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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Elizabeth Warren Reads Coretta Scott King Letter about Jeff Sessions

Dan Rather
Trying to silence speech can sometimes backfire on those seeking to suppress a message. I sense that is the case with the extraordinary scene last night at the Capitol.
You've probably heard about how Senator Elizabeth Warren was reading a decades-old letter from Coretta Scott King in opposition to the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - with the full backing of his GOP caucus - in essence silenced her under the argument that she was besmirching the reputation of a fellow Senator. You heard about it, I believe, more because of what Senator McConnell did than Senator Warren's message.
This was an invocation of arcane Senate rules - but in these days of social media and a press keyed in to an unprecedented moment in our history, it was a scene destined to go viral. And it has.
This is a moment where the norms of politics, the tools of the press, and the mood of the public are twisting more than a Chubby Checker's dance contest. Where we end up no one knows. And the rules are being made up as we goes. In the days of yore, Mr. McConnell's actions would probably not have gained traction. But in the world of Facebook Live - not so much.

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