‘Political correctness’ is just peachy … when Republicans demand it…. (More)
“I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate”
Senate Republicans passed a party-line rebuke Tuesday night of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) 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-MA) and the late Coretta Scott King.
“The senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama,” McConnell said, then setting up a series of roll-call votes on Warren’s conduct.
The Senate voted, 49 to 43, strictly on party lines, to uphold the ruling that Warren violated Rule 19 of the Senate that says senators are not allowed to “directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” Pursuant to that rule, 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.
Republicans’ and right-wingers’ answer is simple … and authoritarian:
McConnell later defended his decision.
“Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation,” he said. “Nevertheless, she persisted.”
Public reaction intensified online. RedBubble.com, an online clothing website for independent designers, began selling a “She Persisted” T-shirt or sweatshirt – seizing on McConnell’s admonition of Warren.
If that sounds familiar, perhaps that’s because it rhymes with an all-too-familiar refrain after cops shoot unarmed black men.
In short, when a white guy with power tells you to shut up, just shut up. Because rules, dammit.
Conversely, if you’re a white guy and women or people of color object to something you say, howl “political correctness!” Because freedom of speech, dammit.
You can read the late Mrs. King’s complete letter here. It details then U.S. Attorney Sessions’ efforts to prosecute and intimidate black voting rights activists. But apparently now that he’s a U.S. Senator, he is beyond reproach.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) was having none of that:
That's the key point. Rules against criticizing other Senators cannot apply when you are DEBATING THE NOMINATION OF A SENATOR! https://t.co/mLQqP7z14d
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 8, 2017
But hey, rules are for winners to declare and losers to obey:
— A Voter (@howm72) February 8, 2017
Welcome to the United States of Authoritarianism.
Photo Credit: MSNBC Screenshot
Good day and good nuts