Brother, Can You Spare a Bullet?

And while the Republicans continue to wallow in their flop sweat and hypocrisy, with the news of the Panetta pick for the CIA, the Democrats show that they are once again the unparalleled masters at fratricide:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who this week begins her tenure as the first female chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said today that she was not consulted on the choice and indicated she might oppose it.

“I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA director,” Feinstein said. “My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.”

The choice of Panetta was seen as a sign that Obama considered it more important to have a steady political hand and astute manager at the helm of the agency, rather than someone with deep operational experience.

In picking Panetta, Obama risks raising anew questions about the politicization of the CIA, a concern cited by leading congressional officials.

A senior aide to Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), outgoing chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the senator “would have concerns” about a Panetta nomination.

Rockefeller “thinks very highly of Panetta,” the aide said. “But he’s puzzled by the selection. He has concerns because he has always believed that the director of CIA needs to be someone with significant operational intelligence experience, and someone outside the political realm.”

Way to go, team. Feinstein, who had no problem voting yea for Porter Goss, George Tenet, and Michael Hayden, as well as Mike Mukasey, Robert Mueller, and Donald Rumsfeld, has deftly just knee-capped her own party’s nominee for CIA, and is now in the position of doing an about face and looking like a complete and total hack or denying the incoming President his selection, something she never did to any of Bush’s choices. Way to be, DiFi.

So glad the Democrats got over that winning streak in November so they could quickly get back to our regularly scheduled shit show fail parade. Can’t anyone play this damned game?

62 replies
  1. 1
    Jeff says:

    Can’t wait for her to be my next Governor. =P

  2. 2
    DougJ says:

    Can’t wait for her to be my next Governor.

    Here’s a question: would you vote for her against Arnie? I’m no expert on CA politics, but from what I know of the two, I’d vote for Arnie over her.

  3. 3
    Brandon says:

    Arnie’s termed out for the next election (thank god), so we won’t have to choose between him and Feinstein.

    That being said, Feinstein, for being a former mayor of San Francisco, has been a constant disappointment since the 80s. I see no reason for her to stop now.

    Then again, the only way she ascended to the mayorship anyway was because of Moscone’s murder by Dan White–and we know all about the inferior pedigree of people who get into office via extra-democratic means.

  4. 4
    Jeff says:

    @DougJ: In general (not including loons like McClintock, Duncan and Issa), a Californian Republican is like a Texas Democrat within the state, so I’d vote for Arnie. But Arnie cannot run and is actually going after Feinstein’s Senate seat. However, I cannot vote for a Republican for the Senate and I do not think one can win. The within state elections have much different issues than national elections.

  5. 5

    California is indeed an odd state. But remember, they will greet us as liberators.

  6. 6
    DrDave says:

    Since Obama is bringing back 90% of Clinton’s people, do any of you wonder where he’s going to put Monica?

    I don’t think the Dems do anything to make sure everyone is on the same page. But considering the GOP does and how well that’s worked out these past ten or twelve years, maybe that’s not an altogether bad thing.

  7. 7
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I would honestly vote for a Republican over DiFi.

    Oh wait, I did. One of the few Republicans I have ever voted for.

    She is a complete hack. An Elizabeth Dole of the Centrist-Right Democratic party.

  8. 8
    Ninerave says:

    I long ago decided when she’s up for re-election, I’m voting for the other person. I don’t care who it is.

    Erick Erickson? Palin? Sure. Perfect.

    DiFi needs to go away.

  9. 9
    Josh says:

    On a mostly-unrelated note… the Politico has a poll up asking:

    "Do you think Leon Pancetta is a good choice for CIA director?"

    I certainly do. Mmm… Leon Pancetta.

  10. 10
    demimondian says:

    @Ninerave: ninerave? or ninerdave?

  11. 11
    DougJ says:

    Arnie’s termed out for the next election (thank god), so we won’t have to choose between him and Feinstein.

    I see.

    I lived in CA in the 90s and now live in NY. I would say that NY politics is more corrupt than CA (incredibly weak campaign finance laws, a legislature that is set up to be a dictatorship by majority leaders), but there’s something disgusting about California politics that I’ve never seen anywhere else: the immigrant-bashing, the mania for the death penalty, the love of draconian mandatory sentencing laws. And it seems to afflict both parties.

