Earlier today, Tara Granahan tweeted criticism of behavior by Democrat Senator Stephen Archambault (Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) during the June 15 hearing of the Senate Committee on Judiciary concerning drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. Here’s the moment in question:
Out-of-state guests with whom the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity has interacted when they’ve come to our state to testify on legislation have commented about the terrible behavior of legislators, with very similar circumstances to those to which Gorman objected. The legislators — clearly treating hearings as a way to go through the motions and let people believe we still have a representative democracy — lapse into joking around with each other. Even if they aren’t laughing at the people offering testimony, the signal of disrespect is huge.
The shocking part of this video, though, is Archambault’s chastising Gorman as if the senator is some sort of feudal lord putting a peasant in his place. Archambault insists that “whatever I’m saying back here is my business.” Well, no, Lord Steve. You’re “back there” as a representative of Rhode Islanders in your district. Gorman isn’t coming into your space under your good-hearted sufferance. You’re privileged to be there on behalf of others.
But Senator Archambault pushes folly to offense when he repeatedly insists, “Don’t ever do that again. Ever.” Or what?
If we didn’t live in such a corrupt, one-party state, the committee chairwoman, Democrat Erin Lynch Prata (Warwick, Cranston) would have insisted that Archambault stand down and apologized to Mr. Gorman. But we do live in such a state, which means we must constantly be reminded that they don’t work for us; we work for them. We don’t bestow privileges upon them; they bestow them upon us.