Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 14, 2009

FEINSTEIN'S CONCERNS OVER 'ANGST'.... Even now, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California is not only skeptical about the specifics of health care reform, she's concerned about the very idea of improving the system. (thanks to reader M.R.)

After Obama's address to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night, Feinstein remained skeptical about the wholesale overhauls to the nation's health care system that Obama contemplates.

"I just find that if you're going to remake a sixth of the American economy, it's very difficult at this time of great economic angst," Feinstein said in an interview with The [San Francisco] Chronicle. [...]

Like her red-state colleagues, Feinstein also worried about creating new automatic spending programs -- known as entitlements -- that would compound an already serious fiscal situation.

"There is real concern over debt and deficits, and whether this bill will create additional entitlements," Feinstein said. "That's important to me and I think it's important to them."

Note that Feinstein isn't staking out this position to satisfy the demands of a conservative electorate or because she's worried about her re-election prospects -- Feinstein's seat, in a very "blue" state, is among the Senate's safest.

No, Feinstein makes comments like these because she believes them.

Her concerns, however, are far from compelling. Obama's proposal, while critically important, does not constitute a "wholesale overhaul" of the nation's health care system. While there may be widespread "economic angst" in the midst of the recession, the measures under consideration won't take effect until 2013, when the recession will be behind us and the "angst" will be less pronounced. And with reform poised to help the economy, the argument doesn't exactly make sense anyway.

As for Feinstein not wanting to create another "entitlement," this is a strikingly conservative way to look at the policy debate. Either Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care or not. President Obama told Congress last week, "In the United States of America, no one should go broke because they get sick." Either Feinstein agrees or she doesn't.

One wonders how Feinstein might be approaching this debate if she had to worry about a primary opponent.

Steve Benen 9:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (32)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

One does wonder, doesn't one.

Posted by: wvng on September 14, 2009 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

Follow the money.

Posted by: Buford on September 14, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Dianne Feinstein has been consistent over the years. To get her 'support' for health care reform, all you need to do is put something in it that her family can financially profit from!

Posted by: SadOldVet on September 14, 2009 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

It's time for us out here in CA to send a message to Ms. F

Posted by: nuttylittlenutnut on September 14, 2009 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

No, Feinstein makes comments like these because she believes them.

Or she's just looking for some of the love and attention the Blue Dogs are getting

Posted by: martin on September 14, 2009 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't she retiring? Maybe just wishful thinking...

Regardless, Ms Feinstein has never impressed me with her mental acuity. Or political courage. She's just as et up with the "corrupt status quo" as the next Blue Dog.

Posted by: becca on September 14, 2009 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Martin said "Or she's just looking for some of the love and attention the Blue Dogs are getting"

Perhaps! The Blue Dogs are, pretty much across the board, receiving sizeable contributions from the industries affected by 'reform'. I have not heard of DiFi turning down any corporate funding.

Probably not! DiFi's history is more in line with backing legislation that her family can make money from and opposing legislation from which it cannot.

Either way! DiFi is a piece of crap who long ago deserved to be 'diselected'!

Posted by: SadOldVet on September 14, 2009 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

None of this is all that surprising, is it? As disgusted as I am with Republicans nowadays, the Democrats are just as bad or even worse. And here's why: the party of the people (regular people, not insane people) has quietly become the party of big business while still talking a nice line (during election season) about how they're on the side of the little guy.

We've actually reached the point where our federal government is basically owned by big business and caters to them at the expense of the rest of us. I don't recall this level of "angst" when Wall Street was bailed out. I don't recall this level of "angst" when defense contractors get their billions upon billions of welfare dollars.

And now our govt much protect the insurance companies from ever seeing a dip in their revenues.

Unlike the teabagging crowd, I have read those famous documents upon which our Democracy was built. And the entire point of the federal government was to represent the people of the United States. And that has stopped being the case. With the Democrats in comfortable majorities for the first time in a very long time, I had hopes that they would correct the fundamental wrong that is our current govt. But it's become increasingly apparent that will not happen.