  12. 12
    Jeff says:

    there’s something disgusting about California politics that I’ve never seen anywhere else: the immigrant-bashing, the mania for the death penalty, the love of draconian mandatory sentencing laws.

    And that’s just the voter initiatives.

  13. 13
    Unabogie says:

    Seriously, the fact that she supported Porter Goss, who resigned his office in disgrace, and Michael Mukasey, who has disgraced his office, says all you need to know about this woman.

    That and the obvious speculation that she’s concerned about her own criminal exposure as a torturer.

    But what’s a little war crime between friends?

  14. 14
    Ninerdave says:

    @demimondian:

    Whoops. Trying out the new Camino browser and apparently can’t remember how to spell my name.

    Strangely I didn’t get stuck in moderation.

  15. 15

    The reason the Clintons have gone from dirt to bank accounts in the hundreds of millions is because they are smart, tough, and have flexible ethics and convictions. The Panetta pick, and the silence on current world events, make me believe that reality is setting in on Barack. He really has been set up like a bowling pin.

    It appears to me that he is now deferring to the Clintons. Why else would he pick Panetta? Nothing of lasting good ever comes to those in Barack’s position who defer to the Clintons. He had them out of the picture six weeks ago. Now they’ve got him surrounded.

    The fact that a partisan politician will own the nation’s supercomputers and databases should concern those people who were concerned about FISA.

  16. 16
    jonas says:

    Feinstein is a relic of the eighties and nineties when electable Democrats were expected to be good "centrists" and "bipartisan," which they understood to mean "do whatever Republicans want." Plus I think she’s personally inclined to defer to what she considers to be collegiality and Senate tradition, which, oddly enough, usually turns out to be "do whatever Republicans want," oddly enough.

  17. 17
    Fencedude says:

    Did anyone else hear a noise just now?

    I think it was Emmanuel cracking his knuckles…

  18. 18
    TenguPhule says:

    Feinstein, who had no problem voting yea for Porter Goss, George Tenet, and Michael Hayden, as well as Mike Mukasey, Robert Mueller, and Donald Rumsfeld, has deftly just knee-capped her own party’s nominee for CIA, and is now in the position of doing an about face and looking like a complete and total hack or denying the incoming President his selection, something she never did to any of Bush’s choices. Way to be, DiFi.

    You’re looking at it the wrong way, John.

    This is Obama’s chance to slap the Knobslobbering Democrats around a little bit and score one for the DFH.

    There is no team in Democrats. It’s eat or be eaten.

  19. 19
    srv says:

    What Tbogg said. Dianne has her hands dirty with FISA and torture violations.

  20. 20
    gnomedad says:

    Whoops. Trying out the new Camino browser and apparently can’t remember how to spell my name.

    Since I need to be able to spell my name, I’ll stick with Firefox.

  21. 21
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    Obama failed to show the proper respect and kiss the Dona’s ring. That trumps everything.

  22. 22
    p.a. says:

    Has anyone perfected the backbone transplant yet? Someone order up a couple hundred for the Dem caucus.

    Stockholm Syndrome anyone?

  23. 23
    demimondian says:

    @gnomedad: Yeah. With Firefox, the browser will corrupt its record of your name without your help.

  24. 24
    tomjones says:

    @p.a.: I think "the backbone transplant" is in fact one of the rare torture techniques which DiFi condemned as unconscionable.

  25. 25
    DougJ says:

    Has anyone perfected the backbone transplant yet?

    Normally, it’s only possible to give a patient a transplant involving a body part that the patient had at one time.

  26. 26

    Ah, yes — DiFi says she wants an "intelligence professional", yet she blew off intelligence professionals when they told her not to back Bush’s Iraq obscenity.

    All the people ranged against Panetta are torture apologists, wiretapping cheerleaders, and Bush knobpolishers of the worst sort. All we need is for Joe Lieberman to weigh in and the circle is complete.

