Feinstein and Lieberman: Two Peas in a Pod
Paul Kane at the Washington Post the other day asked if Diane Feinstein was "the next Joe Lieberman."
She's not the "next" Joe Lieberman, she's been his twin for years and I'm glad people are taking notice. Examples from the past five years, in reverse chronological order:
- 2007: Feinstein crosses the aisle to support the confirmation of Judge Leslie Southwick, despite strong objections from liberal and civil rights groups.
- 2006: She co-sponsors Sen. Arlen Spector's FISA bill which would have made it easier for the NSA to bypass FISA's requirement of a court order. According to her own description of the bill:
The bill would create a new authority that would allow the Attorney General to designate specified FBI and NSA supervisors to begin such emergency surveillance without a warrant so long as the Attorney General is notified within 24 hours of the commencement of the wiretap and approves the surveillance within three days.
She also supported the flag-burning amendment.
- In 2005, she supported inserting the anti-meth bill into the Patriot Act. I wrote then, "I'm not surprised. She's has as little in common with true Democrats as Joe Lieberman." If you're wondering why you have to show id to buy sudafed and other common cold pills, as if that will deter the manufacture of meth, she co-sponsored that part.
- 2004, Feinstein Reveals Her True Colors. Aside from continuing to push for an ill-advised, unnecessary Victims Rights constitutional amendment, she called for the death penalty in the case of a police officer killing -- after the San Francisco District Attorney's office declined to bring capital charges. She said had she known the DA opposed the death penalty, she probably wouldn't have endorsed her for the position.
- In 2003, she teamed up with Rep. Sen. Orrin Hatch to co-sponsor the anti-gang bill, a bill that panders to irrational fear by furthering the image of the juvenile super-predator. More here. It's filled with new mandatory minimum sentences. It gives the feds the power to decide to try more juveniles as adults, and prevents judicial review of its charging decision. She's still promoting it today, and it's a lot closer to being passed. In fact, the Senate last month approved $1 billion for her Gang Fear and Pandering Act.
Anti-gang legislation that advocates locking up gang members, charging them with status crimes and charging more juveniles as adults doesn't work.
As to her voting record:
- Voted YES on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
- Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006)
- Voted YES on loosening restrictions on cell phone wiretapping. (Oct 2001)
- Voted YES on limiting death penalty appeals. (Apr 1996)
- Voted YES on mandatory prison terms for crimes involving firearms. (May 1994)
- Voted YES on rejecting racial statistics in death penalty appeals. (May 1994)
Sure, she also has had some good votes, but on balance, I think the comparison between her and Joe Lieberman is very apt.
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