As you well know, there is a battle going in Washington for the recently vacated seat of late liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Like any other battle, wins and losses will likely depend solely on who is leading the charge. And for Democrats, that seems to be the biggest problem.
You will remember from the 2016 confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, that the Judiciary Committee is in charge of deciding who Ginsberg’s replacement will be. And leading that panel as ranking senior members, we have Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Republicans and Senator Dianne Feinstein for the Democrats.
The question, at least for quite a few Democrats, is whether or not Feinstein should actually be in that position.
As I am sure you are well aware, Feinstein is precisely the same age as Ginsberg, 87. And while that means she has time and experience on her side, it also means she isn’t nearly as quick-witted or mindful as she used to be, which is precisely the concern.
According to Politico, “Interviews with more than a dozen Democratic senators and aides show widespread concern over whether the California Democrat is capable of leading the aggressive effort Democrats need against whoever President Donald Trump picks to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.”
The outlet mentions that, as the oldest member of the Senate, “she has noticeably slowed in recent years… Feinstein sometimes gets confused by reporters’ questions, or will offer different answers to the same question depending on where and or when she’s asked. Her appearance if frail. And Feinstein’s genteel demeanor, which seems like it belongs to a bygone Senate era, can lead to trouble with an increasingly hard-line Democratic base uninterested in collegiality or bipartisan platitudes.”
It has also been noted that when Feinstein “relies heavily on her ever-present staff to deal with any issues, frequently turning to them for help” when responding to any line of questioning.
Anyone else we know with symptoms like this? Maybe a particular presidential nominee, for one? But, I digress.
In either case, it’s not exactly the kind of person you want to be running the show, huh?
According to several Democratic senators, Feinstein likely should have retired in 2018, rather than run for reelection. Her age and fragility were already of a concern then. And that concern has only grown in the two years since.
But the concern is not just that Feinstein might be incapable of pulling off a win for Democrats. If she poorly handles the situation, as she did in 2016, when Kavanaugh was being confirmed, it could cost the Democrats much more than just a justice seat.
You might remember that, in 2016, due to Kavanaugh’s successful confirmation, regardless of Feinstein’s efforts to make him look guilty, the Senate also lost two Democratic seats. The fear is that the same thing or worse could happen, preventing the Democrats from taking back the majority, as they think they will otherwise.
One Democratic senator who wishes to remain anonymous for obvious reasons told Politico that Feinstein’s “not sure what she’s doing” anymore. And that means the potential for loss is significant. “If you take a look at Kavanaugh, we may be short two senators because of that. And if this gets (messed) up, it may be the same result. I think it could impact a number of seats we could win.”
This faceless senator noted that more than a few senators think very similarly of Feinstein’s possible role in the party’s losses. And that is precisely why they think she should step aside and let someone else take the lead. So far, two names have been listed for her replacement: Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois or Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.
However, as another Democratic senator has stated, this would put party leaders in “an impossible situation.
As Politico noted, they would be replacing “a female senator for hearings on an expected female nominee to replace a deceased female Supreme Court justice” with a white man. And we all know what kind of implications could be made by such a move, especially in today’s “social justice” atmosphere.
At this point, all the GOP pretty much has to do is nominate a justice and then just sit back and watch the Democrats destroy their own chances of success.
For the future, I offer one simple suggestion that could be used to avoid all of this nonsense: term limits!