WaPo: The Silencing of Elizabeth Warren and an old Senate Rule Prompted by a Fistfight


Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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25 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Offered as an antidote for misty-eyed longings for the days of yore when there was comity and mutually respectful disagreement between the parties.

    Not offered as evidence that things are currently the way we should be willing to tolerate.Report

  2. Avatar Troublesome Frog says:

    I think the Senate would be a much more interesting place if you could call somebody a liar, but only if doing so resulted in a hearing on the evidence for the accusation. “That’s a lie!” “You called me a liar!” isn’t interesting, but having to crawl through the record and decide what’s true would be a hilarious burden to watch them struggle with. I’d love to see members of congress investigate each other’s behavior with as much vigor as, say, Behngazi!

    Tucked away for future reference: If you nominate senators to positions requiring confirmation, they’ll have a natural advantage in that all discussion must proceed based on the assumption that they’re good and honest people even if it’s not true.Report

  3. Avatar Francis says:

    I don’t know if the Republican Party was planning on a serious challenge to Sen. Warren, but they’ve certainly made her re-election campaign a lot easier.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Francis says:

      I believe Illinois may have elected more governors that went to prison than Massachusetts has elected Republicans to the Senate.
      Some root for the snowball, some root for the fires of Hell.Report

  4. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Any legislative assembly without at least three fistfights per session is a dull affair.Report

  5. Avatar Chip Daniels says:

    I’m waiting for Richard Spencer to be elected to the Senate.Report

  6. Avatar Aaron David says:

    If she isn’t willing to pull a caplock and demand a second on the spot, then well!

    (I used to say she had too much baggage to run, but after ’16…Report

  7. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    For whatever reason, they were willing to silence Senator Warren, but not Senators Udall, Brown, or Sanders, who all subsequently read the letter in Warren’s absence; Udall specifically arguing that rule 19 was mis-applied, and Sanders saying McConnell owes Warren an apology.


    • Avatar Kim in reply to dragonfrog says:

      I think the principle was that she was saying things, repeatedly. and had been repeatedly warned.
      The letter itself was not the particular issue to stand on.

      Credit to Udall and Brown, both generally not grandstanders, for standing on the principle that King’s letter ought to be read.Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Kim says:

        I have to disagree with this.
        When the Senate comes to where the most productive thing they can possibly do is to sit and have read to them a letter written over 50 years ago, then it is way past time to adjourn for the day.
        If it really needed to be added to the record, there are ways of doing that without wasting so much time.
        I have nothing against MLK. In fact, I believe I’ve read more of his stuff than most people. It’s just that the Senate has other business to attend to than storytime.Report

        • Avatar Kim in reply to Will H. says:

          It is testimony about what he was doing before then, from someone who kept a decent close eye on the fellow.

          I’d expect something like that if anyone tried to nominate Byrd for anything — along with testimony on his reformation.

          Because both of those ought to be up for consideration.

          Thirty years ago doesn’t mean a damn thing, if the person still holds those beliefs. If they don’t, then their supporters should be demonstrating why and how they’ve done concrete things to change.Report

  8. Avatar Damon says:


    Yeah right. What a massive abridgment of her speech-i-fying rights.

    *rolls eyes*

    One one wonders why so many people called the election wrong….Report