  27. 27
    Left Coast Tom says:

    Feinstein and Boxer came into the Senate at nearly the same time (Feinstein is the "Senior" member by mere months). I really think Boxer has grown in the office over time, and Feinstein has…done otherwise. Apart from ideology (she was always fairly right-wing for a Democrat).

    Boxer is up in 2010, Feinstein in 2012.

    I’d vote for Feinstein over Arnie for Senate, if that choice were presented to me. It’s hard to see a difference at the individual level, but a vote for Arnie would be a vote for McConnell as Majority Leader. And that’d be a deciding factor.

  28. 28
    robertdsc says:

    Here’s a question: would you vote for her against Arnie? I’m no expert on CA politics, but from what I know of the two, I’d vote for Arnie over her.

    I wouldn’t vote for either of them. They both sicken me.

    When Arnie was first up, I didn’t vote Democratic (Cruz Bustamante) because Bustamante and Gov. Gray Davis had screwed up things really badly, I didn’t think anything would change with Bustamante in charge, and I thought Arnie was going to win anyway.

    So I voted for the wingnut Tom McClintock, who, as I found out late last year, received the endorsement of the local KKK branch that year. Oops.

    DiFi needs to DIAF. Soonest.

  29. 29
    Joshua Norton says:

    (she was always fairly right-wing for a Democrat).

    If a Republican was even marginally electable in San Francisco, she would have come out of that closet years ago. However she wanted to be elected to the Board of Supervisors and then to run as mayor, so she had to run as a Dem. Too bad her politics have always belied her voter registration.

  30. 30
    burnspbesq says:

    @Phoenix Woman:

    If she wants an intelligence professional, where was she when Brennan was being lynched by Greenwald, Maddow, et al?

    This has nothing to do with qualifications. Obama failed to realize that in Feinstein-Land, "it’s all about MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" And he must be punished for his sins.

  31. 31
    bh says:

    somewhat ot but you knew this dem would roll over like a well trained basset hound.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid yielded to Republican threats and agreed on Monday not to immediately seat fellow Democrat Al Franken, whose razor-close victory in Minnesota faces legal challenges

    .

  32. 32
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    I’m just really surprised that the head of the Sen. Intelligence Com. is taken by surprise. It doesn’t make sense that the Obama people didn’t make contact on this one. Just odd.

  33. 33
    Joshua Norton says:

    It doesn’t make sense that the Obama people didn’t make contact on this one. Just odd.

    All I have to hear is Feinstein and Rockefeller are both "upset" about it and it’s high-fives all around as far as I’m concerned.

  34. 34
    Delia says:

    The fact that DiFi is pissed is a sure sign that Panetta is the right man for the job.

  35. 35
    Gary DS says:

    You’ve got to be fricking kidding me. These pussified Democrats repeatedly let the CIA and the intelligence community roll them and serve their neo-con buddies and Republican allies and now these DINOS are objecting to a Democrat who says no to torture and yes to effective spending controls on their programs!

    If I didn’t already know I’d ask what party are they playing for.

  36. 36
    Left Coast Tom says:

    If a Republican was even marginally electable in San Francisco, she would have come out of that closet years ago.

    In the mid-90s, bicycling through the Presidio and thence to Pacific Heights, I found her house by following the sound of the protesters.

  37. 37
    The Raven says:

    The Senate Democrats are dominated by a conservative faction (consider that the Senate majority leader is Harry Reid) of which Feinstein is a part. This is discouraging, but also predictable. Krawk!

  38. 38
    jc says:

    People above have pointed it out – I think she is scared. All those weak-kneed Senators that deal in intelligence – they were read into the criminal crap that the Bush administration was doing early on, and didn’t have a problem.

    And Feinstein – and others – want someone who IS part of that, so there isn’t even a remote possibility of her compliance – and perhaps cheerleading – coming to light.

  39. 39
    Ash Can says:

    Given their track records, I have the feeling that Feinstein and Rockefeller need to worry about what Obama thinks of them far more than we need to worry about what they think of Leon Panetta. This was no accident.

  40. 40
    chrismealy says:

    I am waiting for the day Obama chooses to use his army his mailing list to crush one of these jerks. Maybe Feinstein will be the first.

