An incensed Sen. Cory Booker (D-Newark) mourned an assault on American democracy from the Senate floor as lawmakers reconvened to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol Wednesday.
“I can only think of two times in American history that individuals laid siege to our Capitol, stormed our sacred civic spaces and tried to end and overrun this government,” Booker said. “One was in the war of 1812. And the other one was today.”
For hours, lawmakers hid in offices, their doors barricaded with furniture as Capitol police struggled to remove Trump supporters who smashed windows, charged reporters and set fires outside.
The attack followed weeks of Trump and Republican enablers in congress claiming falsely and without even the pretense of evidence that widespread fraud shaped the election’s outcome.
The former Newark mayor took to task Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who was among the Republicans who refused to certify the election before the attack on the Capitol and used the former spectacle as a fundraising pitch.
“The shame of this day is it’s being aided and abetted by good Americans who are falling prey, who are choosing Trump over truth, who are surrendering to the passion of lies as opposed to standing up and speaking truth to power, who are trying to fundraise off of the shame of conspiracy theories as opposed to doing the incalculably valuable, patriotic thing to speak truth to our nation,” Booker said.
Though damaged, American democracy was not broken Wednesday, he said, and the nation — its leaders most of all — must find a way to continue.
“What we should say now, commit ourselves to that ideal, that together, we shall overcome,” Booker said.