“Nevertheless, she persisted”

February 14, 2017 Originally published on SFGate

And then came the surreal, extraordinary moment when the sneering old Republican male senator silenced his smart, uppity female colleague from reading, on the Senate floor, the words of Coretta Scott King, wife of one of the greatest civil rights leaders in American history, words that dared to call into question the integrity of the incoming, famously racist old white male Attorney General-to-be of the United States.

It was, of course, corrupt gasbag/Trump ring-licker Mitch McConnell who decided it was a good idea to shut down the indomitable Dem hero Elizabeth Warren, a woman who had the nerve to simply read aloud from King’s 1986 letter criticizing Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions’ obviously racist views and tactics, a letter that ended up blocking Sessions’ then-appointment to a federal judgeship.

Would you like to hear that again? An old white male conservative just told one of the most fearless women in the senate that she is hereby barred from speaking the words of Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor. During Black History Month. And then the senate took a vote, and every other (white, male, Trump-fearing) senate Republican voted in agreement with McConnell, thus barring Warren from speaking at all for the rest of Sessions’ evaluation.

“Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech,” McConnell said. “She had appeared to violate [Rule XIX]. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

And lo, the Internet exploded. McConnell could not have chosen a more apt rallying cry for the increasingly furious, radicalized, feminist-supercharged Left than “Nevertheless, she persisted,” an instantly famous phrase rivalling Trump’s own “nasty woman” anti-Hillary slur that became the unofficial slogan for the Women’s March. (See also #ShePersisted and #LetLizSpeak).


(All credit, btw, to Warren’s social media team, who posted the video of McConnell’s sneer within minutes, along with immediate follow-ups, including those of SF’s own Warren prodigy Kamala Harris, among others).

So then. With Warren leading the charge and senators like the newly minted Harris finding her voice in record time (via what has to be one of the most intense trials-by-fire of any liberal female senator, ever), and with even old-school slowpoke Dems like grandpa Chuck Schumer getting the hang of this anti-Trump social media thing, and with the tens of thousands of galvanized progressive Americans calling their senators and pushing every button and signing every protest form and pouring millions into the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and the rest, the Dems appear to be unifying, rallying, finding a way through the nightmare.

Will it be enough? To have significant effect? To block, derail, impeach? Impossible to measure. Nothing is normal now. Everything is whipsaw ridiculous melodramatic, every Trump statement a lie, every GOP move a stunning insult and a gross embarrassment, every presidential appointment seemingly aimed at a furious destabilization/destruction of the economy, the environment, foreign relations, the social safety net, all tied to an enthusiastically puerile, white nationalist humiliation of the nation’s highest office.

.@SenateDems are once again going to #holdthefloor all night – this time to speak out against @SenatorSessions‘s nomination for AG.

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) February 7, 2017

The dynamics are hugely unpredictable. Dems know they don’t have the votes to block Sessions, or disasters like Betsy DeVos or Scott Pruitt, but they do, increasingly, have a megaphone. They have social media, they have unstoppable firebrands like Warren, they have angrily empowered senators like Sherrod Brown, Jeff Merkley, Tammy Duckworth and Tom Udall, many of whom stood up in Warren’s place and read King’s letter anyway.

Many thanks to @SenatorTomUdall for reading Coretta Scott King’s letter on the Senate floor. https://t.co/RFYAplSNyC

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) February 8, 2017

Rest assured: Trump (and McConnell, and Paul Ryan, et al) will do everything in their white-supremacist power to curtail, mock, demean and shut down every vote, every hint, every voice of resistance, especially if that resistance dares comes from a female. Which will, as evidenced by #ShePersisted, only galvanize the resistance further.

The downside is, no matter how fired-up the Dems get, the party simply doesn’t have the sadistic, bloodthirsty, shamelessly illegal, lie-strewn cruel streak that has now so saturated and overtaken the GOP. The Republicans will, quite literally, kill their own mothers for more of the gross, unchecked power Trump is peeing pouring all over them. The party of inclusion, progress and open-mindedness is now being asked to battle the devil, and the devil has no rules whatsoever.

Did you know the House Republicans just voted to eliminate the one federal agency that makes sure voting machines aren’t hacked? They are already planning how to steal the next election.

Did you hear those same House Republicans just blocked voting on a resolution stating that the Holocaust targeted Jews?

The GOP is not merely drunk with power. They are engorged by it, blinded by it, most whiningly terrified of Trump’s thin skin and his sociopathic, child-like temper and what defying him might do to their shaky careers if they dare speak, or think, for themselves. Thus, they are worse than cowards. They are cowards in service of hate, white nationalism, and fear. And like Trump, they mean America ill.

Nevertheless, she persisted.

“Nevertheless, she persisted.” https://t.co/ase6qCChgk

— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) February 8, 2017

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Mark Morford

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