The Focus on Neera Tanden Over Xavier Becerra Shows the Unseriousness of Senate Democrats and Republicans
Neera Tanden is an obnoxious lefty hack who climbed up the ladder by acting as a very public attack dog for Democrats. This has created bad blood among some Senate Republicans, moderate Senate Democrats, and lefties for whom she's not radical and lefty enough.
Basically everyone, except establishment Democrats, hate her.
If she gets confirmed, she'll be another partisan hack whose first and only loyalty is to those who can advance her career. Like the rest of Biden's nominees.
The focus by Senate Republicans and some Senate Democrats on her is largely due to her nasty tweets. Blocking Tanden will be the hill that Manchin and some Senate Republicans choose to die on.
Meanwhile, much more disturbing nominees, like Xavier Becerra, with a history of aggressive political actions, including persecuting investigative journalists looking into Planned Parenthood and indirectly fighting nuns over contraception, are much more likely to sail through.
The takeaway here is that Senate members are much more concerned about someone who insults them on Twitter than about actual policy.
And that says everything there is to say about the Senate.
All of Biden's nominees are bad. In different ways. The basic reality is that those behind him are going to get the administration that they want. Any chance Republicans had of seriously interfering with the new administration went out the door after Georgia. Senate Republicans have been mostly reduced to exploiting divisions among Democrats. And that division, when it comes to the nominees, is named Neera Tanden. So I get it. They're trying to start a fire with a wet log. But petty obstructionism for its own sake amounts to nothing except inside baseball. Some Senate Republicans have used the hearings to go after serious issues with some of Biden's picks. But focusing on Tanden communicates that Republicans are there to pick sides in Democrat civil wars rather than those that matter. And that will do little to persuade those Trump voters who stayed home in the Georgia Senate race that they need to turn out next time around.