And one other thing -- current Dems are significantly to the right of Nixon on all sorts of domestic policy, including health care. You cannot lead the world if you are a regressive nation. It was bad enough that we had Bush as our nominal & catastrophically bad "leader" for 8 years. No functional Democracy should have managed to "elect" someone as cretinous to head the country. But now we actually have an intelligent man in the Oval Office -- and he's basically following along with much of Bush's policies.

I think we will see an increasing marginalization of America from the rest of the world. We've shown pretty conclusively that we're not ready for the grown-ups table yet.

Posted by: zhak on September 14, 2009 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

poor diane, i guess her husband dick aint gettin' the cut he wants outta hcr... yet...

the dick has a knack fer cashin' in on diane's power -- sorta like mr. benazir bhutto was...

Posted by: neill on September 14, 2009 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Grandma,

Take a fucking hike already. You are a profiteering pig with lipstick on (Love the fabulous brown football helmet, as ever). PS, I'm sure when you get sick you'll have great health insurance to get by. Toodles!

-Your adoring public

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on September 14, 2009 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK


To get serious reform, it seems that the Democrats must act without any Republican support. So President Obama must bring the recalcitrant Democrats into line. I suggested earlier that if the threat to run a primary challenge against them doesn't work, Obama should lock each one in a room where Rahm Emanuel can speak to them while Reggie Love hovers. Maybe he should add one more persuader - Serena Williams.

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on September 14, 2009 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

Per zhak @ 9:56: "Unlike the teabagging crowd, I have read those famous documents upon which our Democracy was built. And the entire point of the federal government was to represent the people of the United States."

Off topic, but what I found even more fascinating was reading Madison's notes on the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Knowing the issues and process behind the document was an education. These dudes were paranoid that the new federal gov-mint would be strangled in infancy by powerful states. Sure wish the current crop of congress-critters were all Jefferson clones.

Posted by: Chopin on September 14, 2009 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

I guess opponents are scared by the war chest. also, she's successfully walked an almost-Democrat line for years.

I really can't stand her. I've written her so many times, and I don't think it has ever worked. She's always fixed on whatever semi-right-wing stand she picked out (voting for tax cuts, Iraq war, against health care reform).

Posted by: Travis on September 14, 2009 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

There is real concern over debt and deficits, [...]," Feinstein said. "That's important to me and I think it's important to them."

Funny, DiFi didn't mention any of these concerns when she voted for Bush's tax cuts in '01, to say nothing of his war.

Posted by: Jim on September 14, 2009 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

I've written her many times too (don't forget the Supreme Court and the AG) and don't even get a form letter/email in reply. I have no idea why we keep re-electing her.

Posted by: Realspear on September 14, 2009 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

I always liked the idea of running that half Greek piano player against her. He runs a blog called "Daily Kos".

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on September 14, 2009 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Feinstein is just following in the footsteps of her pal, Lieberman. She's in love with AIPAC and she's been sucking at the government teat so long in Washington that she's completely forgotten what real people are about.

Posted by: ZH on September 14, 2009 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

It's also possible that she could be trying to position herself for the governor's race, appease the most reliable statewide voting segment in California.

Posted by: wilder on September 14, 2009 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

She is saying these things because she is an old woman (76 this year, if re-elected next year, she would be 83 at the end of her next term.) My general observation has been that after about 70, people generally don't THINK, they just deploy programmed reactions to topics based on either habit or base self interest. Nothing against old people, I'm getting there rapidly myself, but I just don't think they (we) should be in the position to screw things up for the rest of you.

Posted by: dcsusie on September 14, 2009 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

How many professional Democratic politicians realize that these health care reform proposals are not, in fact, generous benefits being doled out for free to anyone and everyone? _Way_ too many people react as though that's the plan. "Waahh, it's too expensive to... save money." Fucking idiots.

