The Corner

John Lewis Boycotted George W. Bush’s Inauguration, Too

Georgia representative and civil-rights leader John Lewis announced last week that he will boycott President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20. “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president,” Lewis told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. “You cannot be at home with something that you feel that is wrong, is not right.”

Since Lewis announced his boycott of the inauguration, and Trump subsequently denounced Lewis as “all talk, talk, talk — no action or results,” the ranks of Democratic representatives staying home rather than witnessing the peaceful transition of power have swelled to over two dozen.

Newspapers continue to cite the boycott as an unprecedented act. For example, the Sacramento Bee claimed that the boycott was “breaking with generations of past precedent.” And Business Insider erroneously reported that the 2017 inauguration will be “the first time he [Lewis] will miss an inauguration since 1986,” the year he was elected to Congress.

But this isn’t the first time Lewis has boycotted a presidential inauguration. According to a Washington Post article written on January 21, 2001, Lewis and other members of the Black Caucus boycotted George W. Bush’s inauguration because they didn’t “believe Bush is the true elected president.” Lewis spent the day in his Atlanta district.

Austin Yack — Austin Yack is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute and a University of California, Santa Barbara alumnus.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More