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Will the FISA bill be your legacy, Senator Feinstein?  When you and other cowardly Democrats, too milk-fed on easy Telecom money, shivering with fear over possibly being blamed by your GOP rivals for another 9/11, and too comfortable to take a principled stand that could rock the Bush Administration boat, sold out the Constitution for your 30 pieces of sliver?

Dear Senator Feinstein,

I have been one of your strongest supporters since you were Mayor of San Francisco.  Now, I am severely disappointed in you, to the point of disgust. Sadly, your vote for the recent FISA bill - which grants complete civil immunity to Telecom companies for past spying on innocent American citizens - is also a vote for continued illegal surveillance and immunity going forward.

In short, you have voted to gut one of the most important ammendments in the Constitution, the Fourth Ammendment right for American citizens "to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures."  Today, the majority of Americans communicate by electronic methods, by email and by text.  Are these not my "papers?"  If so, what gives the government and the Telecom companies the right to copy, redirect, evaluate, read, share, and discuss my "papers" without regard to warrant, probable cause, or suspicion of wrongdoing, under the Constitution?

What gives the government this blanket, invasive, and Consitutuionally illegal right is YOU, Senator Feinstein.  YOU.  You, by your capitulation and spineless pandering to pervasive lobbyists, and by your fear of being labeled "soft on national security" by your GOP colleagues.

Ironically, you recently announced that you would not seek reelection to your seat in the Senate. How then can you explain your vote on FISA to the people of California?  Now, when you are completely free to take a principled stand in defense of the Constitution, how can you continue to cave in?  

With your complicit participation and your vote, you are actively helping to turn America into a society that more closely resembles the German Democratic Republic (e.g., Communist East Germany) than the America we know and love, as defined by the Bill of Rights.

During the Cold War, in the name of national security and fear of "internal enemies," the East German government turned every citizen into a object to be spied upon at its whim, based upon its own justifications, without explanation, in secret, and without redress.  During the Cold War, America fought to pull down the East German Communist system, a system roundly condemned as corrupt for allowing such systematic and widespread abuses.  And yet today, in America in 2008, the exact same justifications used by the East Germans - national security and fear of internal enemies - are being used to give the American government the exact same powers of systematic and widespread abuse.

This is deplorable, Senator.  Were you to run, I would never vote for you again.

When the protections granted to the people by the Constitution are gone, then the America we have known for 221 years is also gone.  

Will this be your legacy, Senator Feinstein, that you and other cowardly Democrats, too milk-fed on easy Telecom money, shivering with fear over possibly being blamed for another 9/11, and too comfortable to take a principled stand that could rock the Bush Administration boat, sold out the Constitution for your 30 pieces of sliver?

Alito, Mukasey, FISA..... what does it take to get you to do your job for us, your constituents in California, for us, the American citizens?

Drip by drip, American Democracy is eroded by the actions of those in power we count on to take a stand for us and for our Constitution. But, all you stand for is going along to get along.  

With people like you on the scene in 1775, there never would have been a Lexington or a Concord.  Instead, you and your fellow Senatorial "patriots" would be dining with Lord Howe and throwing apologies to King George, in order not to be accused of being "difficult."

Your presence as my Senator shames me.  You should be ashamed as well.

Signed, A Democrat
San Francisco, CA

Originally posted to achilles on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:05 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sold us down the river (12+ / 0-)

    It'll be interesting which board of directorships she steps into when she leaves the Senate, where she gets guest speaker fees from, and who arranges bulk buys of whatever piece of shit book she publishes when she's out.

    If she even waits that long to cash in her FISA blood money.

    - Its time we stopped dealing in words, and started Dealing in Lead.

    by walkingshark on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:16:01 PM PDT

  •  had no idea she wouldn't seek reelection (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ThatSinger, Balam, robertacker13

    Thanks for making my night.

    So, who should replace her?

    "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent" --Gandhi

    by dsharma23 on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:30:07 PM PDT

    •  Feinstein Reelection (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Don't know who will replace her.  Feinstein got reelected to the Senate in 2006, so she doesn't run again until 2012.  At that time, she'll be 79.

      She's told others in the Dem food chain that this will be her last term. However, with four years ahead to make up her mind, anything is possible.

