No Thanks! These Democrats Plan To Skip Donald Trump’s Inauguration

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As President-elect Donald Trump scrambles to find A-list talent to perform at his inauguration, just days away, an increasingly long list of congressional Democrats have declared their intentions to skip the festivities and instead spend the day organizing, participating in their home districts, or simply staying out of the cold.

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)

“Prayerfully, I have decided not to attend the inauguration,” Sewell tweeted on Jan. 18. “I simply cannot accept the blatant disrespect of @repjohnlewis.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ)

“We must stand against Trump’s bigotries,” Gallego tweeted on Jan. 17. “I won’t attend inauguration.”

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)

“My absence is not motivated by disrespect for the office or motivated by disrespect for the government that we have in this great democracy. 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 in this Congress,” Grijalva said in a speech on the House floor on Jan. 13, as quoted by the Hill. “Rather than participate in the inauguration, I will be participating in my district and reaffirming and renewing this democracy and the people that are part of it.”

Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA)

Bass posted a Twitter poll on Jan. 15 asking constituents if she should attend Trump’s inauguration. She confirmed that she will not be attending in a tweet posted Jan. 17.

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA)

In a statement released on Jan. 17, Cárdenas said that he will not attend.

“After serious consideration, I have decided that I will not stand with Donald Trump during his ceremonial inauguration,” Cárdenas wrote. “He has been consistent in his words and actions — he has disrespected countless Americans — women, civil rights leaders, Hispanics, people with disabilities, Muslims, gold star families, African Americans, POWs, and more. I feel this decision best represents my family, constituents, and country.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)

Chu tweeted on Jan. 14 that she plans to skip Trump’s inauguration.

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)

In a video posted to Twitter on Jan. 13, DeSaulnier said that he made the decision not to attend Trump’s inauguration “some time ago.”

“My decision not to attend is more based on what I believe is the sacredness and the sacred trust and honor that all of us have when we hold these offices,” he said. “I think we’re going to have to fight, as we always have, but particularly hard given the evidence so far in the next days and months and years of this incoming administration, to fight to keep our Republic. And that’s what I’ll be doing a week from today.”

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA)

In a statement posted Jan. 7 on Facebook, Huffman wrote that he will not “sit passively and politely applaud” as Trump takes office.

“I do accept the election results and support the peaceful transfer of power, but it is abundantly clear to me that with Donald Trump as our President, the United States is entering a dark and very dangerous political chapter,” he wrote.

“I believe the antidote to Donald Trump is kindness, thoughtfulness, tolerance and inclusion — and the way to defeat his dark political agenda is not to sit around complaining and criticizing; it is through active citizenship, principled resistance and positive counteraction,” Huffman wrote. “I’ll be spending Inauguration Day here in my district doing positive things.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)

“On January 20th, I will not be celebrating or honoring an incoming president who rode racism, sexism, xenophobia and bigotry to the White House,” Lee wrote in a statement released Jan. 12. “On Inauguration Day, I will not be celebrating. I will be organizing and preparing for resistance.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA)

In a statement released Jan. 14, Lieu announced that he will not attend Trump’s inauguration.

“While I do not dispute that Trump won the Electoral College, I cannot normalize his behavior or the disparaging and un-American statements he has made,” Lieu wrote. “I can only hope that Trump will govern differently than he has campaigned. For me, the personal decision not to attend Inauguration is quite simple: Do I stand with Donald Trump, or do I stand with John Lewis? I am standing with John Lewis.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)

Lofgren told the Los Angeles Times that she doesn’t plan to attend. “I acknowledge the fact that he is the incoming president, but I’m not in the mood to celebrate that fact,” she said, as quoted by the Times.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)

“Respect must be earned,” Lowenthal wrote in a statement released on Jan. 18. “Donald Trump, in his attacks on Rep. Lewis, and minorities, and women, and the disabled, has yet done little to earn my respect. For that reason, and in solidarity with those he has attacked, I have decided not to attend the inauguration.”

