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"Just say aye," Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Patty Murray repeatedly pleaded to Feinstein during the vote. Eventually, Feinstein did just that.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Thursday appeared confused and attempted to deliver a longer speech during a Senate hearing, the latest in a string of episodes that have raised further questions about her ability to continue serving in office.

"Just say aye," Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Patty Murray repeatedly pleaded with her colleague.

Instead of a short reply, Feinstein began her response by saying, "I would like to support a yes vote on this, it provides $823 billion ...." As the California Democrat continued to speak, an aide also intervened to try to remind the lawmaker that this was not the time for speeches.

"OK," Feinstein then said as Murray reminded her one final time to "just say aye." "Aye," she finally said.

[article continues]

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[–] givesomefucks 29 points 11 months ago (2 children)

The reason national party leadership keeps propping her up, is because the vast amount of people leading the party is also too old to be in office, or will be before their next term is over.

It's like wondering why cops never turn on the "bad apples" there's an unspoken agreement that everyone has everyone's back. Unless theyre progressive and/or a rising star like Franklin, then their treated worse than republicans because they're a bigger threat to party leaders who occupy seats that will never go republican

[–] joe 52 points 11 months ago (1 children)

No, it's because she's the deciding vote on the judiciary committee and is needed to confirm judges. I'm not saying it like that's much better, but it's not because they're a bunch of old folks looking out for each other.

[–] [email protected] 35 points 11 months ago

This is the answer. She doesn't just get replaced instantaneously and she absolutely doesn't get her committee positions filled quickly, if at all. She took things too far to turn back. The GOP will stall any committee replacement for Feinstein. It's already too late. At this point, pulling a Weekend at Bernie's is unfortunately the preferable solution.

https://rollcall.com/2023/04/17/replacing-feinstein-can-be-complicated-senate-history-shows/

[–] [email protected] 3 points 11 months ago

i think there's a state-level issue going on too. the gov would need to appoint someone and i don't know that's something he wants to do right now.

[–] [email protected] 15 points 11 months ago

I don't disagree this could be considered "news". And I don't want to weigh in on what's already been covered very well by the commenters here. I just want to point out "businessinsider" isn't a real news organization per se, as they recycle other links often. And they very much supported Trump throughout his setting fire to American democracy.

So it doesn't surprise me to see them publish a "counterbalance" article to go out after Moscow Mitch Ate The Big One.

[–] [email protected] 8 points 11 months ago (2 children)

Who are the voters that gave her another term? That is the issue. Are there literally zero other candidates who could have stepped up?

[–] azdood85 4 points 11 months ago

We are suffering with that all along the west coast.

People complain and bitch all the time then just vote in the incumbent or a recycled version of them. Mostly because those already in power have bent their knee to corporations and lobbies, so as long as they play ball the campaign funding will keep flowing.

Most primary attempts are just drowned out by the money and fatigue of voters seeing too mant candidates that say the same thing... so incumbet it is.

Then comes the election where they get to choose, the same old thing OR some maga qanon crazy ready to take away basic human rights.

It sucks.

[–] [email protected] 2 points 11 months ago

Incumbency advantage is huge. People have seen her name on the roles for years, decades. It's a familiar sight so it's a lot harder to win a primary. And the party is afraid a new face would win the general and flip the seat to Republicans. So it's "safer" to keep an ineffectual incumbent in since they can be controlled, mostly.

[–] [email protected] 5 points 11 months ago

Pretty emblematic of modern day US politics.

[–] trumpetmouth 5 points 11 months ago (3 children)
[–] joe 7 points 11 months ago (1 children)

It's never going to happen. She's the deciding vote on the judiciary committee. Without her it's deadlocked, which means no more federal judges. You can say what you want about how how terrible it is that she didn't retire decades ago and I'll agree with you wholeheartedly, but I'm not sure I even want her to retire if it means no more sane judges get confirmed.

In case it isn't clear. Her Congress seat can be filled, but the committee seats she holds need to be voted on, and it can be filibustered. The GOP won't let Dems reassigned those seats to another Dem; they'll remain open until next session.

[–] [email protected] 3 points 11 months ago (2 children)

How are committee seats ever filled?

[–] joe 6 points 11 months ago

This is an excellent question, haha. At the start of the session, they're voted in all at the same time. So if anyone thinks to filibuster, they're also blocking their own seats. In fact, during normal operation, this process is done using "unanimous consent". They don't even bother with an actual vote because it's always unanimous, because it's all or nothing. If feinstein retires, the vote to fill her seats will be only for her seats.

