By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) –  During a Senate debate Tuesday night over the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acted out the dream of many a disgruntled D.C. Republican – he ordered Sen. Elizabeth Warren to sit down and shut up.

It’s not entirely clear why McConnell decided to invoke a rarely-used Senate rule that bars senators from disparaging one another, since everyone in D.C. expects Sessions to win nomination – perhaps as early as tonight – on a party-line vote.

When we asked Warren during a one-on-one interview Wednesday if there was some bad blood between her and McConnell that we don’t already know about, she shrugged and said: “You’ll have to ask [him].”

Jon Keller interviews Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (WBZ-TV)

Jon Keller interviews Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (WBZ-TV)

But the episode showcases how ugly the mood is in Congress.

The Obama years were a time of bitter partisanship and aggressive obstruction by the GOP minority. Now, the roles have been reversed, but the acrid tone and personal venom is, if anything, worse than ever.

This episode will quickly be overshadowed by even nastier dust-ups, count on it.

But it may turn out to be something of an inadvertent gift to Warren, who’s been struggling to restore her superstar status among some Democrats and liberals with gripes about her refusal to endorse like-minded Sen. Bernie Sanders during the presidential race and her willingness to support the nomination of Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

And it also lends insight into the mindset of McConnell, usually a skilled practitioner of inside politics, who unnecessarily made a heroine out of Warren by shutting her down during a reading of a letter from the late civil-rights icon Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Were you glad at some level that the Obama years and their nasty partisan gridlock came to an end?

Better buckle your seat belt.

Things are only getting worse.

Comments (35)
  1. Alan B Flood says:

    I will not try to speak for others but I am tired of her shrill rants about anyone who takes a road different from her road. To my knowledge she has not been anointed to take the place of anyone’s God. . The rigidness and stiffness of her body when she is pointing and shaking her fist suggests someone who has a very angry issue rump in style and temperament – her way for the highway. Other then The doctor she has climbed on about every nominee of Trumps and even Carson got a pile of her wrath. We just got done eight years of someone knowing it all but in reality unable to use that vast knowledge for hope and change. If Trump fails to make America great again, then I suspect we will be ready for the next step in evolution and revolution with or without Lieawatha

  2. She was warned that she couldn’t do this and asked to stop, but she ignored those requests. She gets what she deserves.

  3. Bill Branch says:

    She is an obnoxious loudmouth. That the people of Massachusetts would elect such a dolt speaks volumes to the intelligence of the electorate there.

    1. She is one of the few senators with a backbone. She also is packing more balls than any of the old white farts in the senate. Massachusetts has been leading the country for more than two centuries with the best senators since 1776 and Elizabeth Warren is right up there with John Adams as the bravest patriots.

      1. Evidently your Public School Education didn’t work out too well for you.

  4. It is going to get a lot worse. The stewardship of the greatest democracy has been fumbled by a cult with hate in their hearts and an idol in their confused minds.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      History, Rowdy. Convince folks the media lies and you tell the only truth. Check. Discredit our intelligence agencies. Check. Discredit our judicial system. Check. Censor/eliminate the biggest critics. Check. And look at the indoctrinated already lining up on these blogs.

      What folks here miss or is clouded by their fear of Warren is that she was not silenced, Coretta Scott King was. And it is almost laughable to note that no one minds that a male finished reading the letter.

  5. Liz Warren should learn to OBEY the rules and Regulations. She is NOT above anyone. She IS NOT in front of here little snowflake college students anymore. She Cried when the Republicans criticized OBAMA. She is Still Crying…..She …IS….NOT……My……SENATOR. And Neither is Mr. Frosty!

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      At least attempt to comment using facts. She has also been an outspoken critic of Obama.

    2. oh, you poor little cupcake, did the loud person scare you? She did follow the rules, she appealed and was shut down so she stopped. She never claimed to be above anyone. She was just looking for the respect all the bad mouthing GOP senators were given when they called democrats repulsive names.

      1. Why is it that the when the Republicans are in Power, (I’m not saying they are great, the current politicians in my opinion stink) they have to Compromise? When the Democrats are in power they want people to be accepting and diverse. Remember when OBAMACARE was SHOVED down the peoples throats! The Democrats want it THEIR way or you go your way. Look at all the failures of the last 50 years! Look at all the inner cities and the crime, uneducated, unemployment that the Democrats have championed! Their response? We NEED More Money! No Liz Warren is a liar. All she is doing is looking after herself. Why doesn’t she lead congress to live like a person on welfare? get the same pay and benefits as a welfare person does. Then they will truly be a public servant.

