As we reported last week, California State Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) was led off the Senate floor by the Sergeant-at-Arms when she attempted to offer a different perspective on the legacy of former Sen. Tom Hayden, a vocal anti-war protester and Communist sympathizer, than her colleagues had given in a memorial two days earlier.
California Democrats, whose iron-fisted grip on the state and its media is rarely challenged, are used to bulldozing over the rights of political opponents without consequence. But this time, their tactics backfired.
At the California Republican Party’s convention over the weekend, Ms. Nguyen was held up as a symbol of free speech. Hundreds of stickers were printed that read: “I stand with Janet.”
“It’s unknowable for us why they wouldn’t allow it,” Jean Fuller, the Senate Republican leader, said of the action against Ms. Nguyen.
— Joe Garofoli (@joegarofoli) February 25, 2017
When Sen. Nguyen spoke at the convention, the crowd literally stood with her.
— CAGOP (@CAGOP) February 25, 2017
Senate leadership, who unflinchingly stood by their actions Thursday, were of a different mindset after a weekend being hammered in the news and on social media.
On Monday, Kevin de León, the Senate president pro tempore, addressed the controversy on the Senate floor, saying he was “troubled” by what happened.
“Thursday was not one of the finest moments in the Senate’s history,” he said. “As the leader of this body, I take full responsibility for what transpired and for making sure it never happens again.”
Still, Republican Senate leaders are calling for an investigation into what happened, especially since Nguyen’s office had asked for time to offer her statement on what Hayden’s actions meant to Vietnamese refugees, and had been given the run-around.
In the end, Nguyen’s statement has received far more attention than it ever would have if they had just let her speak. More importantly, it put the hypocrisy and intolerance of California Democrats under a nationwide spotlight.