January 7, 2021 David's Desk

What Happened Yesterday

What happened in Washington yesterday was much more than violence against a building. It was an attack on our country, on the very heart of our democracy. 

The Capitol has long stood as a symbol of the strength of our democratic process: government by the people and for the people. Yesterday, violent insurrectionists tarnished that symbol in a manner that our nation has rarely seen before. It is shameful and disgusting that these actions were provoked, emboldened, and praised by the President of the United States and several members of Congress. 

But — and this is an important “but” — our system of government worked. It was far from perfect, and it certainly wasn’t pretty, but after the attacks Congress confirmed what over 80 million of us said loud and clear in the November election: our country needs to be on a new path. We chose Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (in a free and fair election) to lead us through this change. 

President Trump’s seditious attempts to change the outcome of the election failed repeatedly. But his egregious dereliction of duty yesterday reached a new low. For that reason, I feel strongly that President Trump should not be in power. Whether it is through the 25th Amendment or some other means, he can no longer be in that office. No one, including a President, should be able to provoke an insurrection and stand by while it is taking place and not suffer any consequences. 

In the coming weeks, we must assess the failures of yesterday, including the physical security of the Capitol, and those who work and visit there. We also need to have an honest conversation about why the protestors in BLM Plaza were met with violence by law enforcement last summer while many of the Trump-inspired thugs were allowed to storm and remain in our Capitol on Wednesday. If used properly, this can become the centerpiece of a broader conversation about law enforcement reform.  

Today is a new day and a hopeful one. The results of the election were certified, the Electoral College has spoken, and in 13 days, Joe Biden will be sworn in as our next President. Jon Ossoff and my good friend Raphael Warnock will soon join me in Washington. With Democrats in control of both houses of Congress, we will be able to do the work the American people elected us to do.  

Brighter days are ahead.