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, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.