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on September 14, 2009 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

A few years ago, I went to a gun training class in Nevada, and I marveled to hear how much naked hatred DiFi had engendered in the gun loving folks. Her law restricting automated weapons was purest evil to them. They couldn't stop talking about it, although of course it is not common knowledge among the many folks who just don't think about guns all the time.

I wonder, then, if part of the issue is that she is following the lazy beltway logic of "if I'm annoying people on both sides, then I must be doing something right." The bottom line is that she's not too bright, and always inclined to go along with conventional wisdom.

Posted by: Travis on September 14, 2009 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Do you think any of the Democratic nay-sayers even understand something like taking out loans for college, or to start a business? Does it make sense to them that you can borrow money in order to accomplish something that makes more money down the road, and that that is, in fact, a routine transaction in the run-of-the-mill modern economy?

Posted by: FlipYrWhig on September 14, 2009 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

One of the legacy's of the tragic assassinations of Harvey Milk and George Moscone was the launching of this mediocrity's career. Had Dan White not cleared Moscone out of her way and provided Feinstein with a platform, she never would have amounted to anything more than a corrupt local San Francisco politician.

With that said, I and other California Democrats must still apologize to the rest of the nation for not doing enough to prevent her election to the US Senate and her continual reelection.

Posted by: mrgumby2u on September 14, 2009 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

There's a reason why Jello Biafra and other San Francisco punks have never liked the dragon lady.

Posted by: Speed on September 14, 2009 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Save Money! Stop the Wars! close the 800 military bases world wide!

Posted by: MLJohnston on September 14, 2009 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

What a double talking, double dealing, pettifogging princess!

To her constituents she says she favors health care reform this year and a public option, reserving concerns about cost and entitlement to a caveat.


I've seen enough of her crap in the 30 years I've lived in her city.

The DiFi Two Step is nothing new
It is the only dance she knows

Posted by: John C Mccutchen on September 14, 2009 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

I wish I could say I am happy to be vindicated. I voted for Martin Luther Church in the primary and wrote in the name of a friend's 3 year old in the General Election

Better than wasting my vote on her.
At least I got a chuckle

Posted by: John C. McCutchen on September 14, 2009 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks again, Dianne, for reminding me why I only ever voted for you once, back in 1969, before you demonstrated so well what a worthless piece of scum-on-the-sidewalk you have always been, you corporate shill. What's the matter, hubby can't make a million or two off market speculation and manipulation with this kind of reform?

Posted by: TCinLA on September 14, 2009 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Gumby's right. DiFi owes her start to Dan White

But she also owes a huge debt to the SF Loony Left which was so pissed at her that they joined the WHITE PANTHER PARTY's recall drive (over handgun control) only months before the regularly scheduled election. The effort failed miserably and so deflated her opposition that she cruised to a victory she never would have had.


DiFi is our misfortune

Posted by: John C. McCutchen on September 14, 2009 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

I think it is easier than that. DiFi is thought to be running for Governor and is probably more worried about what expanding access to Medicaid would do to a State budget already seriously out of whack.

The Governor's race is next year while any Senate primary challenge doesn't come until 2012. I don't think Diane is worried much about that later date.

Posted by: Bruce Webb on September 14, 2009 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

DiFi isn't running for Governor, she just likes to get attention by dropping hints. She's done it before.

And yeah, I'm so sure about this:
One wonders how Feinstein might be approaching this debate if she had to worry about a primary opponent
in 2012. She'd be singing a different tune, absolutely. Also, I have this nice bridge for sale...

There is no doubt whatsoever that if DiFi does not retire (I recommend this in every letter I send to her office), she will have a primary opponent. I think she cannot imagine that anyone in the Democratic Party could deny her election. Inconceivable!

Posted by: tatere on September 14, 2009 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

The time to primary her was 2006 and she got a free pass even though she was for tax cuts, war and domestic spying.

Posted by: DiFi laughs at you on September 14, 2009 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly