As the transition of power from President Donald Trump to President-elect Joe Biden becomes imminent, Republicans were swiftly rebuked for their seemingly hypocritical praise of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the day he is recognized nationally for his civil rights work.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other GOP party members took to Twitter to pay tribute to the late civil rights icon. They were quickly gathered by Democrats and Twitter users alike – specifically for their actions regarding the 2020 presidential election.
“Today, we honor one of our nation’s great heroes. Dr. King called on America to truly fulfill our founding principles and provide justice and opportunity for all,” McConnell wrote on Twitter. “His work and his example have brought us a long way, and they inspire us to keep working.”
Today we honor one of our nation’s
great heroes. Dr. King called on America to truly fulfill our founding principles and provide justice and opportunity for all. His work and his example have brought us a long way and they inspire us to keep working. pic.twitter.com/nOKGJS1Jlb
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) January 18, 2021
One Twitter user quickly reminded McConnell to keep his words about King to himself.
You stand with white supremacists. You do not honor Dr King pic.twitter.com/4VQYYmegex
— Renee (@ReneeRevelation) January 18, 2021
Another user mentioned that McConnell blocked everything former President Barack Obama proposed during his time as the nation’s leader.
You singlehandedly blocked everything our only black president proposed. How can you even post this?
— reva raju MD (@tennisreva) January 18, 2021
Graham also caught heat after he posted a tribute.
“In these troubled times, we need to pursue Dr. King’s dream for America with passion and vigor. The words of his ‘I Have a Dream’ address mean as much today as when they were delivered. Dr. King is a true American inspiration,” Graham wrote.
Kyle Griffin, a senior producer at MSNBC, didn’t hold back from mentioning that Graham actively tried to suppress Georgia’s votes during the recent presidential election.
Lindsey Graham tried to get Georgia's secretary of state to throw out vast numbers of legally cast mail ballots.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 18, 2021
That wasn't all, a Twitter user reminded Graham of his own political legacy.
You just spent the last 4 years as the lead lickspittle for a racist.
The birther who called for the execution of the Central Park 5, called Nazis “very fine” & told Congresswomen of color to “go back” to their countries, is a racist.
And you know it.
You don’t get to quote MLK. pic.twitter.com/8EsU0aj8ge
— Jo (@JoJoFromJerz) January 18, 2021
The Twitterverse didn’t allow Cruz to post and leave unscathed either.
As he tweeted about King’s legacy and freedom, the 50-year-old politician was harangued by users who didn’t allow him to forget about his alleged role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
“Now more than ever, we are reminded of the power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, calling on all of us to have ‘the courage to face the uncertainties of the future,’ as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom,” Cruz wrote.
Now more than ever, we are reminded of the power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, calling on all of us to have ‘the courage to face the uncertainties of the future,’ ‘as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom.’
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 18, 2021
Television writer David Slack had time to gather Cruz.
You just tried to throw out millions of votes by Black and Brown Americans and helped incite a violent attack on our capitol to prevent their votes from being counted. Stop giving hollow lip service to MLK quoted and resign, traitor.
— David Slack (@slack2thefuture) January 18, 2021
Another Twitter user implied Cruz needed to keep King’s name out of his mouth because of the insurgence at the Capitol.
You got some nerve to quote MLK after what you & Hawley did smh…What happened on Capitol Hill is your fault as well as others who questioned our democracy. MLK wouldn’t be pleased.
— Quen Smith (@Quen231) January 18, 2021
CNN’s Jake Tapper clapped back at Trump’s press secretary for having the audacity to honor King, as well.
Former Sr Admin Official: “Such a lack of self awareness. She literally stood by and said nothing during an armed insurrection out of fear of her boss.” https://t.co/eaf6Z3Q0ZV
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 18, 2021
Since the presidential election, the Republican party has repeatedly aligned with Trump to disrupt the American voting process. Almost two-thirds of the party entertained Trump’s baseless lawsuit regarding voter fraud, according to The Guardian. The GOP also attempted to block electoral votes that deemed Biden the winner of the election.
However, lower courts dismissed the suit.
“The lawsuit has so many fundamental flaws that it’s hard to know where to start. It misstates basic principles of election law and demands a remedy that is both unconstitutional and unavailable,” Lisa Marshall Manheim, a law professor at the University of Washington, told the publication. “At the core, it’s an incoherent amalgamation of claims that already failed in the lower courts."