    Until then, there’s change.gov

  41. 41
    MobiusKlein says:

    Back in the day, two+ years ago, the Senate was voting on some horrid torture amendement, and DiFi couldn’t commit to voting or filibustering against it. Ended up voting against, but the inability to take a leadership stance when it mattered pissed me off. Oh, and it was on my twin’s BDay it passed, so I always think of her shifty mug on that day.

    Folks, time to Libermanize her. I’ll put up 500$ in a primary against her.

  42. 42
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Ash Can:

    Well I don’t see it so much a matter of who needs to worry about whose approval as the fact that this was not even mentioned. Obama has nothing to gain by having this fight be so public so early on as far as I can tell. The idea is to get the nomination through, not to do an alpha dance.

  43. 43
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @MobiusKlein:

    As she’ll be pushing 80 by 2012, it’s not a given she’ll feel like running.

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    Feinstein […] is now in the position of doing an about face and looking like a complete and total hack or denying the incoming President his selection, something she never did to any of Bush’s choices.

    Oh, she’ll go the hack route. She always does. She’ll back down and pretend it never happened.

    Seriously, if we could get a decent primary challenger, DiFi would be out on her ass. The only thing keeping her in office is the knowledge that any California Republican would be even worse since we breed ’em extra-crazy out here.

  45. 45
    GSD says:

    Pantera, Pancetta, Pantangele, Panopolous, whatever.

    He’s going to crimp Di-Fi’s war profiteering bottom line and this will not stand.

    -GSD

  46. 46
    passerby says:

    DiFi and her husband are billionaire rich. Her job has not been to represent the people of CA so much as it’s been to make sure to pass laws that benefit the moneyed few. How the sam hill did she get the chairmanship of the Sen Intel Committee??$??

    As for Panetta, I’m beginning to grow uncomfortable with the growing percentage of former Clintonistas holding powerful positions in an Obama administration. I haven’t lost trust in Obama’s ability to brilliantly navigate in politics but with each subsequent announcement of Clinton operatives I find myself starting to squint and scratch my head…

  47. 47
    DiFi WiFi says:

    I’ve disliked DiFi for years, she’s an empty suit and a closet Republican. I do hope she retires in 2012, I’ve sent her enough angry letters without any effect whatsoever

    But she did make a reasonable stand against semi-automatic weapons, as reasonable as one can be in gun-crazy America. The gun nuts I ran with were really steamed about that years later, couldn’t stop talking about her.

  48. 48
    TheAssInTheHatOnMyCat(Formerly Comrade Tax Analyst) says:

    Yeah, Feinstein has been a consistent disappointed for over 20-some-odds years now, and I don’t think that’s going to change. I’ve still voted for her in each re-election campaign, because the alternative is and has always been some Republican, and they have all pretty much been assholes as I recall. That, plus not wanting to give the Repubs any numbers in the Senate if I could help it. I certainly couldn’t vote for an "R" candidate for Senate or House in today’s situation, or the forseeable future, either.

    I agree with the commenter who thought Boxer had grown in her years in office. Heck, I kinda like her, actually. I remember when she first announced she was running for the Senate…it was mentioned in a little, tiny AP article tucked in the back part of the L.A. Times front section. I don’t know why, but after I read that little piece I remember I pointed to the article and told my older brother, David, "That’s going to be the next Senator from California". He told me I was nuts (which was actually a fairly accurate assessment at the time, but that’s a whole other story).

    Now I have no idea why Obama picked Panetta for the CIA post, but I’m going with the general stance I’ve taken since November 4th – so far he seems to have done a pretty good job of assessing situations and people, so I’m supporting his choices until events and actions tell me otherwise. I sure as hell don’t know who would be a "good" choice to run the CIA.

  49. 49
    Marc says:

    Ugh…I am so sick of her being my Senator. And no, I would never vote for her for Governor of CA. Once she got in, she’d be impossible to replace until she was termed out. Frankly I’d rather vote for a Republican than DiFi. She deserves no reward for her disgusting actions in the United States Senate.

  50. 50
    Dennis says:

    Diane F is simply a Dino. (Democrate in name only.) Another Republican tactic to steal a Congressional seat. Ditch her California, convenience store managers have more honor.

