Strike up the band: Missouri moves to the front of the MAGA parade • Missouri Independent – Missouri Independent

A chronicle of Donald Trump's Crimes or Allegations

Strike up the band: Missouri moves to the front of the MAGA parade • Missouri Independent – Missouri Independent

Thirty-one percent of Missouri respondents to a recent poll said Donald Trump’s new status as a convicted felon would make them more likely to vote for him (Ralph Freso/Getty Images).
A recent national poll asked prospective voters in some states how Donald Trump’s conviction on 34 felony charges would impact their choice in this year’s presidential race.
In Missouri, 31% of the respondents said that Trump’s new status as a convicted felon would make them more likely to vote for him.
I had to read that section of the Emerson College poll twice. A jury determines that the former president broke the law by falsifying business records in order to pay a porn star to keep quiet about their sexual encounter, and nearly a third of the Missourians surveyed love him all the more. 
My first thought: This is bonkers.
My next thought: This is Missouri. 
This is where we are now. Ever defiant. Increasingly eager to double down. No longer content to join the MAGA parade, Missouri seeks to lead it.
Signs of this are everywhere. Let’s start with the state attorney general’s office. 
Under its current manager, Andrew Bailey, Missouri has sought unsuccessfully to intervene in the U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the use of an abortion drug. It has sued President Joe Biden’s administration multiple times.
Bailey sued Media Matters, a progressive watchdog group, for, well, doing its job. He just lost a case in the U.S. Supreme Court having to do with the Biden administration’s attempts to push back against misinformation on social media platforms.
It’s difficult to keep track of Bailey’s frenetic filings. Look for wild lawsuits against Democratic officials or in support of right-wing heroes like Elon Musk and chances are you’ll find Missouri leading the charge.
There are other indicators of the state’s crazy-right tilt.
Missouri’s delegation in the U.S. Congress was rated the second most partisan in the nation, right behind Alabama, by the Lugar Center at Georgetown University. The ranking is based on the number of  bipartisan bills a lawmaker sponsors, and how many cosponsors sign on.
Another study placed Missouri in the top five among the states whose legislators have joined at least one far-right Facebook group.  
And can we talk about the Republican primary campaigns currently underway for state offices? 
Bailey, who was appointed to his office as attorney general two years ago and is seeking election for the first time, is not even the Trumpiest candidate in the race. 
That would be his primary opponent, Will Scharf, who cut his teeth in Missouri politics as policy director for disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens. Apparently fond of disreputable leaders, Scharf is now a personal attorney for Trump. 
After last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling granting presidents legal immunity for anything they do under the broad umbrella of “official” duties, Scharf told CNN that Trump’s scheme to reverse the results of the 2020 election by creating slates of alternate electors from battleground states was indeed an official act.  
Scharf then made his way to Missouri, where he pledged at a rally in Springfield to investigate “corrupt” agencies in state government, starting with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 
In the race for secretary of state, Republican candidate Valentina Gomez has distinguished herself in a field of eight contenders by posting homophobic videos. And who knows what we’ll see in the final weeks of the GOP primary for governor, as the right-wing provocateur Bill Eigel attempts to close a gap with Jay Ashcroft and Mike Kehoe.
I should point out that right-wing extremism isn’t exactly new in Missouri. It is, in fact, more the norm than the exception. 
Throughout its history, the state has been the launching pad for numerous white supremacist and anti-government movements. The Minutemen and CSA (The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord) are two of the more memorable ones. 
More recently, a bust of Rush Limbaugh sits proudly in the state Capitol. Mark and Patricia McCloskey became instant celebrities for waving firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters. 
And remember the fist pump. A news photo of U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s salute to the roiling crowd outside of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, shocked some of the people who had voted for him. They predicted it would end his career. 
It didn’t. Hawley had the photo reproduced on coffee mugs. That’s the current state of Missouri in ceramic. Defiant and doubling down.
The Emerson Poll, which gauged Missourians’ reaction to Trump’s felony charges, asked the same question of voters in battleground states, and received a milder response.
In Minnesota, 15% of voters said they would be more likely to vote for Trump after his conviction. In Arizona, the response was 25%. The state that came closest to Missouri’s 31% was Pennsylvania, where 29% of the people surveyed said they were more likely to elect the former president as a result of his legal troubles.
Missouri, of course, is no longer a battleground state in national politics. 
But we do love to show the rest of the nation that we know how to fight.
by Barbara Shelly, Missouri Independent
July 8, 2024
by Barbara Shelly, Missouri Independent
July 8, 2024
A recent national poll asked prospective voters in some states how Donald Trump’s conviction on 34 felony charges would impact their choice in this year’s presidential race.
