Gender Devolution in the Senate

Nestled in a long, fairly puffy item by RealClearPolitics’ Caitlin Huey-Burns about Mitch McConnell’s desire to promote a more diverse Senate Republican leadership (not now, of course, but at some point down the road) is this rather startling fact:

That process [more power for committee chairs] will also help Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is slated to chair the Energy Committee. Murkowski will likely be the only woman to head a major committee in the new Senate. Under Democratic control, the upper chamber has seven female chairs. Leading a panel often provides more benefits than party leadership positions do, as the role is more tangible to constituents.

Tell me about it. Wait–the Senate’s moving from seven to one women chairing major committees? Isn’t that a more germane benchmark of diversity than McConnell’s pious hopes for Joni Ernst and Shelly Moore Capito?

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.