California state Sen. Janet Nguyen spoke Saturday at the California Republican Party convention in Sacramento. She’s become a GOP martyr.
Nguyen had been removed from the state Senate chamber on Thursday while trying to speak about the late state Sen. Tom Hayden’s opposition to the Vietnam War.
The silencing of Janet Nguyen, a Republican state senator and Vietnamese refugee, became a rallying force at the California GOP convention.
The annual gathering was largely expected to be a sleepy affair this year, but a decision by Democrats on Thursday to physically remove Nguyen from the Senate floor energized the event. Nguyen was removed as she spoke about her family’s struggle during the Vietnam War, a response to lawmakers memorializing the late state Sen. Tom Hayden, a vocal critic of the conflict.
The moment was a potential boon to the political career of Nguyen, the only California Republican state legislator who is a woman of color. The senator, who represents parts of Orange County and Long Beach, is one of the highest ranking Vietnamese American politicians in the country. And Nguyen has raised her immigrant story throughout her tenure in Sacramento, such as during a 2015 effort to stop state-funded colleges and universities from banning display of the American flag.
Democrats argued that Republicans were being hypocritical. They noted that some GOP members of Congress have failed to hold town halls or limited who was allowed to attend. And they also raised the recent incident in which Republican leaders stopped Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as she read a letter written by Coretta Scott King on the U.S. Senate floor during the confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions, now the U.S. attorney general.
No doubt the Democrats behaved like hypocrites by ejecting Nguyen from the Senate chamber. However to think the California Republicans can turn the political tide that is clearly against them with this one political stunt is simply silly.
Janet Nguyen’s appearance on the California political stage won’t undo decades of hate-based bigotry which has been the foundation of the California Republican message.
Nguyen would be better served distancing herself from back-slapping white male Republcan leaders who want to make her “a star.”
Source material courtesy of the LA Times