Show an ad over header. AMP

Democrats feel boxed in on strategy for Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation fight

Democrats privately fearthat going too hard on Judge Amy Coney Barrett in her confirmation hearings could wind up backfiring, if senators are perceived as being nasty to an accomplished woman.

Driving the news: Yesterday afternoon, NBC posted video of Coney Barrett outside her house in South Bend, Ind., loading four of her seven children — two of the seven adopted from Haiti, and another with Down Syndrome — into her Honda Odyssey minivan, then driving them all to her Air Force ride to Washington. "Good luck, Democrats," a Republican tweeted.


Between the lines: Senate Democrats recognize the danger. A top Democratic strategist pointed to three pitfalls: "liberals mishandling this by boycotting or treating her with disrespect; [Sen. Dianne] Feinstein [top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee] screwing it up; someone looking like a religious bigot."

  • "One more fear on Barrett: the adoption thing," the strategist added. "Gotta avoid that."
  • Some liberals (not elected officials) tweeted slurs about adoption yesterday and were slapped down.

A top Senate Democratic aide said the party has a three-part plan for avoiding those traps: "Health care, health care, health care."

That's the Dem playbook:

  • Focus attacks and questioning on Barrett's views on health care, including the Affordable Care Act and reproductive rights.
  • Argue that she'd help take away coverage and protection during a pandemic.
  • Give the spotlight to Sen. Kamala Harris.
  • Stick to issues, including labor rights.

Democrats also feel boxed in by the calendar and the realities of the Senate.

  • Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham outlined four days of hearings beginning Oct. 12 — 16 days from nomination. (24 of the 42 Supreme Court justice who've had hearings were done within 16 days, Graham said.)
  • Graham, talking to "Judge Jeanine" Pirro on Fox News, said he plans to send the nomination to the full Senate by Oct. 26. That means the vote will most likely be held the week before Election Day.

Democrats know there's little they can do to stop any of that: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the votes.

  • "We could slow it down — perhaps hours, maybe days at the most," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat, said on ABC's "This Week."
  • "But we can't stop the outcome. What we should do is to address this, now, respectfully."

The Democratic base is pressuring senators "to go as far as boycotting the confirmation hearing," the WashPost reports.

  • But there won't be much of that. The top aide told me that would just speed up the hearing process and give Republicans a free platform to promote Coney Barrett without scrutiny.
  • When Graham was asked on Fox about the possibility of Dems boycotting the hearings, the chairman chuckled and said, "Well, it'd make 'em quicker!"

Some Democrats on the committee may refuse the traditional courtesy calls with Barrett, however.

  • "The more things Democrats do that confer legitimacy on this process," a leading progressive operative said, "the less patient progressives will become with them."

Trump applies extreme pressure on Bill Barr to release so-called Durham Report

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

Keep reading... Show less

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.

Keep reading... Show less

Obama: Broad slogans like "defund the police" lose people

Former President Barack Obama told Peter Hamby on the Snapchat original political show "Good Luck America" that "snappy" slogans such as "defund the police" can alienate people, making the statements less effective than intended.

What he's saying: "You lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done," Obama told Hamby in an interview that will air Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. EST on Snapchat.

Keep reading... Show less

Nasdaq's ultimatum to America's most powerful corporations

New diversity and inclusion rules are on the table for some of America's most powerful corporations, courtesy of one of its most powerful stock exchanges.

What's new: Nasdaq is threatening to delist companies that won't move toward having at least one woman and at least one underrepresented minority of LGBTQ person on their corporate boards.

Keep reading... Show less

Latinos make up nearly 18% of the U.S. labor force but occupy just 4% of executive roles

Latino professionals have the widest gap between representation in the labor force and executive positions — bigger than that of any other minority group.

Why it matters: Latinos will make up a quarter of the U.S. population by 2050, and scores of U.S. firms profit off of Latino consumers, but this group is absent from the business world's highest and most impactful decision-making positions.

Keep reading... Show less

Salesforce will buy Slack for $28 billion

Salesforce on Tuesday afternoon said it will pay $27.7 billion in cash and stock to buy workplace collaboration platform Slack.

Why it matters: This is the largest software merger since IBM agreed to buy Red Hat in late 2018, and creates a cloud giant that can better compete with Microsoft.

Go deeper: Salesforce rolls the dice on Slack

McConnell circulates revised GOP coronavirus stimulus plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell circulated a new framework for coronavirus stimulus legislation to Republican members on Tuesday that would establish a fresh round of funding for the small business Paycheck Protection Program and implement widespread liability protections, according to a copy of the plan obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: The revised GOP relief draft comes after McConnell's meeting with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, during which they went over in detail what provisions would get backing from President Trump.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories