Tag Archives: Kevin de León

Stop fretting about the Feinstein – de Leon thing

In a recent “jungle primary” (all parties, all voters, and there but the grace of dog go the rest of us), long time us Senator Diane Feinstein resoundingly defeated fellow Democrat Kevin de Leon. But given that Feinstein has been a Senator representing the state since forever, the very idea of a challenge, and the very idea of a 51-33% victory, is a form of insurgency within the party. In this case, it is a progressive insurgency against a strong liberal. If you are outside the Liberal-Progressive zone, that might seem like cats fighting cats, but there is meaning to the differences. Liberals and Progressives all support the same policies, at the 20,000 foot level, but at the more detailed level, they are different. Both want health care for all. Liberals will tolerate a hybrid of insurance companies and some sort of Medicare for Everyone Else or a Public Option, while Progressives want nothing to do with the insurance companies and want a single payer. Or, depending on the individuals, Liberals and Progressives all want Universal Single Payer with no insurance companies, but Progressives want it now, and Liberals don’t think that is possible, and have more incremental plans.


Now, the California state Democratic party has had an endorsing event. You will see the following FALSEHOODS promulgated because of it:

  • Now that Berniebots/Progressives have added their own candidate to the race, the Democrats can’t win, this race
  • Progressives are going to throw Diane Feinstein out despite her great power and service and wondrfulness
  • Other similar things.

But, the truth is, the way the system works in California, there are exactly two people running in the general election for Senate: Feinstein and de Leon. There are no Republicans, do the Democrat will win.

Also, given that Feinstein cleaned de Leon’s clock in the primary, you can bet that she’ll win the general election as well. But, who knows, either one could win.

There is relevance to what is happening here. Within the California Democratic Party, progressives have suddenly developed a significant power base, quite possibly displacing both centrists and labor. If that is a bad thing, don’t worry. Given the primary system in California, they can’t do too much damage. If it is a good thing, then this is a real good thing, in my opinion, because we actually need to have more progressives, and we need to drop the centrist, incremental, line and be more strongly true to our values.

Personally, I’d like to see Feinstein stay to continue the fight against Trump. Personally, I’d like to see de Leon win, because we need to be shifting towards a more progressive landscape. Personally, I’d like to see the Republican lose this race, and that is going to happen for sure because there is no Republican in this race.

So everything in California is good. Stop whinging, y’all!

Kevin de León to Challenge Dianne Feinstein

California Democratic state Senate president Kevin de León, a youngish progressive representing Los Angeles, and a strong Latino voice, is going to challenge Dianne Feinstein in the California Senatorial election. There will be primary, and the way things work in California, there could be any combination of candidates (across party) running against each other, including Feinstein and de León.

Feinstein is well liked and respected, but she is old-school, and still seems to believe in things like, Republicans can be talked to, and no matter how bad they are every single day, maybe some day one will do something that isn’t totally bone-headed and nefarious. It seems to be Senator Feinstein’s recent comment that maybe Trump could be a good president after all is the straw that set this particular camel’s back in motion, if you will pardon the mixing of metaphors. Also, Dianne Feinstein would be 91 in her last year in office, which is kind of old.

Personally, I think that some of Feinstein’s rhetoric is just the way Senators talk, they pretend things are normal when they are not, and they are all hauty tauty because they are the Senate, after all, and not the House.

One theory I’ve heard is that Feinstein, who is a bit old to run, will win, then in a year or so, step down and be replaced by an appointee of Jerry Brown. That is a really bad idea because it will be so obviously inside trading that it will backfire, and we don’t need that bad will going on right now. The best outcome is probably that de León simply wins. But, I’d love to hear from Californians what they think of all this?