I’ll admit it: I am not a huge fan of tribute songs. Making music is something sacred, and it’s so hard to take topical songs seriously, unless it’s like… Bob Dylan? Punk music? I’m not sure, but contemporaneous talk-singing is just not my bag usually, and that’s generally what people come up with as “protest” songs. That said, this gospel jam from Mykal Kilgore, a YouTube (and movie) star, is entirely different. It was inspired by a testy exchange last week between the always-feisty Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. From the video description:
Our beloved ‘Auntie’ Maxine Waters laid this sermon down so good that I had to sing about it! Whenever anybody tries to distract me or block me (even with praise or platitudes) I’m gonna have to let them know that I’m #ReclaimingMyTime.
It’s a common tactic for old white Republican assholes either in Congress or before it: When they don’t want to answer questions from women, Democrats, or especially women Democrats, they waste the time allotted to their questioner with meaningless compliments or interruptions. If they’re creative types (did you know Mnuchin was a movie producer?), they can usually get away with wasting all of the time they would normally spend answering questions.
When Rep. Waters grilled Mnuchin on July 27th during a House Financial Services Committee hearing about why she hadn’t heard back on her request for information from the Treasury on Donald Trump’s ties to Russian banks, that’s exactly what Mnuchin tried to do. Rather than answering her question, the Treasury Secretary immediately launched into a spiel about “everything you’ve done” for the state of California, prompting Waters to remind him that he was on her time, not his own. “I’m reclaiming my time,” she said, noting that it was limited.
Like the infamous “nevertheless, she persisted” exchange between Mitch McConnell and Elizabeth Warren during the confirmation hearing for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the exchange almost immediately became a meme.
But rather than inspiring a line of shirts, the Thursday snapshot of what it’s like for women in Congress became lyrics for a surprisingly good song.
Now reclaim a little of your time, and watch the video:
Featured image via Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images