Channeling FDR, Rep. Jamie Raskin Corrects Those Across the Aisle: “Just Call Us the Democracy”

I think Jamie Raskin first crossed my radar in 2021 when he served as the impeachment manager for Trump’s second impeachment. He spoke intelligently and with passion and I was impressed. Then he played a large role on the January 6th Committee and again, I was impressed. He is intelligent, but also understands the value of Our friend Annie has a couple of clips of Mr. Raskin’s recent comments to the House Oversight and Accountability Committee that I thoroughly enjoyed … this man has much potential and is living up to it! Thank you, Annie, for sharing his clips and the wit, wisdom, and passion of Representative Raskin!


In these two brief clips, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), in his inimitable way, is trying to get his colleagues across the aisle on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee to refrain from an oft-used slur against Democrats: referring to the Democratic Party as the “Democrat Party.” (This slur has a time-dishonored history; see the PS* below.) Raskin states that the Republicans’ frequent use of it is “an act of incivility.”

This man is now more than half way through chemotherapy for a very serious, but treatable, lymphoma–which does not seem to have sapped his energy and vigor. The cap he is wearing in these videos was given to him by musician Stevie Van Zandt (of Bruce Springstein’s E Street Band) to cover his treatment-balded pate in style.

In the first video, he is responding to Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), who has apparently persisted in using the grammatical error. He also…

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21 thoughts on “Channeling FDR, Rep. Jamie Raskin Corrects Those Across the Aisle: “Just Call Us the Democracy”

  1. I find it fascinating that many on the far right claim that “America isn’t a democracy, it’s a republic“, as if the two are mutually exclusive, and that republicanism is good and democracy is bad. It seems that that is also becoming, or perhaps has already become, the policy of the Republican Party. Hence the incivility towards members of the Democratic Party.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Semantics … technically, it is a “democratic republic”. The U.S. is not a true democracy, but has a democratic foundation. But, few today understand the difference nor care … they would rather engage in a war of words that they don’t even understand. Sigh. Civility is dying out in this nation, as are the democratic pillars that have stood us in good stead for over two centuries. If we stay on the current path, we will become some form of an autocracy within the next ten years. A plutocracy, a oligarchy, or a full-blown dictatorship … we’re on the path to any or all of those.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And technically Aotearoa is a constitutional monarchy, although we don’t have a codified constitution and the monarch can act only on the advice of a Cabinet selected from Members of Parliament – a Parliament that is supreme and the courts don’t have the power to consider the validity of laws enacted by that legislature.

        Yet give me multi-party democracy NZ style where convention and rule of law hold sway over the sham that is lauded by the American right as liberty and freedom in the US.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Your system certainly seems to be working better than ours, so I cannot disagree with anything you say here! I wonder, though, why that is? Is it because of the difference in our histories, our culture … or what?


          • Perhaps it’s because the reason the original settlers left their place of birth was very different and the ideals those settlers held remain embedded in psyche of our respective nations?

            The social conditions of the mid to late nineteenth century Britain (and to a lesser extent Europe) that triggered migration to NZ was very different to those at the time colonies were being established in America. Religious freedom and freedom of thought were significant factors in the migration to America, And the ideals behind those have remained a dominant aspect of “American thought”, even of that reedom extends only to those who agree with you. It was a new social order as a result of agrarian reforms and the industrial revolution with its inherent social inequality that motivated the migration to NZ. New ideas around class, capital vs worker, social justice, social democracy and democratic socialism came with the settlers and we’ve been undertaking “social experiments” ever since – some successfully, some less so.

            If I were to make one observation, it is that America is very big on dogma, principles, ideals, ideologies, creeds etc, be they religious or secular. Americans tend to be ideologues, and at times, even idealogues.

            Kiwis tend to somewhat more pragmatic. They tend to think in terms of goals rather than principles or ideology, and then set out to achieve them using consultation, compromise and consensus. I think being an Idealogue and being willing to compromise and accept consensus are mutual exclusive.

