A Warrior in the Senate
Every revolution needs a leader. And for those who for the last twenty days have been taking the streets to express their unconformity with Donald Trump's policies, Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren has suddenly become one.
On Wednesday, as she read a letter from Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King, criticizing the civil-rights record of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, Elizabeth Warren was accused of impugning a fellow senator and forced to sit down. The silencing of Warren was based on a rule that’s rarely enforced, and it quickly backfired, as women on social media reclaimed the moment as a meme celebrating strength and resistance, reports The Atlantic.
The letter from Coretta Scott King ended like this:
I do not believe Jefferson Sessions possesses the requisite judgment, competence, and sensitivity to the rights guaranteed by the federal civil rights laws to qualify for appointment to the federal district court. Based on his record, I believe his confirmation would have a devastating effect on not only the judicial system in Alabama, but also on the progress we have made everywhere toward fulfilling my husband's dream that he envisioned over twenty years ago. I therefore urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to deny his confirmation.
It’s not the first time Warren has acted as a rallying point for progressives, and this confrontation positions her as a key opponent to President Trump’s agenda. But in this particular battle, the effects of her opposition are mostly symbolic: yesterday, with a vote of 52-47, Sessions was confirmed.
“Silencing Liz Warren”; #LetLizSpeak; “#ShePersisted become trendic topics on social media. You can now buy a “Nevertheless, She Persisted” T-shirt, smartphone case or mug.
But despite the huge uproar the incident created in social media, the encounter between the Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, and Senator Warren was handled with little drama. The Senate is many things, but one of them is a classic old-style club, in which it doesn’t matter how disreputable one believes a fellow member is; the important thing is to maintain decorum and formalized respect, reports The Atlantic.
Republicans seized her microphone. And gave her a megaphone, reports The New York Times. Ms. Warren has long displayed an instinct for capitalizing on highly visible fights. After she was barred from speaking on the Senate floor, she began reading the 1986 letter from Mrs. King on Facebook. By Wednesday evening, the video had attracted more than nine million views.