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Is Feinstein the Democrats' Next Lieberman?

For the second time in recent months, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) on Friday confirmed that she will break ranks with a majority of her Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee, in this case to confirm President Bush's nominee for attorney general.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Sen. Feinstein's support for the Mukasey nomination is a big victory for the White House. (Getty Images)

Feinstein, along with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), announced that she will support Michael B. Mukasey's nomination, virtually assuring his confirmation despite the nominee's controversial refusal to declare an interrogation technique called waterboarding to be an illegal form of torture.

The decision to back Bush's nominee sparked immediate outrage among the liberal anti-war "Netroots" community, many of whom had been pushing aggressively for the undecided Democrats on Judiciary to oppose Mukasey. Within minutes of the Schumer-Feinstein announcements, timed to be released at the same moment, the liberal blog Talking Points Memo blasted the news on its home page, while Democrats.com urged readers to refuse to give money to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is chaired by Schumer.

Schumer's wavering on the issue was much debated and discussed over the past week, as his indecision was featured in profiles in The Washington Post, New York Times and insider publications like Roll Call and The Hill. Feinstein's role was just as pivotal and received nowhere near as much attention, but some think that will change.

Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, predicted short-term headaches for Schumer but long-term issues with the anti-war liberals for Feinstein, because it's her second major break from Democrats in the past three months. "The next Joe Lieberman for them is going to be Feinstein," Ornstein told Capitol Briefing, referring to Connecticut's Joe Lieberman, who has been effectively chased from the party for his strong support for the Iraq war.

Feinstein was just as critical as Schumer, who had originally recommended Mukasey to the White House, because in recent days the pair were essentially viewed inside the Capitol as their own voting bloc. They would either support Mukasey together or oppose him together, providing the key votes sealing his defeat.

With all nine Republicans on Judiciary likely to support the nominee, just one of the 10 Democrats needed to flip in order for him to be approved by the panel. Once the nomination is sent to the full Senate, it's virtually a sure thing, since all 49 Republicans and Lieberman -- Mukasey's law school classmate -- are likely votes in favor.

But neither Schumer nor Feinstein was willing to be the lone Democrat siding with committee Republicans, which would have created potentially an enormous political backlash focused on one senator. Their statements supporting Mukasey struck similar themes.

Feinstein said her support was based largely on the proposition that Bush would not nominate another attorney general, leaving in place a long-term acting attorney general not confirmed by the Senate: "Judge Mukasey is the best we will get and voting him down would only perpetuate acting and recess appointments, allowing the administration to avoid the transparency that confirmation hearings provide and diminish effective oversight by Congress."

In early August Feinstein played the role of "Lone Democratic Ranger" when she supported U.S. Judge Leslie Southwick's confirmation to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in New Orleans. She rejected allegations that he was racially insensitive in previous judicial rulings involving a racial slur, giving Southwick a 10-9 vote out of Judiciary.

"I don't believe he's a racist...I believe he's a good person," she told the committee.

For that vote, she was hailed by conservative activists who called it an "act of decency," while liberal activists said Southwick amounted to a "slap in the face" to minority voters.

On Tuesday morning, when she casts her vote in the Judiciary Committee in favor of Mukasey, Feinstein will at least have Schumer by her side to take some of the heat from outraged activists on the left.

By Paul Kane  |  November 4, 2007; 12:01 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

America does not stand for torture. If any member of the Democratic party can't get behind that simple truth, I have no use for them and they should not ask the party for money.

Posted by: Sara BB | November 3, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein has a point regarding the likelihood that this is the best we will get. Bush will continue to nominate only his supporters; he would be crazy if he didn't. I wish Mukasey would just come out and admit that waterboarding is torture, but he won't, even in the face of a great preponderance of evidence. If he did, it would be an admission that any such act was criminal. Bush won't allow that. Because of this and because of Bush's continual non-denial, I am sure that Bush has authorized waterboarding and other forms of torture. It is unfortunate that "Republic" leaders avert the eyes from this shame in the name of patriotism and "Democrat" leaders are too weak willed to force the issue. I am sure that, if the tables were turned and it was a Democrat that was "non-denying", "Republic" leaders would be screaming bloody murder and starting the impeachment process. This is the great hypocrisy of our times.

Posted by: mattr | November 3, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad that Feinstein and Schumer were willing to stand up for their beliefs and not be swayed by the far left.

I don't like the recent trend that seems to be taking place where people must get certain "important questions" right on the test in order to pass. Maybe Mukasey is wrong on this issue, maybe he is not. But he is clearly qualified and one wrong answer on the test should not mean he fails. When people can't even agree on the answers to the test, its unfair to expect nominees to get all the questions right.

Posted by: Paul S | November 3, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

If Congress is so worried about interrogation techniques, why can't they pass a law saying what's acceptable?

Posted by: Jacknut | November 3, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

The idea that *any* US official would countenance torture is anathema to the principles that founded this once-great nation. I weep for my country, especially when people like Paul S cannot comprehend that this is not "one wrong answer." This goes to the core of what we as a people believe. When I served in the CIA twenty years ago, we (the US and its agencies) bluntly called this (and other things the KGB used in interrogations such as sleep deprivation and extreme cold) "torture." Now we engage in linguistic gymnastics to delude ourselves. No wonder Bush liked what he saw when he looked into Putin's soul ....

And saying it's necessary to defend the country is no excuse. That was the same justification that the KGB, "the Sword and the Shield of the Parrty," used. It was the same justification that the Gestapo used. It was the same justification that the Stasi used. I feel like the quarter-century of my life spent defending American values during the Cold War is now wasted. I only hope that Mukasey, Bush, Cheney, et al. forget and try to vacation in the EU -- where *some* people still know what crimes against humanity are and try to prosecute them.

Posted by: oilhistorian | November 3, 2007 11:51 PM | Report abuse

This is a terrible, terrible analysis. Lieberman lost the Democratic primary and incurred the wrath of the progressive netroots because he was continuously out in the media parroting Bush's talking points on Iraq and actually attacking his own party. Anyone paying attention to netroots activity during the election knows this was the front and center complaint of netroots in their backing of Lamont. Conversely, Feinstein made 2 votes to the displeasure of the netroots but she did not attack other Democrats for their opposition.

Given the netroots primarily began as a counter-messaging movement to conservative media, they well understand the difference between a politician not voting their way on one issue and a politician actively attacking the liberal movement in coordination with the Bush administration. I mean you can tell this is just junk analysis when the comparison of Lieberman and Feinstein comes from AEI - one of the most hated institutions by the netroots.

