Pressure DiFi to Quit—And Then Appoint 2 ‘War’ Senators

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

As the national government enters a period of total political war, California needs two senators who will fight the feds full-time.

Now we have zero such senators. Kamala Harris has been pursuing her own national political career—perhaps all the way to the vice presidency. And Dianne Feinstein seems not just old but out of touch, and too conciliatory for this era of combat.

The good news is that we could replace them both. Harris being elected vp would open up one seat. Getting Feinstein to quit will be harder, but this is the right moment for a concerted push by newspapers, civic groups, local Democrats and maybe even some of her reality-based allies (paging John Burton and Jerry Brown) letting her know it’s time.

That would set up Gov. Newsom to make two appointments. And he should send two obsessive warriors who never stop fighting.

The first should be Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has been suing the federal government like crazy for nearly four years. Let him take his fight, and a staff with deep knowledge of federal weaknesses, to DC. And with him, Newsom should send the one public official who strikes the most fear in the hearts of politicians, both for investigations and her ability to draw headlines: State Auditor Elaine Howle, fresh off an investigation of UC admissions. 

They should be sent with the directive to raise hell in DC. The two would wake up each day to fight the federal government and advocate for California. And they would put Congress and any administration immediately on the defensive. 

We’ve entered the 21st century version of a civil war. California needs to win that war, and it needs two fighting senators to lead us into battle.

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