Struggling on how to deal with Senator Dianne Feinstein’s fawning praise of Senator Lindsey Graham? Write a letter.
At the conclusion of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member, said to Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the committee chairman, “This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.” Feinstein then went on to hug Graham. Neither were wearing masks.
Feinstein’s actions upset many liberals and progressives across the country, but in particular Californians, constituents who have been voting for her as their senior senator since 1992.
One of my best friends was one of those upset Californians. This friend wanted to write a letter to the Senator but because his first attempt was, according to his wife, too harsh, he asked if I could assist.
Of course, I said yes. Here’s what I wrote:
Dear Senator Feinstein,
I have long been a supporter of you, your ideals, your leadership and your service to our state, to our country and to your constituents. I have been proud, as a Californian and as a progressive, to have you represent our state for so many years.
But I must say your actions at the conclusion of the Senate Judiciary hearings on the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett left me not only disappointed, but frankly bewildered.
I will not go into the characterizations of your questions to Judge Barrett as “softball” ones as many in the media have characterized them. But I was appalled at your closing statement to Senator Lindsey Graham at the conclusion of the proceedings, keeping in mind that this entire charade was a blatant political power play to steal yet another Supreme Court seat…forgive me for saying this, but you must remember the Merrick Garland travesty in 2016.
How in good conscience could you actually say, given the hypocrisy of your Republican colleagues: “This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in?”
And then how, to add insult to injury, could you go over to Senator Graham, perhaps the most duplicitous member of the Senate, and give him a hug? A hug, in the middle of a pandemic. And without a mask!
What were you thinking? Wouldn’t it have been appropriate, given the double standard of these hearings to begin with, to simply close your briefing book and just leave?
To say I was disappointed in your actions would be too mild. In reality, I am embarrassed by your actions and ashamed, yes ashamed, that you represent California the greatest, and most progressive state in the Union.
After a day went by with no response from my friend, I got concerned so I followed up, writing,
“Since I didn’t hear back from you regarding my draft letter to Dianne Feinstein, I started to wonder why. After rereading the draft and reflecting on your wife’s original admonition that your own first attempt was “too harsh,” I decided to tone down the letter a bit to allow you to make your point, but in a friendlier, more collegial way. Let me know if this works:”
Dear Senator Feinstein,
I have long been a supporter of you, your ideals, your leadership and your service to your constituents. I have been proud, as a Californian, and as a progressive, to have you represent our state for so many years.
You showed all those traits as the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary at the confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. But even more, you showed a sense of bipartisanship that is sorely missing in today’s politics.
I was particularly heartened to see that, unlike most of your Democratic colleagues on the committee, you questioned Judge Barrett, who is a particularly attractive nominee, some might even say the most attractive individual ever to be considered for the Supreme Court, in a caring, dare I say “grandmotherly” way. I thought that was called for given how unfairly and condescendingly she was treated by the other Democrats on your committee, particularly that “monster,” Kamala Harris!
At the end of the hearings your comment to committee chairman Lindsey Graham was particularly heartwarming:
“This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.”
In these divided and fraught times, how often do we hear the ranking member of a committee, the opposition, if you will, make such a loving complement. It was particularly poignant given how nice a man Senator Graham appears to be. He truly is an individual who takes a position on issues and never wavers. I’m sure you are proud to be counted as one his friends.
I must tell you however, that there is one thing that was a little troubling to me. I was a little, just a little, concerned about the maskless hug you and Senator Graham entered into before you and the senator left the hearing room holding hands. I know that even in this pandemic, when over 215,000 Americans have lost their lives, and when most scientists and medical experts have gone on record saying that the “wearing of masks is the single most effective tool we have in our arsenal to combat the spread of the virus,” the optics of the hug could have been taken the wrong way; that you and the Senator were being “unsympathetic” to the suffering the nation has been through due to the coronavirus. While I know the old saying “friendship knows no bounds” is one that you have always abided by, there might have been a better way to signal your fondness for Senator Graham. Perhaps rather than a hug, an elbow bump or, even better, an “air-kiss” at a distance of six feet would have been more appropriate.
Senator Feinstein, thanks for listening. And let me apologize for my harsh words at the end. You are are truly a national treasure and I sincerely hope that you will continue to represent the great state and the wonderful people of California for as long as you desire.
Yours truly and XOXOXOXO,
P.S. – Enclosed is a check for $10,000 to be used for your reelection campaign in 2024. Yes, I know you’ll be 91 years old but, as we of the tribe often say, “Zay gezunt!”
I’ll let you know which letter my friend ultimately sent.