Guess Who Might Be Stepping Down Soon, It’s Not Who You Think!

Democrats are starting to distance themselves from California Senator Dianne Feinstein, who has been recovering from shingles for almost two months. According to POLITICO, Feinstein’s deteriorating condition leaves Democrats without a critical single-vote margin to secure passage of legislation.

It’s a big blow to the party, as they desperately need every vote they can get.

Congressman Ro Khanna of California tweeted that it’s time for Senator Feinstein to resign. He says, “We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty. While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.” Congressman Dean Phillips of Minnesota agrees, saying her absence is a “dereliction of duty” by Senate Democrats.

Feinstein has asked Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to temporarily replace her on the Judiciary Committee so that President Joe Biden’s judicial appointments are not held up by her absence.

However, some Democrats are unhappy with this move. Representative Khanna has called out the perceived hypocrisy of Democrats complaining about anti-abortion judges while remaining silent on Feinstein’s inability to join her colleagues in confirming pro-choice judges.

It’s an unusual move and one that could be tricky. Senate rules require at least 60 votes for such a swap. Republican senators such as Mike Lee of Utah may use the opportunity to argue that fewer of President Biden’s judicial picks will be seated if Republicans do not vote for a temporary replacement for Feinstein on the Judiciary Committee.

Senator Chris Murphy is pushing back, telling MSNBC he is “offended” by calls for Senator Feinstein to resign. He says, “She has been an incredible public servant for decades. She deserves our respect and our admiration.”

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has charged that it is sexist to demand the senior Democrat resign while critics remain silent about elder male lawmakers.

Democrats are in a tough spot. They need every vote they can get, but they also need to show strength and unity. The question is, can they do both?