Is Feinstein the Canary in the Presidential Coal Mine?

From the New York Times:

“Many Americans say they do not want President Biden to run for re-election, and his age is a big reason. In an NBC News poll released last weekend, 70 percent of adults said Mr. Biden, who is 80, should not run again. Asked if age was a factor, 69 percent of them said yes. Other recent surveys detect a similar lack of enthusiasm, with many voters — including around half of Democrats — calling him too old to seek the White House again.”

Historians will look very favorably on Biden’s first term. I appreciate every single way he’s the complete opposite of the previous President.

But count me among the aforementioned 70%, 69%, and the “around half” group of voters. For one reason. Diane Feinstein.

I can’t criticize California’s voters for electing an octogenarian and then do the same thing. Especially in one’s 80s, as Feinstein demonstrates, mental and physical health can go south very, very quickly. Why take that risk when we don’t have to?

‘Either Know Or Don’t Know’

In 2018, nearly six million Californian voters gave 84 year-old U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein a relatively easy victory over her rival.

Fast forward five years.

From the NYT:

“The grim tableau of her re-emergence on Capitol Hill laid bare a bleak reality known to virtually everyone who has come into contact with her in recent days: She was far from ready to return to work when she did, and she is now struggling to function in a job that demands long days, near-constant engagement on an array of crucial policy issues and high-stakes decision-making.”

Just how unfit is she?

“. . . Ms. Feinstein appeared confused about the warm greeting when a small group of reporters asked about it days later.

“’I haven’t been gone,’ she said. When pressed on whether she meant that she had been working from home, she pushed back in a manner that suggested she might not have been aware of her long and politically charged absence. ‘I’ve been here,’ she said, appearing to grow agitated. ‘I’ve been voting. Please, either know or don’t know.'”

Lots of people are growing agitated at her family and staff for not forcing the issue of her resignation, in part to preserve what’s left of her considerable legacy. But few are digging deep enough to lay the blame with the six million voters who elected her in 2018.

Columbine, Blacksburg, Tucson, Seal Beach, Aurora, Newtown

The National Rifle Association has gone silent, hoping that we conclude there’s an inevitability to gun violence, call it an unfortunate cost of Second Amendment rights to gun ownership. That’s the exact reason we can’t become desensitized to the steady stream of incomprehensible violence.

We have to spend the next few months insisting that our Congressional representatives take the actions that Michael Bloomberg and Diane Feinstein described on Sunday’s Meet the Press.

We have to learn to think about mental illnesses like physical illnesses and advocate for more accessible and affordable care for the mentally ill.

We have to insist on people’s rights. To go to school, to go shopping, and to go to a movie without fear.

We have to resist the urge to arm more people. On the same Meet the Press, Bill Bennett (pundits should be like yogurt and have expiration dates) said we should probably have an armed security guard in every school. I thought of that when I walked into my YMCA Sunday afternoon to workout. The doors open for anyone and the membership check-in is about 30 to 40 feet inside the building. I passed 20+ people before having to show my membership card. Sometimes when the line is long, I just slide in behind it and head to the locker or weightroom. So unless we’re going to install TSA-like security at every YMCA, mall, and theater, I don’t see armed school guards as a solution. I recommend Jim Fallows position on this and his most recent Atlantic piece on the shootings (and Goldberg’s which he references).

We have to ask why, according to Mother Jones, since 1982, males are responsible for 61 out of 62 mass murders with firearms across the country. What does the fact that some young men more than young women want to physically injure and/or kill others say about our parenting of boys, our schools, and our culture? What changes in our parenting, schools, and culture are needed?

Lastly, an impassioned debate among two female writers—I am Adam Lanza’s Mother and Don’t Compare Your Son to Adam Lanza.