The following is an editorial by PoliticusUSA co-publisher Sarah Jones.
When Republicans voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren Tuesday night on the Senate floor, they justified it by using shame. “It wasn’t the right thing to do” and “The Senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama,” they lectured.
This matters because this is how Republicans silenced dissent under George W. Bush, and way too many liberals and Democrats fell for it then. In order for Republicans to continue to abuse this nation, the nation has to agree at some point. That will happen by a quiet acquiescence among pundits and then Democrats, conceding to the accusations of “it wasn’t right” “it was rude”.
That acquiescence is the final leg to fall before the true assault begins.
The tenets of our nation are under relentless attack right now under the Trump administration, which makes W’s look like a play date for dictators. We can’t afford to let this tactic work now.
Republican Orrin Hatch Letter from a Birmingham Jail, noting (paraphrasing) that people often say it’s the wrong time to speak out.
MLK opened his letter, “My Dear Fellow Clergymen: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities ‘unwise and untimely.’” He observed, “You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations.”
Where was the Republican concern for respect for the most basic rights for black Americans last night? They valued selling a whitewashed lie to the American public about Senator Sessions over even allowing a reading of his record of assaulting the rights of vulnerable citizens.
The Kentucky Democrats shared this today:
Just going to leave this right here. pic.twitter.com/hPmAfZ2QuA
— KY Democratic Party (@KyDems) February 8, 2017
Republicans are making the charge “It wasn’t right” now in defense of people with known racist and misogynistic records. They aren’t working for the people. They are working for a small subsection of the Republican Party base, with an end goal to undermine and destroy the values of freedom and access to opportunity for all that make this country great.
Do not let these words silence you even for a moment. Republicans are not standing on any moral high ground, indeed they are actively working to destroy our fragile, imperfect but aspirational democracy.
The moral high ground here is in the dissent. There is no morality in the work of elected Republicans right now. They are actively working for Putin, against freedom and liberty, and against the hopeful, welcoming spirit of our country.
When the facts impugn your motives, the right thing to do is self-reflection, not silencing of the facts.