Diane Feinstein: The Bush Enabling Face of the Democratic Congress

While a number of Democrats have caused frustration among liberals for their voting records, with the move by Joe Lieberman to independent status the worst example may very well be Diane Feinstein. While she might not have the worst record among Democrats, but what makes her remarkable is that she comes from a state such as California where there is no need for her to be, as Glenn Greenwald called her, “the drained and Bush-enabling face of the 2007 Democratic Congress.”

Glenn Greenwald outlined many of the problems in Feinstein’s voting record:

…her votes over the last several years, and especially this year after she was safely re-elected, are infinitely closer to the Bush White House and her right-wing Senate colleagues than they are to the base of her party or to the constituents she allegedly represents. Just look at what she has done this year on the most critical and revealing votes:

* Voted in FAVOR of funding the Iraq War without conditions;* Voted in FAVOR of the Bush White House’s FISA bill to drastically expand warrantless eavesdropping powers;

* Voted in FAVOR of condemning MoveOn.org;

* Cast the deciding vote in August on the Senate Judiciary Committee in FAVOR of the nomination of far right Bush nominee Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In 2006, Feinstein not only voted in favor of extending the Patriot Act without any of the critical safeguards sought by Sen. Feingold, among others, but she was one of the most outspoken Democratic proponents arguing for its extension (“I have never been in favor of allowing any provisions of the Patriot Act to expire.”). Also in 2006, she not only voted in favor of amending the Constitution to outlaw flag burning, but was, as she proudly described herself, “the main Democratic sponsor of this amendment.”

Greenwald gives further examples but leaves out one very important one. Diane Feinstein also backed Bush’s Medicare plan which is primarily a corporate welfare scheme for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries while undermining the long term solvency of the Medicare program.

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