January 9, 2009

What powers Dianne Feinstein?

According to John Fund, since there's a good chance that Feinstein will run for Governor in California in 2010, she doesn't have to go along to get along with her Senate colleagues. She's got an incentive to stand apart and distinguish herself.

Great! I've been enjoying watching Dianne Feinstein lately....
This week, she bristled when Barack Obama picked fellow Californian Leon Panetta to be CIA director. She bluntly noted he lacked any intelligence experience and that she had not been consulted even though she chairs the Intelligence Committee. An irritated Senator Reid told Politico.com: "I think you need better reasons for coming out against somebody than somebody didn't call you."

Mr. Reid was also not happy that Ms. Feinstein, a key member of the Rules Committee, openly bucked the party line on whether Illinois Democrat Roland Burris should be seated despite the fact he was appointed by scandal-implicated Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Ms. Feinstein challenged the position of Democratic leaders who rejected Mr. Burris, saying their move called into question the validity of "gubernatorial appointments all over the country."

Mr. Reid is clearly of another view. "It's not valid, her statement," he told Politico. "I told her that. OK?" Nonetheless, many observers expect Mr. Burris to be quietly seated in coming days.
Ha ha. Go, Dianne.

45 comments:

traditionalguy said...

DF is a pleasant exception to the usual Dem female elected official. she is willing to speak the truth when the issue is important. This is noticable because ALL the other Dems parrot the Party's polished story of the day. You never know what they really think since the same answer comes out like the interviewer pulled a string on a toy. But DF has a mind and is not afraid to use it.

Simon said...

What does "not valid" mean, I wonder, in this context? Her statement seems "valid" in any sense of the word I can think of, leaving me to wonder if what Reid really means is "I don't agree with that."

Yachira said...

"What powers Dianne Feinstein?"

A single AAAA battery?

Michael H said...

"Mr. Reid is clearly of another view. "It's not valid, her statement," he told Politico."

Her statement was "not valid"? Sheesh, the Democrats sure do think highly of their female members - as long as they do and say what the boys want them to.

I don't agree with DF's politics, but I do admire her independence.

Simon said...

If Feinstein's intent is to run for Governor in California in 2010, would it not be a reasonable supposition that "[s]he's got an incentive to stand apart and distinguish herself" in a particular way - viz., one that pander to California voters who will support a Democratic gubernatorial candidate? I mean, I agree, but - and maybe I'm overreading your post and making assumptions - I don't think this fits into your paradigm of the Senate acting as a brake, if that's where you're going with this.

rhhardin said...

John and Ken (KFI) always add ``cluthing her pearls'' as a Homeric epithet for the perpetually surprised Feinstein.

traditionalguy said...

When Boss Reid says DF's statement of a truth in public is "not valid" he is reminding her and all of his cadre of Dem. Politicos that the day's party line is the only valid Public speech. It looks like DF is not afraid of him, and she sees a need to slow down the Dem.'s runaway train to socialism.

Audities said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Not valid.

Except for that whole rule of law thing which makes Feinstein's position on Burris correct. Other than that little detail, entirely "not valid."

siyeh pass said...

DF is a pleasant exception to the usual Dem female elected official.

Take 'Dem' and 'female' out and it still works.

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

Wow, I didn't know she was 76 years old. She looks pretty good for 76.

TosaGuy said...

I suspect DF will run to the right of the Governator and will win.

Unlike the other Cali senator, I have always respected (even if typically not agree with) DF. She is an adult amongst an increasingly childish group.

Wisconsin's junior senator can take some lessons from her.

Balfegor said...

DF is a pleasant exception to the usual Dem female elected official.

Take 'Dem' and 'female' out and it still works.


It's even more true of California elected officials, who are surely some of the stupidest and most offensive in the nation. Just remember the loathsome Bill Lockyer (still Treasurer), and his prison rape jokes.

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

I would like her more if she was a republican.

You can't beat a republican.

They are the best.

Always upstanding and loaded with integrity.

Democrats on the other hand are awful and really bad and the worst mankind has to offer.

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

I thought Feinstein was great in Milk.

The Drill SGT said...

DF is a pleasant exception to the usual Dem female elected official. she is willing to speak the truth when the issue is important

Unlike the idiot who is the Jr Senator from California.

I don't always agree with DF but she generally makes sense.

She's great (strong) on Homeland security, wiretaps.

hypocritical on guns (wants them banned, but carries a concealed 38)

mixed bag on Iraq

The biggest issue for her beyond age may be the conflict of interest stuff concerning her husband and his interests before the MILCON subcommittee she chairs.

oh, and for Ann: NO votes against Roberts and Alito on moving their nominations to the full Senate

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

I love Barbara Boxer. She is fabulous.

