Politics: Bridges – #ShePersisted – Warren

During the Senate hearing on the confirmation of Jeff Sessions to Attorney General of the United States of America, Elizabeth Warren was (in effect) told to shut up.  Using  Rule XIX (outline of rule on senate page: here), Mitch McConnell set into motion the silencing of Senator Elizabeth Warren who was reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King regarding Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.  When Warren was first chastised for reading the letter she said: “I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate.”  The Washington Post has a scan of the actual letter posted: here.  BuzzFeed News first reported the existence of the letter earlier Tuesday, noting that it was never entered into the congressional record by then-Judiciary Committee Chair Strom Thurmond.  In 1986, Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., wrote a letter to Sen. Strom Thurmond criticizing Jeff Sessions, who was then a nominee to be a federal judge.

The letter (actually read by Warren before a delayed response using the Rule XIX) is as follows:

Dear Senator Thurmond:

I write to express my sincere opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. My professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting. Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship. 

I regret that a long-standing commitment prevents me from appearing in person to testify against this nominee. However, I have attached a copy of my statement opposing Mr. Sessions’ confirmation and I request that my statement as well as this be made a part of the hearing record.

I do sincerely urge you to oppose the confirmation of Mr. Sessions.


Coretta Scott King

Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opposed the reading of Mrs King’s letter.  Instead of writing about it, I will let you watch it here:

After a party-line vote of the senators present, Warren was told to sit down, ending her ability to speak on behalf of her constituents in Massachusetts. In defense of the action, McConnell gave every Womens March participant their new rally cry when saying: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”  Again, here is a listen:

After being silenced, the letter was read, in its entirety, by Sen Bernie Sanders.  An article from Washington Post about it can be read: here.  To see Bernie’s defense of Warren and his demands for an apology, watch this video:

It is fascinating that if Mrs King’s letter was of great offense to the Committee (as read by Warren), then why was nothing said when the same letter was read by her male counterpart.  It smacks of the stereotypical “keep the women in their place” mentality that one would think that the Republicans would want to steer clear of.

I am not a fan of Mitch McConnell (at all).  McConnell is a dinosaur that weights down the ability to breathe fresh air into the “boys club” of the senate.  He was elected in 1984.  Thirty-three years later he is still there, going stronger than ever.  I am an ardent supporter of a two term limit for ALL political positions.  In politics (IMHO), longevity breeds corruption.

My issue – in the days since McConnell muttered the words “she persisted,” he has been blasted in the media for being the misogynistic villain I have always thought him to be.  I said to myself, “Wow, he is finally being taken to task for his words and actions.”  When a person shows you who they are, believe them the first time.  The thing is, there was a vote to silence Elizabeth Warren.  49 Senators believed that it was ok to tell her to shut up and sit down.  49 Senators who were ok with a male counterpart reading the exact same letter.  49 Senators that should be called to task, not JUST McConnell.  I plan on writing a few postcards this week just to voice my disdain.  I will write one to Mitch, of course.  If I am subjected to his blathering political ads every election in which he has a presence (due to proximity of my state to his), then I feel that it is only fair that he gets to hear from me when he is being an ass.  The other postcards will go to the females that voted to silence another woman.  Among the ranks, Shelley Moore Capito from my home state of West Virginia.

Capito, Shelley Moore R F WV
Collins, Susan R F ME
Ernst, Joni R F IA
Fischer, Deb R F NE
Murkowski, Lisa R F AK

Eventually I am going to do a GoT shaming of Capito, if she ever finds herself pulled away from DC back to the state which she represents.



Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs —49
Alexander (R-TN) Barrasso (R-WY) Blunt (R-MO) Boozman (R-AR) Burr (R-NC) Capito (R-WV) Cassidy (R-LA) Cochran (R-MS) Collins (R-ME) Corker (R-TN) Cornyn (R-TX) Cotton (R-AR) Crapo (R-ID) Daines (R-MT) Enzi (R-WY) Ernst (R-IA) Fischer (R-NE) Flake (R-AZ) Gardner (R-CO) Graham (R-SC) Grassley (R-IA) Hatch (R-UT) Heller (R-NV) Hoeven (R-ND) Inhofe (R-OK) Johnson (R-WI) Kennedy (R-LA) Lankford (R-OK) Lee (R-UT) McCain (R-AZ) McConnell (R-KY) Moran (R-KS) Murkowski (R-AK) Paul (R-KY) Perdue (R-GA) Portman (R-OH) Risch (R-ID) Roberts (R-KS) Rounds (R-SD) Rubio (R-FL) Sasse (R-NE) Scott (R-SC) Shelby (R-AL) Sullivan (R-AK) Thune (R-SD) Tillis (R-NC) Toomey (R-PA) Wicker (R-MS) Young (R-IN)


