Feinstein Struggling with Basic Senate Tasks, Reportedly Confused on Vice President's Role in Chamber


When even The New York Times is blowing the whistle on a Democratic lawmaker, the rest of the country should be listening.

The reliably liberal newspaper has built a readership on running interference for Democrats who get in trouble — most famously for covering up the self-evident corruption of the Joe Biden presidency.

So when it publishes a damning piece that basically accuses a prominent senator of operating as a puppet for her staff, it’s a good chance the situation is even worse for the American public.

A lengthy article by Times congressional correspondent Annie Karni published Monday describes what amounts to an influential lawmaker who is utterly dependent on unelected staff members.

The lawmaker is California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. And it’s a picture no American should accept.

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“They push her wheelchair, remind her how and when she should vote and step in to explain what is happening when she grows confused,” Karni wrote.

They “remind” her how to vote? That’s a polite way of saying the men and women around Feinstein — not the senator herself — are making decisions about the country’s tax money, its national defense, its border security and the countless other issues federal lawmakers have in front of them.

And as far as a staff that needs to “step in to explain what is happening when she grows confused,” that sounds like it happens a good deal more than even Democrats who support the doddering Biden in the White House should be comfortable with.

In one case the Times report described, Feinstein didn’t understand why Vice President Kamala Harris had returned to the upper chamber to cast a tie-breaking vote.

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“What is she doing here?” the senator asked.

While conservatives might have the same question in a broad sense — what is Harris doing in the vice presidency anyway? — the context shows Feinstein, a veteran of the Senate since 1992, didn’t remember that a basic rule of the body is that a tie vote can only be broken by the vice president.

It’s the kind of thing you’d think might stick after 30 years or so.

There’s more — like how staffers try to shield Feinstein from reporters and photographers and how her office runs essentially on autopilot.

But all of it is haunting — and considering it’s The New York Times essentially attacking its own political party, it’s illuminating in illustrating not only Feinstein’s problems but the Times’ choice of targets.

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Democrats have a one-vote majority in the Senate now, thanks to 48 Democratic senators and three independents who caucus with the Democrats (Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Maine Sen. Angus King and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema).

One of those Democratic votes is Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman, a man still clearly debilitated from a stroke he suffered in May 2022 (yet who somehow still got elected, bless those Pennsylvania Democrats).

Another, of course, is Feinstein — a woman who all evidence suggests is completely incapable of fulfilling the duties of a United States senator.

Sensible Americans wouldn’t trust either one to boil water without worrying about the house burning down, but they essentially comprise the Democratic majority in the upper chamber of Congress.

The Times hasn’t gotten around to an honest appraisal of Fetterman yet — a piece Karni wrote in March took on a noticeably upbeat, cheerful tone, considering her subject was in hospital being treated for clinical depression.

In all likelihood, that’s because Pennsylvania is a battleground state — Fetterman might have lost had the Republican candidate not been television celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz — while solidly blue California is a safe seat for Democrats regardless of who is running.

(It’s so safe that even a parasitic leach such as Rep. Adam Schiff is a virtual lock to win it on Feinstein’s retirement if he wins the Democratic primary.)

The Times can come clean safely about Feinstein knowing full well that her presence or absence won’t change the balance of power in the Senate. (It would just make her staff a good deal less powerful.)

So the so-called newspaper of record doesn’t get any props for committing journalism when it comes to Feinstein.

From a political point of view, it’s a wash.

But it’s still worth paying attention to for the rest of the country. Because when the Times is sticking a fork in a Democratic lawmaker, it means she’s done.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.