Feinstein, Boxer and Pelosi and Harmon are fabuous!!!

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

Don't forget she is pro choice which is a huge fault.

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

Also she is from San Francisco and has "San Francisco values".

Major flaw.

Simon said...

TosaGuy said...
"I suspect DF will run to the right of the Governator and will win."

Assuming that the Governator runs for reelection. Wasn't there a rumor that he was thinking about swtiching gears and contesting Barbara Boxer's seat that year?

David said...

DF is one of the grownups in the Senate. Too bad she may leave, but she would be a good governor.

She is 76? Amazing. Had no idea.

# 56 said...

Why would anyone take Reid seriously? Once Blago the Great depantsed the Leader the race was on. Feinstein strikes early and often, signifying the start of the DC free for all. This will be very entertaining.

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

I love Barbara Boxer so much.

She is so fabulous.

She looks good too.

She is cute.

Nancy Pelosi is hot. So is Jane Harman. Those California democrat women work it.

Virginia Foxx from North Carolina is not so hot...or she is hot in an Aunt Bee kind of way. I would not do Virginia Foxx.

former law student said...

As Schwarzenegger is a RINO, Feinstein is a Republican in all but name. How many Democrats support the death penalty?

chuck b. said...

Arnold can't run for reelection. He's termed out. We call her DiFi in San Francisco, not DF, but that's fine. You could call her whatever you want.

If she decides to run for governor in Calif. she will become the immediate front-runner. Her competition is Jerry Brown and the mayor of LA whose last name I haven't learned to spell yet.

Define "true" Republican. If your definition includes socially conservative, there isn't a single one who has even a hope of winning statewide office in California. Do Republicans ever wonder why that is? What's it going to take for California Republicans to figure that out? It's too bad. We need them to stave off tax increases, which the Democrats appear quite committed to.

Instead, the California Republicans must choose among unknown quantities or RINOs, the most appealing of whom right now would seem to be Meg Whitman, former CEO of Ebay.

Joe said...

Who would want to be Governor of California at this point?

chuck b. said...

Also, how bizarre is it that Arnold is termed out already? The recall effort was frickin' yesterday! Slow down, universe!

Simon said...

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...
"I love Barbara Boxer so much. She is so fabulous. She looks good too. She is cute. Nancy Pelosi is hot."

Barbara Boxer is an ugly woman with an ugly soul. Nancy Pelosi's soul is blacker than coal, but the box it comes it is a little hot, surprisingly so.

Simon said...

chuck b. said...
"If your definition includes socially conservative, there isn't a single one who has even a hope of winning statewide office in California. Do Republicans ever wonder why that is? What's it going to take for California Republicans to figure that out?"

It's something that saddens me - there are just interminable meetings, discussions, and arguments, online and off, and I've just given up being surprised at how clueless people can be. If we have to run someone like Dennis Miller to win the California governorship, I have no problem with that. I don't care that Susie Collins is pro choice, if that's what it takes to get a GOP Senator from Maine. What seems to be absent is a William F. Buckley character to knock heads together and say "this is the core of what we believe, and this other stuff is periphery; we don't mind heterodoxy, we just won't tolerate heresy."

chuck b. said...

Free markets, free trade, low taxes = eternally important, always worth fighting for.

But what's considered socially conservative in one age, changes.

I think it's hard for conservatives to confront that.

Esp. right now when the world seems to be changing at an accelerating rate.

It scares even me, who would personally benefit from certain changes--changes that I greatly desire.

chuck b. said...

"Free markets, free trade, low taxes = eternally important, always worth fighting for."


Add strong national defense. That should be number one, actually.

ricpic said...

Occasional fights will breakout from time to time between those - Feinstein and Reid, for example - inside the buttercup, but make no mistake, when the chips are down they can be counted on to come together behind legislation designed to keep the peasantry in its place.

Simon said...

Chuck, that's right, and on those issues - and on a particular conception of the role of the Constitution generally and the judiciary specifically, perhaps throwing in federalism too - you can get conservatives and libertarians of many stripes together under one tent.

Cedarford said...

chuck b. said...
"Free markets, free trade, low taxes = eternally important, always worth fighting for."


Garbage. For most of our history, Americans rejected free trade as destructive to our ability to create good jobs, creating and keeping advanced industries and technology. Free trade when 2 billion people want to grab any good job Americans hold they can steal for us with cheaper labor costs...is suicidal, long-term.

Either suicidal to our present standard of living because wages must levelize then all the "protected jobs" in law, government, medicine must also drop because we can no longer afford those services (if the average American job must drop 45% in pay to pay homage to "Free Trade", then we will need the average lawyer, cop, marine, nurse, defense worker, and teacher to also take a 45% pay cut - or farm their jobs out as well to Chinese, Indian, Egyptian job-seekers willing to do those jobs as well..)

