Saturday, March 31, 2007

Feinstein, Class and Death Merchants



From the Silicon Valley Metro, via Alternet, we find that Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee:

SEN. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.
Why she was on the subcommittee in the first place should certainly raise eyebrows. But let's just be clear for the sake of thick-headed Democrats who bask in the illusion that their party leaders do no wrong, that the Dems are somehow a bastion of virtue and a genuine alternative to those dirty corrupt Republicans:

1. She approved contracts -- multi-billion dollar contracts-- awarded to her husband. That's no different from what Duke Cunningham did, and in fact is arguably dirtier by virtue of the fact that at least ol' Duke wasn't married to the people he was fellating (or who were fellating him).

2. Let's get something straight: Richard Blum is an arms contractor. He's a merchant of death. So much for the weak arguments made in defense of Clinton, et al, that "at least Democratic corruption doesn't kill people." Feinstein and Blum are part of the death machine. She may be a little (or medium-sized) Eichmann (although Joshua Frank legitimately calls her a war profiteer), but he's a big Eichmann.

3. It's class, stupid. A Democratic millionaire is not the lesser of two evils, any more than a Black millionaire or a female millionaire or a gay millionaire is. If you somehow think Obama or H. Clinton wouldn't do these things if given the opportunity, well, you'll get the President you deserve, I guess. Unfortunately, I will get the one I don't deserve, and so will my family. My children will be drafted to fight in corporate wars because my hippie, semi-radical friends thought that they should vote for Hillary 'cuz she's got a vagina--and since most of my semi-radical hippie friends are above having kids of their own, they will find excuses to defend wars that Democrats start.

And even if they don't start the wars, they don't have any real incentive to stop them: as one commentator said recently on a different blog:
As long as hypocrits like Feinstein profit, the war will go on. Which democrat raking in millions from the slaughter of Iraqi families and GIs is going to act to stop the war?
Let's see how long it takes bourgeois feminists to start defending her...

3 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

I agree with every word in this post.

Anonymous said...

Couple of quick comments.

Anyone who believes that Democrats are pure on questions of corruption and commitment to liberation obviously needs to stop drinking the Kool Aid.

Feinstein has always voted, as you know from your time in Long Beach, as a very conservative D on almost all issues save abortion for a long time. But while I think it is fair to say that all Democrats are adherents to the current order, inlcuding systemic corruption, they are not indistinguishable and many are less problematic on defense issues than Feinstein.

"My children will be drafted to fight in corporate wars because my hippie, semi-radical friends thought that they should vote for Hillary 'cuz she's got a vagina--and since most of my semi-radical hippie friends are above having kids of their own, they will find excuses to defend wars that Democrats start."

There is so much that is unfair in this snide comment I do not know where to start. I don't think many plan on voting for Hillary because she has a vagina. Like many, I do not plan on voting for Hillary under any circumstances, vagina or not, so maybe that means I am neither a hippie nor a semi-radical, but your crude indictment is beneath you and draws on a right-wing inspired enthymeme and you should feel ashamed for perpetuating that perception.

Even if those semi-radical hobgoblins in your mind behave as you claim, it is not fair to place the blame for future Clinton or D perfidy on them as they would be a small minority of her/their votes, they would not establish policy, and the alternatives would not avoid that which you fear. You have a uniqueness problem: McCain, Romney, etc. will also also start those corporate wars, draft or impress your kids, and send them to die for corporate profits.

There are many issues at play in any election. Consider just one.

At present the GOP is committed to limiting and then rolling back federally subsidized health care for otherwise uninsured kids. Almost all the Democratic leaders, presidential front runners included, are in favor of expanding this program. If the Democratic candidate wins the White House and her/his party retains control of the Congress the odds are high that this flawed program will be expanded.

To be sure, their motives should be challenged, the program preserves the basic structure of the unfair capitalist health care market, etc. Still, if the GOP has their way, millions more kids will have no access to non-emergency health care but if the Democrats have their way millions more will be covered.

I am anxious to hear why you think that is a trivial difference. You are fortunate enough as the privileged employee of a state university that your kids (congrats, btw) are covered. Millions of American families are not so fortunate.

Explain to me what you tell them to justify your assertion there is no difference between voting for Hillary or some Republican.

Then explain to me how your pure revolution will extend health care to their kids in any reasonable time frame.

At bottom I agree with your analysis and share many of your assumptions. But I am troubled by the lack of sensitivity and discernment in logic on display here. We need a revolution, not revolutionary thought police. If we tell people always to wait until after the revolution to improve their lives, we will never build that revoluton.

Just curious.

T. Jacobsen

matt said...

Renegade: Thanks for the endorsement.

T. Jacobsen: Good to hear from you, as always. I've missed you this year and the times I've seen you in the past few years have been all too short and busy with irritating trivialities. I do intend to answer your post soon, as you raise some important questions.

Sharing is caring!