The Democrats' Dianne Feinstein Problem
The California Democrat's absence is slowing down critical judicial confirmations
This is an incredibly uncomfortable conversation. Dianne Feinstein is my Senator. She is a trailblazer who opened doors for a lot of people. I don’t agree with Dianne Feinstein on everything (I voted for her primary opponent in 2018), but her public service over many decades has been remarkable. In theory, Senator Feinstein, who plans to resign her seat at the end of this term, deserves to exit the stage on her terms and in a manner befitting her historic career.
Unfortunately, that is no longer an option. If Feinstein cannot return to the Senate soon, she owes it to her constituents to resign her seat and allow Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint someone who is physically capable of doing the job.
Why This Matters Right Now
Because of Feinstein’s age (89) and longstanding rumors about her mental acuity, chatter about whether she should stay in the Senate has been persistent — even dating back to her decision to run for reelection in 2018. Under some pressure, Feinstein gave up her chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee for this term. Most were content to allow her to serve out the final two years of her term — until this week.
It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty. While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people.
Feinstein has been absent from the Senate for nearly two months due to complications from a case of shingles. Senators are absent for various reasons all the time. The median age of a Senator is about 65 years old, so health issues come up fairly often. Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman was out for a few months as he sought treatment for depression. The leadership has a lot of practice navigating these situations, but the Feinstein situation presents unique and urgent complications because of her seat on the Judiciary Committee.
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