Nor are "exciting miracle technologies" going to create permanent American jobs and erase the still growing, now 1 trillion a year trade loss of America's accumulated wealth. All recent past "miracle technologies since the 70s invented and 1st done here? Most the jobs have migrated to Asia. Buy any advanced product recently? Where was it made?

Nor is the problem those "Lazy, overpaid union workers!" The vast majority of jobs lost or jobs with stagnant or reduced wages and benefits hitting them in the last 20 years are non-union ones. Where are most the factory closings? In "Right to Work" states or in industries that fought to be non-union, and were, to "survive". Except they didn't survive, except as overseas reincarnations (India) or dragons rising from sweet American ashes (China).

Free markets?..After all the scandals, manufactured bubbles, and rank incompetence of banks, brokers, housing industry...I'm not exactly enamored of the conservative ideologues dream of "unfettered, unregulated free markets where all the gains go to the "top people".
(Who pay less in taxes on each dollar they earn than surviving worker in manufacturing, or a white collar average employee does)

*************
As for Feinstein, I like most of what she does - but like Nixon and that "one little thing" about Watergate or John Edward's "harmless trysts" - it is hard to overlook her belief that no one has a right to a firearm but "hero government employees" or a wealthy VIP like her.

chuck b. said...

If not "free" markets, then open markets. Whatever. I'm not positioning myself as an expert and I don't bother to parse my own language. Why should I.

former law student said...

For most of our history, Americans rejected free trade

Quite right. It was Confederates who wanted free trade; Yankees liked tariffs.

John Stodder said...

I'm not so sure DiFi would fare all that well in a Ca. gubernatorial race, unless name ID is the only thing that matters.

Liberals out here generally hate her.

Her best shot is if the liberal Dem vote is dividing among Antonio Villaraigosa, Gavin Newsome and Jerry Brown.

Questions about her husband's business dealings, which seem to have benefited from her power as senator, have been muted by the media so as to keep her safe from an effective Republican challenge. But that will go out the window if she's running against a media darling like Villaraigosa.

Joe said...

Free markets?..After all the scandals, manufactured bubbles, and rank incompetence of banks, brokers, housing industry...I'm not exactly enamored of the conservative ideologues dream of "unfettered, unregulated free markets

The recent economic disasters mostly involved extremely heavily regulated markets.

Moreover, few conservatives advocate unregulated markets--that's what libertarians propose--but rather minimal regulation.

chuck b. said...

I'm not so sure DiFi would fare all that well in a Ca. gubernatorial race, unless name ID is the only thing that matters.

Liberals out here generally hate her.

***

really? I'm not disagreening, but I'm not convinced the hate is so extensive.

Villaraigosa doesn't get much exposure up north, but it would appear certain that he'd lock up the considerable Latino vote. I don't know anything about him.

Brown is a contentder, but Newsome? Some liberals like him, but many do not. He consolidated support in SF with SSM, but many liberal idealogues have knives out for him. Plus, he had an ongoing affair with his buddy's wife. Some primary voters will ignore that, but for state politics, I think he's a dead man walking. He should go back in to the restaurant business. Buy a winery. Something like that.

chuck b. said...

Also, just one E in Newsom. I always forget that.

TitusIAmSixteengoingonSeventeen said...

I would do Newsom in a heartbeat.

He is hot.

The Drill SGT said...

Brown is a contentder, but Newsome? Some liberals like him, but many do not. He consolidated support in SF with SSM, but many liberal idealogues have knives out for him. Plus, he had an ongoing affair with his buddy's wife. Some primary voters will ignore that, but for state politics, I think he's a dead man walking.

DiFi might have problems in a Dem primary where she is clearly the DINO, but with Brown, Newsom, and Villaraigosa splitting the left wing and Latino vote 3 ways?

That would leave DiFi with the Jews, females, Italians, Unions, and Reagan/rural Dems. That is a big vote

chuck b. said...

Did my comment get gobbled?

Just wanted to say that what I've heard is that if DiFi declares, Newsom and Brown will drop out. She is too popular in N.Cal to overcome. It's between her and Villagairosa.

Mark Daniels said...

I've always thought that Dianne Feinstein was an able, intelligent woman. On my blog, I've mused several times that were it not for her age, she might have been a good running mate for Barack Obama. In 2010, she will turn 77 years old and would be 81 by the time her term as governor ended.

Won't that push the age envelope a bit?

Life expectancies are going up and if you reach Feinstein's age, chances are you're going live until at least age 85.

But I don't know if US electorates will be willing to elect someone as governor who's pushing eighty.

What do others think?

Simon said...

Mark, I think it would prompt many pundits to reveal the purported concern over McCain's age as the fig leaf it was.