Progressive netroots activists will certainly condemn and pressure Feinstein and Schumer for their votes - they feel strongly on this issue. But they are politicians the netroots is simply not interested in targeting come election time. They'll keep focusing on flipping Republican districts to the Dems, despite AEI's attempt here to drive a wedge by manufacturing a little controversy.

Posted by: DGG | November 4, 2007 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Where are Feinstein and Schumer from? The Deep South!

Posted by: ghostcommander | November 4, 2007 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman was not chased out of the Democratic party. He has placed himself out of the Democratic party by key votes that he cast on a host of crucial issues, the most crucial being his continued support of incoherent/insane White House foreign policy. Even prior to the last campaign he was attacking members of his own party. On these key issues he is indistinguishable from the most extremist Republicans. A challenger from the most mainstream possible ranks of the party challenged him in a primary and won, the effective strategy being that he called attention to the positions that Lieberman had taken. Most members of the Democratic party find these positions horrifying. This is the essence of democracy. We have a right to field candidates who reflect our views, and Ned Lamont was not a crazy radical.

Ms. Feinstein has not reached Liebermanesque levels of mendacity as yet. But it would be helpful for her to not feel that she is completely immune to a primary challenge.

I get the impression that the Washington Post is increasingly uncomfortable with democracy.

Posted by: Stuart Dryer | November 4, 2007 12:49 AM | Report abuse

Let me add that what distinguishes Feinstein from Lieberman is that her vote on Mukasey was based on a Realpolitik argument -- this guy is a lousy choice in absolute terms, but he is the best we are likely to get from this Administration, and challenging him could in the end make things worse. OK, maybe she has a point.

Lieberman, on the other hand is no different from Cheney when it comes to torture, unilateral unprovoked wars, and the dismantling of Constitutional checks and balances. He is an enthusiastic consumer of the Kool-Aid, indeed he has been pushing the stuff for some time now. He would support a nominee BECAUSE they like waterboarding, not in spite of it.

Posted by: Stuart Dryer | November 4, 2007 1:00 AM | Report abuse

I believe that Feinstein is aware of the fact that she will not be re-elected. It is a fact that her husband has lots of dealings with China and maybe there is something that the Whitehouse has over her, otherwise why defy her party and certainly her moral values. I am sure that she knows that waterboarding is torture and illegal.Voting for an AG who does not know whether waterboarding is torture is incomprehensible, unless, like Lieberman and Schumer are supporting Mukasey for being another Jewish-American.
Steve Kemiji
kyprios928@aol.com

Posted by: Steve | November 4, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

I'm a California resident and have been taking a wait and see attitude..to see what Democrats are going to do. They haven't done much. As of now I continue to watch with my hands in my pockets. If a progressive Republican runs against Feinstein I would certainly vote for anyone but her.I've always voted Democrat

Posted by: Mark Misewicz | November 4, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Steve Kemiji's comments show a repulsive ignorance. Feinstein explained her vote. This is the best we're going to get from the big ignoramus, and if he is rejected, then W just appoints one of his zombies as acting AG. Is that what we want?

It has nothing to do with ethnicity, and raising that possibility in the absence of any evidence is by any standard bigotry.

Posted by: zoot | November 4, 2007 1:49 AM | Report abuse

If waterboarding is a legitimate interrogation tool, why don't the nation's police departments employ it?

Posted by: Jones | November 4, 2007 2:12 AM | Report abuse

It appears that in the first few posts the propagandists are hard at work.

The two Blue Dogs are traitors to the very concept of Democracy.

Let's stop pussy-footing around this subject, will we?

The US military and private military contractors are using techniques that have been used in Brazil and Russia. These torture techniques are without question the most brutal known to mankind.

Chuck and Dianna are joining the ranks of the internation criminal syndicate that has endorsed such radical uses of interigation. In some cases death has been the result. That would make them complicate to murder.

At least that is what I took away from watching the HBO documentary 'Ghosts of Abu Ghraib'.

Day by day, the sad facts of a country that is developing into a fascist nation unfold.

Posted by: the.man_in_black | November 4, 2007 2:28 AM | Report abuse

We should not allow the other Democrats off the hook. There are enough (41) to filibuster the nomination.

Posted by: waylandadmin | November 4, 2007 2:31 AM | Report abuse

I have voted democrat for 40 years until now.Only now do I realize that Schumer,Feinstein and Leiberman no longer represent the USA in Washington.They represent a foreign country,Israel,the land of torture.
Since I live in CA I will be able to make my feelings known through Move On.org and get active support to remove Diane from the Democratic party.We got Leiberman out and we will get Feinstein out also.

Posted by: andyod | November 4, 2007 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Dear zoot
Sweet Diane does not explain her vote she justifies it.Sophistry replaces wisdom.Remember the story of the Nazies.
"When they came for me there was nobody to defend me. I stood bye and watched them take everyone else".Diane is allowing Bush to take everyone else. Better say no and live with the consequences than be an enabler of torture.It is time for the Jews in America to stand up and not let Bush repeat what Hitler did to them.

Posted by: Andy | November 4, 2007 3:39 AM | Report abuse

WHERE ARE THE INTERNATIONAL COURTS!

DAMN~IT!

The stories that have leaked out about what the interrorgators have done to so many of the innocent Iraqi women...

These people are human just like the rest of us.

Posted by: the.man_in_black | November 4, 2007 4:32 AM | Report abuse

I am certainly not an "activist," and before the Cheney/Bush coup, I was more right leaning than left. The events of the past seven years, however, have pushed my beliefs farther left than I ever though they would be.

Contrary to assertions posted here, this is not only the second time Feinstein has voted counter to the interests of her party and the public at large. She may not be as egregious a Cheney mole as Lieberman was and is, but she's done plenty of harm.

It is to be hoped that her home district can offer us something better by her next election cycle.

Posted by: Helena Montana | November 4, 2007 7:02 AM | Report abuse

DiFi and Schumer hold true to form. Too bad! If Mukasey can't come clean on waterboarding, compel Shrub to offer fresh candidates until he comes up with someone who will. Shrub won't dare - the war tribunals becken him and he knows it.

Posted by: Mark Gary Blumenthal, MD, MPH | November 4, 2007 7:04 AM | Report abuse

Hey ghostcommander, what have you been smoking? Although Feinstein is from northern California and Schumer is from southern New York, in Tennessee, we don't consider those places the deep south.

Posted by: Mark Gary Blumenthal, MD, MPH | November 4, 2007 7:08 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats would be smart to purge the left-wing liberals from their party. Right now the American people are sick of the "political lynchings" and "smearings" that have been going on in our 110th Do Nothing Democrat Congress.
Does this Congress have any plans to address the problems this nation faces during this next year before the November 2008 elections? If not there WILL be voted out........... and deserve it!

