The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum

Posted on | September 29, 2023 | Comments Off on De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum

The Democratic Party tradition of dying in office can be traced to Franklin Delano Roosevelt who, in 1940, chose to seek reelection for a third term, breaking the two-term precedent set by George Washington. Then in 1944, FDR had the excuse of World War II to seek a fourth term in the White House, even though at that point it was clear that he probably didn’t have much longer to live. True, there have been Republicans who emulated FDR’s example, but in general it’s Democrats who cling to office until they join the choir invisible. We should not therefore use the occasion of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s death to criticize her for staying in the Senate long past the point where she was capable of discharging the duties of her office. She was a Democrat, and that’s what Democrats always do, if they can. In the one-party state that is the People’s Republic of California, there was never a chance that Feinstein could have lost to a Republican. The only question now is, which Democrat will succeed her to become the state’s next Senator-for-life.

Heh heh heh heh. Whatever Governor Hairgel does, identity politics is certain to turn the fight for Feinstein’s seat into intra-party warfare.

As I explained a few months ago, it was already rumored that Feinstein, who would have been up for reelection in 2024, would instead retire. Young “progressive” firebrand Rep. Katie Porter was the first to throw her hat in the ring, but black Democrats in California believed they were entitled to Feinstein’s seat. Now the price has come due:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s death Friday puts enormous political pressure on Gov. Gavin Newsom to pick a successor acceptable to Black Democrats, who are already furious at him for his ideas about a replacement.
After replacing Sen. Kamala Harris, the Senate’s only Black woman, with Sen. Alex Padilla in 2021, Newsom told MSNBC’s Joy Reid that if he had to appoint someone else to the Senate, it would be a Black woman.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who’s running for Feinstein’s seat next year, would appear to be a logical choice. But Newsom last month said he would name a Black woman on an interim basis to complete Feinstein’s term, which ends in January 2025.
He spoke about his decision on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where moderator Chuck Todd said, “it would be essentially a caretaker—an African American woman?”
Newsom replied, “We hope we never have to make this decision, but I abide by what I’ve said very publicly on a consistent basis. Yes.”
He explained that choosing one of the Democrats running for the full term — Reps. Adam Schiff and Katie Porter are also candidiates — “would be completely unfair to the Democrats that have worked their tail off. That primary is just a matter of months away. I don’t want to tip the balance of that.”
That ignited a political firestorm, as Lee and others protested. “The idea that a Black woman should be appointed only as a caretaker to simply check a box is insulting to countless Black women across this country who have carried the Democratic Party to victory election after election,” she tweeted shortly after Newsom made his comments.

So now we get Adam Schiff and Katie Porter in a racial mud-wrestling match with Barbara Lee, in a state where 40% of the population is Hispanic. Thank you for your excellent timing, Senator Feinstein!



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