(The California Democratic Party is indeed in desperate need for major reform. And it's coming, whether they want it or not. From the diaries -- kos)
Shane Goldmacher got someone at Dianne
Lieberman Feinstein's office on the record about the anger in the grassroots over her continued efforts to undermine Democratic values in the Senate and vote with Bush Republicans. The leadership of the CA Democratic Party chimed in, as well. See if you can spot the difference between the two statements.
Here's Roger Salazar at the CDP:
“This party supports our Democratic senator and will continue to do so,” said party communications director Roger Salazar. “Period.”
Here's Scott Gerber for the Senator:
Scott Gerber, a Feinstein aide, defended the senator, saying she “has been an independent voice for California.”
So one side says she's a Democratic senator and the CDP supports Democrats (no matter the policy or the principle, they just support Democrats, so shut up, grassroots!), while the other says she's an "independent voice for California."
Somebody better talk to somebody.
Then there's this howler:
“What people may not know is she was a strong leader in the fight against (now Supreme Court Justice Samuel) Alito and (Chief Justice John) Roberts,” Gerber said, noting she opposed “more than a dozen” circuit court nominees from the Bush administration.
Hmm, I didn't know that! I guess that's why Alito and Roberts were never confirmed to the Supreme Court, in the face of all that "leadership." It must have been withering attacks like this that did the trick:
"Many of us are struggling with . . . what kind of a justice would you be, John Roberts," implored Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
She voted against Roberts in committee, but made no loud effort to filibuster. And on Alito, she had this expression of leadership when it counted:
A Democrat who plans to vote against Samuel Alito sided on Sunday with a Republican colleague on the Senate Judiciary Committee in cautioning against a filibuster of the Supreme Court nominee.
“I do not see a likelihood of a filibuster,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. “This might be a man I disagree with, but it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be on the court.”
She said she will not vote to confirm the appeals court judge, based on his conservative record. But she acknowledged that nothing emerged during last week’s hearings to justify any organized action by Democrats to stall the nomination.
Fight, Dianne, Fight!
She actually ended up voting against cloture, but only after it was apparent that the filibuster wouldn't hold and after she undermined it with prior comments.
Unfortunately, Mr. Gerber, the Great Gazoogle is my friend, and your claim that she was a "strong leader" against Roberts and Alito rings hollow.
The larger point is this. At the upper echelon, the California Democratic Party is an old boy's network of insider hacks and ambitious wannabes who want the resources that a Dianne Feinstein can give them, if need be. The grassroots of the party, on the other hand, is extremely upset and angry, and wants Democrats to stand up for Democratic principles. This tension is at the heart of every "silent revolution" within the state parties, I reckon. Every time the CDP dismisses the dissension in their ranks, every time they invalidate this genuine frustration, they look even more out of touch, and they alienate their core supporters and activists. State parties have to be responsive to their base, it's the bottom line.
If anything positive comes out of this, it's that DiFi recognizes that a whole lot of Californians are upset with her, and she can no longer run and hide from them. It may not change a lot, but it's a first step.
UPDATE: Just let me add that you can sign here to endorse the censure of DiFi by the CDP at their executive board meeting this weekend. As I have been saying, the chances for success are remote. But the more people on board, the more attention it gets, and it crystallizes the frustration from the rank and file.