Just hours after the Republican Senate made clear they’re going to fall in lock step with Donald Trump’s wildly inappropriate cabinet nominations by rubber-stamping Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos over the “No” votes of every single Senate Democrat, the Republicans went on to demonstrate just how far they’re willing to go to protect Trump’s remaining illegitimate nominees. After Senator Elizabeth Warren attempted to read a letter from Coretta Scott King on the unsuitability of Jeff Sessions, she was censored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The reason given by McConnell is that Elizabeth Warren was disparaging one of her fellow Senators by reading the letter which was critical of Senator Jeff Sessions. This development is stunning for several reasons. The first is that the words of Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow are now considered too controversial by the Republican Senate majority to be read aloud in the chamber. The second is that Senator Warren was merely reading a letter from Mrs. King which was already in the official Senate record from the last time Sessions was nominated for a promotion.
The third is that McConnell and the Republicans are now willing to abuse technicalities such as this one in order to shut down any further criticism of Trump’s nominees, suggesting they’re willing to convert the Senate into every bit as much of authoritarian rule as Trump is attempting to do with the White House. After having her words censored and being disallowed from continuing to speak on the Senate floor, Senator Warren delivered a fiery rebuttal via Twitter.
Warren then said the following in successive Twitter posts: “I spoke out about Jeff Sessions until Mitch McConnell decided to silence me. I will not be silent about a nominee for AG who has made derogatory & racist comments that have no place in our justice system. I will not be silent while the Republicans rubber stamp an AG who will never stand up to the @POTUS when he breaks the law. Tonight @SenateMajLdr silenced Mrs King’s voice on the Sen floor – & millions who are afraid & appalled by what’s happening in our country.” Photo credit: Tim Pierce / CC-BY 2.0
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report