  51. 51
    Comrade Baron Elmo says:

    Feinstein has been a thorn in the side of California progressives for far too long. Wrecking San Francisco by handing the entire goddamn city over to developer interests was only the first of her many crimes. She needs to be run out of Congress on the business end of a Saguaro cactus.

    Truly, with the passage of time, the assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk is revealed as an increasingly ruinous calamity… both for California and the nation. And the guy who killed them both did five years for it.

  52. 52
    bago says:

    I can go for Pantera. Though right now it’s the negativland track where Casey Kasem loses his shiz over a dog dedication.

    That’s the letter U and the numeral 2.

  53. 53
    kay says:

    I hate the Senate. It’s a club, and more and more I feel as is if it’s about protection of member interests.

  54. 54
    Ash Can says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: I see your point, but this really does make me think that there’s bad enough blood between Obama and Rockefeller/Feinstein, and that neither Rockefeller nor Feinstein have sufficient support within the Senate, that Obama doesn’t even care about taking this fight public. Is he overreaching? I don’t know. But my money’s on him in this race.

  55. 55
    Ash Can says:

    PS: In fact, while reading through the "Worst of the Worst" thread, I just had a crazy idea. What if leaving Feinstein and Rockefeller on the outside looking in is a signal that the new administration is gearing up to scrub the government clean of torturers and their enablers? I mean, scrub it really, really clean?

  56. 56
    passerby says:

    I find myself starting to squint and scratch my head…

    Looks like it’s time for some new eye glasses and a malathion shampoo.

    On the other hand, having a "non-professional" like Panetta in that seat would send a signal that old power structures in the CIA could be out of luck. Wonder how many veteran agency people are rending their clothes and gnashing their teeth about this appointment…along with DiFi.

  57. 57
    passerby says:

    @Ash Can:

    PS: In fact, while reading through the "Worst of the Worst" thread, I just had a crazy idea. What if leaving Feinstein and Rockefeller on the outside looking in is a signal that the new administration is gearing up to scrub the government clean of torturers and their enablers? I mean, scrub it really, really clean?

    This. Ash Can, I hadn’t read your comment before posting my above but this cleaning house angle is very reassuring in terms of "Change".

  58. 58
    Team Players says:

    […] John Cole is furious at Dianne Feinstein and other Democrats critical of the nomination of Leon Panetta as CIA director, saying it proves that the party are “unparalleled masters at fratricide.” Way to go, team. Feinstein, who had no problem voting yea for Porter Goss, George Tenet, and Michael Hayden, as well as Mike Mukasey, Robert Mueller, and Donald Rumsfeld, has deftly just knee-capped her own party’s nominee for CIA, and is now in the position of doing an about face and looking like a complete and total hack or denying the incoming President his selection, something she never did to any of Bush’s choices. […]

  59. 59
    ksmiami says:

    DIFI will lose this one. What a complete ass-hat relic

  60. 60
    andrea says:

    My old rep, Tom Campbell, is a non crazy Republican and I voted for him over DiFi the year he ran against her. He’s one of the Republican possibilities for gov but he has no chance with the crazy Republicans in this state.

  61. 61

    DiFi is prolly afeared that Leon won’t shovel as much do-re-mi to her Mil Industrial Complex ventures.

    She might have to tighten the belt a bit if that is the case. Might I suggest the bargain brand caviar?

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Baron Elmo:

    And the guy who killed them both did five years for it.

    And then killed himself 18 months after he was released. White was so clearly disturbed that it’s hard for me to work up serious rage against him like I can against, say, Byron De La Beckwith.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Team Players says:

    […] John Cole is furious at Dianne Feinstein and other Democrats critical of the nomination of Leon Panetta as CIA director, saying it proves that the party are “unparalleled masters at fratricide.” Way to go, team. Feinstein, who had no problem voting yea for Porter Goss, George Tenet, and Michael Hayden, as well as Mike Mukasey, Robert Mueller, and Donald Rumsfeld, has deftly just knee-capped her own party’s nominee for CIA, and is now in the position of doing an about face and looking like a complete and total hack or denying the incoming President his selection, something she never did to any of Bush’s choices. […]

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