In a meeting that took place not too long ago in the Oval Office, Joe Biden presented the recognition to members of the Tennessee legislature for “standing up” for democracy by blocking another legislature from finishing its work. However, the ambiguity of his statement was brought into sharper focus when he declined to answer questions from the media.
Despite the fact that I was against the motion to expel state Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, D-Tennessee, I believed that they should have been subjected to some kind of penalty for obstructing the flow of legislative business on the House floor. Infractions that are particularly severe or that have been committed several times should, in my view, result in expulsion. In light of the circumstances, a different kind of penalty, such as a censure or the suspension of parliamentary powers, would have been more suitable.
On the other hand, President Biden invited them to Washington to commemorate their behavior, which consisted of bringing a bullhorn to a congressional procedure in order to block other people from voting on legislation. He is of the opinion that because they lacked the necessary number of votes to pass gun control legislation, they had every right to prohibit the majority from carrying out their legislative duties. Because of this, amplification has been a central focus in modern American politics.
On the other hand, the majority of the media chose to ignore the apparent contradiction that existed when Biden praised legislators for protecting democracy by suspending the legislative process.
Rep. Gloria Johnson was also recognized after making the assertion that the only reason she was not expelled was due to her status as the only white member among the three individuals involved in the scandal. During the discussion, Johnson and her supporters brought up several important distinctions, but her reasoning completely ignored them. In contrast to Jones and Pearson, she did not make use of a bullhorn, and her legal representation requested that she keep a safe distance from the demonstrators. In spite of the fact that Johnson’s distinctions convinced one member to vote against expulsion, that person later claimed the outcome was proof of sexism and racism in the group.
Would Biden have commended Republican members for standing up for democracy on January 6 if they had used bullhorns to block proceedings? Would it have been appropriate for them to “shout down” speakers while they were on the floor, as is sometimes done on college campuses?
When Republicans protested a motion to adjourn the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who served as Speaker at the time, simply switched off the lights and silenced the microphones. She did not put up with members who tried to shout her down in the chair and had the authority to postpone the meeting whenever she saw fit. On the floor of the House of Representatives, Democratic members have regularly tried to censure other members for breaching norms of etiquette and behavior. In anger over such behavior, one Democratic leader actually resigned from their position as chair.
If those members had been provided with bullhorns, do you think they would have become “democracy defenders”?
However, given that there are no primary debates scheduled for the Democratic party at this time, it would appear that similar controversies will not arise during those debates. Democratic operatives have raised objections over the Democratic National Committee’s failure to schedule or organize any debates, despite the fact that there are two additional candidates competing in the primary. The stance has been criticized by a number of people, like Nine Turner, who have stated that they believe in democracy and, as a result, believe in discussions. The DNC, RNC, and every third party should hold the same belief in a democracy. This is not an extremely revolutionary concept.
In conclusion, doubts regarding President Biden’s devotion to democracy are raised as a result of his choice to recognize Tennessee politicians for impeding legislative progress. In a democracy, demonstrations, and expressions of disagreement may have their place; but, impeding the progress of the legislative process is not the means to bring about the change that is desired. If someone violates the standards of etiquette and behavior on the floor, there should be repercussions for their actions, but such penalties should be appropriate to the severity of the infraction. In the end, the focus ought to be on locating common ground and moving ahead together in order to address the difficulties that are confronting our nation.
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