Dianne Feinstein’s Logic

I’m having difficulty following Dianne Feinstein’s logic in opposing the nomination of Leon Panetta to head the CIA–just like I had difficulty following her logic in supporting the Iraq war and in voting for Bush’s Medicare plan.

Maybe Panetta isn’t her first choice, but she didn’t stop that from backing George Bush’s choices. Think Progress points out that Feinstein didn’t vote against any of George Bush’s key appointments. They also note that in defending her vote in favor of Porter Goss to be Director of  Central Intelligence  (DCI), Feinstein said:

I believe the President should have the prerogative to appoint who he wants to be the DCI, or for any other senior position, subject only to the requirement that the person be qualified for the job.

If she could vote for Bush’s appointees, why is there any question as to whether she will vote for this nomination by Obama? Not being a career  CIA official is hardly a meaningful reason considering all the pertinent experience Panetta does have. Matthew Yglesias points out that Porter Goss, George Tenent, John Deutsch, James Woolsey, William Webster, and George H. W. Bush were all chosen to head the CIA despite not being career intelligence officials. Panetta’s experience as White House chief of staff gave him more experience in handling intelligence than most people in government.

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