Video

Robert Reich: Democrats Need to Stiffen Their Spines

The former secretary of labor has some fighting words for the opposition party.

Photo Credit: Screen Capture / Inequality Media, YouTube

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich criticized Democrats for not standing up to President Donald Trump in a video posted to YouTube and Reich's Facebook page Tuesday.

Reich says he doesn't want to "be impertinent," but he has "some questions for elected Democrats in Washington." 

"Why haven't Democrats more forcefully called out Donald Trump on his conflicts of interest?" he asks, citing Trump's "total failure to put his assets into a blind trust or release his taxes, and his appointment of family members to the White House."

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He also wonders why Democratic leaders haven't insisted on investigations of Trump's Russian ties and the 2016 presidential election recount led by the Green Party.

"Why haven't Democrats pushed back harder and used every procedural tool at their disposal to slow the approval of Trump's terrible Cabinet nominees, the so-called 'Swamp Cabinet'?"

Cabinet members approved so far are Elaine Chao, James Mattis and John Kelly; other Cabinet members with insufficient experience or agendas harmful to progressive causes are getting closer to approval, including Rex Tillerson, Rick Perry, Andrew Puzder, and Betsy DeVos.

The former secretary of labor has a stern message for Democratic leaders:

"I keep hearing Democrats saying they don't want to be too tough on Trump's nominees or policies because they don't want to come across as being sore losers, or having sour grapes, or they want to take the high road. Well, I'm all in favor of being polite, but if there was ever a time for Democrats to stand up and fight back forcefully, it's now. This is not just another conservative administration. This is not a normal president. Donald Trump threatens the integrity of our democracy."

Reich also calls for viewers to contact their congress members: "Democrats have to be tough and loud and make a ruckus, and rally America—now!"

The video was made by Reich's production company Inequality Media in conjunction with MoveOn.org.

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Jenny Pierson is the manager of editorial projects and programs administrator at the Independent Media Institute.