Suffering people deserve our compassion and mercy.
As an 89-year-old woman in a relatively advanced state of dementia, recently hospitalized for shingles, Diane Feinstein is certainly seem entitled at least that much.
But only as an 89-year-old woman.
As California’s senior representative in the U.S. Senate, however, she deserves nothing but our contempt.
After all, you can feel bad for someone with failing eye sight and fading motor skills and still blame them for smashing into a throng of pedestrians on the sidewalk. It’s not their diminished health you hold against them, but their wildly irresponsible and endangering behavior. People who can’t see shouldn’t be driving; nor should people whose reflexes aren’t up to the job.
Feinstein may not know the extent to which her faculties are failing, but everyone around her certainly does. There were already whispers a couple of years ago—from Democrats—to the effect that she was no longer capable of carrying out her senatorial duties. Her condition has only worsened: recall the news accounts just a few weeks ago about her having been taken by surprise by news of her own decision not to seek re-election.
TV2 news evidently thinks her deteriorating condition is worthy of Danes’ attention and cuts right to the heart of its significance:
Sick senator creates problems for Democrats
Ritzau/TV2 News, April 17
Feinstein has been on sick leave since March and has thus put various (Senate) political projects on hold. This applies, among other things, to the discussion about whether the US government should raise the debt ceiling.
Several Democrats therefore called on the 89-year-old politician to resign last week.
The article makes no mention of the senator’s dementia. It refers only to her shingles.
On Wednesday, Feinstein announced that she is temporarily stepping down from her seat on the Judiciary Committee while she recovers from her illness.
She is on sick leave due to shingles, which is a painful rash.
Shingles is indeed painful. Poor Democrats!
The Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate of 51 seats to the Republicans’ 49, but because Feinstein works from home, she is barred from voting.
“We need her vote in the Senate sooner or later. We have issues like the debt ceiling in front of us,” says Amy Klobuchar, another Democratic senator, to the media ABC according to the Reuters news agency.
Hmm… without Feinstein Democrats still have an effective 50-49 majority thanks to Kamala Harris holding the Senate tie-breaker as Vice President. Something else is clearly going on, but TV2 News won’t waste its readers time getting into that.
Feinstein’s pretty well armored against criticism: she’s a Democratic female senator, so under leftist rules of engagement criticism is only permitted from other female Democrats.
Klobuchar is therefore allowed to express a little impatience without being smeared into oblivion, while their colleague Kirsten Gillibrand is helpfully allowed to express a little support without being dismissed as unrealistic:
On Sunday, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand defended her colleague Dianne Feinstein, who is currently on sick leave from the US Senate, according to CNN.
“She will return to work,” Gillibrand told CNN about the sick Democratic colleague, who many want to resign.
Diane Feinstein isn’t going to return to work, ever. Because Diane Feinstein has already left the building. The withered and desiccated old husk of Diane Feinstein is all that’s left. Democrats don’t really give a damn about the 89-year-old woman: all that matters to them is whether she can vote. If the empty shell that remains of her can be manipulated into casting senatorial votes, then all is well. If it cannot… bye-bye DiFi.
On the American right, Feinstein has earned the sobriquet “Fetterman West.” Not because she’s a radically leftist U.S. Senator from a western state and John Fetterman is a radically leftist U.S. Senator from an eastern state (Pennsylvania), but because they’re both so mentally incapacitated as to be unable to carry out their senatorial duties.
Fetterman suffered a stroke in the early days of his campaign. He kept a low profile, the Democrat-sympathetic press didn’t ask too many questions, and despite his obvious infirmities—he’s unable to process spoken language—he was easily voted into the U.S. Senate.
He’s spent most of his term in hospitals and home care and has therefore also been mostly unable to vote. That’s another vote the Democrats are missing in the Senate.
The lone establishment journalist who directly addressed Fetterman’s diminished cognitive functioning was publicly shamed: the candidate’s wife went so far as to call it ableism, and to demand “consequences” for the journalist.
NBC News’ Dacha Burns said that in small talk before the formal interview, “it wasn’t clear he understood what I was saying.” She pointed out that stroke experts say this does not mean there is any cognitive impairment.
The comment drew fire from Republicans who said it proved Fetterman was unfit for the job duties of the Senate, and from others who said the comment was ableist.
Slapping an -ist or an -ism onto something doesn’t automatically create an insidious new form of human bigotry.
We should all be “ableist” with respect to our elected officials. If they’re not able to do their jobs, we ought not to elect them. If they lose that ability while in office, we ought to able to get them out of there.
Texas Governor Greg Abbot is paralyzed from the waist down. He’s confined to a wheelchair. If gubernatorial duties required kick-boxing, I’d be the first to call for his removal from office. But they don’t—not to my knowledge—so his ambulatory limitations are irrelevant.
I’m not “ableist” firstly because there’s no such thing, and secondly because I’m capable of understanding which abilities are and are not necessary for doing any given job. Within America, the Senate is often called “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” Analysis: false, but that’s irrelevant. It’s supposed to be a great deliberative body. That gives you a pretty good idea of its purpose, and what ought to be expected of its members.
How can people who can’t think properly be expected to deliberate?
Fetterman’s prolonged absence has been attributed not just to recovery from his stroke but also (reportedly) the psychological depression arising from the consequences of that stroke.
Feinstein and Fetterman are unable to think clearly. (I know the story was all about her shingles, but that’s just the garbage partisan press doing its thing. And clinical depression is no disqualification for public office, but an inability to process spoken language certainly ought to be.) Feinstein and Fetterman are both cognitively impaired. Neither of them is capable of lucid deliberation.
But the real story here, TV2 News wants Danes to understand, is that the “sick” Feinstein is a problem for Democrats.
They worked so hard to get a stroke victim into office! Labored so tirelessly and for so long to conceal Feinstein’s cognitive decline from the public! And this is their reward? A senate majority that’s unable to muster majority votes?
Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch of people.