Well, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s mental capacities were failing. She was attacked by her fellow Democrats anonymously during the Amy Coney Barrett Supreme Court fight, with unnamed persons saying that a) she’s too weak to fight the ACB nomination, and b) she has “noticeably slowed in recent years,” as Politico noted. After Amy Coney Barrett cruised to confirmation to replace the SCOTUS vacancy left by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Feinstein was all but scalped by the progressive left. She announced she wouldn’t serve as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress. This comes after prolonged discussions with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. When Feinstein was attacked for how she handled the Democratic opposition to ACB during her confirmation hearings, Schumer refused to defend her. The writing was on the wall. And now, The New Yorker has another piece about how the California liberal’s mental facilities appear to be shot:
Some former Feinstein aides insist that rumors of her cognitive decline have been exaggerated, and that video clips taken out of context can make almost anyone look foolish. They also bridle at singling out her condition, because declining male senators, including Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina, and Robert Byrd, of West Virginia, were widely known by the end of their careers to be non-compos mentis. “For his last ten years, Strom Thurmond didn’t know if he was on foot or on horseback,” one former Senate aide told me. The former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, is said to have snapped at a staffer who claimed to be relaying what Byrd thought. “Knock it off,” Reid supposedly said. “Everyone knows it’s what you think.” In contrast, one former aide to Feinstein argues that, even if her faculties are diminished, “she’s still smarter and quicker than at least a third of the other members.”
But many others familiar with Feinstein’s situation describe her as seriously struggling, and say it has been evident for several years. Speaking on background, and with respect for her accomplished career, they say her short-term memory has grown so poor that she often forgets she has been briefed on a topic, accusing her staff of failing to do so just after they have. They describe Feinstein as forgetting what she has said and getting upset when she can’t keep up. One aide to another senator described what he called a “Kabuki” meeting in which Feinstein’s staff tried to steer her through a proposed piece of legislation that she protested was “just words” which “make no sense.” Feinstein’s staff has said that sometimes she seems herself, and other times unreachable. “The staff is in such a bad position,” a former Senate aide who still has business in Congress said. “They have to defend her and make her seem normal.”
Feinstein has always been known as a difficult taskmaster. She is said to have told someone applying for a job in her office, “I don’t get ulcers—I give them.” A stickler for detail, she demanded to see every page going out of her office with her name on it. But with her diminishing capacity, this has become increasingly difficult. The former Senate staffer who still works with Congress declared, “It’s been a disaster.” As the ranking Democrat, Feinstein ordinarily would be expected to run the Party’s strategy on issues of major national importance, including judicial nominations. Instead, the committee has been hamstrung and disorganized. “Other members were constantly trying to go around her because, as chair, she didn’t want to do anything, and she also didn’t want them doing anything,” the former Senate staffer said. A current aide to a different Democratic senator observed sadly, “She’s an incredibly effective human being, but there’s definitely been deterioration in the last year. She’s in a very different mode now.”
According to several sources, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Minority Leader, was so worried that Feinstein would mismanage Barrett’s confirmation hearings that he installed a trusted former aide, Max Young, to “embed” in the Judiciary Committee to make sure the hearings didn’t go off the rails. He had done the same during Kavanaugh’s confirmation as well. Schumer brought Young in from the gun-control group Everytown to handle strategy and communications and serve as Schumer’s “eyes and ears” on Feinstein, as one Senate source put it. Schumer’s office declined to comment.
On one hand, what was Feinstein supposed to do? The Democratic playbook against her was thin. They could attack her Catholic faith—this is the party that hates God—but they couldn’t risk infuriating a massive voter bloc that close to an election. Instead, they tried to hit her on gun rights, abortion, Obamacare, and a host of other issues, which now-Justice Barrett answered with ease. In all, this wasn’t a controversial pick, nor was the timing. The longer the hearings continued, the more popular confirming ACB became; she was eminently qualified to be a Supreme Court judge. The hearings proved that. So, what was Dianne to do? Of course, progressive wanted her to roast ACB over having religious faith, something that the vast majority of this country holds dear. And yet, these leaks are definitely designed to put pressure on Feinstein regarding running for another term in 2024. We have reports that an intervention was staged regarding her mental state. And Democrats have gone quiet regarding these new details. She’s 87. She’s a stalwart of the Democratic establishment. Her hugging of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) during the ACB hearings made her anathema to the Left. They want her gone. And yes, she’s a tough cookie, which is why lefties who want her gone have started hammering her years before she makes a final decision about re-election.