Press: Biden inauguration: Don’t invite Trump
Once again, the “lame-stream media” gets it wrong. Since he has yet to recognize Joe Biden as the president-elect, cable news and newspapers are falling all over each other speculating on whether or not Donald Trump will even show up for Joe Biden’s inauguration. Or will he become only the fourth president — after John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson — who refused to show up for the inauguration of his elected successor?
No, no, no. That’s the wrong question. The right question is not “Will he show up?,” but “should Donald Trump even be invited to Joe Biden’s inauguration?” And the right answer is — a great, big: “Hell, no!”
Let’s remember what the inauguration is. It’s not just the official swearing-in of the next president. That could be done, and has been done, anywhere: in a private home, on an airplane, in the Oval Office. It’s a lot more than that. A presidential inauguration is the visible manifestation of who we are as a people. It’s the public symbol of the smooth transition of power in a democracy from one administration to the next.
On the inaugural platform are the leaders of all three branches of our government: Supreme Court, House, Senate and White House. Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, women, men, young, old, they only have one thing in common: They all accept the man about to take the oath of office as the next legitimate president of the United States.
That’s the only ticket they need to take part in the festivities. And that’s the one ticket Donald Trump does not have. Seven weeks later, even after every state has certified the results of the election and the Electoral College has awarded Joe Biden 306 electoral votes, Trump has still not acknowledged that Biden won the election — and there’s no chance he will before Jan. 20. He doesn’t have the necessary ticket. And without that ticket, he doesn’t deserve to be on the stage.
It’s not written in the Constitution, there’s no law requiring it, but we know what tradition demands of an outgoing president, and what decent people like George W. Bush and Barack Obama did. First, accept the results. Second, invite the next president to the White House. In 2016, Obama welcomed Trump to the Oval Office, only two days after the election. In his memoir, “A Promised Land,” Obama describes his first visit to the White House, just six days after his election: “The President and First Lady Laura Bush greeted us at the South Portico, and after the obligatory waves to the press pool, President Bush and I headed over to the Oval Office, while Michelle joined Mrs. Bush for tea in the residence.” Once in the Oval, Obama relates, Bush’s first words were: “So, how’s it feel?”
Not only has Trump done neither of the above, he delayed the beginning of the normal transition for three weeks and prevented Biden from receiving the daily presidential briefing (which a president-elect normally first receives the morning after the election) until Dec. 1.
Meanwhile, Trump continues a relentless campaign to overturn the election — culminating in a heated meeting in the Oval Office last Friday where Trump, egged on by former national security adviser Michael Flynn, reportedly discussed the possibility of invoking martial law and ordering the military to conduct new elections in battleground states he lost!
And, on Jan. 20, we expect him to sit quietly on the sidelines while Joe Biden takes the oath of office and gives his inaugural address? No way! It won’t happen. It shouldn’t happen. Invite everybody else. Don’t invite Trump.
Press is host of “The Bill Press Pod.” He is author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”
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