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Democrats’ Senate Majority Strategy: Shoot the Wounded

California Senator Dianne Feinstein has announced she is retiring next year when she will be 90 years old. But she remains on the Judiciary Committee, and has been absent for over six weeks recovering from shingles.

Her absence means Democrats on the committee lack a majority to advance President Biden’s court nominees to the floor for a final vote. So this month they launched a behind-the-scenes campaign to get her to quit.  Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated she found the effort unseemly in its sexism, noting there had been no such pressure for hospitalized Senator John Fetterman to leave.

After Rep Ro Khanna, the leading progressive in the California House delegation, called for her resignation other Democrats jumped on board.  Within hours Feinstein asked to be temporarily replaced in her duties on Judiciary.

But that can only happen if Republicans go along with the gambit, which they shouldn’t.  Changes in committee assignments require either unanimous consent or the vote of 60 Senators.

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who sits on Senate Judiciary, is having none of it.  “Republicans should not assist Democrats in confirming Joe Biden’s most radical nominees to the courts,” he says.  California voters knew of Feinstein’s age issues when they re-elected her.

It will be interesting to see what pressure Senate Democrats bring on their Republican colleagues to bail them out.

As The Federalist notes: “The Democrats put an 89-year-old woman and an emotionally and mentally traumatized man into the U.S. Senate in the name of pure power politics.”  They made their bed. Now they must sleep in it.

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