California Democrats to Dianne Feinstein: "Good work on Trump. Now come home."

Okay. I'm one who applauded: "Dianne Feinstein is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore."

But the thundering hosannas for her releasing of the Fusion GPS testimony have begun to drown out reality.

Sen. Feinstein's action was admirable. If she had not done it, she would have been complicit in the blatant lying of Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham. But she is far from being the Second Coming of FDR.

She has been the strongest Democratic proponent in the Senate of the security state, she has dependably supported the Long War, and she has carried water for corporate and financial interests throughout her career, as when she voted for the bill that repealed Glass-Steagall’s banking reforms (California's other U.S. Senator, Barbara Boxer, voted nay). After decades in office, she is out of step. left behind by her increasingly liberal constituency; even with the advantages of incumbency in a blue state, she is only getting about 40% in support of her reelection campaign.

You have to ask yourself why at 84 she is running at all. My guess is that the party poobahs, realizing that if she retires the seat will almost certainly fall into the hands of a progressive, have decided that she remains their best hope to hold the seat for the donors; she will almost certainly be one of the two standing candidates after the primary (out-of-staters may not know that in California the general election is a run-off between the top two primary vote-getters, even if they are from the same party or no party at all), and Democratic leaders are betting she will get enough Democratic and all Republican votes to win (the other candidate will be a Democrat to her left -- there is no other kind; the GOP is not a factor at the state level in California); then, after a year or two, she will step down and the new governor, presumably Gavin Newsom, a Democrat in any case, will appoint a reliable supporter of business-as-usual.

Sen. Feinstein deserves all credit for unilaterally releasing the transcript of Glenn Simpson's testimony before her committee, and I hope she continues to hold Grassley's and Graham's feet to the fire.

When you think about it, though, this would be a perfect moment to retire. The primary will be bitter and divisive, and since experience suggests there is every likelihood that the poobahs have it wrong anyway, possibly pointless:

Instead, for the good of the nation, she could go out as Fighting Dianne Feinstein, spending her final days of service battling the criminalized GOP (as she is doing in taking a lead in rejecting Trump's off-shore drilling scam and supporting the Dreamers). What an honorable way to go.

Extra credit:
> The Republicans Fake Investigation by Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch (New York Times)
> Sen. Dianne Feinstein Releases Full Testimony From Co-Founder of Firm Behind Russia Dossier by Molly Olmstead (Slate)
The full text of Glenn Simpson's interview before the Senate Judiciary Committee on 2017/08/22 (PDF)
> Dianne Feinstein survived childhood abuse, assassination attempts, and a brutal fight with the CIA. Now it’s time to take on Trump: The Lioness in Winter by Gail Sheehy (Mother Jones)
> In a rare meeting, the Democratic senator finds little common ground with hometown activists: Dianne Feinstein Town Hall Shows Why She’s a Conservative by San Francisco Standards by Matt Tinoco (Mother Jones)
> California's feverish political moment creates opportunity for a Feinstein challenge — or a few by Seema Mehta and Melanie Mason (Los Angeles Times)
> Kevin de León, president of the California Senate, is challenging the longtime senator next year, creating a dilemma for the party's 2020 hopefuls: The Democrats’ Dianne Feinstein Problem by David Dayen (New Republic)<br />
> Alison Hartson announced she's running for U.S. Senate: New liberal challenger to Sen. Dianne Feinstein launches bid on 'The Young Turks' by Sarah D. Wire (Los Angeles Times)

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