Dianne Feinstein Calls It a Day
[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.
There’s more than a decent chance that Sen. Feinstein would have lost her bid for reelection anyway. A lot has changed over the past five years, both in the state and nationally.JVW (125066) — 2/14/2023 @ 1:30 pm
Thanks for this post, JVW. I missed your Great writing.felipe (77b190) — 2/14/2023 @ 2:15 pm
So, quit beating around the bush, are you gonna miss her?AJ_Liberty (5f05c3) — 2/14/2023 @ 2:20 pm
She shouldn’t have run for reelection in 2018. Her condition was deteriorated back then.Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 2/14/2023 @ 2:24 pm
How to tell when a Senator is well past her sell-by date: Her own staff pushes her out the door.Paul Montagu (8f0dc7) — 2/14/2023 @ 2:45 pm
Jim Gergahty rightfully asks if we now can start to talk about Sen. Feinstein’s diminished mental capacity over the past few years. This brings up a very interesting question: If the Senator were to retire early due to her infirmities, whom would Governor Newsom appoint to the seat in her place?
The person he chooses would most decidedly have a leg up in the 2024 race, should he or she want the job permanently. Let’s say for argument’s sake that Joe Biden soon announces that he plans to seek reelection. If Sen. Feinstein should resign later this spring, would Greasy Gavin dare to appoint himself to the seat, figuring that it would be something to do until he runs for the White House in 2028, and at the same time extricating himself from the slow-bore decline of the Golden State? Plus, he can always take credit for giving California its first female governor, as Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis would move over to the main chair. Does he have the sand to pull such a clearly self interested move or would this be a step too far, even for an otherwise preoccupied and ignorant electorate like we have in the Golden State?JVW (125066) — 2/14/2023 @ 2:47 pm
Bloomberg News tweeted this:
It’s long past time for her to retire. I really can’t see how’s she’s accomplished much that actually benefited California. And she’s had plenty long enough to do so. People like Feinstein make me want some serious term limits. The longer politicians can stay in office, the bigger the opportunity to come out of office a millionaire.Dana (1225fc) — 2/14/2023 @ 3:00 pm
Feinstein’s father was a surgeon and her mom had been a model, so I’m guessing she grew up in a very comfortable household. Her three marriages were to, in order, a lawyer, a neurosurgeon, and an investment banker. Unlike the Biden family, I’m guessing that Sen. Feinstein didn’t need the trappings of Washington DC to acquire sizable wealth. Though it is also very clear that her last husband, Mr. Blum, did very nicely while his wife — ahem, ahem — “served” our country.JVW (125066) — 2/14/2023 @ 3:39 pm
Meanwhile, the GOP could nominate Jesus and He would lose 60-40.
Which brings me to the subject of campaigning in modern America. How much campaigning can you actually do? TV ads are either not seen or zipped through on the DVR. Adblockers are common on the Interwebs. And besides, everybody votes a month early by mail and how they decide is anyone’s guess. Debates? Maybe for president, but really who watches the Senate debate?
In the end, it is mostly in the hands of the news media, and what they let through their filter. It may not be unbiased.Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/14/2023 @ 4:38 pm
I agree with Paul, she shouldn’t have run last time. (maybe not the time before that either). It’s definitely more than time for her to retire.Nic (896fdf) — 2/14/2023 @ 6:08 pm
Marc Thiessen in 2018 asked:
Imagine if it emerged that the Republican chairman of the House or Senate intelligence committee had a Russian spy working on their staff. Think it would cause a political firestorm? Well, this month we learned that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) had a Chinese spy on her staff who worked for her for about 20 years, was listed as an “office director” on payroll records and served as her driver when she was in San Francisco, all while reporting to China’s Ministry of State Security through China’s San Francisco Consulate. The reaction of the mainstream media? Barely a peep.
Feinstein acknowledged the infiltration but played down its significance. “Five years ago the FBI informed me it had concerns that an administrative member of my California staff was potentially being sought out by the Chinese government to provide information,” Feinstein said in a statement — which means the breach took place while Feinstein was heading the Intelligence Committee. But, Feinstein insisted, “he never had access to classified or sensitive information or legislative matters” and was immediately fired. In other words: junior staffer, no policy role, no access to secrets, quickly fired — no big deal.
But it is a big deal. I asked several former senior intelligence and law enforcement officials how serious this breach might have been. “It’s plenty serious,” one former top Justice Department official told me. “Focusing on his driver function alone, in Mafia families, the boss’s driver was among the most trusted men in the crew, because among other things he heard everything that was discussed in the car.”steveg (925b24) — 2/14/2023 @ 6:39 pm
She’ll be 90 in June. OTOH Iowa’s Grassley is running and he’ll be 90 in September.DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 2/14/2023 @ 6:51 pm
Barbara Lee would make a great senator only person in congress to vote against both afganistan and irag wars. The only other congresswoman to do so was Jeanette Rankin. She is AOC’s role model. Katie Porter would be nearly as good. That lying punk adam “schifty” schiff is a political hack and deserved to be kicked off the intelligence committee.asset (4a6b3c) — 2/15/2023 @ 12:11 am
The Dem infrastructure does not want fat Klobuchar because that opens her Orange County seat back up for the Rs.urbanleftbehind (6fd15a) — 2/15/2023 @ 6:18 am
There is a substantial risk here of the Democrats splitting the vote and letting two Republicans into the general.aphrael (d92e47) — 2/15/2023 @ 11:49 pm
Barbara Lee would be 78 when elected and 84 when her term ended. This strikes me as a bad idea; she should be retiring, not seeking a long term in a new office.aphrael (d92e47) — 2/15/2023 @ 11:50 pm
Barbara Lee would be 78 when elected and 84 when her term ended. This strikes me as a bad idea; she should be retiring, not seeking a long term in a new office.
Not to mention being rather to the Left of California. It’s conceivable that a sane Republican could beat her.Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/16/2023 @ 5:49 am
There is a substantial risk here of the Democrats splitting the vote and letting two Republicans into the general.
Somehow this seems fair to me.Kevin M (1ea396) — 2/16/2023 @ 5:50 am
LOL! The Republican registration in California is barely ahead of “decline to state” (23.85% v. 22.5%), which roughly equals the total Democratic registration (46.87%).Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/16/2023 @ 5:25 pm
Source for post 19.Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/16/2023 @ 5:26 pm
Why do you put up with all the California nonsense, Rip?
Are nice weather and a coastline that important?norcal (7345e5) — 2/16/2023 @ 6:23 pm
Yes. Nice house within walking distance to the beach, great weather. I prefer my winters warm.Rip Murdock (d2a2a8) — 2/17/2023 @ 9:01 am