Tonight, in an absurd use of Senate Rule XIX — which prohibits senators from ascribing “to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator” – Mitch McConnell formally silenced Elizabeth Warren, who was merely reading a letter from Coretta Scott King that criticized Jeff Sessions’s record on civil rights. (The Senate is scheduled to vote on Sessions’s nomination for Attorney General tomorrow.)
Never before, to my knowledge, has that rule been used against a senator for quoting an esteemed American. Warren said on Twitter that McConnell had “silenced Mrs. King’s voice” on the Senate floor, to say nothing of “millions who are afraid & appalled by what’s happening in our country.” She’s right.
I remember when the Senate was the last bastion of civility in Washington. Now, it seems, the dogs of disrespect have been unleashed everywhere.
I hope tomorrow Senate Democrats take turns reading King’s letter. If they get “silenced” in the chamber, they should read it outside — over and over again.
What do you think?