      2. bees_knees_6 says:

        Chris…you have to start at square one. When in power the democrats asked for the republicans to work with them. Republicans obstructed. Now in power the repubicans refuse to work with the democrats….obstruction no matter which way you look at it. Obamacare was repeatedly open to the right to help work through. They simply wanted to repeal it….no alternative plan. They still have no alternative plan. So you see, there is a common denominator in the world of not compromising… starts with an R ;)

  6. bees_knees_6 says:

    Jon, it surprises me that you believe the order to silence Warren came from McConnell. Look a bit larger….or should I say so so biglier

  7. Rule 19 is rarely used because most senators have learned the way to slam another senator without getting sanctioned.

    Warren did not care about the rules and was sanctioned in accordance with them As I recall there may have been three or four senators from the minority that went along with the enforcement of the rules.

    And Warren being bolstered by this act?

    Come on, Jon, are you carrying water for her re-election campaign already?

    She did not come off as a heroine sticking a lance in the evil dragon’s eye. She came across as a self-centered harpy for whom the Rules are designed to be ignored.

    This was a mistake on Warren’s part, and if she is wise, she will recognize it as such and be the wiser in the future. If she puts on her typical arrogant cape, she will, however, find herself further marginalized because she is going to make the discussion about “Elizabeth Warren” and not about opposing the agenda of McConnell and the Republicans.

    I doubt that Warren’s ego will allow her to let this go.

    And, Bees, ONLY McConnell could make such a motion because HE is the one that controls the floor of the Senate…just like Harry Reid did when he was Majority Leader.

    1. David Keith says:

      Clearly (as is usual for you), you don’t know what you are talking about. Rule 19 is concerned with the respect that senators should show to each other while speaking on the Senate floor. It was never intended to apply if a Senator was the subject of the debate (i.e. the rule doesn’t contemplate a Senator being nominated to a Cabinet position – which necessarily subjects him/her to Senate debate).

      Rule 19 has a very tortuous history. You can check it out for yourself, but why let your prejudices feelings get in the way of the facts.


      1. bees_knees_6 says:

        Nice comment, David K. Clearly indoctrination and alternative facts abound. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see the target was Warren and the right has been looking for any excuse. It won’t stop. Trump needs to silence her….bernie as well but he may be a bit trickier. McCain and Graham will either join the team or we will see some move toward denigrating them also.

      2. Read the rule for what is says, not what you think it says.

        That’s a fundamental tenet of reading and understanding laws and rules.

      3. bees_knees_6 says:

        Owl, you forgot to address why others could read the letter Warren was silenced for reading.

    2. bees_knees_6 says:

      Owl, I got partway through your comments, saw the end and just shook my head. If Rule 19 applies to Coretta King’s letter, why were other senators allowed to continue reading it. Please, please think about that. Also, I didn’t say Trump made the motion but Trump controls the strings. Come on, Owl, you are smarter than this.

  8. I’ve been cringing and praying for months that Fakeahontis would just shut up in public, thank you Mitch.

  9. Why shouldn’t Congress be this bad, the whole country is this bad? I never thought I would see the day that people in this country would lose their heads and alienate each other this way. And some seem to be gleeful about it and not caring how bad it gets. Or at least that’s what they imagine now, but it will be a different story, when we all pay the consequences for this recklessnesss. COMPROMISE, Respect, Tolerance. We better start deciding to do that before it’s too late.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      I never thought I’d see it this bad either. It began with Obama. Before he took office. In part, and I’m not saying as a whole, it is difficult to believe it doesn’t have to do with the fact he is African American. Certainly, Trump brought a ton of prejudice out of the woodwork. But I don’t believe it is glee. That would indicate people do not care. At the moment, I think you are seeing horrific fear. I understand it. I have had plenty of folks I have voted for lose. It is what it is and you move on and hope for the best. I have never felt the fear I do with Trump and so far he has proven that he is anything but stable. Look at the way he rolled out the ban. Complete knee jerk reaction, didn’t let anyone know what was happening or what to do. Worse, look at the reports of lack of intel in the Yemen raid. He tweets like a grade schooler at 3:00 am to anyone and everyone who gets in his way. If you took that out of context, any realistic person who shake his head and think you were talking about a very unreliable and dangerous individual.