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            • I’m fairly certain that you are at least partly right. In addition to all that, though, the U.S. is also a nation of unrelenting stubbornness. People believe what they will, and then spend their lifetime trying to convert everyone else to their will. In this, the 21st century, far too many Americans ascribe to the value of violence and hatred as a means to achieve their goal. If you don’t agree with them, you are a target. Religion is used as a cudgel, and there are more who are “anti-” something (anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ, anti-womens-rights, anti-whatever than those who ascribe to my own mantra of “live and let live”. I do not understand it, but can see that it is getting worse by the month. In just the last few months, anti-Semitism has increased by some 45+% … and racism is wherever you look. Anti-LGBTQ is becoming a selling point for politicians coast to coast. There was a time when I felt grateful to have been born in this country, but it is no longer a country that I can take any pride in.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Was it Bush Jr who said “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us” or words to that effect? Perhaps an exaggeration, but that seems to be a fairly common American perspective, whereas here it’s more like “If you’re not against us, then you’re not against us”. It’s an attitude that doesn’t make enemies of those who hold a different view.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Well, that phrase has been said many times throughout history, but yes, George W. Bush said it after 9/11, though I don’t recall the exact context. But you’re right … there is no longer a middle ground, a place where ideas are exchanged and compromises hammered out … it’s either “them” or “us” and if something doesn’t change, I think it’s only a matter of time before the two sides come to blows.


  2. Jamie Raskin first crossed my radar in 2006 (before he was elected to his first public office as a Maryland state senator). At the time he was a professor of constitutional law at Washington’s American University, and was testifying at a hearing on a bill that would have defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman only. Republican (of course) state senator Nancy Jacobs objected to same-sex marriage on religious grounds and this exchange took place (as reported by the Baltimore Sun):

    “As I read Biblical principles, marriage was intended, ordained and started by God — that is my belief,” [Jacobs] said. “For me, this is an issue solely based on religious principals [sic].”

    Raskin shot back that the Bible was also used to uphold now-outlawed statutes banning interracial marriage, and that the constitution should instead be lawmakers’ guiding principle.

    “People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don’t put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible,” he said.

    Some in the room applauded, which led committee chairman Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Democrat from Montgomery County, to call for order. “This isn’t a football game,” he said.

    Viral versions of this exchange differ from the Sun’s account, making it a bit snappier, snippier and more personal, but it’s interesting to note that this occurred before Mr. Raskin enterd public life. A lot of people thought that he was the kind of person we needed in office, and evidently the voters of Maryland agreed.

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  3. Jill, I will comment tomorrow when signed in on Annie’s site. This is a needed post. Two things. Since CPAC just completed it should be noted that Donald Trump is the only president to speak there as it has historically been viewed by Republicans as too extreme. Now that the Republican Party has allowed the extreme part to be mainstream running off the moderate folks, I personally do not view as the GOP anymore.

    I do like the pushback of Raskin. Just call them Democracy. As an independent voter and former member of both parties, while not perfect, I view the Democrats as more issue oriented and protective of our Constitution and democracy. I view the once proud Republican Party as adrift, untethered to the truth. People have to swear allegiance to a Big Lie which even Fox News reveals they knew but spread and a what I feel is a seditious acting former president. If people care about our democracy, they should not vote for anyone who swears allegiance to this election fraud BS spawned because a person who was president has too fragile an ego to admit he lost because that would make him what he fears being called most – a loser. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did not realize that Trump was the ONLY president (former president) to speak at CPAC. I haven’t read anything yet about his speech, for I didn’t wish to ruin my Sunday with an upset stomach, but will do so tomorrow. I loved what Raskin said and how he said it. He doesn’t come across as offensive, doesn’t scream or rant, but he gets his point across! The Republican Party was once a party with values, integrity, and reasonableness, but today they are, in my book, a joke, and a bad joke at that.


      • Jill, people need not scream and rant to get the point across. I saw where Jon Stewart disarmed a Republican elected official by asking a simple question as he went on about not allowing transgender folks to endanger the kids. Stewart asked if he knew what the greatest danger to kids in our country was? Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think I saw that, or something similar a few days ago and it made me ponder … the right claims that the LGBTQ community is a danger to their kids, and they would segregate or eliminate them altogether, and yet … they support fully unlimited guns in the hands of every person! How much sense does that make? They are against masks and the Covid vaccine, but pro-gun. 🙄


  4. Pingback: Channeling FDR, Rep. Jamie Raskin Corrects Those Across the Aisle: “Just Call Us the Democracy” | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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