For two, maybe even three sentences, Foxx’s statement is a reasonable example of honoring the memory of someone with whom you disagree deeply even as you think they’re a decent person. That said, it takes a turn right there at the end.
She’s sad to hear about Trumka’s death. Her heart goes out to his family. They disagreed but he fought for what he believed was right … and then she gets going on the crudest Republican anti-worker talking points as she proclaims her intent to crush everything he fought for. “Jobs-killing mandated wages,” or, as we usually call it, the minimum wage. “Forced unionization,” also known as not allowing free riders. “Other socialist policies,” an umbrella term for anything that gives workers any power of any kind.
If you believe someone was a terrible human being, there’s no need to say nice things about them. Making clear you think someone was basically decent and then flagrantly crapping on everything they fought for is a special move.
But Foxx’s commitment to being a terrible human in her own right is not in doubt. We’re talking about a politician who has compared regulation of for-profit colleges to the Holocaust. She’s tried to end the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program for student debt. She’s tried to weaken consumer protection by slashing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding. She’s said that laws protecting workers mean that organized labor has “sort of lost its reason for being”—even as she aims to repeal those laws. Virginia Foxx wants to crush working people and people with student debt and consumers who’ve been harmed by corporations. She’s a warrior for these causes, so much so that she cannot even pass up the opportunity she finds in the death of a champion for working people.
When we say that Donald Trump isn’t the only problem with the Republican Party, it’s not just Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert and Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar we’re talking about. It goes so much deeper. Thanks to Virginia Foxx for that reminder.