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Sunday Late Night: Dianne Feinstein Caps Her Career Against Fun

Dianne Feinstein’s opposition to pro-pot Prop 19 made news this week in California as the Democratic Party wrestled with a weighty decision: endorse the legalization measure, with all its attendant policy and political benefits for Democrats and their constituencies? Or remain neutral, pleasing absolutely no one, including tax-revenue-hungry red- and purple-district Democratic candidates who’ve gone out on a limb already and endorsed Prop 19?

Enter DiFi, always reliably anti-fun:

Here’s her statement as sent via email:

Proposition 19 is simply a jumbled legal nightmare that will make our highways, our workplaces and our communities less safe,” Senator Feinstein said, “A recently released report from the RAND Corporation noted that if Proposition 19 passes, the only thing that would be certain is drug use would go up and the State of California would run afoul of Federal law and risk losing federal funding.

In addition, there are too many unknown factors related to law enforcement and public safety. I urge voters to VOTE NO on Proposition 19 this November.

Great, the Democratic Party will now send a muddled message to pro-pot 19 voters. This was the position she proposed the Executive Committee of the Democratic Party take, counter to Democrats statewide and sure to hurt their candidates at the ballot box: why would voters who’d made a special effort to turn out to legalize pot then also vote for candidates of a party whose official position was NO POT FOR YOU?

Calbuzz recalled that DiFi’s career was launched, after two failed mayoral campaigns, only after she found her hook. Opposition to, well, fun:

From her earliest days in politics, DiFi’s political antennae have always been hyper-attuned to the slightest possibility that somewhere, someone might be having fun.

Her nickname around City Hall was “Goody Two Shoes,” and one citizen of San Francisco’s gay community famously summed up her well-earned school marm reputation: “Dianne Feinstein doesn’t care who you sleep with, as long as you’re in bed by eleven o’clock.”

In fact, the vote-getting that catapulted her to the Presidency of the SF Board of Supervisors (back in the day of at-large elections, when the top vote hauler was crowned Board Prez) was a ‘save the children’-type anti-smut campaign against the Mitchell Brothers and their X-rated movie success in San Francisco (“Behind the Green Door,” starring Marilyn Chambers, being the most remembered and cherished of the genre, of which there were many, many more):

But her anti-smut campaign did not earn unanimous acclaim in Baghdad by the Bay: the late Charles de Young Thieriot, then publisher of the Chronicle, threw her out of his office when she came in to demand he stop running ads for adult theaters in the paper, while Charles McCabe, a cranky and literate libertarian scribbler for the Chron, bashed her as a prudish busybody in a series of columns headlined, “Dianne Faces Life.”

What really moved Mrs. Feinstein to her little adventure, and her later demand that right-mindedness be enacted on all of us is something you don’t have to be a big brain to figure out. The real reason lies in the hearts and minds of a segment of elderly Irish biddies and Jewish mothers and Italian mama mias and German hausfraus. These ladies, most of whom are mothers, are threatened by porno and take an awfully strong line on the same subject. This they communicate one way or another, and often through priests and rabbis who have a vested interest in sin, to their duly elected representatives of whom Mrs. Feinstein is one. And conscientious.

The way to prevent the men from indulging their brutish natures is to pass laws, and more laws, and still more laws, to keep their pants firmly zipped at all times, except when the population explosion is to be assisted.

President of the Board of Supervisors, DiFi went on to great fame and the Mayoralty that had twice been denied her by voters, upon the deaths of martyrs George Moscone and Harvey Milk. Finally installed in Room 200 at City Hall, her zero tolerance for fun found creative new outlets: she got the Parks department to cut back all the shrubbery atop Buena Vista Hill in a vain attempt to Stop. Outdoor. Sex. Her misguided effort yielded even more irate homeowners, who’d petitioned that they wanted the Sex Stopped. What they got for DiFi’s trouble was an even better view of men publicly carrying on from their huge picture windows high atop SF.

But she got her revenge: she refused to march in the Pride Parade and vetoed city domestic partner legislation. Just in case there might be fun involved, don’t you know?

So DiFi’s decision to oppose Prop 19, and her operatives’ influence on today’s CA-DEM Executive Committee vote, needn’t come as a surprise. People will blame Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer, since they are on the ballot this November and somehow thought a ‘neutral’ vote might please some voter somewhere. (Who?)

But when it’s fun you might be having somewhere, sometime, you can bet that Dianne Feinstein is sitting up nights worrying about how to Make. You. Stop.

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Teddy Partridge

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