Schiff is finally getting a taste of his own medicine and it’s from his own party! Talk about the irony.
An opinion piece in The Washington Post is calling on White Democratic candidates, specifically Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff, who have entered the California Senate race to fill the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s seat, to withdraw from the race in the name of diversity. The author and podcast host, Steve Phillips, argues that they should step aside and make way for U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, a Black woman, in order to demonstrate a genuine commitment to diversity.
According to Fox, Phillips emphasizes the crucial role that Black women play in the Democratic Party and the consensus among Democrats that they are underrepresented in leadership positions. Given that Schiff and Porter are White while Lee is a Black woman, Phillips contends that the appropriate course of action is evident. He maintains that by withdrawing, White Democratic candidates can display their “courage” and dedication to the party’s principles.
Phillips goes further, describing it as a “moral imperative” for Lee to secure the Senate seat due to the historical scarcity of Black females in the U.S. Senate. He argues that in addition to enhancing racial diversity in the Senate, Lee would carry on Feinstein’s legacy as a trailblazer and more accurately represent the state’s majority of residents who identify as people of color. Crucially, he asserts that Lee has demonstrated her effectiveness as a legislator capable of bipartisan cooperation while upholding progressive values.
To truly substantiate their commitment to diversity, Phillips suggests that Schiff and Porter should put the cause above their personal ambitions and egos. He contends that California’s Democratic leaders have an opportunity to go beyond mere rhetoric about diversity and should remember the example set by Vice President Harris, who vacated a California Senate seat to serve the nation. Achieving genuine equality, Phillips emphasizes, requires difficult decisions, particularly from White individuals who may have to disappoint their associates or set aside their personal ambitions for the greater good.
Sen. Feinstein’s passing in September led to California Governor Gavin Newsom appointing Democratic strategist Laphonza Butler as a temporary replacement. While some progressives applauded the governor’s commitment to filling the vacancy with a Black woman, others criticized the decision. Rep. Lee, in particular, found the appointment “insulting” as it was seen as a temporary measure before the primary election, which she viewed as checking a box rather than recognizing the significant contributions of Black women to the Democratic Party.