Leftist firebrand Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) announced Monday he will not attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address because, he said, President Trump “not worthy of the dignity and respect accorded to his predecessors.”
“I have not attended prior Trump State of the Union addresses, and won’t attended Tuesday night’s, because I don’t believe the President has the character or veracity necessary to address Congress from that august podium and is not worthy of the dignity and respect accorded to his predecessors. The House chamber has hosted the likes of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama,” he said in a statement; adding:
I didn’t attend his first State of the Union after he told the country that there had been ‘very fine people on both sides’ of the right-wing extremist rally in Charlottesville in August 2017 that featured the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis. That spurred me to introduce articles of impeachment later that year. Last year, he promised to end the AIDS epidemic and cure childhood cancer ‘very shortly.’ Mexico still hasn’t paid for his border wall. At this point, according to The Washington Post, Donald Trump has told more than 16,000 lies.
It is clear that the President committed the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for which he was impeached. Senator Lamar Alexander called this conduct ‘inappropriate.’ I call it illegal and impeachable. When the Senate votes on Wednesday not to convict the President, we will all see the prediction Russian leader Nikita Khruschev made in 1956 – ‘we will destroy you from within’ – come to pass. Trump continues to pitch Khruschev’s successor Vladimir Putin’s propaganda CrowdStrike conspiracy canard. Senate Republicans did not want witnesses at the impeachment trial. I will not be a witness to puffery and prevarication flowing while our Constitution and our laws are disrespectfully and dangerously flouted. While I will always respect the office of the President, its current inhabitant demonstrates daily that he does not. (emphasis added)
In his touting of why he eschewed the 2017 State of the Union, Cohen repeated the “fine people” hoax – a false restatement of President Trump’s remarks shortly after what is often referred to as “the Charlottesville riot.” As documented by Scott Adams:
The press created the hoax by consistently and intentionally omitting the second half of President Trump’s comments about Charlottesville. If you only see or hear the first half of what the president said, it looks exactly like the president is calling neo-Nazis “fine people.” But in the second part of Trump’s comments, he clarified, “You had people in that group who were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of the park from Robert E. Lee to another name.”
In other words, the president believed there were non-racists in attendance who support keeping historical monuments. To remove all doubt, the President continued with “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay?”
Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if the President’s assumption about the attendees was accurate or not. He clearly stated his assumption that some people were there for the monument protest, which he contrasted to the racists who were there to march and chant racist stuff. The New York Times interviewed a member of the non-marchers who said they did not stand with the racists. They cared about guns and free speech. See for yourself, here and more background on that group here.
Cohen was first elected to U.S. Congress in 2006 after serving in the Tennessee State Senate for 24 years, replacing Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.. Though best known for his service on the House Judiciary Committee, he also serves on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; and Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The veteran incumbent is currently running for his eighth term.