September 16, 2018

Joy Reid discussed the sexual abuse allegations against Brett Kavanaugh this morning with California Rep. Maxine Waters. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is taking a lot of heat for having held onto that anonymous allegation for so long without making it public (despite the fact that the writer wanted to remain anonymous and was unwilling to come forward and be attacked the way Anita Hill was during the Clarence Thomas nomination hearings), and Feinstein's challenger, Kevin DeLeon has wasted no time in using it against her in his bid to unseat her.

Reid asked Waters if she thought Feinstein made a mistake in not sharing the information with her Judiciary Committee and Senate colleagues before the hearings, even though the woman who made the allegations was adamant she did not want to be named, or come forward to testify. Waters was mildly critical of the move to keep it quiet, saying she would have handled it differently, though she acknowledged the complexity of receiving anonymous information of such a sensitive nature.

Waters then, though, moved on to something Feinstein did that she felt merited outright criticism, and I could not agree with her more. Apologizing for the presence of protestors. In America??? Come on, Sen. Feinstein. Senate "civility" doesn't override the First Amendment.

WATERS: I think this is the most unfortunate situation.

First of all, I do think that the information has been held too long, and I think there is a question about what does it mean to receive information that's confidential that you can't use? I think that the information was given to a member of the House of Representatives, who then turned it over to Dianne Feinstein. She had said that she tried to maintain confidentiality. But what good does the information do if the woman won't come forward, if we can't unveil the information, if it can't be shared with anybody? I don't know how it could be helpful.

So I think this has been an unfortunate situation altogether. I can understand why maybe she was hesitant. Maybe she did not understand what she should do with confidential information, and while I'm not absolutely criticizing her on that, if I had had that information, I think that I would have treated it differently.

If I had any criticism at all for Dianne Feinstein, it was because she apologized to Kavanaugh for protesters who came to that hearing to let people know that they were very concerned about this nominee, and that they wanted the members of the Democratic party and the Judiciary Committee to take him on, and to force the answers from him.

If I had any criticism at all, it would be about basically apologizing for protesters. Protesters are just following what the Constitution allows us to do, and that is to speak up and to have a voice in this democracy.

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