NAYs —43
Baldwin (D-WI) Bennet (D-CO) Blumenthal (D-CT) Booker (D-NJ) Brown (D-OH) Cantwell (D-WA) Cardin (D-MD) Casey (D-PA) Cortez Masto (D-NV) Donnelly (D-IN) Duckworth (D-IL) Durbin (D-IL) Franken (D-MN) Gillibrand (D-NY) Harris (D-CA) Hassan (D-NH) Heinrich (D-NM) Heitkamp (D-ND) Hirono (D-HI) Kaine (D-VA) King (I-ME) Klobuchar (D-MN) Leahy (D-VT) Manchin (D-WV) Markey (D-MA) McCaskill (D-MO) Menendez (D-NJ) Merkley (D-OR) Murphy (D-CT) Murray (D-WA) Nelson (D-FL) Peters (D-MI) Reed (D-RI) Schatz (D-HI) Schumer (D-NY) Shaheen (D-NH) Stabenow (D-MI) Tester (D-MT) Udall (D-NM) Van Hollen (D-MD) Warren (D-MA) Whitehouse (D-RI) Wyden (D-OR)


Not Voting – 8
Carper (D-DE) Coons (D-DE) Cruz (R-TX) Feinstein (D-CA) Isakson (R-GA) Sanders (I-VT) Sessions (R-AL) Warner (D-VA)



Grouped by Home State

Alabama: Sessions (R-AL), Not Voting Shelby (R-AL), Yea
Alaska: Murkowski (R-AK), Yea Sullivan (R-AK), Yea
Arizona: Flake (R-AZ), Yea McCain (R-AZ), Yea
Arkansas: Boozman (R-AR), Yea Cotton (R-AR), Yea
California: Feinstein (D-CA), Not Voting Harris (D-CA), Nay
Colorado: Bennet (D-CO), Nay Gardner (R-CO), Yea
Connecticut: Blumenthal (D-CT), Nay Murphy (D-CT), Nay
Delaware: Carper (D-DE), Not Voting Coons (D-DE), Not Voting
Florida: Nelson (D-FL), Nay Rubio (R-FL), Yea
Georgia: Isakson (R-GA), Not Voting Perdue (R-GA), Yea
Hawaii: Hirono (D-HI), Nay Schatz (D-HI), Nay
Idaho: Crapo (R-ID), Yea Risch (R-ID), Yea
Illinois: Duckworth (D-IL), Nay Durbin (D-IL), Nay
Indiana: Donnelly (D-IN), Nay Young (R-IN), Yea
Iowa: Ernst (R-IA), Yea Grassley (R-IA), Yea
Kansas: Moran (R-KS), Yea Roberts (R-KS), Yea
Kentucky: McConnell (R-KY), Yea Paul (R-KY), Yea
Louisiana: Cassidy (R-LA), Yea Kennedy (R-LA), Yea
Maine: Collins (R-ME), Yea King (I-ME), Nay
Maryland: Cardin (D-MD), Nay Van Hollen (D-MD), Nay
Massachusetts: Markey (D-MA), Nay Warren (D-MA), Nay
Michigan: Peters (D-MI), Nay Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
Minnesota: Franken (D-MN), Nay Klobuchar (D-MN), Nay
Mississippi: Cochran (R-MS), Yea Wicker (R-MS), Yea
Missouri: Blunt (R-MO), Yea McCaskill (D-MO), Nay
Montana: Daines (R-MT), Yea Tester (D-MT), Nay
Nebraska: Fischer (R-NE), Yea Sasse (R-NE), Yea
Nevada: Cortez Masto (D-NV), Nay Heller (R-NV), Yea
New Hampshire: Hassan (D-NH), Nay Shaheen (D-NH), Nay
New Jersey: Booker (D-NJ), Nay Menendez (D-NJ), Nay
New Mexico: Heinrich (D-NM), Nay Udall (D-NM), Nay
New York: Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay Schumer (D-NY), Nay
North Carolina: Burr (R-NC), Yea Tillis (R-NC), Yea
North Dakota: Heitkamp (D-ND), Nay Hoeven (R-ND), Yea
Ohio: Brown (D-OH), Nay Portman (R-OH), Yea
Oklahoma: Inhofe (R-OK), Yea Lankford (R-OK), Yea
Oregon: Merkley (D-OR), Nay Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Pennsylvania: Casey (D-PA), Nay Toomey (R-PA), Yea
Rhode Island: Reed (D-RI), Nay Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay
South Carolina: Graham (R-SC), Yea Scott (R-SC), Yea
South Dakota: Rounds (R-SD), Yea Thune (R-SD), Yea
Tennessee: Alexander (R-TN), Yea Corker (R-TN), Yea
Texas: Cornyn (R-TX), Yea Cruz (R-TX), Not Voting
Utah: Hatch (R-UT), Yea Lee (R-UT), Yea
Vermont: Leahy (D-VT), Nay Sanders (I-VT), Not Voting
Virginia: Kaine (D-VA), Nay Warner (D-VA), Not Voting
Washington: Cantwell (D-WA), Nay Murray (D-WA), Nay
West Virginia: Capito (R-WV), Yea Manchin (D-WV), Nay
Wisconsin: Baldwin (D-WI), Nay Johnson (R-WI), Yea
Wyoming: Barrasso (R-WY), Yea Enzi (R-WY), Yea


Other articles on the subject:

Slate: Mitch McConnell Inadvertently Coined the Latest Feminist Catchphrase: “She Persisted”

The Atlantic: ‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’ and the Age of the Weaponized Meme

The Atlantic: Thou Shalt Not Impugn a Fellow Senator

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

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