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Liberal Feinstein LEFT Behind By Progressives

- October 26, 2017

Democrats Have Become So Liberal, Senator Dianne Feinstein Is Considered A "Moderate" Within Her Own Party


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • In a sign of how extreme the Democrat Party has become, liberal Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who has a 100% rating with the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood, is being primaried by California State Senate President Kevin de Leon.
  • The criticism of Feinstein is not limited to the fringe of her party, Progressive groups, and even California's Congressional Democrats, want someone more liberal than Feinstein.
    • Only 12 of the 39 Democrats in California's U.S. House delegation have offered their endorsement of Senator Feinstein's reelection.
    • Senator Kamala Harris' (D-CA) top advisor called Senator Feinstein's beliefs "greatly out of step with where the base is."
    • Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) said Sen. Feinstein is "out of touch with the grass roots," and called his colleagues who endorsed her "D.C. insiders."
  • Progressives have started an intraparty fight to unseat Feinstein as they push Democrats even further to the left.
    • Daily Kos founder on helping de Leon beat Feinstein: "Let's beat the most pro-Trump blue-state Dem in the country!"
    •  Howard Dean's Democracy for America "quickly endorsed" de Leon calling him the "more tenacious liberal voice."
  • Senator Feinstein was booed by constituents when she refused to endorse single-payer health care, unlike her fellow California senator, Kamala Harris, who received cheers and applause when she announced that she would co-sponsor Senator Bernie Sanders' (I-VI) "Medicare-For-All Bill."

LIBERAL FEINSTEIN IS NOT LIBERAL ENOUGH FOR CALIFORNIA

In A Sign Of How Liberal Democrats Have Become, Progressives Think Feinstein Is Not Liberal Enough

California Democrats Have "Moved Sharply To The Left." "Sen. Dianne Feinstein's decision to seek a sixth term in theory leaves her open to a fierce challenge from someone closer to the ascendant and most vocal voters in a party that has moved sharply to the left and begun a generational shift." (Cathleen Decker, "Dianne Feinstein's Bid For A Sixth Term Comes As Her Party Gets More Liberal, And She Insists She's No 'Rabble Rouser," Los Angeles Times , 10/9/17)

In 2011, 52% Of California Democrats Identified As Liberal, But Now That Is Up To 61%. "In 2011, the year before Feinstein's last race for the Senate, 52% of Democrats characterized themselves as liberal, according to polling by the Public Policy Institute of California. In a recent poll, that number had jumped to 61%." (Cathleen Decker, "Dianne Feinstein's Bid For A Sixth Term Comes As Her Party Gets More Liberal, And She Insists She's No 'Rabble Rouser," Los Angeles Times , 10/9/17)

In Any Other State, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Would Be Considered Reliably Liberal. "Feinstein's image as a centrist belies a vast record that in any other state would be considered reliably liberal." (Cathleen Decker, "Dianne Feinstein's Bid For A Sixth Term Comes As Her Party Gets More Liberal, And She Insists She's No 'Rabble Rouser," Los Angeles Times , 10/9/17)

Feinstein Has A 100% Ranking From The Human Rights Campaign. ("Congressional Scorecard," Human Rights Campaign , 10/7/16)

Feinstein Has A 100% Ranking From Planned Parenthood. ("2017 Congressional Scorecard," Planned Parenthood , Accessed 10/26/17)

SINCE ANNOUNCING SHE WOULD RUN FOR A SIXTH TERM, SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN'S CALIFORNIA COLLEAGUES HAVE REFRAINED FROM ENDORSING HER REELECTION BID

The Majority Of Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) Colleagues In The California Congressional Delegation Have Declined To Endorse Her Reelection Bid

Despite Lingering Criticism From The Democratic Party's Progressive Wing, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Announced On Twitter Earlier This Month That She Is "Running For Reelection To The Senate," For What Would Be Her Sixth Term. "Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Monday she will pursue a sixth term, ending speculation that the Senate's oldest member could sit out the election amid criticism from the party's progressive wing. 'I am running for reelection to the Senate,' the California senator tweeted. 'Lots more to do: ending gun violence, combating climate change, access to healthcare. I'm all in!'" (Natalie Andrews, "Dianne Feinstein to Seek Sixth Senate Term Amid Criticism From Left," The Wall Street Journal , 10/9/17)

However, The Majority Of Senator Feinstein's California Colleagues In The U.S. House Have So Far Declined To Endorse Her Reelection Bid. "Most of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's Golden State colleagues in the House are declining to endorse her reelection bid in its earliest stages, highlighting the frustrations of younger Democrats bristling at the perceived lack of upward mobility for future party leaders." (Mike Lillis, "Many Calif. Dems Silent On Backing Feinstein," The Hill , 10/23/17)

