Is it really that weird that Laphonza Butler, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s pick to replace Diane Feinstein in the Senate, lives in Maryland?
Now, incidentally, this isn’t one of those instances where a politician is spending an inordinate amount of time in DC (before leaving office and becoming a lobbyist and making it official). Newsom’s spokesperson confirms that Butler resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, and is registered to vote in that state. We’re just skipping the part where we pretend senators represent states rather than political parties. So, thank you.
Most Democrats — and plenty of Republicans — couldn’t give one whit about the integrity of the Senate — an institution that’s theoretically a bastion of prudence, wisdom, and tradition. It is also theoretically a counterweight to other branches. Today, a senate seat is just a place where partisans unilaterally ram through massive, centralized expansions of the state without any consensus. And when they can’t, they cheer on executive abuse. Democrats are champions of the DC bureaucracies that lord over our decisions. Does it really matter what state you come from if your main objective is to nationalize all policy? You can say many things about Feinstein, a loyal leftist for decades, but she often showed respect for the norms of her institution. She will be one of the last on the left to do so.
Nor is there anything especially surprising about the role identity politics played in the pick. The California governor not only had an opportunity to choose the best person in his state but the best person in the entire world, apparently. What if that person had been an Asian-American man or a polyamorous LatinXer or, and stick with me here, a white person? Tens of millions of people were excluded because they did not have correct immutable characteristics. Newsom pledged to appoint a black woman, not the most accomplished and competent person (who might well have been a black woman.)
Why these privileged white men who dominate the Democratic Party never step aside to make room for more diversity is an enduring mystery.
At this point, any Democrat who doesn’t treat skin color as at least partly determinative of a person’s worth is going to be in trouble. And it’s not just moral preening over race. Butler, Newsom notes, will be the first “lesbian Black woman to join Congress in US history.” In most news pieces on the appointment, we learn who Butler prefers to sleep with before we hear any of her accomplishments.
Speaking of which …
Butler’s most significant real-world achievement isn’t being a black lesbian from Maryland or even being an advisor to Kamala Harris’ failed presidential campaign, but rather heading up the “national fundraising juggernaut” for the pro-abortion Emily’s list. That’s almost surely what attracted Newsom most to Butler — favor trading. Emily’s list has helped push the Democrats to an extremist position that backs zero limits on aborting viable pregnancies for any reason. But because the press and the left have successfully obscured their position, pro-abortion groups raise lots of cash. And, in the end, more than anything else — more than race or sexual preference or California or the Senate or country — Newsom cares about being president.