Ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), just found herself facing calls from leftists to retire from leadership after exhibiting cordiality towards committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and SCOTUS nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
Leftists are furious that Feinstein didn’t do more to block Barrett from what appears to be an inevitable confirmation to the court, but Feinstein’s warm words in regard to Graham were the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Feinstein said on Thursday that “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.”
The Washington Post amplified leftist bashing of Feinstein’s handling of the hearings, reporting on Friday in response to Feinstein’s statement:
If that wasn’t enough to anger Democrats — who have spent this week trying to paint Barrett’s nomination process as a sham — Feinstein also thanked the committee’s chair, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), and then walked across the room to wrap him in a hug.
Never mind that neither senator was wearing a face mask. Many Democrats were so much more incensed about what that hug symbolized — a final white flag, a compliment for Graham after a comparatively tame week of questioning — that, hours later, at least two liberal activist groups called for Feinstein to go.
Though Feinstein is no moderate herself, it appears that her usefulness to the progressive left has run out, and her decision to exhibit the smallest gesture of civility towards a fellow Senate leader simply sealed her fate.
The Post noted that prior to the beginning of Barrett’s confirmation hearings, Democrats were worried that she didn’t have the strength to mount an opposition campaign. After their worst fears were realized, they exploded in calls to oust her from her long-held seat.
“It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to step down from her leadership position on the Senate Judiciary Committee. If she won’t, her colleagues need to intervene,” raged Demand Justice executive director Brian Fallon.
Progressive advocacy group Indivisible tweeted: “Nothing says ‘this process is an illegitimate sham’ quite like hugging it out with the guy who’s in charge of the illegitimate sham. Senator Feinstein’s behavior today was a perfect summation of why we can’t just elect Democrats — we need to hold them accountable too.”
Feinstein’s colleagues have remained mostly quiet about their thoughts on the matter, but the outrage amongst progressive political action groups and liberal pundits says it all.