Although U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was once considered a progressive politician, her party has lurched so far to the left in recent years that many Democrats consider her an establishment centrist.
A coalition of California-based political organizations has seized upon that depiction in a letter demanding that she support sweeping voting rights legislation and abolish the Senate’s filibuster or resign from Congress.
“Publicly and by the end of November”
According to the Daily Wire, the groups called on Feinstein, 88, to heed their demands and make use of her seniority status to compel moderate Senate Democrats to fall in line with the progressive agenda.
If she will not comply, they implored her to step aside and make room for someone who will.
Dozens of organizations signed on to the letter, which was delivered on Tuesday. The missive calls on Feinstein to publicly announce her support for two pieces of voting rights legislation as well as the abolition or alteration of the filibuster, which is a parliamentary tool requiring 60 votes to advance most bills in the chamber.
The groups urged her to “publicly and by the end of November, call for the swift passage of the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.”
Furthermore, they called on the senator to “clearly and unequivocally call for the abolishing or providing a voting rights exception to the Senate filibuster, which is being used to block consideration of both bills.”
“Willing and able to fight”
If Feinstein is “unwilling to take these steps to protect our democracy,” the letter’s signers told her to “resign and allow [Democratic California Gov. Gavin] Newsom to appoint a successor who is willing and able to fight for the survival of our country.”
Although the coalition acknowledged that Feinstein has previously voiced her support for the aforementioned bills, the letter argued that as the seniormost Democrat in the Senate she has a responsibility to act decisively to pass the bills and bypass the filibuster.
Of course, the California Globe explained that the letter represents a largely futile gesture of frustration.
Feinstein cannot unilaterally meet the demands as laid out by the coalition, the outlet reported.
While she could potentially sway some Democrats, it is unlikely that enough GOP senators will be convinced to overcome the filibuster, which she cannot get rid of on her own. Furthermore, plenty of Democrats will want to hold on to the filibuster to use against a more conservative agenda when Republicans regain a majority on Capitol Hill.