In an appearance on MSNBC Thursday morning in the wake of President Joe Biden's inauguration, author and political analyst Anand Giridharadas implored Democratic lawmakers to bring to an end a "dangerous" state of affairs in which the enemies of democracy, multiculturalism, and progress are the only ones who recognize—and act as if—they are in a fight.
"There is nothing wrong with bringing a sense of fight to politics when you're fighting for justice and a better future."
"I actually think there is a huge problem in this country of only the bad guys having fight in them. You don't actually want a society in which only the people who want to do harm understand themselves to be in a battle," said Giridharadas, who cited as a telling example Sen. Dick Durbin's (D-Ill.) refusal to demand the expulsion of Republican lawmakers who incited the deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Appearing on MSNBC just before Giridharadas, Durbin—the number two Democrat in the Senate—said any disciplinary action against seditionist GOP lawmakers such as Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) for their role in the violent insurrection will be "initiated by the Ethics Committee."
Giridharadas argued that the Illinois Democrat's remarks did not contain anything resembling the "sense of fight" necessary to overcome the threat to democracy posed by Republicans in Congress and the right-wing forces that took part in the assault on the Capitol earlier this month.
"You... are inviting him to expel colleagues who are seditionists, and he says it's a matter for the Ethics Committee," Giridharadas said. "That's what it looks like when you don't have a sense of fight."
Giridharadas' remarks came just hours after Democrats officially took control of the U.S. Senate, giving the party unified control over the federal government for the first time in a decade amid a devastating pandemic and economic collapse.
In a series of tweets Thursday expanding on the points he raised during his MSNBC appearance, Giridharadas argued that while former President Donald Trump's effort to subvert the democratic process and overturn the results of the 2020 election was ultimately defeated, "the revolt against the future will go on, and everyone who believes in democracy must recognize that they're in a fight for the very soul of America."
"There is nothing wrong with bringing a sense of fight to politics when you're fighting for justice and a better future," Giridharadas wrote. "There is nothing wrong with bringing a sense of fight to politics when you're fighting for justice and a better future. We cannot afford a politics in which only the bad guys understand they're in a fight."
"The difference between Republicans and Democrats so often is that Republicans know they're in a fight," Giridharadas added. "Democrats are in a fight; they just often don't act like they know it. That has to change if this country is to be saved and Biden is to have a shot."