It was a hug that would have shocked many, even a year without social distance: Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat in the Senate Judiciary Committee, who ended a controversial week of hearings of the Supreme Court’s confirmation with a full body embrace of Lindsay Graham, the committee’s Republican chair .
The action and her remarks about the hearings before Judge Amy Coney Barrett ̵
“There have been a number of us in San Francisco who for a long time felt that without taking away from what she has accomplished, it has come to a point where she is out of touch with where San Francisco is, and where California is, ”said David Campos, president of the Democratic Party of San Francisco. He did not speak on behalf of the organization.
“She represents the past in San Francisco and California,” Campos continued. “It is not surprising that at a time when we are facing a crisis where we have a right-wing supremacist rushing through the Supreme Court, she is not up to the task. And it’s not because of her age. It’s just because of who she is. ”
Feinstein became mayor of San Francisco in 1978 after the assassination of activist Harvey Milk and mayor George Moscone, moving city politics firmly back to the center. Although her legacy in the city is a respect, given her long history of public service, her penchant for politeness and not rocking the boat feels out of place in today’s politics, her critics say.
In 2018, the California Democratic Party voted to join Feinstein’s opponent in the state’s U.S. Senate race, with the four-man mandate – Feinstein has served in the Senate since 1992, winning only 7% of the approval vote.
A new push to rename public schools honoring historical figures with racist or colonial heritage has included an elementary school named after her. The school’s advisory committee noted that when Feinstein was mayor of San Francisco in 1986, she not only allowed a Confederate flag to fly in front of City Hall, but pushed to prosecute the black activist who removed it in protest.
And few have forgotten when a group of young climate scientists engaged Feinstein in San Francisco and she told them, “You did not vote for me.”
Progressives now say Feinstein failed in his leadership role as the top Democrat in the judiciary, who this week interviewed Barrett, a staunch Conservative.
“It’s not like Dianne Feinstein and I have much in common,” said local lawmaker Hillary Ronen. “She is a very moderate Democrat and I am a very progressive Democrat. I expect we disagree much of the time, but I feel like she betrayed many of us in this statement and thanked Graham for his justice. There was absolutely nothing fair. Dealing with this democratic process has been a travesty and the least fair thing we have seen. ”
Ronen said she was “the floor and crushed” to hear Feinstein’s remarks after the confirmation hearings.
When people ask, ‘Why are you surprised? She is basically a Republican. “I had never, in all the times I have seen her represent our state, expected her to betray us to this degree,” Ronen said. “I do not know that she is fully aware of what this statement says to us as her constituents who are watching decades of civil rights gains go down the drain because of the fraudulent procedure that the Republican Party and Mitch McConnell are arranging. .
On Thursday, several national progressive groups called on Feinstein to step down as the top Democrat in the judiciary.
Brian Fallon, Demand Justice’s CEO, argued that Feinstein had “undercut the Democrats’ position” during the hearings. Naral Pro-Choice America, a leading reproductive rights group, called Feinstein “wildly out of step with the American people” and said “the committee needs new leadership”.
California Democratic congresswoman Katie Porter also criticized Feinstein, telling the HuffPost: “I strongly disagree with Senator Feinstein that this set of hearings was one of the best or even acceptable. I think Amy Coney Barrett did not answer basic questions about her faith and stonewalled repeatedly. We have received fewer direct answers than we have at most Supreme Court hearings. ”
Sam Levin contributed to this report