Posted by: Allen Ridge | November 4, 2007 7:32 AM | Report abuse

I do not think it a coincidence that all these traitors are jews. They side with Bush whenever it concerns Israel or a jewish appointment. America is realizing what Russians, Germans, French and Spanish have learned over the centuries: jews cannot be trusted.

Posted by: PabloZed | November 4, 2007 8:27 AM | Report abuse

"Is Feinstein the Democrats' Next Lieberman?" I think so. Both names are almost identical, both live near an ocean, and both have been around toooo long without having done anything.

Posted by: Bruce | November 4, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

It is the same game that Democratic Senators have been playing for years. They always provide Bush with just enough votes to win. Remember Medicare prescription drugs and the bankruptcy bill. The usual villains are Mary Landreau, the two Nelsons, and the boys from the Dakotas. Now it is Schumer and Feinstein.

As presently constituted, the Democratic Party is not an opposition party but a collective of job holders.

Posted by: Sheine | November 4, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I received a call at my home in Mississippi last Friday from a Democratic fundraiser. I told the caller, I will never give the national Democratic Party a penny especially when it was Democrats and not Republicans who paved the way for Leslie Southwick, another racist, sexist and homophobic white man to serve on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Feinstein and Schumer should go ahead and come out. They are really closeted Republicans.

Posted by: southern girl | November 4, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I am a registered Democrat who is deeply disturbed by Senator Feinstein's decision to back this Bush pick for Attorney General. At first, the judge seemed to be someone who was a most auspicious choice; one who had a long and respectable record of wise decision making. However, his evasive answers on water boarding reveal that while clearly more polished and intelligent that the previous AG, who played the fool in his testimony before Congress, the judge proved he could be just as dodgy and signaled that he would not pursue Cheney/Bush for their acts of torture and treason. No wonder our two leading war criminals are out hitting the airwaves to drum up support for Mukasy; apparently, the next in a long line of enablers. Senator Feinstein, shame on you!

Posted by: Barney Scott | November 4, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

I Believe That This Is More Political Dealings. There is a profit to be made somewhere. That being said The Do Nothing Congress is Going to Pass a Law that will stand Supreme court Challenges If they can get past the VETO. And Show that they are indeed The leaders they purport to be.

Posted by: David | November 4, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Feinstein also voted FOR continued funding of Bush's Iraq War, FOR Bush's domestic spying bill, FOR military tribunals which eliminate habeas corpus rights. Do you really think a "question mark" at the end of the above article's title is necessary?
When's Feinstein's term up? Schumer is a slick panderer. I voted for him but no more. When's his term up?

Posted by: marilyn from troy | November 4, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

ghostcommander, both Feinstein and Schumer are not from the South. Feinstein is from California and Schumer is from New York.


Get your geography right before you post, please?

Posted by: WxDude | November 4, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The anti-semitism displayed in some of these posts is repugnant.

Posted by: Steve | November 4, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Again and again, Feinstein has enabled the Bush administration, and to what end? How is she representing her constituents in California, who rejected this man's overtures twice, in 2000 and 2004? Californians have repeatedly and overwhelming shown in polls that they do not agree with the Bush administration's flawed and disastrous policies and politics, yet Feinstein keeps voting as if she's representing Nebraska or Tennessee. There has got to be some other reason behind her constant capitulation to Bush. The Democrats control Congress, so why not follow John Dean's suggestion and demand, as the Democrats did of Richard Nixon, that Bush appoint a special counsel or prosecutor to investigate the torture question, as well as other possible crimes that have occurred at the Department of Justice? Instead, Feinstein, like Jay Rockefeller, doesn't even negotiate, and operates from a position of weakness. Schumer's decision I understand, since he's from New York and doesn't want to reject a New Yorker, even if he's a horrible choice, but Feinstein's decision, despite her explanation, is a dreadful and unsupportable one.

Posted by: Lawrence Keithley | November 4, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse


The now trite "B" movie scene scenario that has for some very weak-minded individuals sold this notion of the necessity for torture in a modern and simply terrorist-littered democratic paradise such as our own is utterly preposterous.

Lending wholly undue credulity to this wholly fictional idea serves only to license dangerous and inappropriate conduct at every level of our widely varied and wholly bureaucratic criminal justice systems from the local cop, to the CIA.

This is an institutionalized taserism.

One should recall incidents when policemen stepped over the line, as the case when NYC policemen were convicted of having bloodily shoved a broken toilet plunger handle eighteen inches up through the anus, the rectum and perferating the large intenstine of an Etheopian immigrant in a NYC precinct station house not too many years back.

And noting Mulkasey is a judge, one has to wonder if more of our Homeland Security money should not be spent policing the likes of this wholly criminal coterie made of these sick jurists who apparently would torture anyone in what amounts to nothing short of a widespread licensing of an incredible extra-judicial punishment now more commonly executed than at any time in American history.

It is categorcally true, that if Mulkasey and his ilk are justices and U.S. Attorney Generals, the U.S. is not only endorsing torture, it is allowing it to become fashionable and trendy among our criminal justice institutions, its staff, and those who would aspire to join them.

I can hear the kids on the elementary school playground now, "We'll have to water-board him!"

Does this judge see noting wrong with that?

Don Robertson, The American Philosopher

Posted by: Don Robertson, The American Philosopher | November 4, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I do not know the whole story in regard to Sen Feinstein and Sen Schumer--however if Mr Mukasey cannot say waterboarding is torture--I would suggest to both Sen's talk to Fr. Kelly and Fr Vitale they are priests that are going to jail for five months for protesting the teaching of torture at Fort Huachuca in AZ--

Posted by: Virginia Johnston | November 4, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I have voted for Feinstein every time she has run. She ran with the liberal Boxer gang for too long and has probably realized that she went too far. I appreciated her stance on Mukasey. Rational people need representation, too.

Posted by: mhr | November 4, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"I get the impression that the Washington Post is increasingly uncomfortable with democracy."

Stuart,

Not so. The Washington Post, led by Fred Hiatt, simply favors the only professed religious state in the world above all others, including the secular United States.

Posted by: Mark | November 4, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein hasn't represented the actual views of Californication Democrats in more than a decade. When will these dolts wake up and remove this DINO from office?

Posted by: ALEX H. | November 4, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

That we as a country have come to the point of debating wether torture is legal or not illustrates just how close we are to the edge of the abyss that is Zionist Groupthink. Does anyone recall the phrase 'cruel and unusual punishment'? That the mere thought of waterbording aka torture is anathema to the ideology that is the Constitution of the United States of America illustrates just how far down the slippery slope we have slid. What next targeted executions of ideolocial opponents? Its all about the Constitution. It gets in the way of criminals who want to control our national assets and treasures. By the way, re the Federal RESERVE ... the RESERVE now stands at minus nine trillion dollars and counting ... this does not include the two, three, four or five trillion (depending on info source) that has disappeared down at the Pentagon. LIVE FREE OR DIE

Posted by: Easterling | November 4, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

You're all wrong about this. Both Feinstein and Schumer are very safe Democrats. This is a deal, plan and simple, to allow other Dems to vote no while the White House gets it's nomination through. It's called politics, get used to it.

