News & Politics

Dianne Feinstein Under Fire ... for Not Being Liberal Enough?

Dianne Feinstein, Ben Cardin

There’s something going on with Dianne Feinstein. The notorious California liberal has been a bit subdued. Though she’s still unlikely to vote for anything particularly conservative, she’s actually been one of the more reasonable Democrats in Congress lately.

Yes, writing that surprised me too.

Anyway, it appears that her desire to actually try to get things accomplished with Trump rather than slinging vitriol and pushing through useless legislation is a problem with her base:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has dominated California politics for more than a quarter of a century. But facing blistering criticism that she’s out of touch with the progressive left following her recent comments about President Donald Trump and DACA, it’s increasingly looking like the Democratic lawmaker will face a major primary challenge if she runs for a fifth full term.

Feinstein, the oldest member of the Senate, has been the target of sustained liberal criticism since January. Her centrist brand of politics, skeptical view of single-payer health care and support for some of the president’s earliest nominees have drawn the ire of progressives who have little tolerance for Feinstein’s pragmatic approach in the Trump era.

At times, the senator has been highly critical of Trump. But her recent suggestion that, given time, Trump “can be a good president” — and her concession Tuesday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program might be on shaky legal ground — have emboldened her critics and turned a spotlight on her reelection plans.

Let me first point out that if your issue is that Dianne Freaking Feinstein isn’t liberal enough for you, then you should seek medical help immediately.

Second, let’s look at these criticisms.

Single-payer health care is a non-starter, and everyone knows it. Yes, even supporters of it know that it’s a non-starter. The bill by Bernie Sanders is political grandstanding — and that’s something else everyone knows.

It’s like the GOP passing Obamacare repeal after Obamacare repeal. They knew it wouldn’t get signed, but they wanted to show their base they were still fighting the good fight. Yet now that they have the White House as well as Congress, they can’t seem to repeal it.

Feinstein’s skepticism is actually warranted. She also knows this is grandstanding, but she can see potential problems of implementing it. Skepticism is the natural response for that.

But note she’s not actually opposed to single-payer healthcare. She’s just not enthusiastic enough a supporter for the radical left.

As for DACA, it is on shaky legal ground. It was an executive order, not legislation, which is how laws should be created. Frankly, it was only a matter of time before someone put DACA in front of a court, and anyone who thinks it would survive the judicial branch is delusional. Maybe the first few rounds in a state like California, but that’s it.

The reality is, Feinstein was right. Note, also, she didn’t actually oppose DACA. She merely thought it might not survive a court challenge.

Yet all of this, coupled with thinking Trump might be capable of being a good president, makes her too conservative for many California liberals.

And these people still wonder how Trump won.