Edit: sorry about the double post.

[–] [email protected] 6 points 11 months ago (1 children)

She has already ruined her legacy, much like Ruth Bader Ginsburg did. Fortunately, she doesn't seem to have caused as much damage (yet) as RGB did with her clutching onto power until death.

[–] [email protected] 3 points 11 months ago (1 children)

I love my Ruth Ginsburg Bader gaming keyboard.

[–] [email protected] 0 points 11 months ago

I approve this joke.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago
[–] [email protected] 4 points 11 months ago (5 children)

@Drusas Someone close to Feinstein needs to talk to her and make her understand how badly she is embarrassing herself and doing a dis-service to her constituents, the caucus, and the country at this point

[–] [email protected] 10 points 11 months ago (2 children)

Actually there needs to be an overhaul of the system, either age limit on senate, house and presidency which I agree with, or an independent medical examiner/s verifying they are mentally capable of carrying out duties (this wouldn't work and is too open to corruption).

Just don't let people serve after 60. It even works to reduce generational thinking that infects government policy.

[–] [email protected] 14 points 11 months ago (2 children)

@Emu I'm over 60 and still have all my faculties, I can assure you. Thirty-plus years ago, it was hard for me to imagine what I would be like at 60 but its actually not different, at least from the life of the mind perspective. I think your position is ageist and is itself generational thinking. Nevertheless, I have favored term limits for many years, including when I was young. The 25th Amendment was enacted and ratified to address Presidential incapacity after President Wilson became mentally incapacitated and his wife took over the office when no one was legally able to remove him.

@Drusas

[–] [email protected] 13 points 11 months ago

It’s not just the loss of brain white matter and myelin with age, it’s also the “generational thinking” that the parent eluded to at the end of their post.

The world has changed radically from the time that you (or I) went through our formative years. We may still perform cognitively, but eventually our software is from an obsolete and bygone era, and we must admit that we’re just not in tune with the more contemporary zeitgeist.

It happens with every generation. Science has a saying for it: that it progresses one funeral at a time, because established ideas must physically die with their owners to make space for disruptive thinking.

Henry Ford used to disallow “beat practices” in his factories because he wanted new guys to repeat the same failed ideas and experiments that had been tried before, without being discouraged to do so. The practical reason is that the world changes, and things that were brushed off as not working some 20 years ago can suddenly start working due to a context change.

A generation lasts 20–30 years, and yet in politics it lasts 40–60 years. Those dinosaurs in politics have no actual grasp of how the rest of the world has evolved around them. They don’t understand tech, or climate issues, or academic inflation, etc. They still apply recipes from a bygone era in which they were actually skillful and successful policymakers, but that era ended long ago.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago (1 children)

So you have a problem with ageism? So then why is president restricted to being above 35? Oh right, now you have an issue yeah? There needs to be age limits, because society goes forwards in progress, not backwards, not because of your insecurities around your own age. Don't worry, you'll never be president.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago

@Emu Dude, you are projecting your insecurities onto me. The minimum ages are for people who haven’t grown up enough to handle the responsibilities of the situation, President, driving, gun ownership are examples. For the record, I don’t want to be President. I have done enough policy work in my career to have an informed view. Also, I know what I don’t know, which is an insight sorely lacking in people who haven’t grown up yet. The problem with being older isn’t that your views become rigid or your brain goes soft, it’s that your body wears out. Otherwise, I quite like where I am in life thank you very much

@Drusas

[–] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago (2 children)

Any sort of neuropsych evaluation is most likely not objective enough, and could be discriminatory. For example, against autistics, or for them. No need to have that value judgement discussion.

Just have an objective competence exam. Final exam questions from 101 courses dealing with geography, physics, calculus, world and US history, micro and macro economics should suffice. Have the tests written, proctored and graded by a panel of judges appointed by larger public colleges in the country. That should do it. If a 90 year old is still with it enough to get a passing score of say 80% and continue to do so for the next decade, then mazel tov, let them serve.

[–] [email protected] 3 points 11 months ago

That is too complex to be realistic.

[–] joe 1 points 11 months ago* (last edited 11 months ago) (1 children)

I know what your goal is an applaud it, but have you taken any time to consider what unintended consequences this might have? Like, lots of people say stuff like "people who work in Congress should get minimum wage" and that sounds great, until you realize that the stance plays out to only allowing financially independent people to hold office. Is there any concern with, in your mind, with linking an intelligence test with being a representative, in a country that has routinely deprioritized the education of minorities?

[–] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago (1 children)

Not the OP. I can easily imagine a test that, if someone cannot pass it, I can clearly say they shouldn't be representatives. While still weeding out cases like Feinstein.

Might there be problems with people who have the knowledge but have problems with the process of being tested? Maybe. But maybe those people also shouldn't be representatives. I don't know enough about the causes of test fright to be confident on that.

[–] joe 3 points 11 months ago (1 children)

I can easily imagine a test that, if someone cannot pass it, I can clearly say they shouldn’t be representatives. While still weeding out cases like Feinstein.

Why are you sure about this? Do you think her issue is a lack of education/knowledge?

But maybe those people also shouldn’t be representatives.

I'm sure you mean well, but this is a very dangerous sentence. What if the body or person that ends up with final say on the test has some thoughts on what a representative should or should not know, and those thoughts don't match yours? Like, in an extreme hypothetical, imagine if someone like Tucker Carlson had some input on what questions to ask and what answers to accept. What kind of person would that test filter out?

In a perfect world, a knowledge test requirement to be a representative isn't a terrible idea, but in a perfect world, it also wouldn't be needed, and most importantly, we are definitely not in a perfect world.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago

Why are you sure about this? Do you think her issue is a lack of education/knowledge?

Exactly. From what the article says, the remarks she was attempting to deliver were accurate and on point. She was momentarily disoriented as to what particular action the Senate was engaged in at that time.

[–] [email protected] 8 points 11 months ago

She may be too far gone to recognize how far gone she is.

[–] [email protected] 4 points 11 months ago* (last edited 11 months ago)

The people close to Feinstein are 100% enjoying the power she gives them.

The Democratic Party is trying to keep the popular CA governor from appointing a senator so that they can put their own centrist on the ticket.

[–] [email protected] 2 points 11 months ago (1 children)

No one wants this more than the GOP, unfortunately, because the moment she's out a number of bipartisan commissions will now have 1 more R than D and all the people the Dems nominate to fill the empty slots will get rejected by the Freedom Caucus members pulling McCarthy's strings.

[–] [email protected] 2 points 11 months ago (1 children)

Why was someone over 85 put on multiple committees? It’s not like she’s just now slowing down, she’s lost it completely already, this can’t be a surprise to anyone. The system is so fucked.

[–] [email protected] 3 points 11 months ago (2 children)

The senate ranks based off seniority. The longer you've been a senator, the more power you yield. Senior senators get first choice of committee assignment. The longer you're on a committee, the more senior you are on that committee. So, very old person has been a powerhouse for a long time and gets to choose their committees. The more senior, the more powerful committee you can join; the longer on the power committees, the more power you yield on that committee. THE SENATE IS SET UP TO GIVE MORE POWER TO OLD PEOPLE.

She wasn't put anywhere, she chose those spots; and there isn't a damn person who can do anything about it as long as she is re-elected. Retire or death is the only way she leaves those committees. I know how this will end. As long as she gets re-elected. It's that simple.

[–] joe 1 points 11 months ago

As long as she gets re-elected.

I'm almost certain she's already announced that this is her last term. Unfortunately, this term ends in 2024.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago (1 children)

Oh wow, thanks for the explanation. It’s worse than I thought.

I suppose I thought there might have been some checks and balances to prevent someone with dementia from continuing to clutch onto power, guess not.

[–] [email protected] 2 points 11 months ago

The checks and balances for that are the voters, supposedly.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago (1 children)

Her constituents keep voting for her, so they deserve what they are getting.

[–] [email protected] 1 points 11 months ago

So long as Feinstein continues to choose to run, there is little that anyone can do. At least those constituents can see that the republican party is a non-starter as they actively make everything worse for everyone.

Afaik, there is not a single R that would pull a Manchin or Simena and vote against party lines (for more progress at least, many of them will vote against out of spite or to push to make things even worse).

[–] sunbytes 3 points 11 months ago* (last edited 11 months ago) (1 children)

I often wonder how much politics are like the first few episodes of Succession.

Are these folks actually competent at doing their job, or is the only thing they can do keep a firm grasp on their power, no matter what it costs those "beneath" them?