Will This Be the Year Dianne Feinstein Finally Retires?
- California Representative Katie Porter has already announced her intention to run for the seat. But the 89-year-old senator hasn’t said she’ll step down.
By Sasha Abramsky
Today 5:00 am. (Note: 2023-01Jan-13)
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Feinstein is 89 years old; she will be 91 come the 2024 election. In any reasonable world, having had a more-than-distinguished career, she would now gracefully bow out and make room for the next generation—or even the one after that. She should have done so in 2018, but insisted on staying in the race, scaring off most challengers. The one senior figure who did enter the contest was then–California Senate president pro tem Kevin de León; in the top-two-advance primary, Feinstein received about 44 percent of the vote, and de León came in second, with 12 percent. In the general election later that year, she got 54.2 percent to de León’s 45.8. Her rival went on to be elected to the Los Angeles City Council, and then self-destructed in 2022 when he was caught on tape, along with several colleagues, using racially inflammatory language to mock another council member and his adopted child.
Four years later, Feinstein is approaching 90, and, by all accounts, is a pale shadow of her former self. Last year, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a long article quoting colleagues of Feinstein’s who questioned her mental fitness to remain in office. To date, however, despite ever-louder discussions about her impaired short-term memory and her difficulty performing her senatorial duties, Feinstein has not indicated any retirement plans. Like Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd before her—the former of whom served in the Senate until six months before his death, at the age of 100 in 2003, and the latter of whom died in office at the age of 92—at least one part of the aging senator’s psyche seems to believe that eternal membership in the Senate is some sort of birthright.
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The Dead Old White Guys, in their inifinite wisdom, put an age requirement to be a Senator.
The Seventeenth Amendment took the selection power from the various State legislators and created a whole different system. (Like taking the brakes out of a car!)
So it seems time for a Consititional Amendment to repeal the Seventeenth and introduce 70 as a maximum age.
(I can’t blame the Dead Old White Guys for not envisioning the increase in life span that exceeds the human brain’s capacity in old age.)