- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Rep. Gwen Moore announced Wednesday that she would not join fellow Democrats in boycotting the inauguration because she wanted to stand before President-elect Donald Trump as the face of “The Resistance.”

More than 50 Democratic House members have vowed to boycott the inauguration Friday, with many of them declaring him an “illegitimate president.”

Ms. Moore, Wisconsin Democrat, said she supports her colleagues decision to boycott but that she feared Mr. Trump would turn it to his advantage.

“Knowing how he operates, I suspect President-elect Donald Trump will use this expression of free speech as an excuse to bypass Democrats and to push his extreme agenda with utter impunity,” Ms. Moore said in a statement. “With that in mind, I refuse to be a pawn in the president-elect’s efforts to rally support from congressional Republicans. As a proud Democrat, I want President-elect Trump to see me front and center as he’s sworn in. I want him to see exactly what his opposition looks like. When he sees me, I want him to see The Resistance.”

The inauguration has become a lightning rod for protests, with as many people expected to be demonstrating Mr. Trump’s swearing-in as coming to celebrate what is billed as a peaceful transfer of power.

The boycott movement gained steam after civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat, announced over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend that he would not attend and declared Mr. Trump’s presidency illegitimate because of Russian email hacking during the campaign.

Mr. Trump’s forceful response on Twitter prompted Democrats to accuse the president-elect of being racially insensitive.

Ms. Moore said that her decision to attend was not made easily.

“I weighed my responsibility as an elected official against my disgust over the president-elect’s vile tactics employed to ascend to the presidency and the disrespectful treatment of revered civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis,” she said,

“It’s no secret that I find President-elect Trump and his policies repugnant and anathema to my efforts to pursue social justice, and I know a majority of my constituents feel the same,” she said. “In November, Milwaukee sent a strong, clear message that Donald Trump was the wrong man to lead our country. I intend to deliver that message with my presence at the Presidential Inauguration and serve a symbol of opposition, not normalization.”

Ms. Moore’s Milwaukee district did overwhelmingly support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton but Mr. Trump narrowly won the state of Wisconsin, turning it red for the first time since 1984.

Another member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, also announced that he was going to the inauguration. He said the event is “bigger than President-elect Trump.”

“There are so many people who came before me who struggled so that African-Americans could be full participants in our democracy. I believe that I honor their sacrifice by asserting my democratic right to attend an inauguration,” the Maryland Democrat said in a statement.

“It is a chance for the world to witness our nation’s greatest ritual: the peaceful transfer of power,” he said. “As millions of Americans witness the event, I want them to know that there will be Members of Congress present who will be vigilant to ensure that the Trump Administration is held to the highest ethical standards. Our democracy is the strongest in the world because our powerful executive is checked by an equally powerful legislative branch.”

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