'None of this is normal': AOC joins other Democrats in boycott of Trump's State of the Union

'None of this is normal': AOC joins other Democrats in boycott of Trump's State of the Union

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley joined a small but growing list of House Democrats who will skip President Donald Trump's third State of the Union speech, scheduled for 9 pm ET Tuesday.

The impeached president, who could be acquitted by Senate Republicans as soon as Wednesday, is expected to discuss immigration, school choice, and foreign policy, among other topics, according to The Hill.

Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) shared her decision not to attend the president's speech in a pair of tweets, saying that "I will not use my presence at a state ceremony to normalize Trump's lawless conduct & subversion of the Constitution." The congresswoman added she plans to connect with constituents on Instagram Live after the event.

Pressley (D-Mass.) also explained her decision on Twitter. She accused Trump of demonstrating "contempt" for the American public, Congress, and the Constitution, and concluded that she "cannot in good conscience attend tonight's sham."

With their announcements Tuesday, the congresswomen joined a handful of Democrats who also have announced they intend to skip the event in protest of the president's conduct in office.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said on Twitter that attending the address would not be consistent with her "fight and struggle against this dishonorable president."

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas)—who advocated for impeaching Trump over his "bigotry, hatred, and hostility," long before the Ukraine military aid scandal came to light—reiterated his critique of the president in a tweet Tuesday, calling him "reckless, ruthless, lawless, shameless, corrupt, & unapologetically bigoted." Green added that he would not attend the speech Tuesday night.

At least three other House Democrats—Reps. Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Steve Cohen (Tenn.), and Frederica Wilson (Fla.)—also will not be in attendance. The Hill reported that this will be the third year in a row that the trio has opted out of the event.

"I have chosen not to dignify Trump's parade of lies about healthcare, his persistent exaggeration, and his personal attacks with my attendance at this year’s State of the Union Address," Blumenauer said Monday. "His appalling performances each day continue to justify that decision, and I have no doubt tomorrow night will be more of the same—even possibly worse."

Cohen said that he "will not be a witness to puffery and prevarication flowing while our Constitution and our laws are disrespectfully and dangerously flouted." The congressman celebrated that his colleagues were also skipping the speech in a tweet Tuesday, linking to a Washington Post analysis of the thousands of lies that Trump has told while in office.

Some members of the Senate who are seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president also aren't expected to attend Trump's address. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) all have campaign events scheduled in New Hampshire for Tuesday evening. After a rally in Milford that is set to start at 6:30 pm ET, Sanders plans to deliver a response to Trump's speech from Manchester around 10:30 pm ET.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.