Feinstein as metonym for the US political capitalist class

“Democrats and Afghanistan: What’s at Stake” by Glenn Greenwald nicely reviews what the US political capitalist class does and is, via a succinct description of CA Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, excerpted below.


Senator Dianne Feinstein

“Dianne Feinstein is a fairly typical Democratic Senator from a solidly blue state. In 2002, she voted to authorize the attack on Iraq. Throughout the Bush years, she repeatedly stood with the GOP to fund the war without the conditions and timetables sought by some of her fellow Democrats. Using her position on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, she was the key Democrat who twice voted to legalize Bush’s warrantless eavesdropping program — first with the Protect America Act (which Obama opposed) and then with the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which also immunized lawbreaking telecoms. She led the Senate effort to confirm Gen. Michael Hayden as CIA Director even after he had been caught presiding over the illegal surveillance program (confirmation which Obama opposed), and she then joined with Chuck Schumer to single-handedly assure Michael Mukasey’s confirmation as Attorney General even after he refused to answer basic questions about torture and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens (confirmation which Obama also opposed). In 2006, she proudly described herself as the “main Democratic sponsor” of a Constitutional amendment to criminalize flag burning. Just this past week, she used her position as Chair of the Intelligence Committee to gut virtually every proposed reform to the Patriot Act.

Feinstein isn’t merely a typical (though particularly destructive) Democratic Senator, but also a very typical Washington insider, as her substantial personal wealth is tied directly to the very National Security State policies she relentlessly works in the Senate to expand. As her hometown San Francisco Chronicle put it in 2003 — in an article headlined “War brings business to Feinstein spouse: Blum’s firms win multimillion-dollar defense contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan”…Other than the Daschles and the Bayhs, it’s difficult to find a spousal team whose public and private activities feed off one another as synergistically as theirs do.

In light of this long record, it should come as absolutely no surprise that, last weekend, Feinstein joined with GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia to apply public pressure on Obama to escalate further the war in Afghanistan.”

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