Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee was arrested during a protest held Thursday outside of the Hart Senate Office Building. It is being reported that she led a march of black voting rights activists to protest the Senate’s nonaction on the For the People Act. The activists were taking advantage of the fact that some Texas state Democrat lawmakers were testifying before the House Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee. After the committee hearing, the marchers went to the Senate Office Building and waited to be arrested.
It’s political theatre, these protests in front of the Senate Office Building. The Capitol Police move in to arrest the protesters when they block the entrance. The politicians and activists make a big deal out of getting handcuffed and escorted to a police vehicle. They are quickly released after being processed at the nearby police station. The last step is for those arrested to post on social media about their arrest. Brave, brave social justice warriors. It’s all a well-choreographed act.
Anyone who observes politics knows that Sheila Jackson-Lee is a hog for the camera. She can give Chuck Schumer a run for his money on that front. It’s completely on-brand for her to let others go before her, like Rep. Joyce Beatty and Rep. Hank Johnson and then follow what they did when she sees how the protests go.
— Sheila Jackson Lee (@JacksonLeeTX18) July 29, 2021
In a demonstration of Democrats’ determination, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Houston was arrested later Thursday outside of the Hart Senate Office Building after leading a march of Black voting rights activists to protest the Senate’s nonaction on the For the People Act.
Jackson Lee and other protestors launched into songs and chants as they were escorted into police vans. Several others were arrested with the congresswoman, but it was not immediately known who or how many.
“Tell the people we’re fighting for them,” they declared. “We’re fighting for democracy.”
Brave Sheila will now use this political theatre to fundraise. That’s the routine.
The Texas fleebaggers got some attention from the House Civil Rights and Civil Liberties subcommittee. It’s been radio silence from them for a few days so there’s no need for concern – they are still in D.C. and desperate for some publicity. Or at least for someone to listen to them. They, too, are brave, brave warriors, fighting to save democracy. Yeah, it is absurd that grown adults talk like that but there you are. They believe their own hype and continue to embarrass themselves. Three Texas state representatives testified and one Republican state representative testified. I wonder if the Democrats from Texas were anticipating the Republicans on the committee to unload on them and their cowardly act of running instead of remaining in Austin and doing their jobs.
Testimony focused on House Bill 3, a Republican-backed bill in the Texas House that Democrats say would suppress the vote, particularly within communities of color.
Texas State Reps. Nicole Collier, Senfronia Thompson, and Diego Bernal testified. State Rep. Travis Clardy was the lone Republican from Texas to testify before the committee. His testimony focused on elections integrity and security, stressing that the assault on voting rights trope is a bunch of malarkey.
“To be sure, there is no assault on voting rights in Texas, but there is in fact a real danger posed to our democracy,” Clardy said. “Not the well-intentioned and reasoned provisions in HB 3 to better secure our election processes, but instead the growing threat of practices too long tolerated that deprive individuals of voting for the candidates of their choice.”
The Republicans on the committee pulled no punches. We are reminded that Pete Sessions is still in Congress. We don’t hear much about him anymore.
“Today, in essence, we’re allowing and coddling people who should be at work in the state of Texas,” said Rep. Pete Sessions of Waco, the lead Republican on the subcommittee. “And yet we’re treating them as hometown heroes in Washington, D.C. I believe that they need to have their constitutional duties performed and be back home.”
Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Sherman, said the Democrats were “more like carnival barkers than serious legislators” and that their complaints were “hyperbolic in the extreme.”
Rep. Scott Franklin, R-Fla., was equally dismissive, telling the witnesses that Republicans don’t shirk their duties even when they are in the minority party.
“We don’t act like a bunch of spoiled cowards running away and refusing to vote when it’s clear we don’t have the numbers to get our way,” Franklin said.
Anyway, the questioning during the hearing fell along party lines, as everything does in D.C. Squad members AOC and Rashida Tlaib voiced their support of the fleebaggers and slammed Texas Republicans in racial terms, as they do. It’s a return to Jim Crow, you know.
One Democrat who testified spoke of being hopeful that their testimony would move things along, bring about some action on the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the For the People Act. “I hope that the testimony from all three of us will help push Congress to act, to take up the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and pass the For the People Act,” she said. “My understanding is that there’s movement since we’ve been here. We’ve seen movement, there’s been progress in the process.” They almost sound naive, don’t they?
Yesterday there was a photo op for some of the fleebaggers with Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III. They all linked arms in front of a monument of MLK, Jr. as the two professional race-baiters insisted that their struggle against voter suppression (ahem) isn’t in vain.
“Not in recent history has a legislative body had to leave their state because injustice was taking place for the citizens of the state,” King said, with the massive granite edifice of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. looming behind him. He added that his parents “and many others gave their lives so that we would not be asked to be here today talking about expanding voting rights. It’s almost — any of us could be very frustrated.”
Sharpton lauded the Texans for digging in against an “existential threat to voting” as they run out the clock on the special session Gov. Greg Abbott called.
Sharpton compared the fugitives to Fannie Lou Hamer and other civil rights icons who risked jail and beatings to propel the movement toward racial justice.
“The disgrace that Texas and Georgia and Florida and other states are doing must be resisted,” he said, referring to a spate of GOP-backed voting restrictions enacted since the 2020 election, often justified as “election integrity” measures needed to address Donald Trump’s baseless claims of fraud. “They are in a great tradition, and we need them to stand tall.”
I’m not sure what MLK III’s definition of “recent history” is but in 2009 to Oklahoma. In 2003 they fled to avoid a redistricting plan. Democrats walked out at the end of the general session in May and that caused legislation to come to a standstill. That’s why a special session was called this month – to deal with incomplete business from the general session. A second special session has been called to begin on August 8. We’ll see what the Democrats do then. Running is not unusual for Texas Democrats.