Senator Dianne Feinstein came back to the Senate earlier this month after being out from February to May — reportedly for shingles.
But upon her return, the 89-year-old senator showed just she just how confused she was when asked by reporters how she was welcomed back by her colleagues. Feinstein said she hadn’t been gone, “No, I haven’t been gone,” Feinstein said. “You should follow the — I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working.”
Now there’s another report about her condition and how long this confusion has been going on, and it’s a doozy.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, was reportedly confused last year after observing Vice President Kamala Harris presiding over the Senate for a tie-breaking vote.
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Feinstein, 89, appeared unaware during one vote as to why Harris, who had previously broken numerous ties, was taking up her role as president of the Senate, according to a report from The New York Times.
A witness included in the report said Feinstein allegedly asked colleagues, “What is she doing here?”
This isn’t a one-off. As we’ve noted, her former aides and other lawmakers have said that she needs help from aides to fulfill her basic duties, even telling her how and when she should vote, and telling her what’s going on when she gets confused. This new report shows also that it’s not just a recent confusion but that it’s been going on for some time.
Feinstein has already announced that she intends to not run again, although she appeared confused about that as well. So why doesn’t she just resign already as she’s not well? Because that gets right into the middle of the battle to replace her.
Leftists want Feinstein gone. Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA); Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY); Ritchie Torres (D- NY); and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), have all called for her to resign.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom has already promised that he would appoint a black woman to fill any future vacancies, which is likely Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) although there has been some talk that Oprah Winfrey might be on the consideration list.
But some of the powers that be want the execrable Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) to succeed Feinstein and so would like to stave off that possibility of appointment, figuring he would win in a Senate election in 2024. But to do that means you have to keep Feinstein in the seat in the condition that she’s in for more than a year. Then we see reports of her being aided by her “close friend” Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter.
Meanwhile, this information is now being leaked to outlets like the New York Times. Ordinarily, they don’t publish rumors like this (it’s more of a POLITICO or Axios thing), but this is being leaked for the sole purpose of putting pressure on Feinstein.
This is more than a little unseemly — that they’re willing to put Feinstein through all this for political gamesmanship. Even Hillary Clinton admitted part of the calculation going into this, while also tipping off that Feinstein had encephalitis as well, which can affect clarity of thought. But she blamed Republicans. Because of course she did.
I want you to think about how crummy that is. I don’t know in her heart about whether she really would or wouldn’t, but right now, she can’t. Because if we’re going to get judges confirmed, which is one of the most important continuing obligations that we have, then we cannot afford to have her seat vacant.
If Republicans were to say and do the decent thing and say, well this woman was gravely ill, she had just lost her husband to cancer… of course we will let you fill this position if she retires. But they won’t say that. So what are we supposed to do? All these people pushing her to retire: fine, we get no more judges? I don’t think that’s a good tradeoff.
It isn’t the Republicans who are the crummy ones here. Newsom can appoint a replacement. But how scummy and political is that comment? That’s Hillary — but that’s the other Democrats involved in this mess as well. None of them give a rap about Feinstein or what they might be putting her through. It’s all about how they can hold onto power and/or get what they want.