Posted by: Me | November 4, 2007 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Was very surprised to find Sen.Feinstein and Sen. Schumer go along with what Bush has been continuously giving to us which is plenty of profiles in discouragement. I can only wonder if any one that votes for or condones "waterboarding" will ever be arested out of country? This is un-american!

Posted by: John Tovar | November 4, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I thought there is not supposed to be a litmus test for the approval of judges...

Posted by: truthseeker | November 5, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

When Republicans vote with Democrats, it's a bipartisan agreement. When Democrats vote with Republicans it's "breaking ranks", "turning Lieberman" "traitor to the party"...thank you liberal news media for showing your true colors again...McCain Feingold where are you?

Posted by: truthseeker | November 5, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

My new bumpersticker: "Waterboard Feinstein"

Posted by: Henly | November 5, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

As a constituent of DiFi's I've called her office in SF continually before and after each vote she casts with Republicans and Bush and AGAINST the will of the vast majority of Democrats, Independents and Americans in general...

Before each vote I'm told she doesn't have a position on these vitally important matters, and after she's caved again I call, with barely supressed anger to tell her people how disappointed I am with her...

I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR HER AGAIN, so when I get to my Senator's vote section on my ballot, I will skip it...

She's worse then a Republican, because you always know they will vote with Bush...she's become, like Lieberman, a cancer in the belly of the Democratic party!!!

Posted by: wagonjak | November 5, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein has been voting the wrong way on many issues. When she voted yes on the bill that contained 240 mil for the 'bridge to nowhare (I know, they changed the name.) and 800 mil to re-route the train in Mississippi to benefit the Casinos and Trent Lott, her reasoning was that she got 27 mil for California to improve the levees around Sacramento. Like Liberman she should be replaced by a Democrat! This will not happen because the Democratic leadership is too weak to do anything about those that vote 'Republican'! They didn't even strip Lieberman of his committees!
The Republican leadership knows how to get their potential wanderers in line.
I encourage everyone to vote against Feinstein and Schumer. Withholding funding to their campaign couffers is not enough!!
I will be voting "ANTI-INCUMBENT" in almost everycase!

Posted by: Bob Egan | November 5, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

As a constituent of DiFi's I've called her office in SF continually before and after each vote she casts with Republicans and Bush and AGAINST the will of the vast majority of Democrats, Independents and Americans in general...

Before each vote I'm told she doesn't have a position on these vitally important matters, and after she's caved again I call, with barely supressed anger to tell her people how disappointed I am with her...

I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR HER AGAIN, so when I get to my Senator's vote section on my ballot, I will skip it...

She's worse then a Republican, because you always know they will vote with Bush...she's become, like Lieberman, a cancer in the belly of the Democratic party!!!

Posted by: wagonjak | November 5, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

As a constituent of DiFi's I've called her office in SF continually before and after each vote she casts with Republicans and Bush and AGAINST the will of the vast majority of Democrats, Independents and Americans in general...

Before each vote I'm told she doesn't have a position on these vitally important matters, and after she's caved again I call, with barely supressed anger to tell her people how disappointed I am with her...

I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR HER AGAIN, so when I get to my Senator's vote section on my ballot, I will skip it...

She's worse then a Republican, because you always know they will vote with Bush...she's become, like Lieberman, a cancer in the belly of the Democratic party!!!

Posted by: wagonjak | November 5, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I think that Schumer and Feinstein did the right thing in agreeing to vote for Mukasey. We see too much in the way of trying to keep people from being appointed and not enough of getting the job done. I think, frankly, that they ARE representing the American people in that they are trying to get things moving again. I have many Democratic friends who are disgusted with the so-called netroots and their ilk. Those radical liberals are NOT representing the majority of the American people anymore than the rabid Republicans are on the other side. They all need to grow up.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 5, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Are politicians going to tell me that it makes sense to support a candidate who weasils out of a question about the lawfullness of an act that is clearly torture? As AG he is the person that must stand for what is Constitutional, and reject that which is illegal-namely torture. There is no grey area here, Feinstein has caved just as the Democrats caved in to supporting/funding this illegal war based on lies, and then lately the spying scandal-what's next? There isn't a dime's difference between the Tyrant Bush, the GOP who put him in power, and the Democrats

Posted by: sunaj | November 5, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Voting for a nominee because he is the best we will get from this administration gives the smirking chimp more reason to swagger.

What an insult to the American people!

Unfortunately, most Americans are too politically stupid to realize they have been insulted!!
Vote ANTI-INCUMBENT!!

Posted by: Bob Egan | November 5, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I can sleep well at night knowing I broke ranks with my party and did not vote for Feinstein in the last election. As a constituent, I've emailed her numerous times in years past to express my disappointment in her votes, but when I learned that her husband is a multimillionaire b/c he's a defense contractor, it all made sense. Of course she loves Bush and this war! Hubby's making millions on the blood and tears of others. She's completely immersed in the D.C. social scene and will never leave office unwillingly. As a conservative Dem, she attracts enough Calif Repubs to get re-elected so get used to seeing her ugly mug on TV belching platitudes about her man Bush.

Posted by: cdnunn | November 5, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

If someone is crucified but then freed after only a few hours, is that torture?

Posted by: Massimo | November 5, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Are politicians going to tell me that it makes sense to support a candidate who weasils out of a question about the lawfullness of an act that is clearly torture? As AG he is the person that must stand for what is Constitutional, and reject that which is illegal-namely torture. There is no grey area here, Feinstein has caved just as the Democrats caved in to supporting/funding this illegal war based on lies, and then lately the spying scandal-what's next? There isn't a dime's difference between the Tyrant Bush, the GOP who put him in power, and the Democrats

Posted by: sunaj | November 5, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Irregulars were routinely taken out and shot by the US during WWII.

Al Qaeda members seized on the battlefield are irregulars. They have no rights.

To give "rights" to irregulars imparts an advantage on the battlefield and puts our troops at a disadvantage.

Irregulars seized on the battlefield, should absolutely be tortured and summarily executed.

Posted by: Torture? | November 5, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, if this is the voice of the "new left" I am deeply concerned. The left I knew was not the deeply racist anti-semitic left of today. I am deeply disappointed, and I have no place to turn.

Posted by: Concerned | November 5, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Trying to claim that opposing an illegal, immoral, and ineffective technique somehow makes someone a "radical lefty" says far more about the accuser than the accused.

