Wednesday, February 08, 2017


I'm sure you know what happened last night, but if not, here's the story:
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 ... 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....

In setting up the votes to rebuke Warren, McConnell specifically cited portions of a letter that King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee in opposition to Sessions’s 1986 nomination to be a federal judge....

The Senate voted, 49 to 43, strictly on party lines, to uphold the ruling.... Warren was ordered to sit down and forbidden from speaking during the remainder of the debate on the nomination of Sessions.

“I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate,” Warren said after McConnell’s motion.
On Monday night, Democrats engaged in an all-night debate before the vote to confirm Betsy DeVos as education secretary, and this incident last night was part of an equally futile all-night debate on Sessions. I admit I've been skeptical of these marathon sessions -- Democrats can't stop the Republican rubber-stamping of these nominees, so once the final results are inevitable, what's the point of doing anything except voting no as a bloc? Congressional debates aren't really debates; nobody's mind is ever changed, and most of what's said is unmemorable.

Well, this was memorable. It's rallied the base, and McConnell's subsequent words defending the rebuke have gone viral.

You can already buy T-shirts with McConnell's words.

But last night Rachel Maddow reported on this and said of McConnell -- I'm quoting from memory -- "Is this the hill he wants to die on?" I understand the question: He silenced the words of a national hero's widow on the Senate floor! But I'm sure he'll be just fine.

What we learned in November, if we didn't already know it, is that civil rights fights don't inspire a unifying admiration among Americans. As much as 46% of the electorate is tired of hearing about the struggles of non-whites, and votes accordingly. So of course McConnell has no qualms about preventing Elizabeth Warren from reading Coretta Scott King's words on the Senate floor. Of course he and 48 of his fellow Republicans would vote to uphold that ban. None of their voters will object. None of their voters revere the Kings that much (or at all).

So this fired up the Democratic base, but it didn't alienate Republican voters. That's something, but I wish it meant more.


Carol Ann said...

BUT he allowed men to read from that same letter. This was Southern Manhood all offended-like by a mere woman daring to offend the dignity of another Southern Man. They never left the 'hood (in more ways than one).

Racism and sexism in one fell swoop.

AllieG said...

The Republican base is never going to desert a Republican President. The issue is, what about those who voted Republican who are not part of that base? What is (so far) alienating Independents from Trump? Remember, most self-identified independents actually lean Republican.

Anonymous said...

AND, ladies, he read the allegedly offending quote back into the record.

I was in a red-neck joint (they're all red-neck joints around here) the other morning for breakfast and had quite the chuckle overhearing a couple of drumpf ucks bemoaning all the "stupid shit" their boy has done and said these past couple of weeks. So humorous the incident the waitress, a lifelong friend, for a time student and a time or two... well, she was down at her workstation openly laughing at me openly chuckling over a couple drumpf ucks bemoaning all the stupid shit their boy has done and said these past couple weeks. Indeed, the loadmouths down at The Pub are if there at all in the face of an increasingly vocal choir of 'foke you go sit down somewhere and shut up, be seen and not heard' are uncharacteristicly subdued these days. While I tend to agree the Retard base will never abondon their Retard president, like climate change I'm seeing it happen.

Not that the alternative...

Endeavor to persevere.
Ten Bears

BKT said...

Steve is on to something here. I have long thought that Conservatives don't view any part of the struggles of the Civil Rights movement, Labor movement, Women's Rights movement, Environmental movement, etc. as part of what they consider to be our shared history as a country. If anything, they see those efforts as social anomalies to be ignored, since the dominant white male culture gains nothing from the success of them.

Dark Avenger said...


"More tears are shed over answered than unanswered prayers."

St. Theresa of Avila