In Missouri, 31% of the respondents said that Trump’s new status as a convicted felon would make them more likely to vote for him.
I had to read that section of the Emerson College poll twice. A jury determines that the former president broke the law by falsifying business records in order to pay a porn star to keep quiet about their sexual encounter, and nearly a third of the Missourians surveyed love him all the more. 
My first thought: This is bonkers.
My next thought: This is Missouri. 
This is where we are now. Ever defiant. Increasingly eager to double down. No longer content to join the MAGA parade, Missouri seeks to lead it.
Signs of this are everywhere. Let’s start with the state attorney general’s office. 
Under its current manager, Andrew Bailey, Missouri has sought unsuccessfully to intervene in the U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the use of an abortion drug. It has sued President Joe Biden’s administration multiple times.
Bailey sued Media Matters, a progressive watchdog group, for, well, doing its job. He just lost a case in the U.S. Supreme Court having to do with the Biden administration’s attempts to push back against misinformation on social media platforms.
It’s difficult to keep track of Bailey’s frenetic filings. Look for wild lawsuits against Democratic officials or in support of right-wing heroes like Elon Musk and chances are you’ll find Missouri leading the charge.
There are other indicators of the state’s crazy-right tilt.
Missouri’s delegation in the U.S. Congress was rated the second most partisan in the nation, right behind Alabama, by the Lugar Center at Georgetown University. The ranking is based on the number of  bipartisan bills a lawmaker sponsors, and how many cosponsors sign on.
Another study placed Missouri in the top five among the states whose legislators have joined at least one far-right Facebook group.  
And can we talk about the Republican primary campaigns currently underway for state offices? 
Bailey, who was appointed to his office as attorney general two years ago and is seeking election for the first time, is not even the Trumpiest candidate in the race. 
That would be his primary opponent, Will Scharf, who cut his teeth in Missouri politics as policy director for disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens. Apparently fond of disreputable leaders, Scharf is now a personal attorney for Trump. 
After last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling granting presidents legal immunity for anything they do under the broad umbrella of “official” duties, Scharf told CNN that Trump’s scheme to reverse the results of the 2020 election by creating slates of alternate electors from battleground states was indeed an official act.  
Scharf then made his way to Missouri, where he pledged at a rally in Springfield to investigate “corrupt” agencies in state government, starting with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 
In the race for secretary of state, Republican candidate Valentina Gomez has distinguished herself in a field of eight contenders by posting homophobic videos. And who knows what we’ll see in the final weeks of the GOP primary for governor, as the right-wing provocateur Bill Eigel attempts to close a gap with Jay Ashcroft and Mike Kehoe.
I should point out that right-wing extremism isn’t exactly new in Missouri. It is, in fact, more the norm than the exception. 
Throughout its history, the state has been the launching pad for numerous white supremacist and anti-government movements. The Minutemen and CSA (The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord) are two of the more memorable ones. 
More recently, a bust of Rush Limbaugh sits proudly in the state Capitol. Mark and Patricia McCloskey became instant celebrities for waving firearms at Black Lives Matter protesters. 
And remember the fist pump. A news photo of U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley’s salute to the roiling crowd outside of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, shocked some of the people who had voted for him. They predicted it would end his career. 
It didn’t. Hawley had the photo reproduced on coffee mugs. That’s the current state of Missouri in ceramic. Defiant and doubling down.
The Emerson Poll, which gauged Missourians’ reaction to Trump’s felony charges, asked the same question of voters in battleground states, and received a milder response.
In Minnesota, 15% of voters said they would be more likely to vote for Trump after his conviction. In Arizona, the response was 25%. The state that came closest to Missouri’s 31% was Pennsylvania, where 29% of the people surveyed said they were more likely to elect the former president as a result of his legal troubles.
Missouri, of course, is no longer a battleground state in national politics. 
But we do love to show the rest of the nation that we know how to fight.
Missouri Independent is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Missouri Independent maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Jason Hancock for questions: info@missouriindependent.com. Follow Missouri Independent on Facebook and X.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our website. AP and Getty images may not be republished. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of any other photos and graphics.
Barbara Shelly is a journalist in Kansas City. She was a reporter and opinion writer for the Kansas City Star and now contributes to various outlets as a writer and editor. Her work has appeared in the Huffington Post, Hechinger Report, The Week, The PitchKC and other publications.
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