  • Only 12 Of The 39 Democrats In California's House Delegation Have Offered Their Endorsement Of Senator Feinstein's Reelection As Of Last Week With Most Choosing To Remain Neutral. "The Hill contacted the offices of all 39 Democrats in California's House delegation over the past week to gauge the level of support for the veteran incumbent seeking a fifth full term. Twelve have endorsed Feinstein; one is backing state Sen. Kevin de León; a handful said they're staying neutral; and most did not respond at all." (Mike Lillis, "Many Calif. Dems Silent On Backing Feinstein," The Hill , 10/23/17)

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) Said That He Is "Confident" A Competitive Election And A "Strong Primary Challenge" To Senator Feinstein Will "Excite Grassroots Democrats." "And Rep. Ro Khanna, a freshman Democrat representing California's Silicon Valley, has echoed that message, saying a strong primary challenge to Feinstein will excite grass-roots Democrats. 'Our party was the strongest in modern times after the 2008 primary election between Obama and Hillary [Clinton]. Both Obama and Hillary helped energize voters,' Khanna told The Hill on Monday. 'I am confident that a competitive election for the California Senate Seat will do the same and help us take seven seats back in California.'" (Mike Lillis, "Many Calif. Dems Silent On Backing Feinstein," The Hill , 10/23/17)

  • Rep. Khanna Won His Seat In Congress Last Year By Challenging And Defeating The Democratic Incumbent, And Now He Is "Urging Others To Do The Same." "California Democrat Ro Khanna won his House seat by beating an incumbent from his own party, and he's been urging others to do the same. He's targeting 84-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who last week announced she would run for a fifth full term." (Sarah D. Wire, "Why A New Progressive Congressman Has Been Pushing For A Democrat To Challenge Feinstein," Los Angeles Times , 10/15/17)
  • Rep. Khanna Said Sen. Feinstein Is "Out Of Touch With The Grass Roots," And Called His Colleagues Who Endorsed Her Were "D.C. Insiders" Who Prioritize "Protecting One Of Their Own Over Voter Concerns." "Though many California Democrats instantly rallied around her, Khanna called her 'out of touch with the grass roots' and said the endorsements showed 'D.C. insiders continue to privilege protecting one of their own over voters' concerns.'" (Sarah D. Wire, "Why A New Progressive Congressman Has Been Pushing For A Democrat To Challenge Feinstein," Los Angeles Times , 10/15/17)

AFTER FEINSTEIN DECLARED SHE WOULD SEEK REELECTION, CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE PRESIDENT, KEVIN DE LEON, ANNOUNCED HE WOULD RUN AGAINST HER

Last Week, California Democratic State Senate President, Kevin De Leon, Announced He Would Challenge Incumbent Senator Dianne Feinstein, Who Is Seeking A Sixth Term

California State Senator Kevin De Leon Launched His Campaign For U.S. Senate Last Week- Offering Voters "A Progressive Option to Their Moderate Senator." "Democrat announced his intent to challenge the 84-year-old senator who has held the seat since 1992. De Leon has been a long-time critic of Feinstein, most notably when it comes to single-payer healthcare. Offering the voters a progressive option to their moderate Senator, de Leon promised voters he would 'lead the resistance' against 'any efforts that will shred our social fabric or Constitution.'" (Katie Leach, "Kevin de Leon Officially Launches Primary Bid Against Dianne Feinstein At Los Angeles Rally," Washington Examiner , 10/18/17)

  • After His Announcement, De Leon "Took A Jab" At Senator Feinstein And Tweeted, "The DC Playbook Is Obsolete And It Is Time That We, The People Of California, Bring The Agenda To Washington, Not The Other Way Around." Following the speech, de Leon took a jab at Feinstein and tweeted, "the DC playbook is obsolete and it's time that we, the people of California, bring the agenda to Washington -- not the other way around." (Katie Leach, "Kevin de Leon Officially Launches Primary Bid Against Dianne Feinstein At Los Angeles Rally," Washington Examiner , 10/18/17)

Prominent Democrats Have Already Started To Endorse Senator Feinstein's More Progressive Opponent

Daily Kos Founder Markos Moulitsas Encouraged State Sen. Kevin De Leon To Run Against Feinstein After She Announced Her Reelection Bid- Tweeting, "Let's Beat The Most Pro-Trump Blue-State Dem In The Country!" "Shortly after Ms. Feinstein's announcement, Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the Daily Kos, a liberal group that has proved to be a powerful fund-raising organization, encouraged Mr. de Leon to run. 'We share a common interest in this Senate race,' he said on Twitter. 'Let's beat the most pro-Trump Blue-state Dem in the country!'" (Adam Nagourney, "'I Have the Energy': Dianne Feinstein Makes Case for a 6th Term," The New York Times , 10/19/17)

