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Congressman Tells Us Why He Left State Of The Union Early (TWEETS/VIDEO)


Last week, Congressman Luis Gutierrez of Illinois turned a lot of heads when he walked out of the House chamber while Donald Trump was still giving his State of the Union address. It initially looked like he was leaving in protest of a president he believes is “explicitly racist.”

But it turns out that it was a lot simpler than that. Gutierrez told his Twitter followers that he just wanted to get to a post-speech interview with Univision on time–and it just happened to be when the Republicans started chanting “USA! USA! USA!”

But that explanation apparently wasn’t enough for a number of Twitter users.

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It also wasn’t enough for Congressman Chris Collins of New York.

While discussing the fallout over Trump declaring Democrats “un-American” and “treasonous” for not applauding him, Collins harped on Gutierrez’ early departure. Watch here.

The congressman from the Buffalo and Rochester suburbs recalled that Gutierrez left soon after Trump declared that we should stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, prompting the chants of “USA! USA!” To Collins’ mind, “that says it all when it comes to the Democratic response.”

But Collins showed his true colors when host Alisyn Camerota played back a clip of fellow Republican Joe Wilson famously yelling “You lie!” at Obama during the 2009 State of the Union address. Collins said–with a straight face–that Wilson was only joking. He claimed to have told Wilson to yell “Now that’s the truth!” during Trump’s speech.

Camerota pounced, pointing out that Wilson’s outburst was “incredibly disrespectful.” She wondered why Collins was harping so much on the Democrats not applauding. Collins responded with a Trumpian dog whistle. He believed that there was a key difference–while Wilson was calling out “something he thought was not truthful,” Gutierrez was “reacting to the president saying we should salute our flag.”

All you need to know about this line is that even Fox News realized it was baloney. Within minutes of Gutierrez tweeting about why he left early, Fox changed the headline in its story about his departure from “Democrat Luis Gutiérrez Storms Out of State of the Union During ‘USA’ Chant” to “Democrat Luis Gutiérrez Walks Out of State of the Union Early.”

But then again, such little things as facts never got in the way of a campaign of hate and dog whistling.

(featured image courtesy Gutierrez’ Facebook)

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Written by Darrell Lucus

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.