The Left's rising rhetoric over the expulsion of 2 Tennessee legislators perfectly captures Democrat's amplified rage in today’s politics.
By Jonathan Turley
This month, there was an “assault on democracy” – in Tennessee. It appears that nothing says democracy these days – to Democrats – like a bullhorn and obstructing legislative work.
I recently wrote a column on how American politics has become a simple matter of amplification after Democrats stopped the Tennessee House proceedings with a bullhorn to protest the lack of gun control measures. I noted,
“Today, for many, there is no room for nuance. Instead, they live in a world occupied only by ‘fascists’ and ‘insurrectionists.’ ”
Right on cue, Vice President Kamala Harris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) proceeded to add their own amplified voices to the madness. For her part, AOC turned to calling GOP members fascists, and said Gen Z was coming:
“Their fascism is only further radicalizing and awakening an earthquake of young people, both in the South and across the nation. If you thought youth organizing was strong, just wait for what’s coming. Gen Z don’t play.”
AOC even shared a video of protesters chanting “F–k you fascists” and promising that “Gen Z” will even the score.
Vice President Kamala Harris did not visit with the real victims of this entire incident – the families of the innocent people who were slaughtered by a trans shooter at The Covenant School in Nashville that left six dead, including three children, in the run-up to holy week – but flew to the state to meet with the state's Democrat Cacus there and instead expressed her (faux) outrage at the expulsion of the two "Tennessee 3" state legislators.
She praised the legislators, while blaming the Republicans for victimizing the families whom she ignored on her visit.
The full-throated support for the actions of the expelled legislators is a bizarre position for the Senate president in Washington, D.C. – which every Vice President, including Kamala Harris, serves as – who enforces the same rules in Congress. Yet she was disgusted by sanctioning members who refused to allow their colleagues to continue legislative business because they lacked the votes for a gun control measure.
Harris angrily proclaimed:
“It’s about whose voices they were channeling. Understand that — and is that not what a democracy allows?”
Liberal sites like HuffPost gushed with praise for Harris and her “powerful message on Democracy,” but Democracy does not invite or entail the disruption of democratic process. It's the same bizarre claim for many on the left that silencing others by shouting them down on campuses is a form of free speech.
These legislators were upset because they are in the minority and lack sufficient votes to get what they want. They were protesting the democratic process – not advancing its principles in shutting down the floor.
Others piled on:
- Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI.) decried,
- “This is fascism ... expelling your political opponents ... is disgusting.”
- Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA.) declared,
- “This is fascism, full stop.”
- Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA.) added,
- “Straight-up fascism in its ugliest, most racist form,” because “there is no justification for ousting two legislators who were protesting with and for their constituents.”
It is an ironic position of some Democrats who after Jan. 6 supported calls for expelling House Members in Congress – including false claims that members personally assisted rioters in surveilling and getting access to the building.
The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin also called for expelling Republican members who voted against certifying the 2020 Election.
It did not matter that members like Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA.) had previously voted against the certification of Republican presidents – and called it democracy.
In 2004, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi heaping praise on Boxer, declaring,
“This is not, as some of our Republican colleagues have referred to it sadly, frivolous. This debate is fundamental to our democracy.”
- January 6th Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS.) voted to challenge the certification of the 2004 Presidential Election results of President George W. Bush’s re-election;
- Committee member Jamie Raskin (D-MD.) sought to challenge President Donald Trump’s certification in 2016.
Now, however, Democrats are outraged with the expulsion of two members, objecting to “the stunning sight of white lawmakers condescendingly dismissing two young black men.” Others packed a litany of left-wing grievances in the controversy.
The media is complicit in this dangerous hypocrisy as well. One columnist wrote:
“White nationalistic, theocratic, radical, ‘conservative’ movement that wants to burn this country to the ground if the masses refuse to be ruled by them alone do wish to conserve something.
"White (straight, ‘Christian’) male privilege and power. What happened was a very public lesson on structural racism, or even better, critical race theory.”
There is no discussion of how reckless rhetoric to rise up against the “fascists” fuels violence, despite the common objections to such rhetoric from figures like Trump.
When witnesses recently called for an investigation into government censorship efforts, Democrat members denounced those calling for greater transparency as “Putin lovers” and apologists for insurrectionists and racists. The reason appears to be the very rationalization of Vice President Harris: “It’s about whose voices they were channeling.”
Preventing legislative proceedings because the majority denied the “right” result is now democracy itself?!
It all comes down to “whose voices are being channeled” – as opposed to what the law or democracy may dictate.
It is all part of Politics BYOB... Bring Your Own Bullhorn.
A professor at George Washington University Law School, Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from Constitutional Law, to Legal Theory & Tort Law. He is often asked to testify in Congressional proceedings about complex Constitutional & Statutory Issues, including multiple impeachment hearings and removal trials such as the impeachment of Presidents Bill Clinton & Donald Trump. He appears regularly as a legal expert on all of the major television networks, as well as in national publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal.