Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been relatively quiet since her defeat at the hands of Donald Trump. This silence was likely due to respect for the democratic process and a hope that her opponent would govern in a more mature manner than the one in which he campaigned. Those hopes, likely slim from the outset, were probably dashed within a few days of Trump taking office. However, it wasn’t Trump who inspired Clinton to speak out. It was Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Elizabeth Warren(D-Mass.)
During the debate over whether or not Jeff Sessions should be confirmed as Attorney General, Warren began to read a letter from Martin Luther King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, who wrote the letter to express her opposition Sessions’ nomination to the federal judiciary in 1986. Sessions, thanks in part to Mrs. King’s letter, was not confirmed to the bench, but he is now being considered for the position of U.S. Attorney General and Warren felt that King’s words were applicable here as well.
However, McConnell and other members of the Republican Party disagreed and voted to censor Warren, thus barring her from speaking during the rest of Sessions’ confirmation hearing. McConnell said that Warren had impugned the reputation of a fellow senator.
‘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.’
McConnel’s reaction went viral and many rallied to Warren’s support, calling out McConnell for using his power to silence a political opponent. Those opposed to Trump and the GOP took McConnel’s words and adopted as a symbol of defiance with many retweeting them on Twitter, including Hillary Clinton.
"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."
So must we all.https://t.co/JXROGHPNkH
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 8, 2017
After being silenced in the Senate, Warren went to another room and read King’s letter before a Facebook livestream. Clinton’s tweet contains a link to a video of that stream. The ironic thing is that if McConnell had simply let Warren speak, it’s likely that few people would have even heard Warren’s words. C-SPAN isn’t exactly the most popular channel, but his cowardly and sexist actions sparked outrage that ensured the whole country heard Warren’s message.
Featured image via Getty Images.