  •  Enough with Feinstein (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Balam, paul94611, robertacker13

    She was acceptable as a Democrat during the Clinton presidency.  Today, given that she is a senator from California, she's something of a disgrace.  We could easily afford someone bluer out here.

    I consider Senator Levin to her left, so it is very trying that I moved from a state with a top knotch liberal (MI) to a state with a "centrist" (CA).  

    •  One thing about Feinstein I have to admit... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      She had the foresight to try and stop the US from selling clusterbombs if we knew they would be used on civilians.  She sponsored that bill.  Obama voted for that bill.

      McCain and Hillary Clinton voted AGAINST that bill.

      I don't particularly like Feinstein, but compared to Hillary Clinton, I have to give Feinstein and Obama the eternal moral high ground.  I can complain all I want about FISA, but at least they didn't fight to keep dropping mines on women and children.

      Remember this when Iraq comes up.  It will be a choice between the one who wants to give Iraqis sovereignty and get the hell out and the guy who said it would be easy to walk in there and solve all of their problems by carpetbombing them.

      Vote for the guy who failed to prevent any possibility of your 4th amendment rights from being violated or for the guy who shat on your 4th amendment rights already and wants to torture you and kill women and children and start another war.

      Kind of a choice between a very gentle, loving, but uninvited pinky in your shadow place and a spiked bat to the groin to be honest.

      As opposed to Nader who's a very nice Valentine from a guy who mixes his blood in his own ink but left off any actual signature.

      "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." Orwell

      by NotablyZen on Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 04:21:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is interesting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, paul94611

    that the diarist is unhappy With Diannes vote on FISA but is he disgusted with her vote for the new Attorney General? The problem is not FISA the problem is multiple and has to do with the lies that got us and kept us in Vietnam,the Nixon affair the Iran-contra scandal the lies from Bill Clinton,and the lies,crimes and incompetence of GW. See FISA is just the latest assault on the rule of law and some of this folks were there when some of the other perpetrators were acting out. The reason the congress agreed with FISA is not that they caved in is that they ere complicit in the nefarious acts of the adminstration.

    •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I mention her vote on Mukasey in my piece.   And, I agree with your assertion: it isn't any one action that erodes the Constitution, it's many.  

      Many more Democrats than just Feinstein went along with Bush on the Iraq war, on Alito and Roberts on the Supreme Court, on taking impeachment off the table, on doing nothing in the face of refusing to honor subpoenas. Dems get no points from me for having guts; except for a handful, they've been enablers all.

      My one positive fallback is that, in spite of what I consider gutless behavior and a sore lack of principles on hugely important issues like protecting the Fourth Ammendment, they're still better by a country mile than the GOP. So, I continue to support them.  

  •  I addressed her as "Joe Lieberman in a dress"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, paul94611

    never heard back from her or her office...

    My elation at the news that she won't seek re-election is somewhat tempered by the realization that I won't have the pleasure of seeing our California version of Ned Lamont primary her ass into oblivion...

    Thanks for this... from another disillusioned, disgusted former Feinstein supporter...

    George W. Bush... wiretapping the Amish since 2001...

    by ThatSinger on Sat Jul 12, 2008 at 11:58:31 PM PDT

  •  I don't understand why you put almost all the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the blame on Feinstein only. You have to blame every democrat who voted for that bill including the nominee, Barack Obama who is the de facto leader of the democratic party.

    Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

    by Mutual Assured Destruction on Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 12:08:07 AM PDT

    •  She's My Senator (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Cali Techie, Balam, paul94611

      That's why. There are lots of other Dems to blame for FISA, for sure.  But, California has only two senators, Boxer and Feinstein.  So, I have a personal interest in the way Feinstein votes.

      Boxer voted against the FISA bill, Feinstein voted for it.  Boxer voted against Alito, Feinstein voted for him. Boxer voted against Mukasey, Feinstein voted for him.  

      It's been this way many, many times on many, many issues. Feinstein is far more conservative than Boxer and far more conservative than I believe any Democratic Senator from the blue blue state of California should be.

      Many in California consider Dianne to be a Democrat in Name Only (DINO).  She certainly votes like one.

      •  For a blue blue blue state, as you like to call (0+ / 0-)

        it, you sure elected some serious republicans as your governors over the years.

        Believe me, Senator Boxer is as dumb as a telegraph post. A long time ago, when she was in the house, i was in panel discussion conveyed and organized by one of the house committee and i had a chance to hear talk and ask questions, and talk to her after my presentation and can safely tell you that she is not the sharpest pencil out there.

