Collins: No time like the present to do the right thing, Sen. Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein is giving old age a bad name.

Of course, it’s painful to see Feinstein, who’s served in the Senate for more than 30 years, suffering from what commentators delicately call diminished mental capacity. She’s 89, in poor health and having trouble getting to work even when she’s really needed.

Feinstein has already announced she won’t run for reelection next year, but it’s time for her to set a good example and retire immediately. The country shouldn’t discriminate against older workers, and older workers shouldn’t insist on staying in jobs they can no longer really carry out.

“I haven’t been gone. I’ve been here,” she crankily and inaccurately told a reporter who tried to question her when she returned to the Capitol in a wheelchair.

The Judiciary Committee is at the core of this drama. The Democrats have a majority of exactly one. If Feinstein isn’t there, the Biden administration can’t get many judicial nominations through.

Which is delighting the Republicans, who are making no effort whatsoever to find a middle ground — like letting Feinstein take a leave from the committee with a temporary replacement. And Feinstein will not quit. So everything important involves trying to drag her in.

“She can vote, and she seems to understand what the votes are,” a Democratic senator told me defensively.

Not the way to end a career!

The Feinstein saga is promoting a growing ageism in some political quarters. Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and current presidential contender, has proposed a mental competency test for all candidates older than 75. We are sure this has nothing to do with the fact that Haley, 51, is competing against Trump, 76, for the Republican nomination.

Hardly need to mention that President Joe Biden is 80. Now that 44-year-old Ron DeSantis is in the running, you can bet you’ll be hearing a lot from DeSantis supporters about age, even though their guy sometimes seems unable to get his youthful brain to remember a stump speech.

Feinstein’s friends occasionally suggest calls for her resignation are simply sex discrimination. “I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate in that way,” said Nancy Pelosi.

But some of those old guys did give us excellent examples of sticking around too long. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina was still a senator when he was 100. In his later years he had trouble hearing, and — let’s talk about people being unwilling to admit their age — he refused to use a hearing aid. After debates, his aides would just tell him how to vote.

“He neither smoked nor drank, did more pushups and situps than many men decades younger and fathered children into his mid-70s,” said The New York Times in Thurmond’s 2003 obituary. “He was also known for fondling women in Senate elevators, including a woman who turned out to be a fellow senator, much to his surprise.”

Would you want to end your story like that, people? Under a headline announcing “Foe of Integration Dies at 100”?

OK, nobody wants to live …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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