The word of the day is “seriously.”
That’s because soon-to-be-senator (sworn in today?) Laphonza Butler told The Los Angeles Times that until she received a call from Gavin Newsom late Saturday about filling Dianne Feinstein’s seat she was “unaware that my name was even seriously being considered.”
Because if that’s true it means Newsom’s decision-making process when it came to picking a new U.S. Senator was even more chaotic and politically opportunistic than usual.
It has been reported that Newsom – aware that Feinstein’s health was so poor she would almost certainly not be able to complete her term – had been looking at the replacement issue closely for months.
“He knew who he was going to pick for a while,” one capitol insider said.
Newsom himself said Butler was “the only choice.”
Then how can it be possible that Butler only became aware she was “seriously being considered” Saturday, when she was offered the job?
It really can’t be.
Such a process involves looking at someone’s background to make sure they are not an ax murderer or, worse still, a Republican, checking out their ideological positions and past experience, and nailing down details such as whether they can legally do the job and if they are actually interested in doing the job.
Newsom whiffed on the “legally can do the job” part and – if Butler is to be believed – hadn’t quite nailed down the “interested in the job” bit either.
Butler even told the Times it “was not an easy decision to make,” considering the fact she likes her current(?) gig as leader of a political action committee – EMILY’s List – that raises money for pro-abortion candidates and that she values her privacy.
And maybe she even likes living in Maryland, for all we know. Of course, if that is true that is not a problem as she can keep her home there while technically calling home a place she currently rents here in California.
As to that residency issue, it may (expect a court and/or Senate floor challenge, if only to embarrass Newsom) really be as simple as registering to vote here before he is sworn in – not that that’s ethical and all that, but California – as the tens of thousands of homeless who flock here from around the country know – has no specific time duration requirement to be considered a resident of – and enjoy the benefits of – the state.
And it is, of course, a deliciously depressing piece of irony that Newsom ended up appointing one of the hundreds of thousands of people who have moved out of California in the last few years, but that may be beside the point.
Butler is already being hailed as a trailblazer, a ceiling shatterer, an amazing example of what the progressive vision of the future holds; for example, the Times’ headline (cut/pasted from a 1954 issue of Pravda it seems) today really was “Newsom’s pick for Feinstein’s seat discusses her trip into history.”
As she is already historic (even before actually doing anything,) any future criticism of Butler will be attributed to any one of the number of “isms” she embodies.
And what will she do as a senator? If her past is anything to go by, she will instantly become the wokest member of the senate and support things like abortion and government worker union expansion.
Beyond her specific politics, Butler is a walking talking amalgam of the Democratic Party today – government unions, abortion, campaign consultant, tech public relations leader, LGBTQIIA+ member, minority, slick power player, appointee to various boards, rich, resident of wherever is the most convenient, etc. Each of these alone are key attributes of the party today – being all of them rolled into one is a sight to see – one can assume there are already whispers of “in a few years, President Laphonza?” in certain DC hallways.
Especially because she was not asked to – and has not yet decided herself – to pledge to only serve the remainder of Feinstein’s term and clear out of the way for one of the people actually running for the office right now.
Turns out when Newsom said he would only appoint a “caretaker” senator he was not being – heaven forfend – exactly truthful and now you can see Adam Schiff’s forehead vein twitching from the International Space Station.
But beyond that particular surprising but unsurprising lie, questions remain about how Newsom came to choose Butler – and when. It is simply not feasible that he both studied the issue for months and that Butler only heard about it Saturday, less than 18 hours before she was given the job.
One of them is – or both of them are – lying about the process.
Unless Butler has a rather interesting definition of the word “seriously.”
Given Gavin’s own glancing acquaintance with the English language, it could be possible though it would not bode well for the future of California.
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