  10. Trump is not my concern. That will play itself out. My concern is the relationship between Americans. Yesterday I was talking to a woman who lives in Oregon. She said she was one of the few conservatives in her area. She had been a long time member of a choral group and they kicked her out of the group because she voted for Trump. People on Facebook have asked their friends and family if they voted for Trump and unfriended them if they did. Even people they had known for a long time.

    I just think it’s kind of ironic, that you are afraid of Trump and prejudice but maybe you’re not even noticing the judgment, bullying and condemning of anyone who voted for Trump. I was called a traitor yesterday on another site, for simply suggesting we all get along. But it was in a comment section of an article about Trump and he assumed I had voted for Trump. And a few other choice names, that are unrepeatable. And while he was attacking me, a second person joined in and attacked me. There is a lot of hate out there and it’s just not coming from people who support Trump. There’s barely anyone online posting that are Trump supporters because they have been so bullied online.

    Trump has not changed how I feel about America, even Clinton or Obama didn’t change how I felt about America, What has changed the way I feel about it, is the Democratic party, Clinton supporters and anyone who has drawn a line in the sand and declared 65 million people the voted for Trump as the enemy. And I would wager to bet that no one that voted for Trump sees it any different than I do and will not forget how they’ve been treated.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      I’m clearly seeing the judgement and whatever else you want to call it. The problem is that you are looking in only one direction. BOTH sides are doing the exact same. Please try to see that it is not one side or the other. It NEVER is. I do wish I could believe that Trump will play itself out. I think far too many are duped by his words and do not see what he is doing. He promised to drain the swamp………..the swamp is living in his cabinet. And before you move to Obama. First, he is no longer president so let’s put that behind us. Second, I also did not agree with what Obama did on several occasions. The one thing he did not do is hurt this country.

      BTW – back to assuming you know what I am saying…I thought you were not going to do that any more…..”I just think it’s kind of ironic, that you are afraid of Trump and prejudice but maybe you’re not even noticing the judgment, bullying and condemning of anyone who voted for Trump.”

      You find something you are assuming “may be” taking place ironic….do you see the problem with that comment?

      1. bees_knees_6 says:

        Adding, Liz. Do you sincerely believe that the president of the united states should be tweeting threats and insults at 3:00 am? Do you really believe he should be waging a war on Nordstrom because it dropped his daughter’s line of clothing? What president in history has ever acted like a full out bully in this way? Please take a step back and see what it is that has people concerned. After the election, when friends who did not want Trump, were upset, I consistently suggested we wait until he take office. After all, doing what the right did and maligning an elected president before inauguration would be hypocritical. I thought Trump would settle in. Instead, he has doubled down. And it is truly frightening to see the leader of the free world act in a way that would have a grade school child punished.

      2. Adding BK – You point to Trump’s behavior as bullying. To many reasons to be critical and concerned about him as a leader of this country, but, try stepping back yourself and looking at the behavior of American citizens, who claim to be better than Trump. You want to hold the high ground, because you told your friends to wait until he was in office before maligning a sitting President, “as the right did”. Be honest, BK, he has been maligned and attacked 24/7 since he was elected in way worse ways than anyone ever thought of being to Obama.

        Whether you and your friends actually behaved and still behave in a way that is trying to take the high road, that may be. I’d expect you to try to be objective and tolerant. But who do you know, that is defending Trump supporters? But there are many many people, average Americans, media outlets, other politicians, many people who are not showing any different behavior than Trump’s. They are bullying, they are disrespecting. They are not offering an alternative to him, they are as bad if not worse in their response to the situation. And that to me is the definition of being hypocritical. Just as Clinton declared all Trump supporters as “deplorables” and “irredeemables” during the campaign, her supporters have marched to that mantra down the line. Do you support that view and that behavior?

  11. BK – You assume as well…that I am only looking in one direction. My experience, looking with an open mind at what is in front of me, is that it’s about 5 to 1 Clinton supporters to Trump supporters online. And what I see Trump supporters saying is different than what I see Clinton supporters saying.

