One of the most disgusting events recorded in U.S. Senate history occurred last night while Senate Democrats held the floor to debate Jeff Sessions’ nomination as U.S. Attorney General.
Senate Leader Mitch McConnell used a gag rule to stop Elizabeth Warren from reading Coretta Scott King’s 1986 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee about Jeff Sessions’ efforts to suppress African American voters and his fitness to serve as a federal judge.
This is breathtakingly offensive.
A Senator denied a First Amendment right, unable to participate in speech and debate in their role on behalf of constituents.
The suppression of an historic written statement by an historic figure, presented decades ago to the Senate.
A woman Senator prevented from speaking as part of a governmental body whose composition is 79% men.
The quashing of fact regarding a cabinet nominee’s racist behavior as a former member of law enforcement, germane to their unsuitability as U.S. Attorney General.
And most horrifically, the use of a gag rule circa 1836, instituted by white supremacist members of Congress who prevented abolitionists from speaking about ending slavery.
The Party of Lincoln is dead. It is a zombie animated by hatred, intent on hurting any who pose a threat to its continued grasp on power. It doesn’t take seriously its oath of office, instead resurrecting archaic nonsense to deprive the people of their rights while encouraging corruption.
In summoning Rule XIX and cementing his wretchedness into Senate record, McConnell said about Warren, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
She will, indeed, persist, Senator McConnell. She and millions of Americans will persist in their rejection of white supremacy and fascism which relies on it. You have generously offered a rallying cry for our resistance.
And when your body finally relinquishes the venal energy which moves it daily, know that whatever memorial is mounted for you will be visited for the next hundred years by women and minorities who’ll paste it with mementos which read, “Nevertheless, she persisted.”