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)

McNerney’s office confirmed on Jan. 17 that he will not attend Trump’s inauguration.

“I cannot sanction the inauguration by attending the ceremony,” McNerney wrote in a statement released the same day. “Instead, I will be in my district serving my constituents, as I was elected to do.”

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)

“The disparaging remarks the President-elect has made about many groups, including women, Mexicans, and Muslims, are deeply contrary to my values,” Roybal-Allard wrote in a statement. “As a result, I will not be attending the Inauguration.”

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA)

Ruiz told the Desert Sun in an interview published Jan. 16 that he will not attend Trump’s inauguration.

“A real president doesn’t attack the press because they ask tough questions,” he said as quoted in the report. “A real president doesn’t insult and bully celebrities or everyday Americans because they disagree with him. A real president doesn’t use the office to make millions more for his own wealth or his family’s wealth.”

Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA)

“I stand with @repjohnlewis and I will not be attending the inauguration,” Takano tweeted on Jan. 14.

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA)

According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, Vargas said on Jan. 17 that he will spend time praying instead.

“I don’t want to be a hypocrite and pretend like I have respect for him,” Vargas said, as quoted in the report. “We all make mistakes, but the things that he has said, the mocking of disabled people in particular, the things he’s said about Mexicans, it would be very hard for me to be in a place like that celebrating.”

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

Waters tweeted on Jan. 15 that she “never ever contemplated” attending Trump’s inauguration.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

Holmes Norton will not attend Trump’s inauguration because she is recovering from surgery, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)

Hastings wrote in a statement obtained by the Miami Herald that he decided not to attend as “an objection to the demagoguery that continues to define the incoming administration.”

“I have decided to boycott the Inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump and remain in my Congressional district in Florida,” he wrote. “I cannot play a part in normalizing the countless offensive comments that he has made throughout the past year.”

Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL)

In a statement obtained by WFTV, Soto wrote that he was “deeply disappointed with Trump’s attacks against civil rights hero John Lewis and will not be attending the inauguration as a result.”

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

Wilson will not attend Trump’s inauguration because her goddaughter’s wedding is scheduled for Saturday, according to a report by the Tampa Bay Times.

She acknowledged that her constituents “have been calling and emailing” asking her not to attend.

“They’re disturbed,” she told reporters, as quoted by the Times.

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

In an interview preview aired Jan. 13, Lewis said that he does not view Donald Trump as a “legitimate president” who won the election on his own terms and does not plan to attend Trump’s inauguration.

“You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right,” he said.

Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL)

“The reason I am not going is that I cannot bring myself to justify morally or intellectually the immense power we are placing in that man’s hands,” Gutiérrez said Jan. 20 on the House floor. “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.”

Gutiérrez said that he will join his wife Soraida Gutiérrez in participating in the Women’s March on January 21 in Washington.

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)

Lipinski said in a statement that “he preferred to work in his district and spend time with his wife,” according to a report by the Chicago Tribune.

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL)

A spokesperson for Quigley said in a statement obtained by the Chicago Tribune that he “fully supports the peaceful transfer of power, but has chosen to spend the … week with those who have elected him.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

“I have decided to join the growing group of my colleagues who will boycott this Friday’s Inauguration,” Schakowsky tweeted on Jan. 18.

Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN)

“I historically have not attended inauguration ceremonies, and will not be attending the ceremony this Friday,” Viclosky said in a Jan. 17 statement obtained by the Chicago Tribune.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY)

“President-elect Trump has continually denigrated the office of the President by using his bully pulpit for insult and ridicule,” Yarmuth wrote in a statement released Jan. 16. “We must send the message that this behavior is not acceptable from the leader of our nation. Not attending the Inauguration is one way for me to do that.”

Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA)

“While I have great respect for the Office of the President and I accept the results of the election, I will not attend the Inaugural,” Capuano tweeted on Jan. 18. “Instead I am holding an open house at my Cambridge District Office.”

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA)

“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,” Clark tweeted on Jan. 5. “After discussions with my hundreds of constituents, I do not feel that I can contribute to the normalization of the President-elect’s divisive rhetoric by participating in the Inauguration.”

Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD)

“Skipping Inauguration,” Brown wrote in a tweet posted Jan. 16. “I respect the office, can’t tolerate disrespect.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

“I cannot bring myself to go,” Raskin wrote in a statement released Jan. 16. “I cannot risk my presence at his inauguration being interpreted as any kind of endorsement of the normality of our situation.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

“President-elect Trump’s actions go beyond any kind of reasonable debate—they threaten the constitutional values our country is based on,” Pingree said in a statement released Jan. 16. “I won’t dignify or normalize those threats by standing by at his ceremony.”

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)

Conyers tweeted on Jan. 14 that it was time for Trump to “grow up.” His office later confirmed to to CNN that Conyers will not attend Trump’s inauguration.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)

Ellison wrote in a Jan. 16 post on Twitter that he “will not celebrate a man who preaches a politics of division and hate” and will not attend the inauguration.

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO)

Clay’s spokesman said that the congressman will be “back home in St. Louis speaking to school kids” instead of attending Trump’s inauguration, according to a Jan. 13 report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MI)

According to a report by the Clarion-Ledger, Thompson will skip the inauguration.

“Mr. Trump’s recent insensitive and foolish remarks about civil rights hero John Lewis were far beneath the dignity of the Office of the President,” Thompson’s legislative director Cory Horton said as quoted in the report. “Additionally, Congressman Thompson continues to have concerns about the role that Russia had in our country’s democratic process.”

Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC)

“I cannot in good faith and consciousness pretend to celebrate the inauguration of someone who has spoken so horribly about women, minorities and the disabled,” Adams wrote in a statement posted to Twitter on Jan. 17. “Instead, I am staying home to continue working toward our priorities and to meet with constituents, many of who are fearful of what lies ahead.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)

On Jan. 17, Butterfield tweeted that he will not attend, citing Trump’s “brand of division & insult.”

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)

“Instead of going to the Inauguration, I will go to religious services and pray for all of our country’s leaders and our people,” Shea-Porter wrote in a Facebook post on Jan. 16. “Then, I will go to work to serve the people of my district.”

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)

Watson Coleman told attendees at a town hall meeting on Jan. 14 that she does not plan to attend, according to a report by TAPinto.net.

“I do not intend to attend the upcoming inauguration of the President of the United States,” she said, as quoted in the report. “When this inauguration is taking place, we will pray for our country and the most vulnerable people, and we will pledge to stand together against evil wherever we see it, even if it comes out of the White House.”

Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ)

“Donald Trump will be our president,” Payne wrote in a statement he tweeted on Jan. 17. “But I will not celebrate his swearing-in to an office that he has proven unfit to hold.”

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY)

Clarke cited Trump’s tweets attacking Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) on Jan. 14 in her announcement the same day.

Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)

In a post published to his Facebook page on Jan. 14, Espaillat cited Trump’s campaign rhetoric and his Cabinet nominees.

“I am not attending the presidential inauguration,” he wrote. “Donald Trump and the hate-filled rhetoric that plagued his election simply will continue in his administration. THIS is not Dr. King’s Dream!”

Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)

“The President-elect must get the message that his antagonistic and divisive comments are unacceptable. We cannot tolerate attacks on women, minorities or a civil rights icon,” Meng wrote in a statement released on Jan. 18. “I will work with Mr. Trump whenever possible, but this weekend I march.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

“I stand with @repjohnlewis,” Nadler tweeted on Jan. 14. According to the Gothamist, his spokesperson later confirmed that Nadler plans to skip the inauguration.

Rep. José Serrano (D-NY)

In a Jan. 12 post on Instagram, Serrano wrote that he will not attend and “cannot celebrate the inauguration of a man who has no regard” for his constituents.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)

Slaughter announced in a statement released Jan. 17 that she will “stand with” Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) in his boycott of the inauguration.

Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)

Velázquez tweeted on Jan. 9 that she plans to attend the Women’s March on Jan. 21. She also cited the tone of Trump’s campaign.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

“I will be at home in Cleveland,” Fudge tweeted on Jan. 15.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Blumenauer wrote in a Jan. 7 post on Facebook that he will “forgo the inauguration” and spend the day talking with constituents to “prepare for the coming assault on the values and programs we hold dear.”

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

In a statement obtained by Oregon Public Broadcasting, DeFazio said that he typically avoids “pomp and circumstance events in Washington” and will not be at Trump’s inauguration.

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR)

“I’m just not a big Trump fan,” Schrader said, as quoted by Oregon Public Broadcasting. “He hasn’t proved himself to me at all yet, so I respectfully decline to freeze my ass out there in the cold for this particular ceremony.”

Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA)

“Can I sit by mere yards away and applaud the desecration of the most important office in the history of the world?” Boyle wrote in a Jan. 16 post on Facebook. “I have concluded I cannot participate in this Inaugural celebration.”

Rep. Robert Brady (D-PA)

Brady announced on Jan. 16 his plans to skip the inauguration, according to a report by WPVI.

“I’m not going to go to the Inaugural,” he said, as quoted in the report. “I want to support John Lewis, he’s a personal friend of mine.”

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA)

Doyle wrote in a tweet posted Jan. 17 that he will not attend.

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA)

“I will not be attending the inauguration,” Evans tweeted on Jan. 16. “Russian hacking must be investigated and I do not support the repeal of ACA.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)

Cohen wrote in a Jan. 16 Twitter post that he will not attend the inauguration “out of respect for @repjohnlewis & for unpresidential remarks.”

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX)

Castro announced his plans to skip the inauguration in a statement released Jan. 17.

“Winning an election does not mean a man can show contempt for millions of Americans and then expect those very people to celebrate him,” Castro wrote in the statement. “I will not attend this year’s inauguration ceremony.”

Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX)

“I will not be attending the inauguration this Friday,” Doggett wrote in a Jan. 17 Facebook post. “We are in for a long struggle that must strategically utilize every nonviolent opposition tool available.”

Rep. Al Green (D-TX)

In a statement released Jan. 16, Green wrote that he will not attend the inauguration “because conscience says it is the right thing to do.”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA)

In a statement posted to Twitter on Jan. 16, Beyer wrote that he “will not be part of normalizing or legitimizing” Trump.

“His values and his actions are the antitheses of those I hold dear,” Beyer wrote. “It would be the height of hypocrisy for me to pretend to be part of this inaugural celebration.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA)

“I cannot attend the inauguration of Donald J Trump,” Connolly wrote in a statement released Jan. 18. “The sordid aspects of his behavior must not become the new normal for America or her presidents.”

Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA)

“I’m not sure what there is to celebrate,” McEachin wrote in a statement released on Jan. 18. “I simply cannot participate in this celebration of pomp, pageantry and parade.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

Jayapal said in a Jan. 14 tweet that she plans to host an immigrant roundtable in her district and will attend the Women’s March on Jan. 21 instead of attending.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA)

In a statement obtained by Seattle NBC affiliate KING 5 News, Smith said that he will spend Inauguration Day in Washington state working out of his local office and meeting with constituents.

“I’m not not going to the inauguration as a statement,” Smith said in a Jan. 16 interview with The Stranger. “I’m not going because I’d prefer to be home.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)

Pocan posted a statement to Twitter on Jan. 15 citing Trump’s tweets about Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and the contents of a classified report on Russian hacking related to the election.

“I am no longer attending the event,” he wrote. “At minimum, it’s time for Donald Trump to start acting like President Trump, not an immature, undignified reality star with questionable friends and a Twitter addiction. I hope for better, but will not hold my breath.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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