Sen. Dianne Feinstein has departed this life at the age of 90. The California Democrat can be remembered in several ways, especially as the American politician most faithful to the People’s Republic of China.
In April of 2020, Missouri attorney general Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit charging that Chinese Communist officials are “responsible for the enormous death, suffering, and economic losses they inflicted on the world, including Missourians.” For Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Missouri lawsuit was the problem.
“We launch a series of unknown events that could be very, very dangerous,” said Feinstein in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. “I think this is a huge mistake.” The California Democrat had only praise for the Chinese government.
“Where I live, we hold China as a potential trading partner,” Feinstein said in the hearing. “As a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time. And as a country growing into a respectable nation among other nations. And I deeply believe that. I’ve been to China a number of times. I’ve studied the issues.” Much of that study, it turns out, was on location.
“I’ve been coming to China for 31 years, so I’m not a newcomer,” Feinstein told James Areddy of the Wall Street Journal during a 2006 visit to Shanghai. In Beijing, the U.S. Senator explained, “we spent time with Zhu Rongji, the former premier who was a mayor of Shanghai” and “a good friend.”
In 2014, on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Feinstein issued a statement recalling “perhaps even thousands” of demonstrators killed. “I know of no other country that has made as much economic and industrial progress in the last 25 years than China,” Feinstein wrote. “But what this anniversary reminds us is that progress still must be made in the areas of human rights, rule of law and governance.”
The senator failed to chart any human-rights progress China might have achieved, and expressed no second thoughts about China’s membership in the World Trade Organization. That removed the annual congressional review of its record on human rights and weapons proliferation records, a huge win for the Communist regime.
As Rosemarie Ho reported in The Nation, Democrats in general and Feinstein in particular kept rather quiet about the democratic protesters in Hong Kong. As it happens, Feinstein’s China issues go much deeper.
The former San Francisco mayor had a Chinese spy on her staff for some 20 years, and he was much more than her “driver.” As the San Francisco Chronicle noted, the spy even attended Chinese consulate functions for the senator.
As Ben Weingarten explained, Feinstein’s husband has “profited handsomely from the greatly expanded China trade she supported.” And the senator “served as a key intermediary between China and the U.S. government, while serving on committees whose work would be of keen interest to the PRC.” All this, plus a spy on her staff through three election cycles. The FBI launched no covert operation to uncover any wrongdoing, and the Senate failed to investigate the spy matter.
Sen. Feinstein was one of the first to cry “racism” over the Wuhan virus that caused massive damage in the United States and around the world. When one American state attempts to hold China accountable, Sen. Feinstein called it dangerous. She “deeply believes” that one of the most repressive regimes in history, responsible for some 60 million murders according to The Black Book of Communism, and occupier of Tibet since the 1950s, is a respectable nation.
By contrast, the San Francisco Democrat is on record that the United States is burdened with “systemic racism in areas ranging from housing to employment to education,” all part of “institutional racism.” As Jeane Kirkpatrick said in 1984, the San Francisco Democrats “always blame America first.” On the home front, Feinstein’s prejudices have been on full display.
In 1992, the year Feinstein was elected to the Senate, the FBI deployed massive military force against the family of Randy Weaver, victim of an ATF entrapment scheme. Federal agents killed Weaver’s son Samuel and FBI sniper Lon Horiuchishot Randy’s wife Vicki in the head as she held her infant daughter. Vicki Weaver was unarmed, not under arrest, and not charged with any crime.
During hearings in 1995, Democrats Herb Kohl and Patrick Leahy showed sympathy for Randy Weaver. Sen. Feinstein, by contrast, “dealt sternly with Weaver, asking whether his children wore Nazi arm bands and shouted Nazi slogans at neighbors.” For the San Francisco Democrat, victims of government violence must be Nazis.
In 1993, Attorney General Janet Reno deployed military force against civilians in the standoff at Waco, Texas. The ensuing conflagration claimed the lives of 75 people, including 25 children. Reno also sent two dozen federal agents, armed with machine guns, to seize six-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez. Instead of granting asylum to the youth, whose mother perished in the escape attempt, the Clinton administration returned the boy to the Sado-Stalinist dictatorship of Fidel Castro.
“One of my earliest votes in the Senate was to confirm Janet Reno as attorney general,” proclaimed Feinstein in a 2016 statement after Reno passed away. “I said at the time that Janet combined an expertise in criminal justice with a deep sense of independent thought, and not once did she prove me wrong.” Reno’s cheerleader was down with all of it, and she wasn’t letting go of the Nazi accusation.
In a 2017 hearing for Eric Dreiband, a nominee to head the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, Feinstein invoked the Charlottesville rally and said “there isn’t any good in Nazism.” As sons and daughters of World War II veterans will confirm, there had been a lot of confusion about that until Sen. Feinstein cleared it up.
Also in 2017, Sen. Feinstein told Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a Catholic mother of seven, that “the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern.” Anti-Catholic bigotry lived loud in Feinstein, but there was more to her.
In 2018, the San Francisco Democrat served as impresario of the “Summer of 82” hearings starring Christine Blasey Ford, who was “100 percent certain” that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had attacked her back in high school. As it emerged in testimony, Ford had sent her letter to Feinstein, not the Republicans and Democrats on the judiciary committee. Sen. Feinstein was also a staunch promoter of gun control but there’s a back story here.
During the 1970s, the New World Liberation Front denounced Feinstein, then a San Francisco supervisor, as a ruling-class enemy of the people. The Marxist NWLF shot out 15 windows at Feinstein’s beach house and detonated a bomb in a flower box outside her daughter’s window. Feinstein purchased a .38 revolver, practiced regularly, and secured a conceal-carry permit.
The deep believer in China, quick to call fellow Americans Nazis, was once a champion of the Second Amendment. The San Francisco Democrat peaked too soon.