Elizabeth Warren has become a heroine of the establishment press and the left — but I repeat myself — after deliberately violating Senate Rule 19 against "imput(ing) to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator" Tuesday evening in criticizing Trump administration Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.
The Massachusetts Democrat's bitter, ugly tweetstorm shortly after Sessions was confirmed demonstrates the wisdom of Republican Senate's move to bar her from continuing to speak. Naturally, establishment press outlets have mostly ignored the tweets or mischaracterized them.
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Warren's maneuver first involved reading a letter sharply critical of Sessions from the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Warren went on to begin reading another intensely disparaging 1986 letter from the late Coretta Scott King. As she did, she was ordered to halt, as her recitation of Kennedy's letter had already triggered Rule 19.
It was yet another chapter in what two Washington Post reporters admitted Tuesday evening (or were they celebrating?) is a Democratic Party strategy of "using extreme delay tactics that have dragged out the process longer than any in history for a new president’s Cabinet."
Another apparent element of that strategy, based on Warren's post-confirmation tweets, is personally attacking nominees after they're confirmed with a heightened level of viciousness.
Sessions himself, in his very under-reported Senate resignation speech, stayed on the high road, even after Warren Senate floor low-road gambit (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Attorney General Jeff Sessions Bids Farewell To The Senate, Offers Classy Rebuke Of Warren’s Remarks
... the soon-to-be-former senator decided to leave on a collegial note, which he was known for during his time in the U.S. Senate.
... “Denigrating people who disagree with us is not a healthy trend for our body,” said Sessions, alluding to the Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who referenced the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) words on his failed 1986 federal judgeship nomination in her speech against his nomination. At the time, Kennedy said, "He [Sessions] is, I believe, a disgrace to the Justice Department and he should withdraw his nomination and resign his position.”
... Yet, Sessions discussed a nice moment during his career when he worked with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) on bill to reduce prison rape. He mentioned how Kennedy told him that he wanted to work on this legislation with him. Sessions said they were able to pass the bill together, despite some reservations from others, including political friends—and that it was a moment of reconciliation between the two men. In a way, it was a classy rebuke to Warren without denigrating her character.
Whoa. What's this about Sessions being a "soon-to-be former Senator" when he gave his resignation speech?
It turns out that Sessions' resignation became effective "at 11:55 P.M. (Eastern Time) February 8, 2017" (i.e., Wednesday).
Perhaps because she was halted on the Senate floor, and to create distance from Sessions' classy remarks, Warren saved her tweetstorming journey into the political gutter until 8:25 Wednesday evening. At that point, she may have believed that Sessions' resignation from the Senate was official, and that she would therefore no longer be disparaging a fellow Senator. If so (assuming she even cares), she was wrong.
After a three-tweet warmup, Warren used five additional tweets to brag about her ability to post things she could not say on the Senate floor, and to inject an extraordinary categorically false and dishonest level of viciousness into the mix:
As just demonstrated, whether she knew it or not, she was still denigrating a fellow Senator.
It must be noted that Warren, who began serving in January 2013, was conspicuously silent during the past four years as Barack Obama's Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, among many other things, routinely "turned a blind eye" to many of their administration's blatant violations of the Constitution's separation of powers, failed to meaningfully sanction armed Philadelphia New Black Panthers after they intimidated voters at the polls in the 2008 elections, refused to prosecute anyone at the lawbreaking IRS, refused to prosecute Hillary Clinton's drop-dead obvious lawbreaking in her use of a private server to conduct government business and destruction of related evidence, and defended many of Obama's often indefensible executive actions in court.
In May 2014, Texas Senator Ted Cruz identified 76 instances where "Obama's White House Illegally & Unethically Abused Its Power" covering only Obama's first five-plus years in office. Holder and Lynch eagerly sold their souls, and the Department of Justice's previously hard-earned reputation for independence, to a president who, as Ilya Shapiro observed at The Federalist in July, "sees no limits on federal—especially prosecutorial—power and accords himself the ability to enact his own legislative agenda when Congress refuses to do so." No one outside of the far-left fever swamps believes that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will act similarly.
The press appears to fully understands that if Warren's intemperate tweets were widely known, their dishonesty and ugliness would turn off a vast majority of the American people.
This would appear to explain why the last coverage of Warren's antics at the Associated Press Thursday morning failed to mention her previous evening's tweets. In his dispatch, Jesse Holland, who "covers race and ethnicity" at AP, focused on the opinions of Coretta Scott King's daughter Bernice, who claimed that "These actions on our Senate floor reflect the continual blight of a patriarchal order in our nation and world." Holland apparently expands his duties to giving oxygen to made-up charges of sexism when in a pinch.
It does not appear that Holland reached out to Alveda King, Martin Luther King's niece. Appearing on Neil Cavuto's Fox News show Wednesday afternoon, Ms. King said the following:
If we take a look at my Aunt Coretta Scott King’s letter, we know that she was a peacemaker. Her intentions were never to divide during her whole life.
I was her communications and correspondence secretary for several years when I was a young woman. And so in that letter she would be referring to perhaps some of his comments.
However, she would agree today that he of course ended some school desegregation. He worked to prosecute members of the KKK. Aunt Coretta was a very reasonable woman and she with integrity would have noted he had done some great work in fighting against discrimination.
... she also said about immigration. She wrote a letter saying that immigration could hurt the black job market or the Negro job market as well.
Even though Holland's main job is to "cover race and ethnicity," he did not mention Warren's bitter previous-day tweets calling America's chief law enforcement officer a man with "racism, sexism and bigotry" and "radical hatred."
It's also worth noting that Warren's tweetstorm began just under an hour after the AP's Erica Werner filed a glowing report about the "national boost" Warren had received as a result of her reprehensible conduct.
In covering the Senate confirmation of HHS Secretary Tom Price on Friday, AP reporter Alan Fram claimed that Warren "was punished for reading a 1986 letter by Coretta Scott King criticizing him." Sorry, Alan, it was the Kennedy letter which first violated Rule 19. Fram did not mention Warren's Wednesday evening tweets.
To the extent Warren's tweetstorm garnered establishment press attention, the coverage usually downplayed its ugliest aspects, and occasionally came off as complimentary.
A brief CNN item carried at a subscribing site did not mention her harshest words. A longer CNN report at its own website failed to note her charges of "racism, sexism and bigotry."
At Business Insider, as carried at Yahoo News, David Choi's headline ("Sen. Elizabeth Warren puts Jeff Sessions on notice in fiery tweetstorm") effectively portrayed her hostile temper tantrum as noble, and breezed past her outrageous descriptions of Sessions as if there was nothing particularly unusual about them.
Well, maybe it isn't unusual any more — in which case, the left and the press, as they plumb new depths of incivility, should spare us their "We go high when they go low" nonsense.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.