Posted by: Whippy | November 5, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Feinstein's rationale that this is the best you are going get is pure crap! What can the guy do anyway in the short time left for him at Justice other than stymie investigations. My reply to her and Schumer is Fine! Let's do without until the next president comes into office. I see nothing but a downside to Mukasey at the present time. Since he is a Bush stooge, he will do his best to block any investigation of either Bush or torture. Feinstein has already shown her true colors when she voted for the FISA, she a Republican Bush loyalist in Democrats clothing.

Posted by: RedRat | November 5, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised at the focus on what is/is not torture and the recurring comments about Israel in these posts. I am reminded of the parable for paranoids in Pynchon's GRAVITY'S RAINBOW: "If they get you to asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers."

What about Mukasey's support of an imperial presidency, his reafirmation of a president's (ANY president's) right to aborgate the checks and balances of The Constitution and the right of a president to determine what is or is not torture?

The changes institutionalised by Bush will be tools ANY president can use...unless the rule of Constitutional law is affirmed. Warrantless spying, Patriot Acts, so-called signing statements, all in the name of nationalism and state security smack of the 1930's in Germany. So where does that place Mukasey?

With Mukasey, we get more of the same. For Democrats to support him puts them in the same camp. And it pushes the USA down the fascist slope just a bit further by removing what resistance there has been.

Posted by: Theron | November 5, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

I am really disgusted with the Know-Nothing Republicans who have absolutely no moral character at all anymore. What frauds. Oh, so only supposed radical left (librals as radical is a pretty hilarious and vapid idea!) are against torture?

Think about how lame that statement is? Especially coming from simpletons who only knew, vius a vis Clinton, that "he lied"

Frauds, if you weren't frauds, you might admit something, we have had 7 years of bad government, where should we begin, how they destroyed FEMA? The dumb dumb ignoring of global warming? That lie of a pointless economy-draining war? Frauds because not even deep down, but on the surface, as shallow as can be, you know situations being reversed you'd be impeaching raving whining never stopping about all this illegal activity.

As vapid as the pre-Civil War slavery excusers, you are just a joke, both within this country and without, and that the Democrats have no spine whatsoever has no effect whatsoever in how irresponsible and dense anyone still supporting the swill emanating out of our never-truthful failure of an executive branch are.

Posted by: Paul Luchter | November 5, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Just so commenters are aware, I have been deleting hate-filled comments since yesterday afternoon. We at washingtonpost.com encourage lively, thoughtful, funny, frank, open debate in our comments section. We do not condone hate, however, as a small but vocal # of commenters appear to be focused on. Some comments that are borderline anti-Semetic have been left up because they were shouted down by other commenters, so I've left a couple of those exchanges up. Thanks.

Posted by: Paul Kane | November 5, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

>>The idea that *any* US official would countenance torture is anathema to the principles that founded this once-great nation. I weep for my country>

That is worthless blather. Limited use of rough interogation on captured enemy leaders who have information about attacks being planned is sound policy in my opinion.

Waterboarding pushes the limit of "rough interogation" but is still not considered destructive torture and is very moderate comparatively. It has only been used in limited situations and information was obtained that stopped attacks being planned on us.

The left wing and the media have muddled the lines between true torture and rough interogation for their own selfish political gain and to the detriment of our effort to stop Al Qaeda from attacking again.

Posted by: Dennis Acton | November 5, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I too have emailed and called Feinstein's office repeatedly before and after her votes (Southwick, Mukasey, FISA, etc.) and each time her staff emails me back a packaged response explaining/justifying her rationale for voting the opposite way. It leaves me frustrated and unheard because it is apparent that her loyal constituents are ignored. No more. She is no longer representing me or my views. She is condoning waterboarding by not holding out against the Mukasey nomination and I refuse to vote for anyone that allows torture. She is way too similar to Lieberman and Californians don't need her pandering to this administration. I refuse to support her on any level and only hope that someone will challenge her in the next election. It is time for her to go.

Posted by: skyeapril | November 5, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

"The left wing and the media have muddled the lines between true torture and rough interogation for their own selfish political gain and to the detriment of our effort to stop Al Qaeda from attacking again." What planet does this guy live on?

Posted by: James Madison | November 5, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Some people don't get it-the issue isn't about torturing some terrorist, yielding secrets about nuclear conspiracy, it's about setting a precedent that allows a Goverment the legal right to use torture as an acceptable means of force, which will further devolve into the use of torture upon its citizens, as a tool for controlling political dissent
Janus

Posted by: Anonymous | November 5, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Feinsteins op-ed in the L.A. Times was a joke. Feinstein stand up for the values of our founders, for the Geneva Convention. Stand up for our constitution. That is your duty. I would rather have no one confirmed as a.g. then allow the world to know we seem to have become equal with Pol Pot! Anyone who votes for Mukasey is against our founding fathers and nations values and should be drummed out of office.The principals we hold so dear are being destroyed by corrupt politicians such Feinstein and Shumer. America should be outraged.

Posted by: narnia | November 5, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

The Schumer, Feinstein, Lieberman axis disgusts me because these members of the US Senate are not loyal to the United States or the vast majority of it's citizens. We are being dragged down to Israel's level; a nation disrespected like no other in the world for it's destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure and it's general disregard for the human rights of any person identified as an enemy of zionism. All the neocons need to be held accountable for their traitorous acts , but instead somehow they manage to remain front and center on pbs, fox and the rest of the major news outlets just as if their loony ideas hadn't already been completely discredited by events. Meanwhile Can't find a thing in the news about The Feinstein-Blum Ripoff scandal. She should have been hauled out of her mansion in handcuffs (along with her husband) long ago; but then she wouldn't be available to do the neocons bidding. Soon the bubble will burst and the US people will turn on the traitors, but for now we'll just have to concede the fact that some members of our US Senate are crooks that trade votes for a right to steal with immunity, and some are also conspiring to aid other another country (Israel) to the detriment of the US People; and -for now- they have way too much combined media, finacial and political power to be stopped.

Posted by: Joe Ryan | November 5, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

For those who seemingly missed the reference, Ghostcommander was referring to a line from the movie Little Nicky. "Deep South" Implies that Schumer and Feinstein are from hell. Not the geographic deep south.

Posted by: Chris | November 5, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Schumer and Feinstein's support for Mukasey is neither a liberal nor a conservative issue. The issue is that torturing another living being is evil! Anyone who supports torture is evil! I am an American living in middle-America who opposes torture, torturers, and those who support torture! I am not one of the liberal netroots. Stick to the point, quit the name-calling.

Posted by: mitchell | November 5, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Regrettably, Judas Lieberman has not been chased out of the Democratic Party.

