I know, I know. What’s new, right? But tonight takes the cake. Senator Elizabeth Warren wanted to read a letter from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wife Coretta Scott King on the floor, because it advised the Senate Judiciary Committee of 1986 that in her opinion Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, at the time a US Attorney in Alabama and a nominee to the US District Court, wasn’t a fit person for the job. (Letter here.) Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, silenced Senator Warren with something called Rule 19, which forbids “impugning” another Senator.
“The senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama, as warned by the chair,” Mr. McConnell began, alluding to Mrs. King’s letter, which accused Mr. Sessions of using “the awesome power of his office to chill the pre-exercise of the vote by black citizens.”
Mr. McConnell called the Senate to order under what is known as Rule XIX, which prohibits debating senators from ascribing “to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.”
Any thought that the Republican Party cares about anything other than its own agenda should be thrown out. They are perfectly willing to trash long-standing rules (see last week’s suspension of quorum requirements in two committees in order to pass questionable nominees on to the full Senate) or find arcane ones in order to get their way.
All elected Democrats and all of us out here have to recognize that they are not going to try to rein in Trump, even when they know full well he’s harming the country. Witness Ryan and McConnell’s inability to denounce his lies about murder rates (lowest in decades, contrary to his claim that they’re just the opposite) or media coverage of terrorist acts. Any efforts made to keep him from destroying American values will have to be done with no help from the Republicans.