Dianne Feinstein, Centrist?

Dianne Feinstein died last night. She cast a Senate vote earlier in the day. Tributes to her are pouring in, which is natural and appropriate. But check out how the Washington Post described her:

I think it is true that Feinstein was not as crazy as some of her Democratic colleagues, but is there any plausible sense in which she was a centrist?

The American Conservative Union rates members of the House and Senate on a conservative-liberal scale, based on how they vote on specific bills. The ACU’s rating system is transparent and is generally regarded as a useful guide. This is their most current assessment of Senator Feinstein:

In 2022, Feinstein was scored as one of the three most left-wing members of the Senate, voting liberal on every single measure that the ACU tracked. At the link, you can see the votes on which her rating was based.

How about her lifetime voting practices?

This shows her left/right orientation over her tenure in the Senate:

So throughout her career, Feinstein was a consistently left-wing senator, and over the last 18 years she almost never deviated from the liberal line on any issue or on any vote. You may think this is fine if you are a liberal Democrat, but there is no sane sense in which it represents a centrist voting record.

The Post’s characterization tells us nothing about Feinstein, but a lot about where the Washington Post sits on the political spectrum: it holds down the far-left pole, which it myopically sees as the middle of the road.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.