Hawley then got into the music scene, appearing in Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to run”, Van Halens “Run with the deviland Kate Bush’sRunning up that hill‘, the 1985 song has recently been revived and reached the top of the charts thanks to its fame in the Netflix show ‘Stranger Things’.
But Hawley’s footage was all the same: two clips aired in prime time during the most recent hearing of the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021., attack on the US Capitol. Both showed Hawley running away from rioters as they poured into the building, the commission said.
While the videos were laughing at the hearing audience in real time, the internet was just getting started. Within minutes and then for hours, people were roasting Hawley mercilessly.
Some set the videos to music – usually songs with lyrics about running. Others dabbled in puns coming up with a new term to describe what the junior senator from Missouri was doing: Hawlin’. Most have just posted memes — of Forrest Gump sprinting at the start of his run across the country; of the Road Runner whizzing down the road with a “Meep meep”; from “Seinfeld” character George Costanza an elderly woman and several children push to escape a fire at a children’s birthday party.
“I’ll be drinking from Josh Hawley’s well for the rest of the week,” a Twitter user wrote.
Hawley’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Washington Post late Thursday.
Aside from the brief laughter, Thursday’s hearing remained bleak. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) introduced Hawley as the senator who, passing protesters as he walked across the east side of the Capitol on Jan. 6, raised his fist in solidarity with them before entering the building.
A U.S. Capitol police officer protecting the building reported to the commission that Hawley’s gesture “shook up the crowd,” Luria said, with a giant version of the fist pump photo projected behind her. The officer told the commission that Hawley’s behavior “disturbed her greatly” because he incited the protesters from “a safe space” protected by the barricades and police between him and any mob that might form. He then entered the Capitol, leaving officers on the front lines to deal with the fallout, she said.
But that safe space didn’t last, Luria said. “Later that day, Senator Hawley fled after the protesters he helped instigate stormed the Capitol.”
“See for yourself,” Luria added.
The videos played. A three-second clip showed Hawley walking through the corridors of the Capitol, passing several officers, which Luria says the senator did to escape rioters pouring into the building. The committee played the images in slow-mo for the record. Then came a six-second video showing Hawley descending a flight of stairs with others.
Hawley defended the Jan. 6 salute of protesters with a fist pump before contesting the certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory over President Donald Trump. The senator claimed that many of them, like him, came to protest peacefully, calling the lumping of those people with rioters “a blot on the thousands and thousands, tens of thousands of people who came to the Capitol that day to demonstrate peacefully. “
Hawley has gone on to make political hay — and money — out of the fist-pump image. Hawley taped a rendition of the image to various pieces of merchandise, along with the tagline “SHOW-ME STRONG!” — a reference to Missouri’s nickname, “the Show-Me State” — and began selling the items in February, the Missouri Independent reported in March.
Internet users reacted to Luria’s juxtaposition of the fist bump photo and the ongoing videos to target Hawley. Using a popular meme, one user categorized Hawley’s fist pump photo as junk and a still image of him on the run as “discover.”
Some Twitter users stuck to the classic one-liner format when digging up Hawley. There was the singer of a freelance writer and editor in California: When political reporters ask Josh Hawley whether he plans to flee from now on, he will have to ask them for clarification.
A TV and movie producer: The Missouri Dems should host an annual Josh Hawley 5K as a fundraiser.
And a political advisorwho took the opportunity to try to increase turnout: You’d better run to the polls like Josh Hawley ran away from the uprising.
Others draw more on the language of the internet to roast Hawley. In a tweet that had racked up 13 million views Friday morning, another TV producer said posted a 4 second GIF of a man sprinting with the caption, “How Josh Hawley Fled the Capitol on Jan. 6”
Legendary TV journalist Dan Liever went ahead and kept it simple:Running Hawley Run.” A Twitter user came in with the help, responding to Lieve’s allusion to “Forrest Gump” with: the GIF of the character played by Tom Hanks sprinting.
Political commentator Charlie Sykes immediately saw the internet value of the Hawley videos. Moments after the clips were shown publicly, he was ready to name it.
“Runs Josh Hawley,” He wrote“is a meme for all time.”