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Sen. Feinstein, take off the damned gloves and stop the Kavanaugh hearings!



Senator Dianne Feinstein handily won her fight for the Democratic nomination to run for a sixth term in June, but she faced some considerable opposition from within her own party. The reason: many perceive her as too centrist, too accommodationist toward Republicans and Trump.

Dianne’s always been a moderate-liberal, not a flaming lefty. She was my Mayor when I lived in San Francisco and believe me, she was never a Progressive. She was the rich daughter of a doctor. She lived in a mansion in Pacific Heights and was married to an investment banker. Her friends came from the same social class as she. She did what she had to do to win liberal votes in San Francisco, but for me, her core attitude was symbolized by the way she was when AIDS was ravaging the city and the gay community looked to her for help.

I remember how Dianne did the right thing by touring the Castro neighborhood and meeting with gays. But she always seemed a little freaked out by the community, as though she might catch something. She’d wear white gloves when shaking hands, and one had the impression she couldn’t wait to get back to someplace clean and safe and take a shower. Maybe that’s unfair; she has been a good political friend of the LGBT community and always supported it. But like I said, she’s never been one to really plunge into a full-scale battle and get her hands dirty.

A year or so ago, Dianne got into big trouble here in California with liberals after she remarked that Trump “could be a good president” if he would “learn and change.” That struck many of us as incredibly naive. By last summer (August, 2017), it was clear—or should have been clear–to everyone with half a brain that Trump is a catastrophe: a moral failure, a politically shameless whore, ignorant of the issues, fueled by resentment, willing to cater to racists and the most ignorant levels of society—a thorough asshole. When Feinstein came out with that dumb statement, it caused astonishment: How could she think that he can be ‘good’? That’s why she faced Democratic opponents in the primary—she pissed off a lot of people. But she won, and is a cinch to be re-elected.

Now she’s faced with a new dilemma: Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Unlike her counterpart in the Senate, Kamala Harris, Feinstein still has not declared she will vote against him. Her accommodationist streak is showing: while Harris announced she’s a definite “Hell, no!” vote, Feinstein has wavered. Instead, she’ll go through the formal motions on the Judiciary Committee (where she’s ranking member), after which she’ll make up her mind. I expect she’ll vote against him in the end. But the fact that she’s even willing to play the game and permit Kavanaugh to have a hearing is galling to a lot of us.

After what McConnell did to Merrick Garland—not even allowing him to have hearings, a first in the history of this country—Democrats should have learned a lesson: they have to fight as dirty as Republicans. This is something that’s been hard for Democrats to accept: they tend to take the Feinstein-white glove approach to political battles and play fair. McConnell took the Democrats’ fairness and shoved it right up their asses. From that point on, there was no reason, no reason at all for Democrats to ever cooperate with Republicans on anything, and every reason to oppose, using every obstructionist tactic in the book, and some that aren’t in the book.

Now, two years later, Republicans have outdone themselves even beyond McConnell’s horrible stunt, in protecting a felonious, dangerous president and helping him cover up his crimes. It’s hard to imagine Republicans doing anything worse than they’ve already done, but mark my words, they will: when Mueller issues a scathing report on Trump, they’ll double-down on their efforts to denigrate him and derail the investigation, no matter how massive the evidence against Trump. Republicans took off the gloves years ago: Democrats, like Feinstein, still have them on.

I have voted for Dianne in every election she ever ran in except her supervisor runs. I voted for her in the June primary, and I’ll vote for her again in November. And I thank her for her decades of service. But here’s what I, and many other Californians, need for her to do–and do now: Give a speech in the well of the Senate, addressing McConnell directly, and say: Senator McConnell, you said the other day, concerning President Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court, that the Senate “should evaluate this president’s nominee fairly, based on their qualifications. And we should treat this process with the respect and the dignity that it deserves.”

Senator, you are so full of it, it’s coming out of your ears. You kicked the Constitution and the people of the United States in the groin when you pulled that stunt with Merrick Garland. And now you have the nerve to tell Democrats to treat Kavanaugh fairly. How dare you? Who do you think you’re talking to? Senator McConnell, you’re a disgrace to the United States Senate. I will not vote for Judge Kavanaugh. I will not participate in hearings, and I will use every power I possess as a United States Senator to block hearings, until we know the results of the November elections.”

Feinstein, of course, will do nothing of the sort. She’s a blue-blooded lady, polite and correct to a fault. Unfortunately, we’ve moved well beyond the time for Senatorial courtesy–thanks to McConnell. We are in a confrontation with the Party of Trump. It’s no-holds barred. And that is what I have told Sen. Feinstein in emails to her office: NO VOTE! OBSTRUCT! RESIST! Give McConnell exactly what he gave you: the finger.

Readers, if you live in California, and you agree with me, here’s a link to Feinstein’s email. Let her know how you feel!







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