Democrats are doing the will of the people tonight at the behest of civil rights hero Congressmen John Lewis (D-GA), as they took control of the House floor and began a sit in — demanding a vote for gun violence legislation before the House goes into recess.
During this historic, courageous sit in — Democrats found not only their spine but the knowledge that they carry moral authority on this issue — House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) praised Congressmen John Lewis.
“Thank you for having us. Aren’t we blessed to serve with [Congressman] John Lewis in the Congress?
“Aren’t we blessed to have him as a colleague? Aren’t we blessed to have him as a friend? And the American people – all, all, all the American people have him as a friend. As he was speaking, I was thinking of Dr. King, always, as two of them have done so much for our country. When he went to India to learn about non-violence and civil disobedience, et cetera, that was the gift that he brought back – the non-violence that John has taught us. And in that, the word in Sanskrit ‘Satyagraha’ means two things: it means non-violence and also means ‘insistence for the truth’. And that’s what we’re doing here in a non-violent way: insisting on the truth. And the truth is that we cannot continue to have moments of silence without a plan of action; moments of silence that are a substitute for taking matters into our own hands to make sure we make the American people safe.
“John talks frequently about us being all God’s children and the spark of divinity that is within us. It’s in all those people whose lives were taken, all of their families who are suffering. And outside the Capitol now is a large crowd of people gathered to echo what is happening in here; to bear witness on this insistence on the truth. And let’s take John’s guidance: whatever they want to do in the next few minutes, we are here. We are here after that. We’re here until the truth that is insisted upon and that we have to vote and that they give it a chance to succeed because people’s lives depend on it.
“I want to salute – John, I’m sure you do – all of our Members. They have been so magnificent. The global response we are all receiving to your activism on the Floor today is really – thank you for giving people hope. For giving people hope. People say: ‘Where is hope? I can’t find hope in my life.’ Hope is where it’s always been: sitting there between faith and love. Faith and love.
“We believe that we can make a difference and that we must. That gives people hope in the chariot of love that gives us strength to do our jobs.”
Pelosi spoke to the moral responsibility to take action on gun legislation tonight. This is a huge shift for Democrats, who have been fighting for years for common sense gun legislation like no buy no fly and other ways to close the background check loopholes.
This is the new Democratic party. This is a party that is realizing its power and the fact that it carries the mantle of the only grown-ups in Congress. This action tonight represents this huge shift, not because of the action itself or what fruit it bears, but because Democrats felt empowered to do it.
Democrats felt empowered to speak for the people. Democrats stopped appeasing Republicans and playing victim to relentless Republican obstruction.
This is what a party that leads looks like.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.