House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has been pushing in recent days to have statues of Confederate leaders removed from the U.S. Capitol. But the longtime congresswoman may find herself blindsided by a recent report that indicates she’s left a key point out of her argument.
Citing a report from Just The News, the Washington Examiner revealed Saturday that nine of the 11 Confederate statues featured in the National Statuary Hall Collection memorialize Democrats. The other two Confederate statues feature independents.
None depict Republicans.
“They must be removed”
“The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy,” Pelosi declared in a letter last week, according to the Examiner. “The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation.”
Pelosi said the statues “pay homage to hate, not heritage.”
“Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals,” the House speaker insisted, according to the Examiner. “They must be removed.”
Pelosi reiterated that position at her weekly press conference Thursday, saying: “The American people know, these names have to go. These names are white supremacists that said terrible things about our country.”
“The states make that decision”
Of course, the House speaker failed to point out which political party these “men who advocated cruelty and barbarism” were affiliated with.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), for his part, took note of this fact. “They were voted upon in the legislature and brought here under Democrat majorities from Mississippi to the other states that she speaks about,” McCarthy said later Thursday, according to Just The News.
McCarthy also said that under federal law, the decision of which statutes are sent to Washington ultimately belongs with the states — a fact similarly highlighted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“Every state is allowed two statues,” he told reporters last week, according to Politico. “They can trade them out any time. A number of states are trading them out now, but I think that’s the appropriate way to deal with the statue issue. The states make that decision.”
“The greatest nation in the world”
As Just The News notes, Democrats are meanwhile pushing for the names of several U.S. military bases named after Confederate leaders to be changed, including Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Benning in Georgia.
President Donald Trump, for his part, has dismissed the idea.
“The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!”