        With all her moderate positions, Feinstein is 100 times smarter than Boxer.

        Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

        by Mutual Assured Destruction on Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 12:33:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Boxer is smart enough to vote the same as I would (0+ / 0-)

          far more often than Feinstein does.

          •  That's because she's awesome. (0+ / 0-)

            Feinstein's husband's a bombmaker.  Slightly different motivations.

            Actually, come to think of it...can we have as our official party line "We will not elect people who profit from the destruction of third world countries through the use of weapons of war?"  Or do I have to go Green to get that assurance?

            "The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." Orwell

            by NotablyZen on Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 04:24:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  She and her husband are war-mongering.... (0+ / 0-)

              neoCons of the first order. All of the conservative organizations, including AIPAC, were pushing for FISA, so what does DiFi do?

              ..better that money be spent in the U.S. building windmills than squandered in the ME for Bush-McCain to tilt at them. -andydoubtless

              by Hornito on Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 07:09:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, Barack voted for that bill, is he a neocon? (0+ / 0-)

                Get a grip began sounding like the religious right folks, you either follow everything we say and do or you are a heretic...

                Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

                by Mutual Assured Destruction on Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 11:16:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Leader in name only (0+ / 0-)

      if you consider that it took a lot of convincing to bring some of those guys along. Remeber that many of this folks were supporting other candidates in the primary and that at the end of the day it is not until the nomination is final that he will change from junior senator from Illinois to Presidential nominee.

  •  Feinstein hates the's "bipartisan"... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, paul94611

    This ain't the first time Feinstein has told the left to go fuck themselves, and it won't be the last.  

    Telling the right to go fuck themselves is partisan, I guess.  

    Diane isn't fooling anyone.  

  •  Only now (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Heterodoxie, Balam

    are many folks discussing shock and surprise at the shameless conduct that has marked Senator Feinstein for years.
    The only reason she is registered as a democrat is because she never would have attained elective office had she registered in accordance with her personal and governing philosophy.
    Diane Feinstein(r)-CA

  •  I heard her husband was a telecom investor, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but before that, his investments in defense construction companies provoked THIS:

    "You can't nice these people to death."-- John Edwards

    by ge0rge on Sun Jul 13, 2008 at 12:50:35 AM PDT

  •  Well written (0+ / 0-)

    Too bad it'll be going into the autodelete folder.

    I wonder if something like this has ever been printed in the "Letters to the Editor" section of the Chronicle?

    It'd be too bad if more of your fellow constituents didn't get a chance to read it as well.

    •  Thanks for the Feedback (0+ / 0-)

      and best regards.... the Chronicle will never print this, as it's too long.  250 words is their cap.

      As for Feinstein herself, maybe I'll sign it and send it to her.  I've done this before, over both Alito and Mukasey, with less than satisfying results: a form letter two months later, justifying her vote "for the good of the country."

      She'll say the same thing about her vote on FISA. I heard her on one of the chat shows talk about the FISA bill, and her reasoning was, it's better to have some law than no law. It's the exact same thing she said about Alito and Mukasey: better to have some appointee (no matter how nefarious or dishonest) than an empty slot.

      Not what I call a strong guiding principle.

      Personally, I think Feinstein is just getting tired.  Once upon a time, I supported her, specifically for things like the cluster bomb bill and for her out-in-front efforts to ban assault weapons.  But lately, it's been cave, cave, cave.  

  •  FIAS, ALITO, ROBERTS (0+ / 0-)

    senator schumer and feinstein are both to blame for the supreme court moving to the extreme right. they could have stopped them and should have. the attorney general was another disgrace. but the FISA vote was the broken camel back. they are a disgrace and need to be replaced . and take nancy pelosi with you.

  •  When I learned that Feinstein's hubby was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a defense contactor she made my shit list.  That she's in the pocket of telecoms, too, makes me want to puke.  

    She's a phoney and an abominable disgrace.  

    Give her the damn boot, California!!!

  •  Nice letter, but (0+ / 0-)

    Feinstein has always a pretty conservative democrat, even as Mayor (though not quite as bad as Willie Brown), so I'm not sure why her FISA vote should come as a shock to you.  It's not as if this is Boxer or Feingold or Leahy we're talking about ... it's Feinstein.

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