[guest post by JVW]
The headline isn’t technically true, actually, because the good Senator promises to rattle around Washington for the next twenty-two months until her term ends.
California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein announced Tuesday that she will retire at the end of her term.
“I am announcing today I will not run for reelection in 2024, but intend to accomplish as much for California as I can through the end of next year when my term ends,” Feinstein said in her announcement.
At 89, Feinstein is the oldest senator. She said she plans to spend the remainder of her tenure working on a few legislative priority projects for her state.
“I campaigned in 2018 on several priorities for California and the nation: preventing and combating wildfires, mitigating the effects of record-setting drought, responding to the homelessness crisis and ensuring all Americans have access to affordable, high-quality healthcare,” she said in her statement.
As longtime readers of my dyspeptic blather know, I hold no affection for Senator Feinstein, a stereotypical San Francisco Liberal with all of the requisite social positions yet who at the same time can be counted on to protect the interests of the very wealthy; a swamp chiseler who had no problem with her husband increasing the family fortune through lucrative government contracts; a stalwart in the naïve (or cynical) belief that passing federal legislation magically cures social problems; a hardball political operative who hides behind a facade of grandmotherly decorum; a shameless hypocrite when it suits her purposes; an unwitting stooge for China; and various other sins of commission and omission. Sure, once in a while she has the good sense to ask difficult questions of her own allies, but oftentimes that strikes friend and foe alike as empty posturing, trying to enhance her brand as a centrist who dwells above petty partisan interests. The only truly endearing thing about her is that she eventually became a pariah among her own party’s activists, but to the degree that they grew tired of her because of her selfish politics, feather-nesting, and grandiose sense of entitlement, well, count me on their side.
Anyway, California Democrats had already been lining up to replace her. Thus far we have the execrable Katie Porter — she of the really slick taxpayer-supported housing deal — who strikes me as being Elizabeth Warren without the awesomely ridiculous far-fetched biographical stories; Adam Schiff, destined to see how far Trump hatred can take you in an avocado republic like California; and almost certainly Barbara Lee, for whom the year will forever be 1968 and the place will forever be the East Bay. Left to be determined is if any other Democrats (you aren’t going to ever get that Ambassador to India job, Eric Garcetti, and Ted Lieu, this might be your last chance to move beyond being a piddly back-bench Twitter warrior) think they have a pathway to the election.
Whomever wins and finds themselves side-by-side with Schmuck Schumer and Cocaine Mitch next year, let’s hope they see the office as a place to accomplish important things for the people of California and the United States for the next six to twelve years, not as a cozy sinecure in which to grow decrepit and somnolent over the next one-third of a century.