Senator Warren Told To Shut Up And Sit Down …

Rules of the Senate – Rule XIX:

 2. No Senator in debate shall, 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.

3. No Senator in debate shall refer offensively to any State of the Union.

4. If any Senator, in speaking or otherwise, in the opinion of the Presiding Officer transgress the rules of the Senate the Presiding Officer shall, either on his own motion or at the request of any other Senator, call him to order; and when a Senator shall be called to order he shall take his seat, and may not proceed without leave of the Senate, which, if granted, shall be upon motion that he be allowed to proceed in order, which motion shall be determined without debate. Any Senator directed by the Presiding Officer to take his seat, and any Senator requesting the Presiding Officer to require a Senator to take his seat, may appeal from the ruling of the Chair, which appeal shall be open to debate.

Yesterday I reported on Betsy DeVos’ confirmation by the Senate.  Today, we can expect to hear that Jeff Sessions has been confirmed as Attorney General, a position that he is as unqualified for as DeVos is for Secretary of Education, albeit for different reasons.  There is no doubt in my mind that the proven racist Sessions will be confirmed, but last night, during his final confirmation hearings, an atrocity was committed against Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren.


Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Senator Warren was doing her job at the time, making her case as to why Sessions should not be confirmed. Remember, if you will, that Jeff Sessions was nominated for a federal court judgeship in 1986, but the Senate then refused to confirm him because of his blatantly racist comments and behaviour.  At that time, the late Senator Edward Kennedy said, “He is, I believe, a disgrace to the Justice Department and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.” Those were the words Senator Warren had quoted earlier in the debate, and she was warned by Senator Steve Daines, who was presiding over the senate at that point in time, that the remark using the word ‘disgrace’ was inappropriate in the debate on Sessions.

But that wasn’t the final straw.  The final straw came some 25 minutes later when Senator Warren read the following excerpt from a letter, written by Coretta Scott King, the widow of the late Dr. Martin Luther King.  The portion of the letter she read was:

“Mr. Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”

A true statement by an honourable woman … so what is the problem?  The problem is that it was written about Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican who has been nominated by Trump for the position of Attorney General.  A man who is supposed to be the subject of the debate about his worthiness for the position for which he was nominated.   Yet, at this point, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took it upon himself to invoke Rule 19, quoted at the beginning of this post, to shut down any negative comments about the nominee. In plain English, Rule 19 is intended to keep debate among senators polite, keep it from becoming a brawl, and if one Senator speaks in a way “unworthy or unbecoming” a Senator, the Presiding Officer, in this case Senator Steve Daines, may order the “offending” senator to sit down and not allow them to speak for the rest of the debate.   But note that Warren was not critiquing Sessions as a fellow senator, but as a candidate for a job.  Rule 19 was never intended to stop honest debate for cabinet nominees! Rule 19 was never intended to stifle one party in favour of the other!  McConnell took liberties when he then called for a vote to shut Senator Warren down for the remainder of the debate, saying, “The senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama, as warned by the chair.”  Elizabeth Warren did not ‘impugn’ Sessions … he did that to himself 30 yars ago!!!

mitch-2.jpgThe result of the vote was strictly along party lines … surprise … and resulted in a 49-43 decision to force Senator Warren to take her seat and not be allowed to speak again for the remainder of the debate.  This, folks, is not how the confirmation hearings are supposed to go.  Ms. Warren read passages from two very respectable, highly reliable sources stating true facts, that Jeff Sessions was a racist in 1986.  Just as leopards do not change their spots, racists do not change their ideologies, and it is certain that if this man becomes the next Attorney General, minorities will suffer even more discrimination than they already do, particularly African-Americans. It is clear that what I refer to as The Great Divide, that between Democrats and Republicans both in government and among the citizenry, is destined to remain a part of life in the United States for a long time to come.

This misuse of power by the Republicans in the senate is an atrocity and an affront to the democratic process.  If McConnell’s new rule is that only nice things can be said about the nominee during confirmation hearings, then the confirmation hearings are, in fact, nothing more than a sham. Further, if the Republicans all vote to confirm Sessions without reservation, then in my book, they are, each and every one of them, as much of a racist as Sessions himself.  They do not belong in Congress any more than Sessions belongs in the Attorney General’s office or DeVos belongs in the Department of Education. They are setting up a government by Trump, for Trump and of Trump, rather than one by the people, for the people and of the people.  We the people have no value in their eyes.  Think about it.

19 thoughts on “Senator Warren Told To Shut Up And Sit Down …

  1. So when Lyin’ Ted Cruz recently referred to democrats as the party of the KKK, where was this rule. It’s interesting that her male colleagues read the words that she was prohibited from uttering after she was silenced. I also like the fact that she corrected those interviewing her saying this is not a women’s issue, it’s an American’s issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh … perhaps I failed to mention that the rule applies only when it is invoked against a Democrat … and perhaps a woman, to boot. The good news is that some feel this will help her campaign in 2020 … if we’re still around then. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Jill,

    I am certain that Senator Mitch O’Connell planned this maneuver ahead of time as Senator Warren is despised by the right and this was a chance for the KY senator to curry favor. After all, she just doesn’t know her proper place.Well his plan backfired big time.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • That would not surprise me at all. He poked the wrong person this time, though! Did you read that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee critized Trump for his remarks about Judge Robart and judges in general? DT won’t be any too happy about that! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, Gronda, I was not going to mention this, but after her being put on notice by McConnell and GOP senators, let me remind folks of some little known history.

        Just before the 2012 presidential, the NY Times reported Senator McConnell had a report buried by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service which assists Congress. Why was this report buried? Because its analysis and data concluded that trickle down economics does not work to boost the economy (this was the fourth such report by a reputable source) and Mitt Romney was promoting trickle down economics in his campaign, which is similar to what Donald Trump is advocating.

        I believe McConnell and retired Senator Harry Reid are poster children for what is wrong in Washington. McConnell’s stunt with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland was malfeasance in the view of the independent. And, he has the audacity to not let Warren raise a concern about a candidate for the top prosecutor in the US. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I certainly agree with you on your assessment of McConnell and Reid! I was not aware of the report you mention, but it doesn’t surprise me. When people on the other side start talking about what a great president Reagan was and how he had such great policies, I always remind them that the problem with ‘trickle down’ economics is that it doesn’t actually trickle. That’s exactly what Trump’s economic policies are designed to do … keep it from trickling. But, some will still think he is wonderful and claim, a year from now, that they are so much better off.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jill, if trickle down economics worked, it would have a better name. It used to have a less flattering name when first envisioned back in the 1890s. It was called the horse and sparrow theory – if you feed the horse what he excretes will feed the sparrows. David Stockman, one of its creators for Reagan, was on The Bill Maher Show and told a Conservative on the show, trickle down economics didn’t work. Keith

            Liked by 1 person

  3. One thing is for sure… These are some interesting times we are living in. I’m favoring to disassociate myself from politics from here on out. It’s all so stupid anymore. The game is rigged. I certainly don’t require any clowns from the freak show telling me what I should or should not do. I think they all should just jump into a very large boxing ring and beat the tar out of each other. I am so not amused by any of this anymore. As always… thanks for your thoughts Jill. Wishing my fellow beings well 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suspect that some Republicans like John McCain, who DO have consciences, are appalled. But … they are still going to bend and bow to Trump’s wishes, at least for the time being, in hopes of future favours, I believe. And who pays for such idiocy? We all do, not only in this country, but around the globe.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s