"The Squad," compromised of progressive Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are at odds with one another over whether or not to attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Both Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley decided they were going to skip the address, something that is usually considered a "protest."
According to AOC, the decision was "deeply personal" and one she "did not take lightly."
After much deliberation, I have decided that I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump’s lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2020
None of this is normal, and I will not legitimize it.
Consequently, I will not be attending the State of the Union.
This is a deeply personal decision for each member to make, and a choice I did not take lightly.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2020
I will be hopping on Instagram Live later this evening to connect with my constituents and follow up with their questions about #SOTU.
Pressley said she would not attend the "sham" State of the Union because she believes President Trump " incessantly stokes fear in people of color, women, healthcare providers, LGBTQ+ communities, low-income families, and many more. He does not embody the principles, the responsibility, the grace, nor the integrity that is required of the President of the United States."
In her statement, Pressley chided Senate Republicans for "covering up transgressions and spreading misinformation."
Interestingly enough, Omar and Tlaib decided to show up to the address. According to Omar, her showing up is her version of resistance (whatever that means).
She shared similar views as Pressley, particularly about "hate" and "fear."
It’s no secret that this president has routinely targeted religious and ethnic minorities.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 4, 2020
He has fanned the flames of hate against refugees, Muslims, Africans, immigrants, women and all racial and religious minorities.
He is routinely and openly hostile to any legitimate Congressional oversight.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 4, 2020
He has made clear his wanton corruption by soliciting a bribe from a foreign government for his personal political gain.
His partisans in the Senate are placing their personal interests ahead of the country by blocking a fair trial on his conduct.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 4, 2020
This impeached president is not legitimate.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 4, 2020
I am attending tonight’s address not to confer any legitimacy on his actions, his statements, or his presidency.— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 4, 2020
I am attending on behalf of all of those targeted by this President to say, ‘We are greater than hate.’
My presence tonight is resistance.
Tlaib also decided to attend but plans to "protest" by wearing white along with other members of Congress. Apparently this is their way of "showing solidarity" or whatever it is they do.
"There is no right or wrong way to protest." --@ayannapressley— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) February 4, 2020
I'm joining my sisters in Congress in wearing white--my white #PalestinianThobe--to #SOTU. Being #unapologeticallyMe is my way of protesting this #ImpeachedPresident. pic.twitter.com/S8bHJPyDpz
Regardless of members of Congress feel about President Trump, they should all show up and hear his address. It's one of their obligations that comes with the job. They should listen to what Trump has to say, not because they want to but because their constituents elected them to do so. They don't have to like Trump or his policies but they should at least hear his accomplishments. Who knows. Maybe they'd have something to report back to their constituents other than impeachment nonsense.