Douglas Andrews / Nov. 25, 2020

A Senior Senator Gets Canceled for Kindness

The defenestration of Dianne Feinstein sends an anti-civility message to all Americans.

It’s a sad sign of the times in Washington when a hug and a kind word for one’s colleague is just cause for cancelation. But that’s exactly what happened to 87-year-old Senator Dianne Feinstein.

First off, these aren’t your daddy’s Democrats. Today’s version is vicious. They play politics for blood, and Feinstein, a 28-year veteran of the upper chamber, learned this lesson the hard way. Feinstein, a San Francisco Democrat and the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, engaged in an egregiously public display of affection when, at the conclusion of last month’s hearings for then-Judge Amy Coney Barrett, she offered a brief embrace and a compliment for Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. Graham, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had just presided over a Supreme Court confirmation process that was, given the stakes and the circumstances, remarkable for its civility.

Those stakes and circumstances stemmed from the untimely death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the willingness of President Donald Trump to fulfill his constitutional duty and appoint her replacement. Given this, leftists were in no mood for civility. Instead, they expected Feinstein to give Barrett the full Kavanaugh treatment. And when she didn’t, the long knives came out … for her.

As The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes, “The hits against Senator Feinstein started in September after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Democrats were starting to threaten court-packing if Republicans filled the seat, but Senator Feinstein came out against nuking the legislative filibuster. Soon a Politico story appeared, ‘Democrats worry Feinstein can’t handle Supreme Court battle,’ citing interviews ‘with more than a dozen Democratic Senators and aides.’”

In an effort to placate the mob, Minority Leader Chuck “Now We Take Georgia” Schumer said he’d had “a long and serious talk with Senator Feinstein” about her fundamental decency. But to no avail. On Monday, Feinstein announced that she wouldn’t seek another term as the Judiciary Committee’s ranking member.

What can we make of all this? First and foremost, the importance of Georgia. If Republicans lose both of those Senate seats on January 5, our world will change for the worse — and drastically so. Beyond statehood for DC and Puerto Rico, beyond an end to the Senate filibuster, a more “progressive” and more treacherous Dick Durbin as chairman of the Judiciary Committee would undo much of the excellent work done by Donald Trump to fortify the bench with constitutional conservatives.

And, of course, we could count on court packing. Were Republicans to lose the Senate, our third branch of government would be all that stands in the way of unchecked Democrat power. And Durbin is already on record as having threatened a “restructured” Supreme Court.

The good news? A recent poll by Harvard CAPS-Harris says that a majority of voters want Republicans to remain in control of the Senate after the Georgia runoff races.

Of course, what the American people want and what they get are two entirely different things. And it’s not up to a poll of Americans; it’s up to Georgia voters.

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