Sen. Hawley NAILS Biden nominee to the wall for declaring Republican voters ‘stupid’

President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the National Archives and Records Administration appears to be a bigot who thinks everyone to the right of Karl Marx is a know-nothing idiot.

This much was revealed during National Archivist nominee Colleen Shogan’s confirmation hearing Wednesday before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.


During the hearing, Sen. Josh Hawley drew Shogan’s attention to an academic article she wrote in June of 2007 called “Anti-Intellectualism in the Modern Presidency: A Republican Populism.”

With this article in mind, he then asked her how exactly she intends “to be a non-partisan leader” who’s “politically neutral” if she’s previously voiced such glaringly partisan opinions.

Shogan responded by playing it off, saying it was nothing more than “a scholarly piece” from the past.

Unsatisfied with her answer, Hawley then started digging into the piece and the glaring biases it contains.

“You write in your paper that to combat allegations of elitism, recent Republican presidents have adopted anti-intellectualism. … You say recent Republican presidents, but your case studies are Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. And then coming up, I think, to George W. Bush,” he said.

So what’s the point here. I mean, you say at one point Republicans tend to exhibit anti-intellectual qualities; Democrats on the other hand coalesce on the intellectual tale of the continuum. So is the point that Republicans are stupid and Democrats are intellectual?

Shogan responded by again trying to play it off.

“Absolutely not. The point of the article is that the presidents that I featured in it have a rhetorical connection with the American people,” she said.

“A rhetorical connection that you say is anti-intellectual. And you feature every two-term Republican president going back to Dwight Eisenhower,” Hawley pointed out in rebuttal.

“I think it’s a piece on rhetoric, and it is really looking at how these presidents have been successful rhetorically in their arguments,” Shogan replied.

“Interesting. It’s a piece on rhetoric, but you attribute part of the anti-intellectualism of the Republican Party to, in your words, ‘the rise of the religious right.’ Tell me about that. Because those voters are stupid?” the congressman pressed.

“Absolutely not. And if I am confirmed as Archivist of the United States, I look forward to welcoming all Americans to the National Archives,” Shogan responded.

Hawley pushed back by asking her whether she thinks former President Donald Trump’s voters are “anti-intellectual.” She said she “would not make any judgment on the people who voted for President Trump or any other president.”

The congressman then conceded Shogan’s point that she’d been talking about rhetorical strategy and not GOP voters in her “scholarly piece” but wondered, if that’s the case, why did the “anti-intellectual” rhetoric of past presidents appeal to their voters?

“For that question, as I said, presidents are able to speak in common sense, plain terms to Americans that they understand,” she replied.

Yet, Hawley responded, in her piece from 2007, she wrote that Reagan boasts “less than impressive intellectual capacities.” The suggestion appeared to be that Reagan was an idiot who therefore appeals to other idiots.

She responded by claiming that the part of her piece about Reagan’s “less than impressive intellectual capacities” was just a “perception,” which prompted Hawley to ask “by whom?” Shogan then tried arguing it wasn’t her personal perception, to which Hawley responded by burying her.

“That’s not what your sentence says. Listen, you wrote an article saying basically that Republican voters are stupid, that Republican presidents deliberately appeal to anti-intellectualism. You roll it all up in this thing called Republican populism. Yet you’re trying to present yourself here as a non-partisan,” he said.

“In fact, you’re an extreme partisan, and your record shows that you’re someone who has denigrated every two-term Republican president … since the Second World War and their voters in this lengthy article. I mean, I just don’t understand, if you wrote it, why won’t you stand behind it?”

Hawley concluded his remarks by highlighting just why Shogan’s partisanship is such a concerning issue.

“We have seen what happens when you have political activists in the position that you are up for confirmation for. And we are living through that as a nation right now. We are living through the political weaponization of the National Archives. The political weaponization of the Department of Justice. The political weaponization of the FBI,” he said.

“Such that half of the people of this country cannot trust those institutions. We’re living with a president who calls half the voters of this country semi-fascists, who has said that they are a threat to democracy. This is an elected American president who makes these outrageous statements.”

He added, “So in that environment, frankly, to have you up for confirmation for this position … and here you are talking about the anti-intellectualism and, frankly, stupidity of American voters, I mean, if that isn’t playing to type, I don’t know what is.”


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Vivek Saxena


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