Howard Dean's "Liberal Activist Group" Democracy For America, "Quickly Endorsed" De Leon Calling Him The "More Tenacious Liberal Voice Needed To Counter Trump." "Democracy for America, a liberal activist group founded by former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, quickly endorsed de León, 50, characterizing him as the more tenacious liberal voice needed to counter Trump." (Mike Lillis, "Many Calif. Dems Silent On Backing Feinstein," The Hill , 10/23/17)

According To "Several Democratic Aides," Bold PAC - The Congressional Hispanic Caucus' Campaign Arm - Will "Likely" Endorse De Leon. "The CHC's campaign arm, known as Bold PAC, is known for bucking the party establishment to endorse Hispanic candidates, as it did last year in backing former Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) in her unsuccessful bid for Senate against now Sen. Kamala Harris (D). Neither Bold PAC nor its chairman, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), responded to requests for comment, but several Democratic aides said the PAC's endorsement of de León is likely." (Mike Lillis, "Many Calif. Dems Silent On Backing Feinstein," The Hill , 10/23/17)

EVEN PRIOR TO DE LEON'S CHALLENGE, CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATS HAVE CRITICIZED SENATOR FEINSTEIN FOR NOT BEING LIBERAL ENOUGH

Liberals Accuse Senator Feinstein Of Not Being Aggressive Enough In Opposing President Trump

Senator Feinstein "Ignited A Firestorm" Among Her Democratic Base When She Refused To Back The Impeachment Of President Trump, And Instead "Called For Patience" Over His Presidency, Which Was Seen As "Near-Heretical In." "At a time when the Democratic base is more restive than it has been in decades, Sen. Dianne Feinstein ignited a firestorm earlier this week when she refused to back the impeachment of President Trump and instead called for 'patience' over his presidency. The statements -- provocative in Democratic circles and near-heretical in her hometown of San Francisco, where she made them -- reflected a moderation and pragmatism that have been hallmarks of Feinstein's career." (Seema Mehta, "Her Call For 'Patience' Depleted It; Sen. Feinstein, Who's Pondering Reelection, Angers Liberals With Statements On Trump," Los Angeles Times , 9/2/17)

  • Sean Clegg, Top Advisor To California's Other Democratic Senator, Kamala Harris, Said Senator Feinstein's Statements About Trump "Reflect A Similar Candor About Her Beliefs," Which Are "Greatly Out Of Step With Where The Base Is." "Sean Clegg, a veteran Democratic operative in San Francisco and a top advisor to Sen. Kamala Harris, said Feinstein's Trump statements reflect a similar candor about her beliefs - even when they conflict with her audience. But her measured tones may not resonate with voters now, when the political environment is far more partisan and sharply divided than when she first joined the Senate. 'It's Dianne being Dianne, but it's greatly out of step with where the base is, where most Democrats are, and where most California voters are,' he said. 'The base is on fire like we really have not seen in more than a generation.'" (Seema Mehta, "Sen. Feinstein Called For 'Patience' With Trump. Now She Faces A Liberal Backlash As She Ponders Reelection," Los Angeles Times , 9/1/17)

California Democrats Say Senator Feinstein Is Outdated And They Are Ready For Some New Blood

One Of Senator Feinstein's Constituents Said She Is "Way Too Much In The Middle" And That "It Is Time For New Blood." "Patty Shenker, 66, a retired real estate investor, was among supporters in the crowd who said it was a time for a change. Feinstein 'is way too much in the middle,' she said, referring to the senator's centrist politics. 'It's time for new blood.'" (Michael R. Blood, "How To Beat Dianne Feinstein? Contrasts, Senate Rival Says," U.S. News , 10/18/17)

Dan Schnur, Director Of The Jesse M. Unruh Institute Of Politics At The University Of Southern California, Said Senator Feinstein's Brand Is "More Old Fashioned" And So It Is "Not Surprising" That Many Progressives "Are Upset With Her." "Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, said Feinstein's brand is more 'old fashioned,' especially when compared to Harris, who is seen as a rising star in the party and a 2020 presidential prospect. Feinstein's 'brand of centrism is decidedly out of fashion in both parties' Schnur told CNN. 'It's not surprising that some of the most progressive voices in the party here [in California] are upset with her.'" (Saba Hamedy, "How Does An Old School Dem Like Dianne Feinstein Navigate The Trump Era?," CNN , 9/6/17)

