After testifying against Attorney General nominee Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al) using long ago discredited claims of racism earlier this week, Friday Rep John Lewis (D-GA) took aim at the legitimacy of the American presidential election's victor.
NBC News ran a video clip from an interview conducted with Rep Lewis Friday - the beginning of the MLK, Jr. weekend. Looking to incite racial and political divisiveness, Lewis said he would not be attending the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump and that it would be the first one missed since he came to Washington, D.C. "It will be the first one that I miss since I've been in Congress," he said. "You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right." http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/john-lewis-trump-won-t-be-legitimate-president-n706676
Lewis stated that "he does not believe Donald Trump is a "legitimate president," citing Russian interference in last year's election."
"Asked whether he would try to forge a relationship with the president-elect, Lewis said that he believes in forgiveness, but added, "it's going to be very difficult. I don't see this president-elect as a legitimate president." He went on to say that the alleged Russian interference "helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton". That last statement is enough to discredit Lewis' argument - Hillary Clinton destroyed her own candidacy in 2009 when she set up a private personal computer server when she became Secretary of State. That sole action was the root of all her problems in office and during her second run for President.
The predictable happened, as Lewis calculated it would - Trump took to Twitter to push back on Lewis. Democrats and the failed #NeverTrump brigade fought back with indignation - how dare Trump respond to Lewis! In the minds of those suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, Lewis' past civil rights history exempts him from criticism. This is exactly what Lewis knew would happen. You may remember that Trump slammed another American hero, Senator John McCain, during the GOP primary season. Trump's reaction was no surprise. He punches back. Frankly, Democrats are not used to Republicans doing that.
This is the legacy of Barack Obama - President-elect Donald Trump. The country is more divided than ever and much of it has been deliberately encouraged by him and other Democrats looking to retain power. Make no mistake, this is a power grab play, not a statement about civil rights.
The inauguration of an American president celebrates the peaceful transfer of power in our democratic republic. The American experiment is alive and well. We have all been taught to respect the office of the president whether the incoming president was our choice or not. We are Americans. It's what we do. It is to the country's benefit and all of us in it for a president to be successful. The two victories of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 were a punch to the gut for most Republicans. We were told to get over it immediately and give the man a chance. I did. His utter failure in office had nothing to do with his race but we were called racists for 8 years as we opposed his leftist political agenda.
John Lewis is not above criticism. We can respect his efforts in the civil rights movement and call him out for less than honorable statements, especially as an elected official, when he crosses a line.
This whole effort to delegitimize the election victory may feel familiar to you. It is right out of the playbook from 2000 when George W. Bush won that election. Democrats in Congress did the same thing - remember all the banners and buttons that read "he's not my president"? The Congressional Black Caucus disrupted Bush's confirmation in the House of Representatives then, too. Was that racist?
I can insert a couple of bromides here - change is hard. Elections have consequences. Neither make anyone feel any better and both are true. I was one who did give Obama a chance to get through his inauguration and into his first term with as open of a mind as I could muster. The same must be demanded of Trump's opponents now.