California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently selected Laphonza Butler to replace the late Dianne Feinstein in the Senate. The governor didn’t hide why he chose this obscure figure for such an important role.
Butler is a black woman. That’s the only qualification that mattered.
Newsom pledged to appoint a black woman to Feinstein’s seat all the way back in 2021. He faced intense backlash after he appointed Alex Padilla, a Hispanic male, to replace Kamala Harris when she became vice president. Black leaders said he should’ve picked a black woman for the seat instead.
“Many people believe the governor will pay a political price,” Kerman Maddox, a Democratic consultant and fundraiser who is Black, said in an email. “It’s a terribly insensitive decision” with the nation in the midst of a reckoning over racial injustice.
“If Governor Newsom thinks our disappointment with the Kamala Harris replacement will be tempered by appointing an African American woman to be California secretary of state, he clearly does not know this constituency,” Maddox added. “When I heard the news about the secretary of state appointment, my anger meter went from disappointment to being downright angry.”
San Francisco’s black mayor was devastated by Padilla’s appointment.
“This is a real blow to the African American community, to African American women, to women in general,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed when asked for her reaction Tuesday.
“It’s really challenging to put it into words, but it was definitely a surprise,” she continued. “And it’s an unfortunate situation as we are trying to move this country forward, and making sure that Black Lives truly matter and that African Americans have a seat at the table — especially African American women. After what was done in this race on a national level, (it) definitely is unfortunate.”
Newsom got the message. Indeed, you don’t achieve Newsom’s status as a powerful white male Democrat under 70 (an endangered species if there ever was one) without masterfully and cynically adapting to the left’s increasingly convoluted and demanding diversity imperatives. Thus, when MSNBC’s affirmative action host Joy Reid asked the governor in 2021 if he would appoint a black woman to Feinstein’s seat if she departed, Newsom vowed he would. He even claimed he had “multiple names in mind.”
He ended up with Miss Butler, a random left-wing activist who has never held elected office. Senator Laphonza’s resume looks slim for an appointment. Her work experience includes union organizing and heading the radical pro-abortion group, EMILY’s List. She only got a Wikipedia page two months ago. Her current residence isn’t even California—it’s Maryland. Some of Butler’s recent opinions include demands that we “elect more queer women of color” and that “abortion bans are racist.”
But Butler makes up for her thin resume with strong ties to Democratic bigwigs. She worked as a senior adviser to Kamala Harris’s failed presidential campaign. She also worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Under Butler’s direction, EMILY’s List planned to spend tens of millions of dollars in 2024 to support Harris as the vice presidential candidate. Newsom was pleasing many of the party’s power players with his selection.
Most governors choose elected officials to serve in the Senate, not professional left-wing activists. But Newsom claims Butler was the “only choice” for the job.
Besides being a black woman, Butler is also a lesbian, bolstering her identity credentials. Her union background also pleases another powerful liberal constituency. She checked the boxes that mattered to the left. But not everyone on the Left is pleased with Laphonza’s selection, and no, it’s not due to identity politics. Instead, they’re peeved that Newsom didn’t pick the right black woman.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) wanted Newsom to appoint Rep. Barbara Lee, but as we mentioned earlier, Adam Schiff threw a monkey wrench into those plans. It’s probable that Barbara Lee is well aware of the behind-the-scenes dynamics, which is why she insinuated last month that Newsom was racist by not appointing her.
“I am troubled by the governor’s remarks,” Lee said in a Sunday statement. “The idea that a Black woman should be appointed only as a caretaker to simply check a box is insulting to countless Black women across this country who have carried the Democratic Party to victory election after election.”
“The perspective of Black women in the U.S. Senate is sorely needed — and needed for more than a few months. Governor Newsom knows this, which is why he made the pledge in the first place,” Lee added. “If the Governor intends to keep his promise and appoint a Black woman to the Senate, the people of California deserve the best possible person for that job. Not a token appointment.
“Black women deserve more than a participation trophy. We need a seat at the table.”
Rep. Lee, who may succeed Butler in the Senate, is a full-blown loon. She claims conservative opposition to affirmative action is driven by the desire to “uphold white supremacy.” She sponsored legislation to tear down Confederate statues while endorsing statues for murderous Black Panthers.
But it appears Butler quieted this uproar. The CBC praised the appointment for bringing a black perspective to the Senate.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Democrats apply affirmative action to political appointments. Joe Biden picked his vice president and a Supreme Court justice on the sole basis of whether she was a black woman.
Kamala Harris was made Biden’s running mate primarily because of her race.
Harry Reid, the former Senate majority leader, said race had been essential to Mr. Biden’s decision.
“I think he came to the conclusion that he should pick a Black woman,” Mr. Reid said. “They are our most loyal voters and I think that the Black women of America deserved a Black vice-presidential candidate.”
Kamala now boasts the lowest approval rating for a vice president in history. This is what happens when you care more about race than merit.
The same factor animated Biden’s decision to pick Ketanji Brown Jackson for the high court.
The president announced this as the most important factor in the process when Stephen Breyer announced his retirement in early 2022.
“While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: the person I nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity – and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue, in my view,” Biden said.
Justice Jackson has also proven ill-suited for the role. Her opinions are characterized by embarrassing errors and misinformation.
It would be one thing if these were just a few high-profile decisions and didn’t reflect broader hiring practices. The sad thing is that they do. Liberals and corporations want to hire everyone but whites.
The president has picked hardly any white males for the federal judiciary. As of June, Biden had picked 127 judges—only 13 of them were white men.
Since 2021, only six percent of the S&P 100’s new hires were white men.
The Supreme Court may have struck down affirmative action in college admissions last summer, but the ideology that drives it is alive and well. Powerful forces in our society still want to discriminate against whites. They still care more about the race of the applicant than their respective merits. Competency be damned.
It’s how we ended up with a far-left activist as a senator. It didn’t matter that no one had heard of her. What mattered was her race, gender, and sexual orientation.
Tough luck if you’re a straight, white man. No one pushes to hire you.