A ton of tone-deaf brickbats are en route to the Democratic state senators, including our own Bill Monning, who had a role in muzzling a Republican senator because she had a few unkind words to say about the late Tom Hayden.
Hayden — a former state lawmaker who was known for his radical, anti-Vietnam War activism — was memorialized on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday. On Thursday, Orange County Republican Sen. Janet Nguyen said she wanted to offer “another historical perspective.”
“He (Hayden) sided with the community government that enslaved and killed millions of Vietnamese, including my family,” said Nguyen, who escaped from Vietnam with her family when she was 5 years old.
She delivered her remarks first in Vietnamese. When she switched to English, Monning objected that she was not following Senate rules, whereupon the presiding officer, Sen. Ricardo Lara, turned off Nguyen’s microphone.
When Nguyen continued to speak, she was repeatedly ordered to sit down, and when that failed, Lara ordered her removed from Senate chambers … inviting immediate comparisons to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s silencing of Elizabeth Warren.
Nguyen may not have been following some esoteric Senate rule — that was unclear from the initial reporting — but this is one of those times when the rules should have been bent.