Sen. Dianne Feinstein helped lead her party’s ill-fated fight to prevent U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from being confirmed.
As Senate Democrats face another confirmation vote with only weeks left until Election Day, however, some party leaders fear she is no longer fit to lead the harsh political battle set to come, as reported by Politico.
“It’s going to be a fight”
An elder stateswoman, the 87-year-old Feinstein is the oldest member currently serving in the chamber.
She also serves as a ranking member of the Senate judiciary committee, meaning she will play a central role in the confirmation process of Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week.
The president has indicated that he is prepared to nominate a candidate — specifically a woman — in an announcement on Saturday.
While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appears to have lined up enough votes to push Trump’s nominee through to confirmation, Democrats are committed to using whatever partisan tools are at their disposal in an effort to disrupt the process. Feinstein admitted as much in a recent statement vowing to put up a valiant fight.
“Let me say this — I know it’s going to be a fight, I understand that,” she said. “I don’t have a lot of tools to use, but I’m going to use what I have. We can try to delay and obstruct but they can run this process through. That doesn’t mean that we won’t fight tooth and nail.”
“Not sure what she’s doing”
Not everyone in her party is convinced, though. As one anonymous Senate Democrat told Politico, Feinstein “can’t pull this off.” Another source said that she is “not sure what she’s doing.”
In regard to what some see as a botched effort to oppose Kavanaugh, one of Politico’s sources said that “we may be short two senators because of that” and a similar performance ahead of the 2020 election could lead to “the same result.”
Feinstein, however, dismissed the concerns and put her record up against that of other influential Senate committee members.
“And so it’s difficult for me to see, I don’t know what people expect,” she said. “I’ve been on the committee for a while. I’ve seen how the committee works and I’ve seen how other chairs on our side of the aisle work. I don’t see, to be very blunt and honest, I don’t see a big difference. I’m prepared, so that’s puzzling to me.”
In reality, of course, the GOP is all but assured a Senate confirmation at the end of the day — and most voters are not going to care too much which of its members the Democratic Party decides to blame it on.