It would have been nice if the lowest WAR Dem senator had figured out that it was time to quit entirely at least two terms ago — Evan Bayh, for Chrissakes, voted against the Bush tax cuts she voted for — but you take small victories when you can find them:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein plans to step down as the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress, after facing blowback from progressives for her handling of Amy Coney Barrett’s contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
Three people familiar with the matter told POLITICO, which Feinstein soon confirmed.
“After serving as the lead Democrat on the Judiciary Committee for four years, I will not seek the chairmanship or ranking member position in the next Congress,” the California Democrat said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to serve as a senior Democrat on the Judiciary, Intelligence, Appropriations and Rules committees as we work with the Biden administration.”
Feinstein added that she planned to focus her attention on combating climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of her own party had expressed concern before Barrett’s hearing that the 87-year-old wouldn’t be aggressive enough. Her approach to the battle over filling the seat left by the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg soon confirmed many Democrats’ fears, particularly after she praised Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for his handling of the process and gave him a hug at the conclusion.
Another encouraging point of interest here is that Schumer himself took her behind the barn:
After the hearings, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he had a “long and serious” talk with Feinstein. Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is next in line for the job, followed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
I would prefer Whitehouse but either would be a massive improvement.