Kimberly Ellis, An Activist And Former California Democratic Party Chair Candidate, Said Senator Feinstein Is "Symbolic" Of A Leader Who Is "Out Of Touch With The People In The Party" And That While California Has Changed Significantly Since Feinstein Was Elected, But She Has Not Changed Along With It. "But Ms. Ellis said she had come to view Ms. Feinstein as a symbol of the problem with Democratic Party politics today. 'Senator Feinstein is symbolic of a lot of our elected leaders in that they are out of touch with the people in the party,' Ms. Ellis said. 'Senator Feinstein has done a lot of really great things for California over the years. But California has changed over the two and a half decades she has been in office, and I don't think she's changed along with the state.'" (Adam Nagourney, "'I Have the Energy': Dianne Feinstein Makes Case for a 6th Term," The New York Times , 10/19/17)

The President Of The California-Based Progressive Group Courage Campaign Said The Base Is "Sick Of Running On Kinda Sorta What We Want" And They Are Done With "Compromising" Their "Values." "Dianne Feinstein has been a fixture of Democratic politics in one of the country's most liberal states for four decades. But now, as she seeks a fifth full term in the US Senate at the age of 84, the state's progressive wing isn't looking for stability: It's looking for someone who can more fully embody complete resistance to President Trump. 'The base is just sort of not gonna take it anymore as far as compromising our values,' said Eddie Kurtz, president of the Courage Campaign, a progressive group in California. 'We're sick of running on kinda, sorta what we want.'" (Alex Levinson, "California Democrats Have Changed. Their Senator Has Not," Buzzfeed News , 10/12/17)

Senator Feinstein Received A Chorus Of "Boos" When She Declared She Was Not In Favor Of Single-Payer Health Care

Senator Feinstein Drew The "Ire Of Progressives" When She Refused To Endorse Single-Payer Health Care. "She also has drawn the ire of progressives for not endorsing single-payer health care. While Feinstein said she favored a public option for health care that is not in line with the position of the executive board of the California Democratic Party, which has endorsed single-payer health care." (Joe Garofoli, "Sen. Feinstein's Announcement That She'll Run Again Gets Mixed Reception," SF Gate, 10/9/17)

  • At A Town Hall In April, The Crowd Booed Senator Feinstein For Not Endorsing The Plan, And Chanted, "Single-Payer Now." "Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., up for re-election next year, felt the brunt of that anger during a town hall in April where she was booed for not endorsing the plan. 'Single-payer now,' the crowd chanted, according to news reports."(Robert King, "Democrats Look To California For Single-Payer Healthcare," Washington Examiner, 6/12/17)

However, When California's Other Senator, Harris, Announced That She Planned To Co-Sponsor Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VI), "Medicare-For-All Bill," The Crowd "Roared And Cheered In Applause." " U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris on Wednesday told a crowd of mostly liberal activists that she plans to co-sponsor a 'Medicare-for-all' bill pushed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that would create a national health insurance system. Hundreds of people who packed the Beebe Memorial Cathedral church roared and cheered in applause when Harris said she'd 'break some news' about her plans. Harris posted on Twitter shortly after that she intends to 'co-sponsor the Medicare for All bill because it's just the right thing to do.'" (Angela Hart, "Kamala Harris Joins With Bernie Sanders To Back 'Medicare-For-All' Health Care Bill," The Sacramento Bee , 8/30/17)

  • Senator Feinstein's Primary Challenger, Kevin De León, Has Also Vowed To Back Single-Payer Healthcare, Calling It "A Universal Right.". "State Senate leader Kevin de León's opening salvo in the U.S. Senate race against Sen. Dianne Feinstein takes on one of the main frustrations progressives have voiced with her, a refusal to support single-payer health care. 'I believe that every family, it doesn't make a difference who you are or where you come from, deserves to have quality healthcare. It is a universal right,' De León says in a video released by his campaign Wednesday. 'It's not the exclusive privilege of the elite and the wealthy.'" (Sarah D. Wire, "Kevin De León Vows To Back Medicare For All, Signaling Key Issue In 2018 Senate Campaign," Los Angeles Times , 10/25/17)
  • The California Democratic Party Has Also Pledged To Support "Efforts To Create A Medicare For All-Like Single Payer Program In California." "Now therefore be it resolved that the California Democratic Party supports efforts to create a Medicare for All-like single payer program in California that would provide comprehensive, secure, and quality healthcare for all, including undocumented immigrants, and that essential to a strong single payer system is a vibrant public health system including our public hospitals, mental health services, and clinics, and a workforce that is protected and afforded opportunities throughout the transition." (California Democratic Party, "Resolution 17-05.63 - Promote A Healthy California Through Single Payer Healthcare," Cadem.org , Accessed 10/26/17)

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