This New Republic essay, by Libby Watson, even quotes the Politico essay, excerpts of which follows this long quotation:
Headline: The Democrats Have a Dianne Feinstein Problem
Sub-headline: Some in the party believe the 87-year-old senator is ill-equipped to lead the opposition to Trump’s Supreme Court nominee—so why won’t they do anything about it?
Which leads us to another problem: The Democratic charge will be led by 87-year-old Dianne Feinstein, the party’s ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. Feinstein is resolutely not interested in the idea of breaking any kind of norm to win. As recently as a week before Ginsburg’s death, Feinstein criticized the idea of abolishing the filibuster and refused to say whether, as chair of the committee during a Biden administration, she would continue a recent Republican practice of ignoring opposition committee members who object to judicial nominees from their home state. The long-standing “blue slip” process, she said, “fosters bipartisan engagement in the nomination process.” Truly, we are living in a golden age of well-fostered bipartisan engagement!
Concerns about Feinstein’s role in the upcoming confirmation process are not some petty, factional whining of disgruntled leftists. As Politico reported, these fears—that Feinstein is not up to the task of grilling Trump’s nominee for Ginsberg’s seat—are “widespread” among Democrats in Congress, who fret that Feinstein “gets confused by reporters’ questions, or will offer different answers to the same question depending on where or when she’s asked” and appears “frail.” These are normal things for an 87-year-old to do or be; they are perhaps not the ideal characteristics for the person tasked with being the face of the Democratic resistance to another right-wing psychocrat being placed on the court for decades to possess. (The Los Angeles Times’ report on Feinstein’s love of the blue slip process included the detail that she “wasn’t aware” that “Republicans had confirmed judges without them.” Her office later provided a tally: The GOP has done so 17 times in the Trump era.)
This Politico essay by John Bresnahan and Marianne Levine:
Headline: Democrats worry Feinstein can’t handle Supreme Court battle
Sub-headline: Colleagues fear the oldest senator may struggle to lead Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.
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.
The Judiciary Committee is the critical battleground in the Supreme Court confirmation process. At stake, her own Democratic colleagues worry, is more than just whether the party can thwart Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in his rush to fill the seat. Some Democrats privately fear that Feinstein could mishandle the situation and hurt their chances of winning back the majority.
Just this week, Feinstein infuriated progressives after declaring her opposition to ending the Senate’s legislative filibuster — a top goal of party activists if Democrats win full control of the Congress and White House in November. Some on the left called on her to resign over the comments, although other Democratic moderates have expressed similar views.
Corporate media pundits feed upon each other’s commentaries, sometimes in the most unabashed ways, that leads to the construction of The Party Line, on any given issue. Some are more adroit, about the rhetorical constructions of an evolving Party Line, and some like Libby Watson, riff on the themes of other political reporters/commentators/pundits.
At some point the reader that focuses upon the ‘evolution’ of that Party Line, in favor of what is the subject under debate/discussion, proves that that ‘evolution’ is an equally important component of the examination, of a political stance, that becomes a fixed point of argument, in sum, The Party Line.