Welcome to our (near-) daily look at the foibles and misadventures of the US Congress! In order to fight back, it’s essential to know how the radical forces at work in DC are diverting attention from the issues that really matter.
This week, Senators are wasting time by silencing the voices of black and female Americans. Speaking out against Senator Jeff Sessions – Trump’s pick for attorney general and a well-documented racist – Senator Elizabeth Warren read a letter from Martin Luther King’s widow Coretta Scott King regarding Sessions’ failed judicial nomination in the 1980s when a Republican congress decided he was too racist for the role. Without a convincing argument against sound evidence pointing to Sessions’ deep flaws, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell opted to silence Warren, invoking a senate rule that prevents one senator from “impugning the conduct of another.”
That Republicans opted to silence a female Senator reading the words of a famed black female civil rights icon during Black History Month wasn’t lost on commentators. In fact, conservatives seemed to realize the optics of the move and tacitly permitted Senator Jeff Merkley to finish reading the letter later in the day.
The GOP is doing no favors to its increasingly authoritarian, racist, and sexist image.