By Colleen O'Connor
What a time in U.S. history. Who could have guessed that five women would wield such power? It is not an exaggeration to suggest that the fate of the country rests in their collective hands.
Control of the House of Representatives, Supreme Court and possibly the Senate, along with the future of the Trump presidency, will be decided by the actions and power of these five—all from California.
1. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
She is poised to become the next Speaker of the House—with all the power that holds. Barring a hurricane-like shift in polling, the “blue wave” is a given, in less than 60 days.
Pelosi has already directed her senior members, in line to become committee chairs, to “be ready” with legislation to “cut health-care costs, boost pay and crack down on corruption.”
Also in her sights are DACA, gun violence and subpoena-powered investigations into President Trump.
It’s safe to say that Trump will be in for a prolonged headache, as will the Trump organization, the Trump Foundation, and the President’s friends and family.
2. Sen. Dianne Feinstein
She basically secured her re-election with the release of the full transcript of the now famous Fusion/GPS Steele dossier testimony regarding Trump and the Russians. Flaunting the old boys’ club Senate rules, Feinstein argued that the public had a right to know and simply made the testimony public.
3. Professor Christine Blasey Ford
Ford is the Palo Alto University psychology professor whose letter accuses Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. This “he said, she said” grenade that no one saw coming—with the attendant ghosts of the 1991 Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas disgrace—will command rapt attention in the post #MeToo era.
No one will survive unscathed.
4. Rep. Anna Eshoo
It was Eshoo who received the letter from her constituent, interviewed Blasey, and respected the professor’s request for confidentiality while forwarding the letter to Feinstein.
The contents of the letter were leaked and published, leading to Blasey’s decision to testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary committee and “tell her story.”
The Kavanaugh hearings have just been reopened. The testimony of both Kavanaugh and Blasey are scheduled for Monday.
Feinstein and Eshoo believe Professor Blasey. “I’m proud of my constituent for the courage she has displayed to come forward to tell her full story to the American people,” said Eshoo.
5. Sen. Kamala Harris
Harris, a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020, and a former two-term Attorney General of California, is a formidable questioner. Still relatively young, by comparison to Feinstein, Eshoo and Pelosi, she has yet to earn the gravitas accorded these more seasoned politicians.
Yet, even more is at stake for her. Her national career is just beginning. A misstep—in what promises to be the most televised and most consequential hearing in U.S. history—would haunt her. However, a measured, honest and respectful demeanor could launch her into escape velocity amidst an already crowded Democratic presidential primary field.
Harris has demonstrated the ability to ask piercing questions, in a non-threatening voice, while excavating an undeniable truth. She will be in a position to execute that “knock-out punch.”
These five women of California now hold all the cards in their hands. The future of the House, the Supreme Court, possibly the Senate and probably the Trump Presidency are on the line.
History is happening now—and California women are creating it.
Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.
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