Dems hitting the panic button over Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on SCOTUS nominee

The smarter Democrats realize that not only do Republicans have the votes to confirm a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but that hearings on the confirmation threaten to be a disaster for them.  Expressing the bloodlust they felt at the prospect of Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed may have provided momentary emotional satisfaction, but 2018 Republican gains in the Senate were painful and lasting.

But the abortion-supporters whom the party depends on for energy and funding want the hearings to savage whomever the president nominates.  Therein lies grave peril for the party, particularly since its vice presidential nominee (who openly speaks of the Harris-Biden ticket) sits on the Judiciary Committee and fancies herself a devastatingly effective cross-examiner.

Two responses were floated yesterday, hoping to minimize or eliminate the danger of the hearings exploding in their face.

Politico, which often reflects party insiders' thoughts, cited the customary "anonymous sources" and reported:

As the Senate prepares for yet another brutal Supreme Court nomination fight, one particularly sensitive issue is creating apprehension among Democrats: what to do with 87-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee.

Feinstein, the oldest member of the Senate, is widely respected by senators in both parties, but she has noticeably slowed in recent years. Interviews with more than a dozen Democratic senators and aides show widespread concern over whether the California Democrat is capable of leading the aggressive effort Democrats need against whoever President Donald Trump picks to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Without ever naming the top of the ticket, the Politico article cited Biden-like concerns about DiFi:

Feinstein sometimes gets confused by reporters' questions, or will offer different answers to the same question depending on where or when she's asked. Her appearance is frail. And Feinstein's genteel demeanor, which seems like it belongs to a bygone Senate era, can lead to trouble with an increasingly hard-line Democratic base uninterested in collegiality or bipartisan platitudes.

Well over 300 words into the article, authors John Bresnahan and Marianne Levine finally get around to mentioning Feinstein's appalling anti-Catholic bigotry during confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett's appointment to an appeals court:

Feinstein has already stumbled once in tangling with Amy Coney Barrett, who is widely seen as the frontunner to be Trump's Supreme Court nominee. At a 2017 hearing for an appeals court seat, Feinstein told Barrett that "the dogma lives loudly within you" — a remark that was instantly seized upon as anti-Catholic bias by Republicans.


Senator Feinstein's notorious "dogma lives loudly" moment.
YouTube screen grab.

Clearly, Democrats are worried about Republicans "seizing" or "pouncing" on something that might slip from the doddering Democrat's lips during SCOTUS confirmation hearings.

But slipping the shiv into the back of Feinstein might not be enough.  Brian Fallon, a Clinton Machine insider, floated a more radical proposal, something he would not do without assent from the Machine (hat tip: RedState):

If you are concerned about Feinstein helming the Democratic side of the dais during the confirmation hearing, but also worried about the sensitivities of pushing her aside, there is an easy solution: Dems boycott the hearing This whole charade is illegitimate anyway.

The tweet got a lot of responses from both parties. MSNBC's Chris Hayes:

The Daily Beast helpfully quoted another anonymous source who suggested a dramatic walkout from the hearing:

In addition to talk of a boycott of the confirmation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement, another Senate Democratic aide said there has also been chatter of a less dramatic — but similarly tailored — gesture: a walkout of hearings should it become evident that they are not being conducted on the level.

A number of conservatives responded with something like Dirty Harry's famous line, "Go head: make my day."

While I feel compassion for the nominee, who would face an ordeal of baseless smears as Justice Kavanaugh did, I do look forward to the hearings, as I think Democrats would be unable to restrain themselves, and the subsequent ugliness directed at a female nominee would swing votes toward the GOP among the fabled "suburban white women."  (Are they the same demographic as "soccer moms"?  Is that expression now unfashionable because it was used to death?)

This is why I strongly oppose the suggestion made elsewhere on the pages by Dan Brown that President Trump make a recess appointment.

The smarter Democrats realize that not only do Republicans have the votes to confirm a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but that hearings on the confirmation threaten to be a disaster for them.  Expressing the bloodlust they felt at the prospect of Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed may have provided momentary emotional satisfaction, but 2018 Republican gains in the Senate were painful and lasting.

But the abortion-supporters whom the party depends on for energy and funding want the hearings to savage whomever the president nominates.  Therein lies grave peril for the party, particularly since its vice presidential nominee (who openly speaks of the Harris-Biden ticket) sits on the Judiciary Committee and fancies herself a devastatingly effective cross-examiner.

Two responses were floated yesterday, hoping to minimize or eliminate the danger of the hearings exploding in their face.

Politico, which often reflects party insiders' thoughts, cited the customary "anonymous sources" and reported:

As the Senate prepares for yet another brutal Supreme Court nomination fight, one particularly sensitive issue is creating apprehension among Democrats: what to do with 87-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee.

Feinstein, the oldest member of the Senate, is widely respected by senators in both parties, but she has noticeably slowed in recent years. Interviews with more than a dozen Democratic senators and aides show widespread concern over whether the California Democrat is capable of leading the aggressive effort Democrats need against whoever President Donald Trump picks to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Without ever naming the top of the ticket, the Politico article cited Biden-like concerns about DiFi:

Feinstein sometimes gets confused by reporters' questions, or will offer different answers to the same question depending on where or when she's asked. Her appearance is frail. And Feinstein's genteel demeanor, which seems like it belongs to a bygone Senate era, can lead to trouble with an increasingly hard-line Democratic base uninterested in collegiality or bipartisan platitudes.

Well over 300 words into the article, authors John Bresnahan and Marianne Levine finally get around to mentioning Feinstein's appalling anti-Catholic bigotry during confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett's appointment to an appeals court:

Feinstein has already stumbled once in tangling with Amy Coney Barrett, who is widely seen as the frontunner to be Trump's Supreme Court nominee. At a 2017 hearing for an appeals court seat, Feinstein told Barrett that "the dogma lives loudly within you" — a remark that was instantly seized upon as anti-Catholic bias by Republicans.


Senator Feinstein's notorious "dogma lives loudly" moment.
YouTube screen grab.

Clearly, Democrats are worried about Republicans "seizing" or "pouncing" on something that might slip from the doddering Democrat's lips during SCOTUS confirmation hearings.

But slipping the shiv into the back of Feinstein might not be enough.  Brian Fallon, a Clinton Machine insider, floated a more radical proposal, something he would not do without assent from the Machine (hat tip: RedState):

If you are concerned about Feinstein helming the Democratic side of the dais during the confirmation hearing, but also worried about the sensitivities of pushing her aside, there is an easy solution: Dems boycott the hearing This whole charade is illegitimate anyway.

The tweet got a lot of responses from both parties. MSNBC's Chris Hayes:

The Daily Beast helpfully quoted another anonymous source who suggested a dramatic walkout from the hearing:

In addition to talk of a boycott of the confirmation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement, another Senate Democratic aide said there has also been chatter of a less dramatic — but similarly tailored — gesture: a walkout of hearings should it become evident that they are not being conducted on the level.

A number of conservatives responded with something like Dirty Harry's famous line, "Go head: make my day."

While I feel compassion for the nominee, who would face an ordeal of baseless smears as Justice Kavanaugh did, I do look forward to the hearings, as I think Democrats would be unable to restrain themselves, and the subsequent ugliness directed at a female nominee would swing votes toward the GOP among the fabled "suburban white women."  (Are they the same demographic as "soccer moms"?  Is that expression now unfashionable because it was used to death?)

This is why I strongly oppose the suggestion made elsewhere on the pages by Dan Brown that President Trump make a recess appointment.