This has unfortunately been overshadowed by the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare ...
Thursday afternoon the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) led about 100 Representatives in a walkout to protest the Republican contempt votes against Attorney General Eric Holder. And right there in the front rank with John Lewis and Nancy Pelosi is Alabama's own Terri Sewell. She's on the left, carrying the red bag. Congresswoman Sewell, a Democrat representing the 7th CD, also issued this statement:
“Today’s contempt votes were yet another example of partisan politics and an attempt by House Republicans to discredit the Obama Administration. I could not, in good conscience, participate in such deception and disservice to the American people. To simply vote against the House Resolution does not adequately demonstrate the outrage and disdain that I feel about this unfair and woefully political vote.
I am deeply troubled by this partisan attempt to distract the American people from the critical issues facing our nation. With only 17 legislative days left before summer recess, Congress should be focused on legislation that promotes job creation, protects low interest student loans and invests in our country’s infrastructure.
The House Resolutions to hold the Attorney General in criminal and civil contempt reflect an abuse of power by House Republicans on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. This unprecedented action by House Republicans disregards the fact that there is no evidence that AG Holder authorized, condoned, or knew about gunwalking. Nor has AG Holder lied to Congress or engaged in any cover-up. On the contrary, the Attorney General has willingly complied with the Committee’s request and submitted over 8,000 documents, including all the documents related to the investigation. While I support a full and thorough investigation, this process has been tainted by partisan politics.
The Holder witchhunt is partisan politics at its worst, a controversy ginned up specifically so the Mighty Wurlitzer can rile up the GOP base in an election year. The votes against Holder (who happens to be African-American) were without precedent, pure political theater. The walkout was counter-theater, exactly the response principled Democrats should offer to a political witchhunt.
It's a rare, rare day that such a move is justified. But today was one of those. Because, what the Republicans did was unprecedented, unconscionable, unpardonable and unhinged. The Democrats filing out the doors were precisely the rebuke deserved by the representatives who plunked that outrageous resolution into the hopper.
Alabama is a red state. Unfortunately, our GOP-dominated congressional delegation embarrasses more often than inspires us. But never forget that Alabama also raises up Democrats willing to draw a line and stand firm for their principles. Look at Terri Sewell --wearing her non-designer shoes, marching hand in hand with Rep. John Lewis, voting with her feet against excessive partisanship -- and be inspired.