Mount Vernon When a member of the House of Representatives enters office, he or she is required to take the following oath:
“I, (state your name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Two of our local representatives, Don Beyer Jr. and Gerald Connolly, joined in on the Congressional boycott of Donald Trump's inauguration. I question whether this act complied with the oath of office in which these representatives swore to "bear true faith and allegiance" to our Constitution.
At the heart of the American experience is the peaceful transfer of power from one President to the next President. This is in accordance with the Constitution. Citizens have the right to expect that their elected representatives will represent them by their presence at this solemn ceremony.
Neither of these representatives was elected unanimously. In fact, in the case of Mr. Beyer, over 110,000 voters voted for someone other than him. Mr. Connolly ran unopposed but, remarkably, 34,185 voters wrote in someone other than him.
Once elected, these representatives represent every voter and every non-voter in their districts. I consider their absence at the inauguration ceremony to be a dereliction of their duty to represent their districts, each of which includes about 700,000 people. While they should be ashamed of themselves, their voting records, virtually in lockstep with that of Nancy Pelosi, lead me to the conclusion that they have no shame.
H. Jay Spiegel