When it comes to ambitious Democrats, nothing is written in stone.
Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth took Democratic hypocrisy to new heights over the Fourth of July weekend when she seemed open to the possibility of getting rid of Mount Rushmore, with its 60-foot-high images of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.
But a 5-year-old Twitter post shows Duckworth hasn’t always felt that way. Funny how being a potential vice presidential pick can change a person’s mind.
During an interview with Duckworth on Sunday’s “State of the Union” on CNN, host Dana Bash asked the senator, according to a CNN transcript, if she supported tearing down statues of George Washington because the father of the country was a slave owner.
Such statues would presumably include the four-story likeness of Washington carved into the side of a mountain in South Dakota — and Duckworth’s answer made it clear she had that at least partially in mind. She framed the response as a reply to President Donald Trump’s speech at Mount Rushmore on Friday, during a visit that had been demonized by Democrats.
If even liberal Democrats could put aside politics for a moment, they might find the president’s speech was a deeply moving tribute to the men and women who built this country. But that’s not what Democrats do.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth: “The president at Mt. Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans.” pic.twitter.com/yUP4LqpLk9
— The Hill (@thehill) July 5, 2020
“I think we should listen to everybody. I think we should listen to the argument there,” she said.
“But remember that the president at Mount Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty.”
Those are pretty strong words about an American president and an American monument, and they fit the Democratic iconoclasm of the moment.
But Duckworth apparently felt considerably different about Mount Rushmore in 2015, when she posted a Fourth of July tweet just brimming with patriotic enthusiasm and a vow to visit the monument.
— Tammy Duckworth (@TammyforIL) July 4, 2015
That was before Duckworth got elected to the Senate from the Land of Lincoln in 2016. And it was obviously long before she was being considered in the field of contenders as a running mate for the hyper-woke yet pitifully doddering Joe Biden of 2020.
Back then, Duckworth had to impress voters with her love of country — which shouldn’t have been difficult for a former Army combat pilot who lost both legs when her Black Hawk helicopter was shot down by an enemy rocket-propelled grenade over Iraq in 2004.
Now, however, she apparently has a different mission — to impress Biden and the leftists who’ve taken over the Democratic Party that she’s spiteful enough about her nation’s history to suit even the Black Lives Matter activists and assorted malcontents driving the party’s agenda in this election year.
The blowback was fierce.
“Remember that the President at Mt. Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty.”
—Tammy Duckworth (July 5, 2020)
I wonder what changed in the past 5 years…
(This is why I love the Veepstakes btw) https://t.co/jnXtzGJGLe
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) July 5, 2020
Yeah, but hating Mount Rushmore wasn’t the “cool” thing to do in 2015…
— The tea in Nepal is very hot. (@mrdubya49) July 6, 2020
Wow @TammyforIL really is quite something. Disgusting.
— Dan Goldwasser (@dgoldwas) July 5, 2020
Obama was POTUS and Democrats considered it Bad Form to publicly display their anti-patriotism.
— Skin that smokewagon! (@heatpacker) July 6, 2020
As some social media users pointed out, Biden himself has tried to differentiate between statues of Founding Fathers such as Washington and Jefferson (which he thinks should be protected, according to Newsweek) and those of Confederate figures (which he apparently thinks should be left to the lawless mercy of the lawless mob).
Still, Duckworth knows the audience she’s playing to is bigger than Biden.
As The Washington Post noted in an article published Sunday (headline: “Duckworth emerging as a contender to be Biden’s running mate”), she already checks off the necessary boxes on the Democratic VP list — she’s a woman, she’s “of color” (she has Thai and Chinese heritage through her mother), and as a bonus, she’s a military veteran and a Purple Heart recipient, which could at least provide some cover to the Democrats’ radical left.
But she needs to convince the increasingly restive Democratic activist base, the statue topplers, the Black Lives Matter radicals and the rest of the disaffected rabble that she’s a fitting partner on the Democratic ticket in 2020.
And she needs Biden and the long-term care nursing team that’s managing his campaign to know they know it, too.
If that means she has to accept the smearing of the Founding Fathers, if it means she has to be open to the idea of getting ride of images of American heroes carved into a mountain and expected to last forever, then so be it.
Because when it comes to an ambitious Democrat in 2020, nothing is set in stone.
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