Power and the need for it can make us do some rather funny, if not totally questionable, things. For aging California and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, it’s why she is still in office at 89 and why even continually failing mental and physical health has kept her as a member of our Congress.
However, her age seems to be catching up with her.
Reports from the Washington Post state that she has been transferred to her home state for medical reasons. The Thursday report indicated that a “health matter” was at hand, so she needed to be home to deal with it. Her staff says she “hopes to return to Washington soon.”
Just what the health matter is, isn’t being said. Perhaps, it’s her ever more apparent mental decline that has her seeking medical attention.
As it’s been noted a few times in the last couple of years, Feinstein is not exactly the same force of political nature that she once was. Like our Democratic President, Joe Biden, it seems she can no longer remember things well, gets agitated rather quickly, and doesn’t always get around so well, despite claims that she is still at the top of her game and a legend.
And no, it’s not just those of us on the right side of the aisle that has our concerns about her mental abilities. Even some of her most liberal and formally loyal allies are now questioning her ability to do her job and her fitness for office.
Even as far back last April, one of her most trusted colleagues spoke to her hometown newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, about these concerns.
The lawmaker noted that they had worked quite closely with Feinstein for no less than 15 years. To say that the two knew each other well was nothing short of an understatement. And yet, the anonymous colleague noted that during recent interactions with the senator, this individual had to be introduced a number of times.
The individual said that while Feinstein remained involved in the conversations around her, it was nothing it used to be. For instance, she only asked the same “small-talk questions” repeatedly, such as what voters thought of the issue at hand, regardless of whether or not that had already been discussed.
The lawmaker noted that Feinstein was never like this before.
Just a few years ago, they said she could be described as “always in command, always in charge, on top of the details.” Additionally, she was “an intellectual and political force.” But now, there doesn’t seem to be an ounce of that left.
“All of that is gone.”
and that is likely exactly why it was recently announced that the California has-been will not be seeking reelection in 2024. But don’t tell her that…
According to her, she hasn’t made that decision yet. When reporters asked about her upcoming retirement on the same day the announcement was made, Feinstein told the press, “Well, I haven’t made that decision.”
A staff member had to remind her that she had indeed already announced that she would retire. And Feinstein’s response to that was nothing but pure surprise and astonishment.
She also seemed completely caught off guard when reporters similarly asked her about her decision not to take the seat of president pro tempore, a position often offered to senators with the most seniority. Again, she had to be reminded that she had already announced her decision not to take it.
And yet, this woman still sits on the Senate Judiciary, Intelligence, and Appropriations committees, and will supposedly continue until her term is up in 2025 – when she will be age 91.
As I said, craving power, or just keeping it, can make people act a bit crazy. In the case of Democrats, it has allowed more than a few lawmakers to keep their seats despite not being fit for office either mentally or physically. It’s also one of the perfect arguments for term limits.