‘We are not keeping our democracy shut this year!’ Amy Klobuchar slams GOP’s anti-democratic actions

SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR: I could choose to start by taking on his interpretation of history because of the fact that the only other time that we have had a justice die this close to an election was when Abraham Lincoln—a wise wise leader—was President. What did he do?

He waited until after the election.

Sen. Klobuchar is referring to then-President Lincoln’s nomination, a month after he was reelected to office, of Salmon P. Chase to the Court in 1864.

SEN. KLOBUCHAR: What is unique in your words, Senator Cruz, about this situation: People are voting right now. Democracy is happening right now and we in this room are supposed to be stewards of this democracy. What else is unique, in your words, about this situation? It is the precedent that was set just a few years ago by the very people sitting here, by the very leader who is still the leader of the Republican Party.

He said this—Mitch McConnell—the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president. Those are the facts that you live with. But to me, none of those arguments even compare to what I just heard and what I must respond to. Our democracy, what’s happening right now.

If you haven’t heard, there’s an election coming up in a couple of weeks. A few things are on the ballot including [does deep dive into the internets], hey! The presidency is up! Klobuchar then talked about Trump’s comments about refusing to commit to a peaceful transition if he is not reelected, and she reiterated Trump’s hypocritical attacks on mail-in voting. 

SEN. KLOBUCHAR: Well, guess what, I will not concede that this is going to end up in court. You know why? Because the people are voting in droves right now. They are voting all over this country because President Trump is behind in states, in red states that no one even thought he could be behind in. Why? Because the people of this country are fighting back because they know what’s on the line. Do I think this is a tragic death at this moment? Yes, it’s tragic because we lost this woman who is an icon way ahead of her time, someone who opened doors for women at a time when so many insisted on keeping them shut.

Klobuchar then reminds the Senate of the kind of character and integrity the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had, and how she exhibited it throughout her life, and how RBG is exactly the kind of inspiration our Democracy needs at this very moment. And she circled that back around to smack the least-liked person in the Senate: Ted Cruz.

SEN. KLOBUCHAR: She then goes to the Supreme Court, is respected across the land, becomes a cultural icon with her own hashtag—Notorious RBG—in her 80s. She never gave up and I am not going to give up on this democracy. Despite these false lies about the Democratic candidate for president, it is President Trump who chose to clear out peaceful protesters and wave a Bible in front of a church.

It is President Trump who after Charlottesville said there are two sides. Well, there’s not two sides when one side is the Ku Klux Klan. It is President Trump who has put out there that military and soldiers should be at the voting places in a pure attempt to suppress the vote. So don’t go telling the people on this committee who know better, who is the divisive person, who is the one that has been inciting violence in this election.

And Klobuchar really brings it back to the elections at hand, to the fact that people are voting and there are serious issues on the ballot, affecting hundreds of millions of people, and a Republican Party with zero answers, impotent with corruption.

SEN. KLOBUCHAR: They are voting on health care right now. The fact that we have a court case out of Texas that is coming up for oral argument on November 10th, in which yes, preexisting conditions are on the line because the argument was made that the whole Affordable Care Act should be thrown out. You cannot just fix that when you haven’t been able to even take up the Heroes Act to do something about the pandemic. Yet, in fact, we see that we’ve got time to ram through a Supreme Court hearing in two weeks instead of spending those two weeks to actually take up the Heroes Act and help the people of this country.

What else is on the line? Well, civil rights is on the line when you look at the decisions and all the money that has flowed into our politics from the outside as a result of this current court’s decision that is dominated by nominees put forward by Republican presidents.

Women’s rights. Oh, yeah, they are on the line and as those fires were blazing on the West Coast of our country, even the right to regulate our environment and do something to protect our air and water, that is on the line. So this hearing will not be divorced from what is happening right now because this president has put it right in the middle of a political campaign.

That’s his choice, not our choice.

Senator Klobuchar ends by diagnosing the very real theater being perpetrated on the American public by Republicans like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, and providing the very real antidote to this poison: democracy.

SEN. KLOBUCHAR: So, I don’t see this as theater as you describe, Senator Cruz. I see this as the real world. I see this deeply personally because I know that we have a president in place that knew that this virus was deadly. He knew that it was airborne and yet my family, we were just trying to clean off the surfaces all the time and wash our hands. And then my husband ends up in the hospital with COVID on oxygen because this president didn’t share with us the information he had at the time. All of that is going to be on the line.

So we will look at this nominee and we will look carefully at this nominee. That is our job, but we cannot get away from the fact that the process that puts her before us will be one that is not respecting the democracy that we are supposed to cherish.

So I just—I have listened to this for too long and I think the American people see through this raw use of political power. That is why they’re voting in droves. So if you think you can get away from this just by trying to get this nominee through and no one’s going to notice what she stands for or what her views are and how that’s going to play into decisions that are made that affect people’s lives? They already know. They’re voting now.

We are voting. We are voting now. We are voting tomorrow. We are voting until democracy prevails.

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