data by Fortune. After raising $91,000 in 2019, Hawley’s corporate donations plummeted 79% to $18,900 in 2021.
Hawley’s fundraising problems do not end there. Although Hawley is the subject of the photo on his latest product, he is not the copyright owner and there is no indication his use of the photo was licensed. In an e-mail to Rolling Stone, the Associated Press, which owns the rights to that photo, confirmed that its legal team will investigate and take appropriate action.
Since posting the mug for sale this week, Hawley is already backpedaling and twisting his word salad into a pretzel. Although Hawley is using his January 6 salute to score campaign bucks, he insists it is “not a pro-riot mug,” according to HuffPost. Hawley explained that “folks were gathered peacefully to protest, and they have a right to do that” but that it is illegal “to assault cops.” Funny how Hawley ignores the fact that we know what many of these “folks” were gathered to do—and what they did after encouragement from Hawley’s fist. Funny, indeed.