It's Taken Forever, But Democrats Are Finally Starting To Boo Dianne Feinstein
You know who has a really big mailing list? AARP. For starters, they have over 37,000,0000 members. But they add people to their mailing list even before they become members. Yesterday I got a mailing from them. Inside the envelope were three petitions, one to each California senator and one to Adam Schiff, my congressman. Other than the names, they were identical:
As one of your constituents and as a member of AARP, I urge you to oppose any efforts to cut my Medicare benefits. Along with tens of millions of other Americans, I have paid into Medicare over my lifetime and I count on the benefits that have been promised to me.I've never been a Feinstein fan; in fact, I've never voted for her for anything-- and that goes all the way back to the Board of Supervisors in San Francisco, when she was the representative from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Harvey Milk was a close friend of mine back then and after Board of Sup meetings he used to tell me what an asshole she was even then. After he and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by a whacked out Republican politician, Dan White (dealt with extra-judicially when the wheels of justice misfired), Feinstein ran for mayor. I helped Jello Biafra's campaign against her.
I also urge you to take action to update and strengthen Social Security. If you fail to act, future retirees could lose more than 20% of their benefits. Social Security is the largest source of income for most older Americans, and many seniors already live near or below the poverty line. Substantial cuts will drive millions more into poverty.
Over the years it's always saddened me that my state had such a corrupt and conservative senator representing us. But conservatives and even Republicans love her and she's been seen as a virtual fixture for life. I was happy to see her roundly boo-ed and heckled last week at the first town hall she's done in San Francisco in the 25 years she's been in the Senate. These town-halls mostly seem to target Republicans but it's really great when they target Democrats from the Republican wing of the party-- like her. The video up top will show you what happened. And it was covered by the L.A. Times as well.
Progressive activists who have sought to address Sen. Dianne Feinstein face-to-face for months got what they wanted Monday as Feinstein held a town hall meeting in her hometown of San Francisco.ProgressivePunch rates her an "F" and finds her the 11th worst Democrat in the Senate with a lifetime crucial vote score of 78.24. This is California; we want someone to lead the way Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley lead, not drag the country and the party backward. Democratic voters are finally starting to catch on. People want her to retire when her term ends in 2018. She's given contradictory signals about whether or not she's running again, although, mostly recently, she's said she would. There's no one remotely plausible who would oppose her either. Sickening. And even if she retires, those most eager to replace her aren't an improvement at all: Loretta Sanchez, Brad Sherman, Adam Schiff-- all conservatives. I keep forgetting to ask Ted Lieu if he'd run.
The most tense moment of the hourlong forum came when she answered an audience member's question about healthcare by saying she doesn't support efforts to move to a single-payer system.
Faced with boos, Feinstein said when it comes to a "total takeover" of healthcare by the government, "I'm not there."
One audience member called Feinstein a "sellout" as others joined in chants of "Single-payer now!"
But the event was mostly calm. One heckler who yelled at Feinstein repeatedly was quickly shouted down by other town hall participants. Questioners pushed Feinstein to make public statements condemning "fascists in the White House" and calling Trump "corrupt" and "incompetent."
"All of this takes a plan," Feinstein responded. "I'd be surprised if you found too many senators, if any, that have gotten more done.... I don't get there by making statements I can't deliver. I get there through some caution, some discussion, some smart help, good lawyers and we generally get where we're going."
At least several audience members held up signs reading "Retire Feinstein" as protesters outside urged her not to seek reelection.
Feinstein, who will turn 84 in June, has hinted that she will seek reelection. Asked about whether she'll run as she left the town hall, Feinstein told reporters, "You'll find out soon enough," according to the Sacramento Bee.
It was Feinstein's first hometown public town hall meeting since being elected to the Senate 25 years ago.