    You say you see… ‘the judgement and whatever else you want to call it’. What do you call it? It’s a lot more than judgment – I’d say condemnation but that’s not even an adequate word. So many negative descriptions come to mind, it’s deeply disturbing.

    Yes, in any conflict it is always two sides, but that doesn’t mean each side has equal blame or that they are doing the same thing. I don’t think Trump supporters that I have observed and talked to are doing the same thing. They are defending themselves, they are critical of democrats and a liberal agenda in general, but, that’s not what Clinton supporters are doing, they have gone well beyond that in many instances. For one thing, they have distorted the positions of people who voted for Trump and labeled them with every nasty name they can come up with, unfairly and unreasonably.

    I haven’t defended Trump with one word. And I do believe Obama harmed the country. And I don’t believe Clinton would have been any better. I see no point in arguing over it, just for your awareness that some people see it differently than you do.

    Whatever people are concerned about with Trump, is no excuse for the way they are treating people who voted for him. And yes, his behavior is of concern, his cabinet choices are questionable in many instances. I highly doubt that anyone that voted for Trump expected him to proceed the way he has. They may have different positions on many topics, and they wanted change, but 65 million people didn’t expect him to write umpteen executive orders his first 10 days in office.

    But, sincerely, I don’t believe this is about Trump. There is a lot of ‘oh…look what he did today’…going on. People who didn’t vote for him are thrilled to see him act in ways they can openly criticize him for. But…underneath it all…are the political positions that they are against. It is a liberal agenda vs a conservative agenda. And the liberals in this country seem intent on making sure that the only direction this country will go, is with a liberal agenda.

    And again – focusing on what Trump is doing or not doing, is a mistake, in my opinion. Ignoring what is happening between dems/liberals and rep/conservatives and the break down of respect and civil discussion and no commitment to compromise is more the root of the problem than Trump is. He is just a symptom.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      I replied but Owl and his band of two year olds are amusing themselves – and me with their predicted behavior – by reporting all my comments.

      My end paragraph which you may also never see but then on the scale of things it doesn’t matter and as I said, it amuses me to see how right I was several years ago.

      So yes, a house divided cannot stand. I’ve been saying that for eight years. It is somewhat curious that the right is just getting on board, but then it is also welcome. Perhaps, if we stop getting on board by continuing to point fingers, it would work better. And perhaps if we do all we can to make very certain that none of our founding principals….our constitution….what this country stands tall for….are not destroyed, we might just make it.

      Also, check out University of Michigan. It clearly is two-sided.

      1. What is with your comments getting deleted? I don’t even see an option to report a comment. Have they ever admitted to reporting them? And if they have, why would CBS delete any of your comments? I am sure they would be within terms of service rules. It’s a mystery, sorry you are having a problem commenting.

        This site is difficult to comment on anyway. I don’t always follow discussion here, but post randomly and don’t always come back to check beyond that.

        I will check out Michigan. I assume they are Trump supporters? Do you have any reason they are? Michigan seems an unlikely place for Trump support, to me.

        I keep trying to stay out of it and ignore the news. It gets overwhelming after awhile. I make the effort and then get sucked back in by some new and alarming news that grabs everyone’s attention. Everyone I know is upset by it all. My kids have been down in the dumps about it.

      2. bees_knees_6 says:

        Hi Liz….They are children that never will grow up but there is a twisted side to it. It is a sad existence indeed. I don’t think BZ cares much any more.

        No, Michigan was the target of Trump based hate. It truly is in both directions and it is revolting from either. That is basically what my last post said. While headed in what seemed like different directions, we agree that this has to end. But we both need to recognize that it comes from both sides….sometimes more one than they other but ultimately they even out and both are wrong. It is truly very worrisome.

      3. If you remember, we’ve had conversations in the past, where I have said that I don’t see how people with polar opposite life views coexist peacefully, and this seems to be moving in that direction. There is conflict all over the world. Conflict in families. Peace seems to be a difficult thing to come by.

        I’d love to see people begin to try to compromise somehow and put out some suggestions for ways to do that. But I find it hard to even find a beginning place and a compromise that is acceptable. I’d love to see tolerance expressed for the opposite side. Trump supporters should be accepted. I’d bet many of them are finding fault with Trump but are now not in a position to say so. It’s hard to sort out what their conservative views are, with the way in which Trump has represented them, I would imagine.

        Immigration seems to be the biggest point of contention right now, where is the compromise with that?

      4. bees_knees_6 says:

        Liz, we have never been able to coexist at the start of a “relationship.” It is based IMO on fear of something you do not understand and prejudice. There is no reason on this earth that people cannot get along with everyone. I’m not sure what you mean about immigration being point of contention. But we have always been a nation of immigrants and we have always turned our backs on the newest groups until we figure out we were wrong and they never posed a threat. Our threat mainly lies within and not without. We have to separate refugees and immigrants and within immigrants we have to separate legal and illegal. Refugees are fleeing certain death. We sit in our cozy homes and in our safe country and turn our backs. I have no idea how anyone can claim to be a religious person and turn a back on those in need. Certainly, that is not what the Bible taught. It is not what the new Pope (who I think is the cats meow) says. As for illegals, in good part we have created the problem. It takes years and tens of thousands of dollars to get here legally. That is ludicrous. That being said, I am truly torn on what to do but feel we need a pathway to citizenship that includes some rigorous paths. Legal immigrants….they are here just as we are in other countries. They are off limits.

      5. bees_knees_6 says:

        Lizz – adding here. I saw this and thought of your comment. It is about as true as it gets and it is literally the foundation of our country. “The whole justification of the American Revolution was that the British were not living up to their own principles, were not including Americans in their own system. In a broad way that was also the argument of the civil rights movement: the system fails itself when it does not extend equal rights to all citizens.” Either we figure this out and stop Trump from trying very deliberately to turn hate to the Muslims (compare Hitler doing the same to the Jews), or we fail…..very literally. We must be aware of patterns in European history. Not that they are repeating but that do exist and we must learn from them.

      6. I’ve been tied up and just noticing this response. You probably won’t see my response, but, may as well any way.

        In the past, when I said people with polar opposite views have a difficult time coexisting, I’ve used the example of pro life and pro choice. Those two opposite ends of the table, have always had a hard time coexisting. And you have said, it shouldn’t be a problem, because pro lifers should do what is right for them and leave everyone else to make their own choice. The problem with that is that pro lifers, believe an unborn child is a child, not a fetus. And as such, feel the need to protect the child. If it were just about the mother, then that would be a different story. I don’t see how that has anything to do with not understanding or being prejudice. Pro lifers seem to understand pro choice’s point of view, and I would think pro choice understand the point of view of pro lifers as well. They just don’t agree with it. And neither side is prejudice against the other, as far as I can tell.

        You don’t understand how immigration is a point of contention? You don’t see that the right and the left see immigration differently? Clinton for instance and Obama I believe 100% believed in open borders. By that I mean, anyone, that wants to come in, should be allowed. The right believe in secure borders and hopefully a reasonable immigration policy.

        The really frustrating aspect of what I consider a “misunderstanding” between the left and the right, is that those on the right, who support a reasonable immigration policy that is enforced, are not against immigrants. Yet, the left will not miss an opportunity to frame it that way, distort it and have created their own narrative. Illegal immigrants are and always have been the issue, which is entirely different. And when the left suggests that the right are “against immigrants”, what you are saying, is that they are racist or “xenophobes”. Labels which I strongly dislike because they have been overused, used indiscriminately, used as weapons against people who disagree with you and have basically become simply insults with no real meaning.

        To support a reasonable immigration policy is not to be against immigration or immigrants. You do get that right? The majority of the left seem to me, to have decided everyone on the right is against immigrants. I see it in headlines in the media all the time. How did that happen?

        And the reason we have 11 million, which by the way, is an inaccurate estimate of the number that the Obama administration floated out there, but other sources suggest double that. One reason we have them, is because Obama believed in open borders and decided on his own, not by the backing of the voters, that he was going to put open borders into practice, simply by ignoring the laws on the books. Perhaps, some of his predecessors did as well.

        And if you are going to talk about these issues, the only way to do that is to compare what the left and the right believes, and leave Trump out of it. Because he distorts the position of the right, in many ways.

        I could spend days disputing your positions in the rest of your comment, but…I just don’t have the time. And really, based on our past history, time spent debating issues never seemed to bring us any closer to a meeting of the minds anyway.

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