Posted by Curt on 12 April, 2023 at 12:41 pm. 3 comments already!


by Jonathan Turley

This month, there was an “assault on democracy” in Tennessee.

However, it was apparently not members halting the legislative process, but rather their expulsion.

It appears that nothing says democracy 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.

AOC even shared a video of protesters chanting “F–k you fascists” and promising that “Gen Z” will even the score.

I do not agree with the expulsion of the two members as opposed to other sanctions.

Expulsion should only come in rare and extreme circumstances.

While repeated disruption of the proceedings might qualify, I would have recommended censures and suspension from Committee positions.

Vice President Harris did not visit the families of the victims of the recent mass shooting in Nashville, but flew to the state to express her outrage at the expulsion of two legislators.

She praised the legislators while blaming the Republicans for victimizing the families whom she ignored on her visit.

Disrupting discourse

The full-throated support for the actions of the expelled legislators is a bizarre position for the Senate president who enforces the same rules in Washington, DC.

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 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.”

Democracy does not invite or entail the disruption of democratic process.

It is 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.

For her part, AOC returned to calling the 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.”

Others piled on: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) decried, “This is fascism . . . expelling your political opponents . . . is disgusting.” Likewise, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) 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.”

Echo chamber

It is an ironic position of some Democrats who have supported calls for expelling House members after Jan. 6, 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-Calif.) had previously voted against the certification of Republican presidents and called it democracy.

In 2004, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi heaping praise on Boxer declared, “This is not as some of our Republican colleagues have referred to it sadly as frivolous. This debate is fundamental to our democracy.”

Rubin declared, “Every Republican bears a responsibility for what happened on Wednesday, whether or not they participated in a seditious attempt to overthrow our democracy.”

January 6th committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) voted to challenge the certification of the 2004 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.

It did not matter that Rubin and members like Rep. Bill Pascrell demanded expulsion of dozens of members for their voting the wrong way on certification.

There were no cries of disgust from Harris or others even when Pascrell later called for prevention of 120 GOP members from being seated for signing an amicus brief that the Democrats disagreed with.

Likewise, when GOP members said something on the floor that Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) felt wrongly portrayed Jan. 6, he called for their censure.

Dangerous hypocrisy

Now, however, Rubin and others are outraged with the expulsion of two members, objecting to “the stunning sight of white lawmakers condescendingly dismissing two young black men.”

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