There are now more than 50 House Democrats — 52, at last count — who have declared that they will not attend the inauguration on Capitol Hill this week. The number rose sharply after Trump tweeted Saturdaythat Lewis (D) is “all talk, talk, talk” and should “finally focus on the burning and crime infested inner-cities.”
Rep. Karen Bass made her decision about attending by putting it to a vote on Twitter.
After receiving an overwhelming response on the twitter poll, I've decided not to attend the inauguration of President-elect Trump. pic.twitter.com/ig4kFn0GGH
— Congressmember Bass (@RepKarenBass) January 17, 2017
The remainder of the Democrats refusing to attend the inauguration seem to be offering a mix of three main reasons. First, there are those who are offended by Trump’s comments about Rep. John Lewis:
— Yvette D. Clarke (@RepYvetteClarke) January 14, 2017
Second, there are those Democrats who simply object to Trump and/or his agenda:
The rhetoric + actions of @realDonaldTrump have been so far beyond the pale, I cannot in good conscience participate in this inauguration.
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) January 16, 2017
Third, Russia gets a few mentions as an additional reason not to attend:
I #StandWithJohnLewis. I will not be attending the inauguration. Russian hacking must be investigated and I do not support the repeal of ACA
— Congressman Dwight Evans (@RepDwightEvans) January 16, 2017
National Review points out that this is not the first time Rep. Lewis and members of the Congressional Black Caucus have decided to skip the inauguration of a Republican president. The same thing happened when George W. Bush was inaugurated. From a 2001 Washington Post story:
Some members of the Black Caucus decided to boycott Inauguration Day; John Lewis, for instance, spent the day in his Atlanta district. He thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush’s swearing-in because he doesn’t believe Bush is the true elected president.
I expect the tally of Democrats staying home will continue to increase over the next couple of days and could even hit triple-digits by Friday. Here’s Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez explaining why he won’t attend: