Wanna know what happened this evening in the confirmation hearings for Senator Jeff Sessions to be Trump’s Attorney General (note I don’t say our Attorney General)?:
Senate Republicans passed a party-line rebuke Tuesday night of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for a speech opposing attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, striking down her words for impugning the Alabama senator’s character.
In an extraordinarily rare move, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) interrupted Warren’s speech, in a near-empty chamber as debate on Sessions’s nomination heads toward a Wednesday evening vote, and said that she had breached Senate rules by reading past statements against Sessions from figures such as the late senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the late Coretta Scott King.
The statements contained in Mrs. King’s letter and Senator Kennedy’s speech speak directly to the reason that Senator Sessions is unfit to hold this position. Silencing Warren means that the GOP is now a political organization dedicated to achieving power for themselves and their wealthy supporters and that in that ugly pursuit they do not scruple to openly support an authoritarian racist while ruthlessly suppressing any dissent. This is not the way a democracy works.
Let Blunt know that his party has overstepped the line and that if he voted to suppress these statements, his party will face a reckoning in 2018 – and that we will not forget the role he has played in facilitating the despicable Trump. Also ask him why Republicans are so afraid to have a truly open debate. Here a link to his email contact form; there are also links to his office with phone numbers.
Addendum: Here’s a link to Mrs. Kings letter, also checkout #LetLlizSPeak on Twitter.
Addendum 2: Interesting take on this incident and why it’s important:
But the other side of the coin is the prospect of a creeping normalization of what is happening to both the executive and legislative branches of our government – and potentially to the judicial if this administration survives. We’ve seen how the norms of what have kept these institutions functioning for decades are being slowly eroded in a way that too often goes unchallenged.
A perfect example was the silencing of Sen. Elizabeth Warren last night on the Senate floor when she attempted to read Coretta Scott King’s letter in opposition to the nomination of Sessions to be the Attorney General. While those of us who follow these kinds of things closely were appalled, most Americans will either never know it happened or will simply assume that it is business as usual in a divided Senate. That is how this kind of thing gets normalized.
Addendum 3: Here’s what Elizbeth Warren has to say to say about how the unsavory incident could help mobilize the resistance that will be necessary to keep such events from becoming business as ususal:
“People all over this country need to see how Donald Trump is trying to transform America into a meaner, more hateful place,” Warren said. “Democracy is not a machine that runs itself. It requires people.”