Mitch McConnell’s Treatment Of Elizabeth Warren Reveals Double Standards In American Politics
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Politics and Activism

Mitch McConnell’s Treatment Of Elizabeth Warren Reveals Double Standards In American Politics

“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

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Mitch McConnell’s Treatment Of Elizabeth Warren Reveals Double Standards In American Politics
Wired

On Tuesday night, Republicans in the Senate enforced an obscure rule to cut Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) off in the middle of reciting a letter by Coretta Scott King denouncing attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). Democrats were shocked and stunned, but it was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who sparked a new fire, a new slogan, and a new internet meme:

“Sen. Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Soon after, Warren, already a leader of the feminist movement, was canonized by the internet as another woman who “persisted” against the odds of misogyny. Her supporters immediately seized McConnell’s words and revamped it into a feminist battle cry, spreading Warren’s and King’s message through every form of social media. “Silencing Elizabeth Warren,” #ShePersisted, and #LetLizSpeak were trending on Twitter the next morning in the United States.

First, we had “I’m With Her.” Then, we had “nasty woman.” Now, we have “nevertheless, she persisted.” Because that’s what women do: resist and persist.

But, as the #LetLizSpeak hashtag grew in popularity this Wednesday morning, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) managed to read some of King’s words during his speech, the same words McConnell and the Republicans barred Warren from reading the night before. No one in the Senate called him out.

Then, according to the Huffington Post, “Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) tried the same move as Warren,” yet no one objected.

Udall went first and said: “It was the judgment of Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, that [Sessions] used the office of the United States attorney for Alabama to, quote, these are Coretta Scott King’s words, ‘chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.’ End quote. That was her opinion at the time.”

He then read the entire letter and the testimony King prepared to prevent Sessions’ 1986 nomination to a federal judge position. No one cut him off. No one interrupted Sen. Brown when he did the same.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) went a step further. Not only did he read King’s letter, but he also requested Sen. McConnell to apologize to Warren.

Sanders said, “I am going to vote against Jeff Sessions to become our next attorney general, but I am even more alarmed about the decision of the majority leader here in the Senate to deny one of our leading senators the right to voice her opinion, the right to put into the congressional record what I have just said. And if Mr. McConnell, or anybody else, wants to deny me the right to debate Jeff Sessions’ qualifications, go for it,” he added. “But I’m here, I will participate in debate, I will oppose Jeff Sessions, and I think Sen. Warren is owed an apology.”

Again, not a word from the Senate.

Not only have Republican efforts to silence Warren backfired, but they have also revealed some nasty discrepancies within our government. Honestly, not a lot of women were surprised that Warren was silenced in such a rude manner because this happens every day to women in all walks of life. In the United States, which prides itself for its immense power, women hold less than 20 percent of Congressional seats. In the United States, which prides itself for its civil tolerance, the government continues to restrict to contraceptives, abortions, and female hygiene, while men can easily receive male enhancement pills over the counter. In the United States, which prides itself on its freedom and democracy, a man accused of sexual assault and harassment 11 times is elected as president, while women are still shackled by the trauma from sexual and domestic violence. It doesn’t shock me that Mitch McConnell told the most powerful and popular Democratic woman in Congress to sit down, but it still infuriates me.

Elizabeth Warren was warned. Elizabeth Warren was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted, and we must too.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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