Sen. Dianne Feinstein is, to put it politely, not at her peak these days. Ever since her infamously bad handling of the Amy Coney Barrett hearings, and the many reports that she is not quite “there” cognitively speaking, Feinstein has seemed to fade into the background a bit. But when she does pop up to give a comment, it is inevitably conservative, blinkered, and deeply unhelpful to any meaningful government reforms. (Sometimes Feinstein is then forced, presumably by her staff, to clean up her comments, lest her unguarded thoughts are left hanging around too long.)
So it was today when CNN asked Feinstein about whether or not Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer should retire. Note: Stephen Breyer should definitely retire, right this second, as I never tire of saying. Other senators were content to offer more general comments about how pressuring Breyer to go might not be the best idea, but Feinstein took a different tack:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Breyer’s retirement would be a “great loss.” Now in her late 80s, the California Democrat has also heard recent calls from longtime supporters for her to retire and open up a Senate seat for someone else.
“My general belief is, if a person is serving with integrity and working hard and producing for whatever the constituency is, that’s what these jobs are all about,” said Feinstein.
Cut to me systematically bashing my head against the wall. As CNN notes, Feinstein is clearly taking a thinly-veiled swipe at everyone who has called on her to give up her Senate seat for the trivial reason that she is widely reported to be in a state of advanced cognitive decline. Someone who was realistic about the political stakes involved in Breyer’s continued occupation of a Supreme Court seat, or, for that matter, about her own ability to continue doing her very important job, might not have been so eager to prop up a man who absolutely should not keep sitting on the Supreme Court. But Feinstein is not that someone. Cool great thanks.