Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis echoed a sentiment that has been on many people’s mind: He does not consider Trump a “legitimate president” and will not attend the Jan. 20 inauguration.
As is his wont, Trump replied with a blistering Twitter rant just a couple of days before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017
mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results. All talk, talk, talk - no action or results. Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2017
Consequently, he successfully alienated many of the Democratic congressmen.
As of Jan. 16, around two dozen Democrats out of 194 in the House refused to go to Trump’s inauguration. Some announced their decision before the Lewis feud; others claim the president-elect insulting the congressman was the last straw.
Posting a picture of Lewis alongside Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Takano of California said he would not attend the swearing-in ceremony.
Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan announced his decision and also told Trump to “start acting like President Trump.”
Other Democrats also joined in the protest.
After much thought, I have decided to #StandWithJohnLewis and not attend the inauguration.— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) January 15, 2017
It is with a heavy heart and deep personal conviction that I have decided not to attend the #TrumpInauguration on January 20, 2017.— Mark DeSaulnier (@RepDeSaulnier) January 14, 2017
I never ever contemplated attending the inauguration or any activities associated w/ @realDonaldTrump. I wouldn't waste my time.— Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) January 15, 2017
My statement on the upcoming inauguration: pic.twitter.com/dQXE0ztvTf— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 5, 2017
It's hard to think of a better use of my time on Jan 20 than to be in my District hearing from Oregonians. pic.twitter.com/bwEFBdpS4x— Earl Blumenauer (@repblumenauer) January 7, 2017
We already know Donald Trump lashes out when his ego is bruised, but attacking @repjohnlewis during MLK memorial weekend is a new low.— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) January 14, 2017
Californian Rep. Jared Huffman wrote on Facebook that instead of witnessing the transition of power, he would be spending “time in California with my constituents making a positive difference in our community.”
Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva said on Friday that he planned to spend the day at home.
“My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office, or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy,” Grijalva said. “But as an individual act — yes, of defiance — at the disrespect shown to millions and millions of Americans by this incoming administration, and by the actions we are taking here in this Congress.”
Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez also said earlier this month:
“I could not look at my wife, my daughters or my grandson in the eye if I sat there and attended as if everything that candidate Donald Trump had said about the women, about the Latinos, or the Blacks, the Muslims or any of the other things he said in his speeches and tweets — that any of that is OK or erased from my memory.”
Rep. Adriano Espaillat on Facebook said:
“President-elect Donald Trump is trying to take us back! And the people Trump is appointing — Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions — are trying to take us back!
“That's why I am not attending the presidential inauguration. Donald Trump and the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration.
“THIS is not Dr. King's Dream!”
However, apparently the non-attendance of these Democrats has no effect on Trump, who recently tweeted:
Inauguration Day is turning out to be even bigger than expected. January 20th, Washington D.C. Have fun!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 15, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters