Met is a hug that has surprised many, even in a year without social distance: Dianne Feinstein, the leading Democrat on the Senate judiciary committee, ended a controversial week of supreme court hearings with a full body hugged by Lindsay Graham, the Republican chairman.
The gesture and his remarks about the hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett ̵1; “This is one of the best sets of hearings I participated in” – sparked calls to progressives for his retirement, and he shouted at position for too long. Many California senators and his more progressive colleagues in the Democratic Party have been arguing about it for years.
“Many of us in San Francisco who for a long time felt that, without taking away what he had done, had reached a point where he could not talk about where San Francisco was and where California was,” David Campos said. , leader of the San Francisco Democratic party. He does not speak on behalf of the organization.
“He represents the past of San Francisco and California,” Campos continued. “It is not surprising that at a time when we are facing a crisis, when we have a right-wing supremacist rushed to the Supreme Court, he is not dependent on the task. And it is not because of his age. Just because of who he is.”
Feinstein became mayor of San Francisco in 1978, following the assassination of activist Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone, and moved city politics back to the center. Although his heritage in the city is respectful, due to his long history of public service, his passion for goodness and not rocking the boat feels out of place in politics today, his critics said.
In 2018, the California Democratic party voted to endorse Feinstein’s opponent in the state Senate race, with four terms in office – Feinstein has served in the senate since 1992 – winning 7% only by vote of endorsement.
A recent push to rename public schools that honor historical figures in racist or colonialist legacies has included an elementary school named after him. The school names advisory committee noted that when Mayor Eminstein was mayor of San Francisco in 1986, he not only allowed a Confederate flag to fly in front of City Hall but pushed to prosecute the Black activist who had been removed. this as a protest.
And few forget when a group of young climate activists contacted Feinstein in San Francisco and he told them: “You did not vote for me.”
Progressives now say Feinstein has failed in his leadership role as the leading Democrat on the judiciary committee, interviewed this week by Barrett, a conservative conservative.
“Unlike Dianne Feinstein and I have a lot in common,” said local legislator Hillary Ronen. “He is a very moderate Democrat and I am a very progressive Democrat. I hope we do not agree much of the time, but I think he betrayed many of us in that statement thanking Graham for being fair he said. Nothing is completely unfair. Handling this Democratic process has become a travesty and the smallest thing we have ever seen. “
Ronen said he was “floored and crushed” to hear Feinstein’s statements after confirmation hearings.
“When people ask, ‘Why are you surprised? He really is a Republican.’ So, I never, at all times I saw him represent our state, expect him to betray us to the degree that this, “Ronen said. “I do not know that he fully realized what that statement said to us as his constituents, who will soon see decades of civil rights found fall due to the continued hypocrisy established by the Republican party and Mitch McConnell. “
On Thursday, several national progressive groups called on Feinstein to step down as the highest Democrat on the judiciary committee.
Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice, argued that Feinstein had an “undercut position of Democrats” during the hearing. Naral Pro-Choice America, a leading reproductive rights group, called Feinstein “wildly out of step with the American people”, saying the “committee needs new leadership”.
California Democratic congresswoman Katie Porter also criticized Feinstein, telling HuffPost: “I do not strongly agree with Senator Feinstein that the range of those hearings is one of the best or even acceptable. I think Amy Coney Barrett did not answer the basic questions about her beliefs and was stoned over and over again. We experienced fewer direct answers than most court hearings. “
Sam Levin contributed to this report