During her opening remarks at the hearing on Donald Trump’s very bad attorney general nominee William Barr, Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, also welcomed two racist, reactionary Republican women to the committee. You know, for feminism’s sake.
“Twenty-five years ago there were no women on this committee. I’ll never forget watching the Anita Hill hearing,” Feinstein said Tuesday morning. “I saw this all male judiciary committee. It took all these years, but here we are.”
Where are we, exactly? Feinstein then went on to “particularly welcome” Republican Senators Joni Ernst and Marsha Blackburn, saying, “I think it’s extraordinarily important that this committee be representative of our society at large and we are growing that way, so thank you very much for being here.”
Ernst and Blackburn are the first GOP women to serve on the Judiciary, making their place on the committee historic. But their presence doesn’t actually change much from their Republican predecessors. Blackburn, during her Senate campaign, also called the hearings scheduled in response to Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Brett Kavanaugh “a PR stunt by the Democrats” and “character assassination” of Kavanaugh, who she called an “eminently qualified jurist.” Blackburn also ran an incredibly racist Senate campaign, with ads that claimed a migrant caravan of “gang members, known criminals, people from the Middle East, possibly terrorists” was “marching on America.” And Ernst, for her part, also supported Kavanaugh, telling him to “stay strong” after Senator Jeff Flake called for an FBI investigation into the allegations and later went on to vote to confirm him. She stated that she believed Kavanaugh did not commit “the intimate crime” against Ford, using a euphemism to avoid the perhaps more descriptive words “attempted rape.”
The idea that someone like Blackburn, an anti-abortion radical and climate change denier, or Ernst is “representative of society at large,” is really a very embarrassing thing to say! But it’s also a common sentiment—shared by a certain kind of Democrat and, uh, Ivanka Trump: that literally any woman in a position of power is good “for women.” I mean, even Taylor Swift gets it.