Representative Katherine Clark Will Not Attend the Inauguration

Katherine Clark is my representative. I’ve mentioned her before. I like her tons. If you’re looking for tough-as-nails progressive Dems younger than 70, she does not disappoint.

Clark’s January 5 Statement on the Inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump:

I respect the Office of the President and support the peaceful transfer of power. Families in my district are fearful that the anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and divisive promises that drove the Trump campaign will become the policies affecting the health and safety of every American. I had hoped that the President-elect would use the transition period and his appointments to change course and fulfill his promise to be a President for all Americans; however, this has not been the case. After discussions with hundreds of my constituents, I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the Inauguration.

I’m honestly surprised more congresspeople aren’t making this decision, not even for protest reasons but for simple self-protection. You’ve seen Trump’s twitter and what he says at his “thank you” rallies, and you know his speechwriter is the same guy who drafted the inflammatory stuff he said at the Republican convention. How high would you put the odds that he says something wildly offensive and completely false at the innaguration? When that happens, which I think it will, attendees have two options: sit and say nothing (awful) or shout “you lie” Joe Wilson style (awful). Seems like a better move to just not be there.


Kim says: Nice way of putting it. Must be nice to be at the tippy top and been to so many i augurations that it’s no big deal for so many. I absolutely feared Obama’s presidency and still do. I like him as a man and father but his foreign policies are so confusing and hypocritical of what he says. But, if offered a ticket to his inauguration, heck yeah I would go! Would have been cool as heck. At least this representative put it professionally, without dramatics and hypotheticals.

Romie: As far as I know, this would be her first inauguration; she was only elected to the House in 2013. Before that, she lived and worked in Massachusetts, not Washington.

I do think Trump’s inauguration is different from a normal one, though; I’d have jumped at the chance to go to either of George W’s, who I look at about the same way you do Obama – dislike some of the policy, but sincerely appreciate the man. Even though I hate the cold and hate crowds, I think I would have had a good time and felt welcomed! (I would probably also have sung some Texas songs.)

But with Trump, based on the atmosphere at the rallies I watched…no way. It’s a “nope” sense of danger I’ve occasionally gotten about bars or college parties, where maybe nothing at all was going to happen, but I know I couldn’t possibly relax. That is for SURE a hypothetical and nothing like what Rep. Clark is saying. But I get shivers just thinking about the event, like, “don’t walk down that dark alley today.”

Fortunately, it’s totally irrelevant because nobody is inviting me to an inauguration any time soon. I’ll probably make some kind of red, white, and blue dessert on the day-of, because that’s how I party.

Michelle: When George Bush was elected in 2000, I was a Gore supporter and certainly did not politically align with Bush, but I went to the Mall to watch the inauguration since I lived in DC. This feels so different. I am fearful and with the amount of hate I will not even watch the inauguration on TV. I am so disgusted. This will be the first one I don’t watch at all.


Angela E says: I don’t disagree, but I also like the idea of Democrats showing up just to hold the line. I don’t doubt that Trump sees it as capitulation, and I know the Trump enabling press can easily spin it no matter what they do, but I want Hillary and Sen. Warren and Sen. Schumer there. They are the only firewall we have left.

Romie: I’m particularly glad Hillary specifically will be there. I hadn’t realized until now how nervous I am about the actual event; I’ve mostly been thinking “ugh, lame” about the bands and the weather and the dismissal of a parade announcer I like. But actually, lame party is best-case scenario. There are angry people on both sides, who will be talked to to by somebody with a history of gleefully riling up angry people.

Hopefully, that won’t happen. His acceptance speech was a nice one, and there will be tons of security. But there’s part of me that thinks, you know, just let them have a party without us this time. It’s maybe related to the same impulse that led people to say “let’s not talk politics at Thanksgiving or Christmas.”

Angela: I will always trust Hillary to do the most difficult thing the best way possible. I will always trust Trump to do the opposite. Let’s dance!

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