In fact, he is part of the caucus and holds the chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee!

As a result, whenever the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee,(DSCC) chaired by Schumer, writes or calls me for $$$ I tell them: when you close the caucus to this party traitor and take his chmnshp from him, then I might consider giving you some of my hard-earned money again.

I urge you all to do the same.

I think it's time that our congress-critters were more afraid of their constituents (that's us) than of the Repuglicans. Let them worry about what we are going to do, than about filibusters and vetoes.

Posted by: wideyed1 | November 5, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I have also emailed Schumer and Feinstein thanking them both for their bipartisan proper decision and for not prejudicing any cases by forcing him to make any statement on a particular subject or prior decision that would cause his removal from that case and instead basing their decision on his stellar personal and professional background.
Thanks again.

Posted by: truthseeker | November 5, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

A Democratic Party without room for a Feinstein or Lieberman will fit into a very small tent indeed.

Posted by: Blackie Adams | November 5, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Mr Paul Kane has written a superb piece and has hit the nail on the head. What's disturbing in witnessing our current "end of American democracy" is a very repulsive message it sends to American Jews.
People like Feinstein, Schumer and Lieberman put both American Jews and the Anti-Defamation League in a precarious situation by now branding them "supporters of torture" through association, by these public officials; the very illicit war crime to which America rescued them from, under Nazi rule!

Posted by: 88tigers | November 5, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kane and webmaster-Sorry for the multiple postings above-not intended...there should be some kind of mechanism that would prevent this from happening...thanks!

Posted by: wagonjak | November 5, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

The only thing that seperates Dianne Feinstein from Joe Leiberman is her excellent Planet of the Apes hair-do (Hello Herb Caen).
Schumer is actually closer to the ridiculous Arlen Specter, waving his fist in the air, threatening all kinds of Holy Hell, then rolling over as soon as it is time to put his vote where his mouth is. The whole bunch of them - Harry Reid leaps to mind as well - are pathetic. This nation is in Big Trouble, and all these Pygmys can do is...well, nothing!

Posted by: gallivan Burwell | November 5, 2007 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Reading all this blather about being holier than thou about those poor terrorists in training won't mean much when the next horrific attack should occur on our shores. Please don't tell me this admin. invented waterboarding!! At least we let them keep their heads!

Posted by: Patty | November 5, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Just as governments use torture to discourage dissent, so do the jewish lobbies use "anti-semitism" to discourage criticism of jews in government. When a state like California with a population of close to 40 million (not counting the illegals) manages to get both of its Senators and many of its Representatives from the jewish community, that speaks volumes for their organization and the money they can bring to bear on the political process. That some of them would see their task as supporting Israel ahead of our own interests is predictable.
There is no other plausible reason for Lieberman's voting record other than to unconditionally support Israel. Feinstein's vote on Mukasey is equally peculiar and hard to explain. And since when has it been the task of the opposition party (Democrat Schumer)to select the candidates for the president's cabinet? Explain that one also.
But since they're all jewish, I'm obviously an anti-semite by calling attention to that fact.

Posted by: Doubtom | November 5, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of people joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: J Baustian | November 5, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of people joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: J Baustian | November 5, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of people joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: J Baustian | November 5, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of people joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: J Baustian | November 5, 2007 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of people joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: JBaustian | November 5, 2007 11:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of people joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: JBaustian | November 5, 2007 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Dianne Feinstein has been my 'representative' in her political incarnations over the years, beginning as my district representative to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. In evey one of those years, I have found her to be facile above all else, ultimately focused upon 'power' money facilitations which marginalize, even overtly betray, her constituents.
As a true and realistic San Francisco liberal, I tell you Dianne Feinstein is not only emblematic of the shadowy, extremely powerful economic cabals mutating this republic, she is a certain participant and enabler.
I confess that I have voted for her in every election she was opposed by a Republican pinhead, which has been always. I announce that I will vote for the pinheads henceforth.

Posted by: wil | November 5, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of people joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: JBaustian | November 5, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Just as governments use torture to discourage dissent, so do the jewish lobbies use "anti-semitism" to discourage criticism of jews in government. When a state like California with a population of close to 40 million (not counting the illegals) manages to get both of its Senators and many of its Representatives from the jewish community, that speaks volumes for their organization and the money they can bring to bear on the political process. That some of them would see their task as supporting Israel ahead of our own interests is predictable.
There is no other plausible reason for Lieberman's voting record other than to unconditionally support Israel. Feinstein's vote on Mukasey is equally peculiar and hard to explain. And since when has it been the task of the opposition party (Democrat Schumer)to select the candidates for the president's cabinet? Explain that one also.
But since they're all jewish, I'm obviously an anti-semite by calling attention to that fact.

Posted by: Doubtom | November 5, 2007 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Just as governments use torture to discourage dissent, so do the jewish lobbies use "anti-semitism" to discourage criticism of jews in government. When a state like California with a population of close to 40 million (not counting the illegals) manages to get both of its Senators and many of its Representatives from the jewish community, that speaks volumes for their organization and the money they can bring to bear on the political process. That some of them would see their task as supporting Israel ahead of our own interests is predictable.
There is no other plausible reason for Lieberman's voting record other than to unconditionally support Israel. Feinstein's vote on Mukasey is equally peculiar and hard to explain. And since when has it been the task of the opposition party (Democrat Schumer)to select the candidates for the president's cabinet? Explain that one also.
But since they're all jewish, I'm obviously an anti-semite by calling attention to that fact.

Posted by: Doubtom | November 5, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

Just as governments use torture to discourage dissent, so do the jewish lobbies use "anti-semitism" to discourage criticism of jews in government. When a state like California with a population of close to 40 million (not counting the illegals) manages to get both of its Senators and many of its Representatives from the jewish community, that speaks volumes for their organization and the money they can bring to bear on the political process. That some of them would see their task as supporting Israel ahead of our own interests is predictable.
There is no other plausible reason for Lieberman's voting record other than to unconditionally support Israel. Feinstein's vote on Mukasey is equally peculiar and hard to explain. And since when has it been the task of the opposition party (Democrat Schumer)to select the candidates for the president's cabinet? Explain that one also.
But since they're all jewish, I'm obviously an anti-semite by calling attention to that fact.

Posted by: Doubtom | November 5, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Just as governments use torture to discourage dissent, so do the jewish lobbies use "anti-semitism" to discourage criticism of jews in government. When a state like California with a population of close to 40 million (not counting the illegals) manages to get both of its Senators and many of its Representatives from the jewish community, that speaks volumes for their organization and the money they can bring to bear on the political process. That some of them would see their task as supporting Israel ahead of our own interests is predictable.
There is no other plausible reason for Lieberman's voting record other than to unconditionally support Israel. Feinstein's vote on Mukasey is equally peculiar and hard to explain. And since when has it been the task of the opposition party (Democrat Schumer)to select the candidates for the president's cabinet? Explain that one also.
But since they're all jewish, I'm obviously an anti-semite by calling attention to that fact.

