I hate how much of the news I have to unpack every morning. It seems I always have to fight through the clutter to get to the story.†
- Wait: Mitch McConnell prevented Elizabeth Warren from ... what exactly?
- From reading a 1986 letter Corretta Scott King wrote against Jeff Sessions, who back then was up for a federal judgeship, and who's now up for U.S. Attorney General. King wrote that Sessions “used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.”
- So why was Warren silenced? Is there a rule against reading letters?
- It's Rule No. 19, which prohibits†senators from insulting each other on the Senate floor.
- You're kidding. How long has†that†been around?†
- Since 1902. It was adopted after a fistfight on the Senate floor.†
- And how often has it been used?
- I'd say. Besides, Warren isn't exactly attacking a “fellow Senator” here. Sessions may soon be the chief law enforcement officer in the land. He has to be vetted, right? Extremely vetted. What if you have something negative to say? Can't you say it?†
- Haven't seen anything on this yet.
Anyway, it's easy to see what happened. It was an obscure rule of procedure, McConnell is hugely knowledgable in obscure rules of procedure that benefit him and his party. He's also a major asshole. So he did what he did. He stifled her. And the right-wing propaganda machine fell in lock-step. It added insult to injury.†
Except, beautifully, McConnell's words have been used against him. Here's what he said in justifying his actions:
She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.
Faster than you can say, “Fuck you, Mitch,” #ShePersisted was trending on social media, and memesówith Rosa Parks, Hillary Clinton, Harriet Tubman, et al.ówere popping up against the backdrop of McConnell's words. In trying to shut up Warren, he handed her a microphone to the world. He gave the movement a slogan.
Meanwhile, our president tweeted an attack on an American business, Nordstrom, because it dropped his daughter's clothing line. That one I don't need to unpack.