House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D–Calif., recently suggested that calls for Feinstein to step down were sexist, noting that she has “never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate in that way,” in an apparent reference to Sen. John Fetterman, D–Pa., who has been absent for a couple of months due to clinical depression.
However, Republicans have noted that Fetterman has not faced the same pressure to resign that Feinstein has. Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, told The Inquirer in late February he would not be encouraging Fetterman to resign, telling the outlet he would “dismiss [calls for Fetterman‘s resignation] immediately.”
Meanwhile, prominent Democratic members of Congress, including Reps. Ro Khanna, D–Calif., and Dean Phillips, D–Minn., have vocally called for Feinstein to resign, with Khanna tweeting, “It’s time for [Feinstein] to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty.”
This apparent double–standard has not gone unnoticed by Republicans. Pro–Trump GOP attorney Eric Early announced his Senate campaign Tuesday, joining three high–profile Democratic candidates vying to replace Feinstein.
“It’s a step, but as has been reported, it’s not that simple,” Khanna said in response to Feinstein suggesting she be replaced on the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Any Republican senator can object to that… we have to see if that’s even possible.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R–Ky., was recently discharged from an in–patient rehabilitation facility after suffering a fall at a private dinner, and Sen. Bob Casey, D–Pa., announced in January he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Despite their illnesses, neither McConnell nor Casey have been called upon to resign.
This apparent double standard has caught the attention of Republicans, who have accused Democrats of hypocrisy for calling for Feinstein to resign while defending Fetterman and other sick senators.
Calling on Sen Feinstein to resign, but not Sen Fetterman to do the same, is a very strange flex from Democrats.
There is no way to defend the clear issues with both, thus to require the same remedy. https://t.co/DLFCVVFaUG
— Tony Katz (@tonykatz) April 13, 2023