Posted by: Doubtom | November 5, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Don't for god's sake, call attention to the fact that Schumer, Feinstein, and Mukasey are jewish because that obviously makes you an anti-semite. Don't equate their upcoming vote for Mukasey and against their party with what Lieberman did to get ousted by his party, because he's also jewish and that would also make you an anti-semite.
Well guess what? This nation needs a healthy crop of anti-semites if we're ever going to get out from under the influence of the many jewish lobbies, like AIPAC, who see Israel's interests as more important than our own.

Posted by: Doubtom | November 5, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

If Fienstein flips over like lieb, she will have a bright future. The far left are vocal but are few and not relevant when it comes to mainstream America. You can see how Lieb kicked Dem and leftist butt in the elections.

Posted by: Alex | November 6, 2007 12:44 AM | Report abuse

d. feinstein and c. schumer are senators from california and new york respectively. neither was elected by madison, wisconsin or cambridge, mass.

schumer may have gone to the same brooklyn high school as bernie sanders but his responsibility is to the safety of 20 million new yorkers, not 11 cows and ben & jerrys. and he was not elected solely by the walk-up crowd on macdougal st in the village, but by westchester families and nassau county cops, too.

if you want political purity, there's nothing like a campus ADA or young republicans club. if you want to govern effectively, you can't be a prisoner of ideology

Posted by: senator from california or new york | November 6, 2007 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Very good talking about Democratic colleagues!! I love democratic countries.............!!

Posted by: Farry | November 6, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

My primary concern is; Mukasey may be the BEST we can expect from the BUSH-whacker!
Now, I ask; is something better than NOTHING?
Since I am not amongst those in the "inner-circle" I cannot know how much worse the NEXT nominee may be.
So, do we HAVE to accept someone - for fear of having no one?
Who is 'watching the store' now?
I can't wait until the 'o8 elections!!!!!

Posted by: Rude Ro | November 6, 2007 2:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats like Robert Kennedy used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of PLO sympathizers joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: JBaustian | November 6, 2007 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Dear Andy,

I agree with what you responded to the poster 'zoot' I wish to add this, to your answer, if you don't mind

Dear Zoot,

you are wrong, as you do not adress Steve's statments, but rather smear him as a bigot.

Do Bush and his gang have something on Mrs Feinstein and her husband? The question is legitimate, and in no way offensive, in my view.

I read some time ago, on the WaPo, that the couple are living quite well off, thanks, mostly, to deals in arms, and with the military industry contracts as a whole.
Big fortune by American standards.

They seem also, if what I read was right, that the husband, I believe, has to give some clarifications, shall we say, about some 'obscure' deals. Anyone posting here,with a bit of information on the subject will be extremely welcome.

Then Zoot ends up smearing Steve as a bigot because he refers to the jewish faith of the persons involved. Is bigotry, the soft way for Ant-semeitic lately. please explain.

If I understand you well, it is OK to say that Gonzo is from a catholic and Mexican background, that Luther King and J.Kackson are African American Reverends, but to say that Mukasey , Feinstein, Schumer and Lieberman are of the same faith is bigotry. Kind of a twisted argument in my opinion.

Is it something that should be kept hush hush, as Scooter Libby would say?

I don't see your point much hard as I try.

Posted by: bekabo | November 6, 2007 5:14 AM | Report abuse

Is this guy for real???

God-forbid a Democrat doesn't vote in LOCK-STEP with the others, they must be the NEXT LIEBERMAN (like that's a bad thing...)

The far-left is really getting out of control, now...

Just when you think things couldn't get any worse for the Republicans, Iraq starts turning around, and the Democrats seem to be ready to pull DEFEAT from the JAWS OF VICTORY, for the '08 Election! :)

Posted by: ConfusedLiberals | November 6, 2007 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Is this guy for real???

God-forbid a Democrat doesn't vote in LOCK-STEP with the others, they must be the NEXT LIEBERMAN (like that's a bad thing...)

The far-left is really getting out of control, now...

Just when you think things couldn't get any worse for the Republicans, Iraq starts turning around, and the Democrats seem to be ready to pull DEFEAT from the JAWS OF VICTORY, for the '08 Election! :)

Posted by: ConfusedLiberals | November 6, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

As hideous as the Waterboarding and Torture issue is, it is a distraction from the real issue - Mukasy's wholesale support of the endless upward expansion of Presidential Power that permits the Executive to order such practices in direct conflict with law and human decency.
Feinstein may be many shades of Lieberman - they are both collaborators with the Bush administration. More telling is that Schumer has become the democrats Arlen Specter, making a lot of noise, waving his tiny fist in the air, and then rolling over the second the vote is called.
Our country has never been in such danger of losing everything that has defined us, flaws and all, throughout our history. The Big Lie is that the greatest threat we face comes from beyond our borders, when we are being destroyed from within by cheap thugs like Bush & Cheney, and the pathetic enablers throughout congress.

Posted by: Gallivan Burwell | November 6, 2007 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I have written Schumer, and Feinstein seems to have shut down her website in embarrassment. What are these pandering phonies doing in the halls of congress?
Mukasey has said he doesn't know what water boarding is! Being lawyer, Appellate Judge and all his other qualifications must keep him so busy he hasn't read a paper or watched a news program for the past 5 years. Perhaps he needs a personal demonstration. What America doesn't need is another smiling Bush Acolyte. Enough!
If these so called deomcratic moderates approve this nomination they should be impeached. Let them know!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 6, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I have written Schumer, and Feinstein seems to have shut down her website in embarrassment. What are these pandering phonies doing in the halls of congress?
Mukasey has said he doesn't know what water boarding is! Being lawyer, Appellate Judge and all his other qualifications must keep him so busy he hasn't read a paper or watched a news program for the past 5 years. Perhaps he needs a personal demonstration. What America doesn't need is another smiling Bush Acolyte. Enough!
If these so called deomcratic moderates approve this nomination they should be impeached. Let them know!

Posted by: Anonymous | November 6, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats like Robert Kennedy used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of PLO sympathizers joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: JBaustian | November 6, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I'm surprised at the hostility toward Feinstein, Lieberman, etal, from people who claim to be Democrats. Apparently they haven't been Democrats very long, certainly not long enough to know the history of their own party. It sounds like they would kick out a John Kennedy or a Pat Moynihan or a Scoop Jackson. It's sad when there is no longer room for a pro-American wing inside the Democratic Party.


