Last night, during the debate on the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions, (R) Alabama as Attorney General of the United States, Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren was effectively silenced as she quoted from a letter written by Coretta Scott King. The letter was written before Sessions became Senator and while he was being nominated for a Judicial Position back in the mid 80’s.
Rule 19 was invoked by Senator Mitch McConnell, (R) Kentucky, to silence Warren, who has been an outspoken advocate for full and fair debate on all things. Specifically, Item 2 in Rule 19 states:
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.
If Warren’s words caused injury to anyone, it caused injury to the Republicans who had a desire to shoehorn Sessions into office as Attorney General. While I believe in having a fully operating cabinet for the President, I also believe that our Founding Fathers desired that the litmus test be administered fully and without preferential treatment. That Litmus Test includes full and impartial debate to lead to a full and fair vote.
If that vote were to take place now, not all the facts would be out and not everything would be fought over on this in a civil debate, and you can’t have that while partisan silencing of the minority party takes place.
If anyone is divorced from reality, it’s the Republican Party for not facing their choices in the mirror. Talk about hypocrites silencing dissent.