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WATCH: Dianne Feinstein dresses down GOP Sen. Ted Cruz
"I'm not a sixth grader"
 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is no stranger to gun violence: She discovered Harvey Milk's body after he was assassinated.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is no stranger to gun violence: She discovered Harvey Milk's body after he was assassinated. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Things got testy today when Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) snapped "I'm not a sixth grader" at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) after he began quoting the Bill of Rights to her during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on a proposed assault weapons ban. (The ban made it through the committee thanks to a 10-8 vote along party lines, but faces a much tougher path in the full Senate.)

After Cruz talked at some length about the right to bear arms, and pointedly questioned the California Democrat about the constitutionality of the proposed ban, a visibly annoyed Feinstein said:

I'm not a sixth grader. Senator, I've been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I've seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered. Look, there are other weapons. I'm not a lawyer, but after 20 years I've been up close and personal to the Constitution. I have great respect for it.

Indeed, Feinstein became mayor of San Francisco after the murder of the previous mayor, George Moscone, in 1978. Feinstein was also the one who discovered the dead body of San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk.

After the vote, Feinstein gave Cruz an old-timey apology by saying that he got her "dander up." According to Mediaite, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell defended Feinstein by saying, "Ted Cruz somehow thought he was going to take on Dianne Feinstein who began her career in politics facing the bloodshed in San Francisco when she was elevated to become the mayor after the assassinations there?"

Conservative bloggers had a different take. Daniel Horowitz of Red State framed it as Cruz using such unassailable logic so that Feinstein "had no answer, except to act like a pugnacious school child."

Judge for yourself:

 
Keith Wagstaff is a staff writer at TheWeek.com covering politics and current events. He has previously written for such publications as TIME, Details, VICE, and the Village Voice.

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