#ShePersisted: Senator Warren’s interruption turns into a feminism rallying cry.
Democratic Senator Elisabeth Warren was interrupted by the presiding Senate chair Steve Daines while she was giving a speech reading a letter written in 1986 by the widow of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Coretta Scott King.
King wrote that she wanted to block Sessions from a federal judgeship. The subject that was being debated was the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell did not let her finish the speech, later saying “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted”. This statement was immediately used on social media as a feminist rallying cry, as well as the hashtags #LetLizSpeak and #ShePersisted.
Images of Malala Yousafzai, Rosa Parks or Hillary Clinton were used along with the quote. When Daines interrupted her, he cited Senate Rule XIX and its stipulation that “no Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” The Senate voted 49-43 to prevent her from speaking for the rest of the debate on Sessions. She went on and did a Facebook Live to read the entire Kings’s letter.
Warren arrived in the senate in 2013 and rose as a progressive icon, taking an aggressive stand against Wall Street. This is not the first time she was subject to limitations on her freedom of speech, given that she was warned after reading a statement made by former Senator Edward Kennedy, which labelled Mr Sessions a disgrace.
Conservative media such as Fox News, see Warren as a bad influence on potential Democratic voters, so helpful to the Republican party. Republican South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, said on the Mike Gallagher Show (Salem Radio Network) that the silencing of Senator Warren was “long overdue.”
Conspiracy theories started to spread, believing how this was all a Republican plot to promote Warren as a presidential candidate, considering that they believe she would lose to Trump in 2020.