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Is there really a need for another long feature story about how Sen. Dianne Feinstein is senile and needs to go? You wouldn’t think so, but New York magazine has a long cover story about how she’s lost it. Yes—strange that a magazine with a supposed focus on New York would be so interested in California’s very senior senator, and while the piece is swathed in lots of sympathetic biography for her 52-year career in public office (!), the subtext that she needs to go is impossible to disguise effectively, starting with the unflattering cover photo which makes her look like a cadaver.
Then there are the savage passages repeating and embellishing previous reporting:
Feinstein, who turns 89 in June, is older than any other sitting member of Congress. Her declining cognitive health has been the subject of recent reporting in both her hometown San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. It seems clear that Feinstein is mentally compromised, even if she’s not all gone. . .
Reached by phone two days after 19 children were murdered in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in late May, Feinstein spoke in halting tones, sometimes trailing off mid-sentence or offering a non sequitur before suddenly alighting upon the right string of words. She would forget a recently posed question, or the date of a certain piece of legislation, but recall with perfect lucidity events from San Francisco in the 1960s. Nothing she said suggested a deterioration beyond what would be normal for a person her age, but neither did it demonstrate any urgent engagement with the various crises facing the nation.
I think there are two things behind the left’s open campaign to dispatch Feinstein. First, Feinstein has never been left enough for the left. The New York story more or less admits this with several veiled criticisms such as these:
As the storied career of one of the nation’s longest-serving Democrats approaches its end, it’s easy to wonder how the generation whose entry into politics was enabled by progressive reforms has allowed those victories to be taken away. And how a woman who began her career with the support of conservationist communities in San Francisco, and who staked her political identity on advancing women’s rights, is now best known to young people as the senator who scolded environmental-activist kids in her office in 2019 and embraced Lindsey Graham after the 2020 confirmation hearings of Amy Coney Barrett, a Supreme Court justice who appears to be the fifth and final vote to end the constitutional right to an abortion. As Feinstein told Graham, “This is one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in.” . . .
The mention of Barrett is the second reason the left is mad at her. It was Feinstein’s screw-up in Barrett’s confirmation hearing for her appointment to the Seventh Circuit in 2017 that assured Barrett’s eventual confirmation to the Supreme Court. Feinstein complained to Barrett that “the dogma lives loudly within you,” which thrilled bubbled-lefties, but appeared as rank anti-Catholic bigotry to almost everyone else. It meant it would be more difficult to repeat that line of attack when she was nominated to succeed RBG. And Feinstein knew it. It was an unforgivable blunder to the serious left, and now they want to make her pay for it.
Chaser—always the climate angle:
Well, clearly she has to go!
Chaser 2—while doing some background reading for this post, I stumbled across this story:
“I’m certainly not a scientist,” she said when asked by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) whether she had a personal opinion on the issue. . .
Jamal Raad, campaign director of the green group Evergreen Action, called her response “disqualifying.” “It is a requirement that a Supreme Court Justice be able to review evidence to make a decision,” he said. “The scientific evidence of climate change is beyond reasonable doubt or debate, yet Amy Coney Barrett refused to acknowledge reality.”
A terrific piece of “ventriloquist journalism” by the very left Post reporter on this beat.
Funny how no one in the media thought it “disqualifying” when Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson said “I am not a biologist” when asked the simple question, “What is a woman?” Even though “women” as an intelligible category appear in a lot of statutes that judges have to interpret.