As for supporting Israel, Democrats like Robert Kennedy used to proud in their support for Israel -- Israel hasn't changed, so it must be some new group of PLO sympathizers joining the Democrat Party and bringing along their anti-Jewish attitudes.

Regarding Mr Mukasey, I believe that he knows waterboarding has been used, effectively, in a number of interrogations. And he's not so eager to become AG if it means promising to prosecute those individuals. Especially when the information obtained may have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Posted by: JBaustian | November 6, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Here's an observation from a Liberal, Democratic lawyer (admitted in Texas) with 35+ years serving the energy industry.

If Mukasey is defeated, the next name will either be a total Bush loyalist "Acting AG" or a politically unknown partner, prestige law school, Federalist Society member from one of the Houston-Washington mega law firms, committed to serving the energy and financial services industries. (As a Ted Olsen clone).

Posted by: Coastie | November 6, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

As all scuba divers learn.
Near drowning victims who inhale even a small amount of water into their lungs will self-drown 3 days later due to the bodies reaction. The lungs produce fluids enough to drown the victim. Anyone who employs waterboarding is premeditating murder. Bush and Cheney are well briefed on the technique.

Posted by: hhkeller | November 6, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

California voters need to recall Sen. Feinstein. She is not the Democrat we were told we were voting for and she needs to go. Where is the petition?

Posted by: proteusdecision | November 6, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Be careful what you wish for in "recalling" Feinstein. Senator Duncan Hunter? Senator Darryl Issa? Senator Dan Lundgren? You won't get Senator Cindy Sheehan.

Posted by: coastie | November 6, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Schumer (much to my suprise) did the right thing in voting what they felt was the right thing to do.
We have all been poisoned over the past number of years by the horrible climate of DC and US politics...to the point where a vocal minority of both parties try to bully those in their party to stand only with some arbitrarily contrived stances on the issues. If McCain attacks Bush or torture but backs him on the war, let him do so and respect his difference of opinion. He is still a Republican. If Feinstein votes for Bush's DOJ nominee but backs pro-choice bills then so be it. She is still a Democrat. Those on the extremes who push their hard line will only end up polarizing politics more and driving more and more people away from the parties or out of politics for good. Agree to disagree....and for god sake stop wining!

Posted by: John P | November 6, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

The morality bar is set so low now that torture is acceptable to many people. What new lows can we attain from here?This is not what this country is about.

Posted by: dagweb | November 6, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

This is just another example of how the Democrats generally have no idea of how to wage political battle. The key point for both Schumer and Feinstein is that if we do this, Bush will do that. That's all it takes for the Dems to fold. They never seem to respond with, OK, if Bush does that, then we'll do this... (escalating the conflict). Instead, they just immediately collapse. They shrink from political combat, and continually make it appear that they have no principle for which they will go to the mat. That's why voters don't trust them, in spite of the catastrophe of GOP rule. In this case, the big concern with Mukasey shouldn't be waterboarding, but rather his view, plainly stated in the hearings, that the President wouldn't necessarily have to abide by the law if the law (in the President's opinion, apparently) conflicted with his duties as Commander in Chief. That's just raw Executive Privilege theory, a la Alito, and should earn the diehard opposition of any Democrat and any Republican who favors the Constitution over party. But Democrats always come up with one or two people who will waive the white flag at the first sign of GOP fight.

Posted by: Thompson | November 6, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I believe this moment is what my mother used to call "the buzzards coming home to roost." This is the country that we put the down payment on years ago. We deserve Mukasey just as we deserved Gonzales, Bush and Cheney.
Why do I say that? Because talented, smart and patriotic "poor" people can't win elected offices in the United States. So, we get overwhelmingly rich corporatists and militarists with deep money connections who begin their careers in Washington, D.C. with one goal in mind...How Do I Stay Here And Make Even MORE? More money, more power, more connections and more influence. Period.
In the middle of this little game, are a group of not rich but equally as power hungry...you should pardon the expression.."journalists" who feed us jaded opinion and articles by day, and drink and dine with the people they claim to objectively cover, at night. They complete their little coven of greed with self appointed "socialites." These are the people who decide if the people you "think" you've elected deserve to play the game, or be smeared out of town before they get a soul and actually do something in the interest of "the little people" who are just pawns in this swamp.
All I heard from the pro-Mukasey crowd is how we must "create" a new law defining torture so that the poor judge wouldn't have to fret about what Bush and company think torture is this week, and then he could join the little club and wait his turn to find a nice think tank or lobbying firm/ corporate law office to retire comfortably to. If he is lucky, he might even get to be on the board of some big oil company or military contracting firm. It would make all of those pesky questions about torture and independence from the executive branch seem so trivial in exchange!
The anti crowd "know" torture, but apparently can't define "impeachment" or take seriously the oath they took or the Constitution they swore to uphold. And both sides are just too busy playing chicken with Bush over the current wars.
Don't be angry with Diane and Chuck. They didn't make the rules. Of course, Diane does want congress to proclaim torture illegal for some new goup, and Chuck wants to give passionate speeches about Bush/Cheney lawlessness for another year. And all we want to do fight over the remaining crumbs, sit on our butts, and send the same millionares back to ignore the will of the people yet again. Only this time, with Musharaf, the Iranian war drum beating, spineless and compromised leadership, supine media, and a rogue and apparently unimpeachable king...the roosting buzzards will have a lot of bones to pick!

Posted by: CaroleMT | November 9, 2007 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Seems those afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome are out in force again today. Don't you guys have anything better to do with your time than to feel good about yourselves at your oh-so-chic and clever rants about the current administration and conspiracy theories, after drinking your Koolaide? If this was such a horrible totalitarian regime, why are you allowed to continue posting without having knocking on your doors. The contradiction in your rants is amazing.


It's funny how the stupidest, most inept and most moronic president in history according to you guys continues to run circles around a Congress that is even stupider, more inept and clearly more moronic than your greatest threat to the civilized world. He's gotten almost everything he's wanted, as Congress caves in time and time again.

Please explain that seeming paradox to me, if you have the wit or intelligence to formulate a coherent, non-ranting thought.


And as for the antiSemitic pinheads like PabloZed who have posted here with their despibable Jewish Conspiracy comments, one can only wish that they expire on a surfeit of their own hatefilled bile.

Posted by: ragnaglar | November 9, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

It's not the waterboarding. It's the fact the Mukasey endorses the Unitary Executive Theory. Sure, torture will make more Americans suffer: waterboarding will encourage blowback. But the real issue is "Do we give unbridled power to the President of the US with no Congressional oversight?" Why does Feinstein support this?

Posted by: Greta | November 11, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

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