Under the cover of anonymity, some Senate Democrats are expressing fear that the Ranking Member of the all-important Senate Judiciary Committee — Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) — has what it takes to take out President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, whoever that may be.
There is nothing more satisfying than watching Democrats mired in a mess of their own making. Democrat senators, led by Harry Reid made it possible to confirm judicial appointees with a simple majority of 51 votes back in 2013 when they ended the filibuster rule. The rule required a 60 vote majority. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned them they would live to regret that decision, and they have.
At 87 years old, Feinstein is the oldest sitting senator, and her Democrat colleagues appear to be afraid that she could sink Democrat hopes to take back the Senate if she doesn’t perform well in the confirmation process. According to Politico:
A Democratic senator, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said a group of Feinstein’s colleagues want Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) or Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) to serve as the top Democrat on the Judiciary panel for the upcoming nomination hearings, which are expected to be extraordinarily contentious.
This senator is worried that potential missteps by Feinstein could cost Democrats seats. She’s not sure what she’s doing. 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.
Democrats won’t stand a chance of remaking the judiciary if they don’t regain control of the Senate.
Even if the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wanted to replace Feinstein with Durbin or Whitehouse, he is in a bind. One senator pointed out that it is not politically correct to replace a female senator with a male to preside over hearings for a woman nominee to replace a woman justice. Again, according to Politico:
Another Democratic senator said party leaders were “in an impossible position,” pointing out that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) and other senior Democrats can’t replace a female senator for hearings on an expected female nominee to replace a deceased female Supreme Court justice.
Feinstein’s age is also an issue for Senate Democrats. She had to battle the argument that she is too old in the 2018 election but she won handily. Some say they see her slowing in her responses but Feinstein points out her experience and time on the Judiciary Committee as a recommendation.
And so it’s difficult for me to see, I don’t know what people expect. I’ve been on the committee for a while. I’ve seen how the committee works and I’ve seen how other chairs on our side of the aisle work. I don’t see, to be very blunt and honest, I don’t see a big difference. I’m prepared, so that’s puzzling to me.
Feinstein promised to fight to stop Trump’s nominee:
Let me say this — I know it’s going to be a fight, I understand that I don’t have a lot of tools to use, but I’m going to use what I have. We can try to delay and obstruct but they can run this process through. That doesn’t mean that we won’t fight tooth and nail.”
Democrats know that all they can really do is delay, obstruct, pitch fits, and insult the nominee, Republican Senators, and the American people because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has the necessary votes to confirm President Trump’s nominee whether Democrats like it or not.