Elijah Cummings died protecting democracy. Now Democrats must finish his fight.
I’ll never forget one of the first times Elijah Cummings spoke to me. It was in early 2011, Cummings was the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee and I was on the verge of being fired from my job as the spokesperson for the committee’s Republicans. The Maryland Democrat, who died on Thursday, said to me, “don’t worry, you’ll be back.” Almost six months to the day, when I was indeed brought back to the committee as a senior advisor, Cummings came over and shook my hand. “Good for you," he whispered in my ear. "You always were fighter.”
It’s fitting that Cummings’ final chapter had him at the center of the important political fight we find ourselves in today. It is a fight I believe Cummings truly believed would decide the future of our Republic. Despite health challenges, Cummings never took a step back, never wavered in his conviction. He believed that standing up for the constitution was worth the personal cost, even if it monopolized the last days and weeks of his life.
Some eight years after I left my job in the House, I found myself again in Cummings’ office on Capitol Hill. The Democrats had just won back the majority in the House and Cummings was poised to be elevated to the chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee. So much had changed in my life since the last time I had seen or spoken to Cummings; most notably, I was now a Democrat. But there ...
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