“How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission” is the alternate title of “A Simple Desultory Philippic,” the jokey Paul Simon song that appears on Simon and Garfunkel’s 1966 album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme. This year the Democrats could update Simon’s subtitle with a reference to Cory Booker rather than Robert McNamara.
The latest Booker’d specimen is Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. When it comes to intelligence issues, Senator Feinstein’s position suggests that she knows what she’s talking about.
Speaking at a World Affairs Council forum on Monday, Feinstein attributed partial responsibility for the recent torrent of leaks of classified information to the White House (video here). Feinstein said she “think[s] the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.”
Mitt Romney picked up on Feinstein’s statement in his speech to the VFW yesterday. Well, of course, that can’t be allowed to stand. Senator Feinstein was Cory Booker’d into submission. By yesterday afternoon, she was engaging in the required ritual of self-denunciation. Senator Feinstein issued the following statement:
I am disappointed by the statements made by Mr. Romney today regarding a question I was asked yesterday at the World Affairs Council.
I was asked whether the White House might be responsible for recent national security leaks. I stated that I did not believe the president leaked classified information. I shouldn’t have speculated beyond that, because the fact of the matter is I don’t know the source of the leaks.
I’m on record as being disturbed by these leaks, and I regret my remarks are being used to impugn President Obama or his commitment to protecting national security secrets. I know for a fact the president is extremely troubled by these leaks. His administration has moved aggressively to appoint two independent U.S. attorneys. There is an investigation under way, and it is moving forward quickly.
I know we are in a campaign season, but I hope the investigation proceeds without political accusation or interference from anyone.