Dianne Feinstein is the last thing you should be worried about in congress right now – Here’s why

By Emma Pearson, Lifestyles/Sports Editor

I read an article today in my American Government class about California Senator Dianne Feinsten. The class is a state-required course in which we are supposed to learn and understand the systems and inner-workings of the American government system so that we may navigate citizenship. 

The article was courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle, and essentially presented an exposé about the status of Feinstein’s deteriorating mental capacity. It brought up questions, somewhat rhetorically, about if the longtime senator was mentally unfit to serve. The assigned reading was slightly outdated (published in April 2022), and relied on the anonymous accounts of fellow staffers and Democrats who regularly collaborate with Feinstein in the senate. 

The article was heartbreaking: a depiction of dementia sensationalized into a political scandal with my 88-year-old representative in the nation’s senate at its center. As a Jewish girl from San Francisco, Feinstein is a personal hero of mine. She is an impressive mayor who handled the tragedies of Mayor Mascone and Harvey Milk’s assassinations that directly preceded her election with dignity, and moved onto a dedicated and devoted career at her post in the United States Senate since 1992.

Feinstein is someone to respect: someone who should not lose her dignity in the face of old age and, as one of my classmates pointed out, especially should not be targeted when many of her male colleagues have suffered from nearly identical situations. This classmate labeled the article misogynistic, and pointed out the hollowness of efforts at fulfilling “national duty” by staffers and colleagues unwilling to lose their job and thus electing anonymity when quoted in the article. She felt these sources were cowardly and hypocritical, that their claim as whistleblowers is entirely unfounded, and that the entire article was a reflection of the sexism still prevalent in America’s political climate. 

I wondered why this, of all things, was what I was reading. I do not think Dianne Feinstein is what you should be worried about in congress right now.

Yes, she seems to be experiencing memory loss and other symptoms of dementia that appear to be worsening as she continues to age. Yes, her staff thinks it’s enough of a problem to speak to the media and yet they simultaneously continue to protect her position. Yes, that is wrong. Also, guess who also appears consistently confused and repeats phrases word for word during press appearances?

President Joe Biden.

If you want to be worried about old age and appearing confused and lost, he’s your guy. If it really infuriates you that a person with so much influence could remain in their position despite displaying intense memory issues, take a look at Ronald Reagan towards the end of his second term. The man literally had Alzheimer’s. 

Is it old age you’re worried about? Think about the fact that the 118th Congress, our current federal legislature, is the third oldest congress to exist since 1789. Think about the coalition who is making and (presumably) passing legislation that does not and will not affect them. It is not just Feinstein.

Are you frustrated by the cover-up and the lack of qualification to participate in government? George Santos is standing right in front of you, waving his arms and claiming he’s Jew-ish. You know who’s actually Jewish? Dianne Feinstein.

There was recently something that resembled a WWE match on the congressional floor that occurred in order for a man named Kevin McCarthy, another California politician, to become Speaker of the House. It was horrific and embarrassing and the Democrats in the House watched while eating popcorn. Popcorn. Just for a man with the last name McCarthy to hold a leadership position in the House of Representatives. Is anyone aware of the last time we let that happen? We had a literal witch hunt and gained a whole new term to describe the practice of making unfounded accusations in order to achieve personal gain. McCarthy? Really?

You can be mad about Feinstein. No one is happy about Feinstein. All I’m saying is that there are larger issues at play. There are nuanced takes, they exist, you can have them. You are allowed to like Feinstein and believe she needs to leave congress. You are allowed to eat movie theater snacks and witness conservative representatives have a boxing match, but maybe you should be a little worried as their liberal constituents, elected officials, did the same.

Feinstein is not the problem. She is not a scandal. McCarthy’s nomination was not a movie. It happened. George Santos is sitting right next to him claiming to win volleyball championships at colleges he didn’t attend and have relatives in the Holocaust. And we’re all just eating popcorn.

If you’re mad, stop eating the popcorn. Don’t become desensitized to political scandal and inaction. Don’t vote for Feinstein. And move on to worrying about the fact that congress can’t seem to remove a pathological liar from the house floor, professionally facilitate an established process of appointing Speaker in the same spot, or — and now I’m really getting crazy — worry about the fact that our legislative branch no longer seems to be capable of passing legislation.

Amidst climate change, police brutality, and foreign wars of injustice, Dianne Feinstein is the least of our problems. And congress is doing nothing to fix it.

I am personally dismissive of her as an American political atrocity not just because I think she deserves my respect, but because I honestly believe it wouldn’t make a difference if she did demonstrate complete mental acuity. Congress does not seem capable of doing anything either way.