Friday, October 16, 2020

"That's A Little Unusual"



Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) presented a must-watch civics seminar during the Amy Coney Island Baby confirmation hearings. It was a little less than half an hour long but it really should be watched by every American, especially those wondering what all the noise is about around Coney Island Baby's nomination.

An antiquated seniority system among Senate Democrats puked up an incompetent and senile Dianne Feinstein as the completely ineffective leader of the Democratic efforts to derail ACB. Instead Feinstein, exposing Chuck Schumer as the anti-reform Senate leader he is. Whitehouse of Dick Durbin should have been leading the effort.

I had just returned to the U.S. from living almost 4 years abroad when I first heard of Dianne Feinstein. She was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors at the time-- a putative Democrat, but in reality the conservative Republican in all but name on that body. Harvey Milk was also a member and we were close enough friends for him to rail against her after nearly every meeting. Anyway, long story short, Feinstein is conservative and corrupt and I never voted for he when she ran for supervisor, nor for mayor-- I supported Jello Biafra-- nor for governor, nor for senator. Last time she ran I worked to try to elect progressive state Senator Kevin de León, who took 5,093,942 votes to her 6,019,422 (which included many Republicans, since there was no one from their own party in the general election). She won 18 counties-- including most of the big ones-- to de León's 40 counties (including Riverside, San Bernardino, Fresno and Kern). There was plenty of monkey business from the Democratic Party establishment on her behalf but she was reelected. But that shouldn't mean a doddering fool should be placed in an important position simply because of seniority.

The Washington Post reported Feinstein's remarks as the hearing wrapped up: "This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in. It leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions and even some ideas perhaps of good bipartisan legislation we can put together." She then thanked Lindsey Graham and walked across the room-- maskless-- and hugged him, also maskless.
“It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to step down from her leadership position on the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Brian Fallon, the executive director of Demand Justice, said in a statement. “If she won’t, her colleagues need to intervene.”

His organization, which opposes conservative judicial nominees, accused the senator of undermining liberals’ calls for a filibuster and court reform, “straight through to thanking Republicans” for what it called “the most egregious partisan power grab” in the high court’s modern history.

...That she praised Graham’s oversight of the process, and then got up and hugged him, was simply the final provocation for many liberals.

“That she can say this about this ongoing travesty,” said Jon Lovett, a former aide to President Barack Obama and co-host of Pod Save America, “is another sad statement about how poorly represented we are by Dianne Feinstein.”

...[I]n recent years, the 87-year-old senator has often gotten more attention for her gaffes. Last year, she was panned on Saturday Night Live for a now-infamous interaction in which she dismissed a group of schoolchildren asking her to advocate for the Green New Deal.

In 2018, during the Senate confirmation hearings for Brett M. Kavanaugh, she drew intense scrutiny for waiting weeks to publicize sexual assault accusations against him from Christine Blasey Ford. The California Democratic Party denied her its endorsement that year, though she easily beat back a more liberal challenger.

Even before the Senate took up another nomination this month, Democrats expressed concerns that Feinstein-- the oldest lawmaker in her chamber and the second-oldest in Congress-- had grown too disengaged to fight the GOP tooth-and-nail over the future of Ginsburg’s seat.

Republicans, too, denounced Feinstein, seizing on comments she made about Barrett’s religious “dogma” during the judge’s confirmation proceedings for the 7th District U.S. Court of Appeals.

...[M]any observers on the left gave her failing marks. She did not, for example, put up much of a battle against Graham when the committee was not at quorum, they pointed out.

“I don’t care that Feinstein and Graham are friends,” wrote Susan Hennessey, executive editor of the Lawfare blog. “I care that Feinstein catastrophically mismanaged the hearings, was outwitted without realizing it, and did a grave disservice to the public.”

Others slammed Feinstein for offering positive praise to Graham as he is locked in a tight race against Jaime Harrison, a former South Carolina Democratic Party chair who has shattered fundraising records in recent months.

Many began floating ideas for ways to force her out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, especially if the Democrats take the White House: Vote her out. Replace her with Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) Appoint her to a Cabinet position. Send her to Paris!vv Or, as the comedian Billy Eichner said: “Time to retire.”
And, by the way, ProgressivePunch has given Feinstein's voting record a solid "F," only 13 Democrats voting against progressive roll calls more frequently-- none of them in safe blue seats the way she is. Please watch White House's tutorial and imagine what might have happened if Schumer had appointed him ranking member instead of Feinstein.

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At 12:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amy Phoney Barrett

At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe COVID-19 will locate Feinstein and provide a removal service for CA.

At 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Further proof that even CA voters are dumber than shit.

I agree about Whitehouse on that committee only. As subservient to $cummer, he has no relevance outside of the committee, and that presumes he can run the committee absent the smothering oversight of $cummer, should the democraps fall face-first into a rare non-loss.

I totally disagree about Durbin. He's a congenital political pussy. On his rare displays of truthful candor, he is always quick to apologize. And he's a reflexive vote for everything the corporations want.


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