The Democrats are determined to turn the Senate hearings into a circus as payback for Hillary losing the election. Because of that pesky democracy thing, they don’t have the votes to actually do anything. But they can throw tantrums and then they can throw tantrums about not being in the front of the line for tantrum throwing.
That’s exactly what the Congressional Black Caucus is doing.
Members of Congress and outside progressive groups were visibly disturbed and disappointed that several members of the Congressional Black Caucus were not given the courtesy of testifying earlier in the committee proceedings on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions — President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general — and instead left to testify at the end of the second day of hearings alongside outside witnesses.
“To have a senator, a House member and a living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus,” said Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, causing applause from several members of the audience in an already palpably tense hearing room.
Every time Cedric’s dry cleaning is late, he compares that to having to go to the back of the bus.
Let’s just note two things.
1. This is a shameless publicity stunt. The only thing these “witnesses” have to testify is to cry racism with no basis whatsoever. And since their place in line isn’t privileged enough, they’re crying racism over that too.
2. These entitled and arrogant hacks want to cut ahead in line of scheduled witnesses so they can cry racism. And they’re outraged that their privilege of being hacks isn’t honored by letting them cut in line. They aren’t being sent to the back of the bus. They’re complaining that they’re not being allowed to send others to the back of the bus. Some of those “others” are also minorities.
A spokesperson for Grassley told CNN that Feinstein’s request came late, after the hearing had already been set, and “it would have been disrespectful to make the other witnesses wait who were already slated to testify on the citizen panel,” and so he tried to “accommodate all witnesses in the fairest way.”
But fair is unfair.
“I regret that the chairman has decided to break committee tradition and make these members of Congress wait until the end of the hearing to speak. That is not how other chairmen have treated fellow members of Congress,” said former chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy in his opening remarks.
Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also spoke out on the controversy on Senate floor Wednesday. “I regret that a sitting US senator had to fight to earn the right to speak at the Judiciary hearing … and I regret the manner in which he was treated,” Schumer said.
A sitting US senator had no reason to speak at the hearing. His place is on the other side of the room. And having members of congress wait is good for them. It reminds them they’re not kings.