Newly elected Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke today in the Senate about the need for accountability and resistance to a Trump administration. Schumer broadly criticized the president-elect's reckless simplification of complex issues, saying that this is no time to resolve issues in 140-character tweets, and promised to "hold President-elect Trump accountable to the finest instincts of what America has always stood for."
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 3, 2017
…challenges too entrenched for mere tweeting. Making America great again requires more than 140 characters per issue. With all due respect, America cannot afford a Twitter presidency. We have real challenges and we have real needs to get things done. And many Americans are afraid, Mr. President-elect, that instead of rolling up your sleeves and forging serious policies, for you, Twitter suffices. There’s nothing wrong with using Twitter to speak to the American people. It’s a good use of modern media. But these issues are complex and demand both careful consideration and action. We cannot tweet them away.
In his first speech in the new session of Congress, newly minted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) took the time to outline the importance of resistance among the Democratic members of Congress under a Trump presidency. Calling for the Democratic caucus to work together in resisting Trump when he “appeals to the baser instincts that diminish America and its greatness,” Schumer demonstrated a resolute posture of accountability and resistance that will be the model for Democrats moving forward.
Weaving a careful line between fiery resistance and calls for unity and understanding, Schumer called Democrats to return to what the party “has always stood for … economic justice.” He reminded Democrats in both houses that they work for the American people, and that ensuring economic mobility and opportunity remain of utmost importance under a Trump presidency.
And, in a powerful moment directed at the president-elect himself, Schumer demarcated a laundry list of campaign promises Trump had made, promising that the Democratic minority in Congress would continue to hold his feet to the fire. “The Senate has a rich, bipartisan tradition,” he said, “of being a constitutional check on presidents of both parties. … That sacred constitutional duty of holding the president accountable to the law must continue. And Democrats will make sure of it.”
Schumer talked of the struggle ahead and the great work Democrats have done in the past to create opportunities and inclusion on the highest levels. He pledged to resist Trump’s appeals to “baser instincts” that have too often taken hold in America, and promised that Democrats would be there to help those marginalized by Trump’s policies:
While we respect the office of the presidency, we won’t hesitate for a moment to call out the person occupying that office if he demeans women, or Muslims, or Latinos, or our friends in the LGBT community. And if allies or aides to the president demean a group of Americans, we won’t hesitate for a moment to demand that our new president condemn these comments. Not sidestep them. Not simply distance himself from them. Condemn them. Pointedly and roundly. … We will hold President-elect Trump accountable to the finest instincts of what America has always stood for.
He also took the time to lambaste his Republican colleagues in the Senate for staying silent on Trump’s tweeted praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s role in hacks that may have changed the course of the 2016 election.
This speech was not mere apologies and promises to do better from a defeated Democrat party; it offered a robust resistance to dangerous ideology and a pledge for accountability of every kind. As he has consistently done since the election, Schumer today showed us what Democratic resistance will look like under the Trump administration.