Ordinarily, political parties will reserve punishments such as censure and endorsement-withdrawal for instances in which elected officials stray far, far off the path. For instance, they get caught with their pants down in a rest stop bathroom or they try to sell their seat in Congress to the highest bidder. It’s true that the Republican Party may try to figure out another path to take if one of their representatives is constantly voting with the Democrats, but that’s a far cry from censuring and punishing them. Political parties are the predominant force in American politics, but they aren’t supposed to outright own the officials who represent them.
But that nuance has escaped the 13th Congressional District Democratic Party Organization in Michigan. They are taking action against State Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit) because, after she recovered from COVID-19 thanks to an assist from hydroxychloroquine, she had the temerity to actually praise President Donald Trump. And in today’s Democratic Party, well, that’s something you just can’t do.
“Thank you for everything that you have done,” Whitsett told Trump while meeting with him at the White House earlier this month. “I did not know that saying thank you had a political line. I’m telling my story and my truth, and this is how I feel and these are my words.”
Point blank, were it not for Trump’s strong endorsement of the controversial drug, it may have never been prescribed to Rep. Whitsett. And if she believes that it played a part in saving her life, why wouldn’t she thank the president, even if she disagrees with literally every word of his agenda? Wouldn’t she want other Americans to know her story? Isn’t that pretty important at a time when we’re all dealing with the same pandemic?
Well, no. Not according to her masters in the Democratic Party.
“At the end of the day, we have political systems,” said Jonathan Kinloch of the local Democratic Party Organization. “We have political parties, and political parties exist for a reason. [Elected Democrats] do not belong to themselves. They belong to the members and precinct delegates of the Democratic Party.”
How about that! We thought they belonged to the voters!
Trump immediately stood up for Whitsett, advising that she “should join the Republican Party.”
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also got in on the fun, tweeting: “What a joke. Remember folks, the narrative can only be against Trump and if you break those rules the left will turn on their own.”
Whitsett, meanwhile, stood her ground.
“I will continue to fight for the city of Detroit and the people in Detroit who need it the most, and that is the black community,” Whitsett said. “We’re the voiceless, and I don’t care who I got to go up against to do that. I’m a Democrat, and I plan on continuing to be a Democrat, but they will change their ways. I have my First Amendment right, and no one will take that away from me.”