Senator Diane Feinstein’s Worth is Priceless

by on April 18, 2023 · 19 comments

in California, Election

By Colleen O’Connor

Let’s be blunt.  Senator Diane Feinstein is worth more than a dozen GOP Senators. Worth more than millions of California votes that elected her to office decade after decade.

And worth more than all the naysayers popping up on talk shows and opinion pieces attempting to drive her from office.

Feinstein’s worth is priceless.

And I, for one of multi-millions of California admirers want her to STAY PUT.  PERIOD.

She can do more for the state than any replacement on the horizon.  And she only needs to stick around for about a year.

Honestly, her staff—as with all Senate staffers—do most of the day-to-day work anyway. No need for her to do ribbon cuttings or campaign swings.  She has already declined to run again, given up her “third in line to the Presidency post” as Senate Pro Tempore to Sen. Patty Murry (D-Wash), and surrendered her Judiciary Committee post.

Plus, campaigning for California’s March California primary runoff is just months away.

Can’t we wait?

You know, wait for an old-fashioned election where the voters decide.  Not the Governor to pick. Not the pollsters to anoint.  Not the dark web or the hypocrites among us to choose. And certainly, not those pushing to remove Feinstein so their candidate can wiggle a win.

All this because Governor Gavin Newsom promised to appoint a “Black woman” to the Senate.   That’s his problem. Not California voters.

So, what is the rush to push her aside?  And who is behind it?  A wanna-be contender, named Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) who has already dropped out of the primary race, pushed for Feinstein’s resignation last week, arguing that “she can no longer fulfill her duties, and has now back-tracked to say Newsom should appoint a “care-taker.”

Enough with the one-man rule. California is not Tennessee.  Let the voters decide.

Better to let that candidate, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity, to win in an open and fair election than to tarnish their own Senate beginnings.

Who, exactly, is behind the push to remove one of California’s most revered politicians?

Not former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who called Feinstein “a workhorse for the people of California.”

Pelosi added that it was “unconscionable that, just weeks after losing her beloved husband of more than four decades and after decades of outstanding leadership to our City and State, she is being subjected to these ridiculous attacks that are beneath the dignity in which she has led and the esteem in which she is held.”

“It’s interesting to me. I don’t know what political agendas are at work that are going after Senator Feinstein in that way. I’ve never seen them go after a man who was sick in the Senate in that way.”

Not Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) who on Sunday said Feinstein’s “’right’ to decide when to step down from office as she faces calls from within her own party to resign.”

“She’s a team player, and she’s an extraordinary member of the Senate. It’s her right. She’s been voted by her state to be senator for six years. She has the right, in my opinion, to decide when she steps down, Gillibrand said of Feinstein on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Feinstein, who led the state after the assassination of San Francisco’s Mayor Mosconi and the openly gay Supervisor, Harvey Milk, deserves admiration, not buffoonery.  Perhaps even a little compassion from the “Christian fundamentalist caucus.”

Let’s remember her beginnings:

Feinstein discovered Milk dead in his office just after (Supervisor) Dan White killed him. She described the scene to the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008:

“I went down the hall. I opened the wrong door. I opened [Milk’s] door. I found Harvey on his stomach. I tried to get a pulse and put my finger through a bullet hole. He was clearly dead… I remember it, actually, as if it was yesterday. And it was one of the hardest moments, if not the hardest moment, of my life. It was a devastating moment. For San Francisco, it was a day of infamy.”

“I could smell the gunpowder,” Feinstein told The Times in an interview.

At a time of deep crisis in this country with repetitive gun violence, restrictive and conflicting abortion rulings, a breakdown in the norms of civility and unending wars, why so much ado and cruelty directed at California’s iconic and formidable Senator Diane Feinstein?

A defender of stricter guns laws, women’s equality, LGBTQ rights, and other progressive issues, Sen. Diane Feinstein has accomplished more and is worth more than any adversary in the country.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg April 18, 2023 at 10:34 am

It is highly concerning that someone undergoing visible and significant cognitive decline holds one of the most powerful positions in government, regardless of their prior accomplishments and stature.


Sorry not Sorry April 18, 2023 at 10:50 am

I can only assume that goes down both sides of the isle and throughout the entire gallery. It is very concerning that people with powerful and influential positions in our government can’t even distinguish fact from fiction (ie, numerous GOP Reps and Sens.).


nostalgic April 18, 2023 at 12:51 pm

Greg, you seem to confuse shingles with Alzheimers. One day you are fine and the next you have shingles. it is not some sort of slow cognitive decline. The best cure for it is IV treatment and monitoring. Second best are anti-viral pills. Have you ever had it? There’s always Facebook if you want to know more.


Geoff Page April 20, 2023 at 11:01 am

Reagan did it his whole second term.


retired botanist April 18, 2023 at 5:20 pm

Sorry, but I disagree. It is unfortunate that it has come to this very relevant issue of age, and her circumstances are admittedly poignant, but, like Ginsburg, she should have retired of her own accord long before now. I am the first to laud her remarkable career and contribution to CA and the nation, but I am totally exasperated with all of these aged politicians who will not relinquish their seats in Congress in order to usher in a new (and hopefully mentored) generation of political leaders. Politician or not, frankly imo, nobody should be working (or driving) at 89. Just because ‘you can”, should you? It is selfish and egocentric. Plenty of continued contributions can be made by senior citizens in volunteer capacities (c’mon, she does not need the income), especially with respect to educating and guiding those who may follow in their footsteps. There are notable folks out there, like Katie Porter, who could fill those shoes.


Eric April 18, 2023 at 7:02 pm

I totally agree. Time to move on and she was the best, but she’s not anymore, in fact she’s hindering our agenda in a big way. This has been coming for a while. It’s way past time to move on. And just like Ginsburg, do it now before you cause any more damage. And thank you for your excellent service! Save your legacy and retire now!


Chris April 19, 2023 at 7:24 am

Politician or not, frankly imo, nobody should be working (or driving) at 89. Just because ‘you can”, should you? It is selfish and egocentric”

I agree with others that Ms. Feinstein should have stepped aside a long time ago but that’s more due to her condition resulting from age rather than age itself. Not everyone ages the same, so to make a blanket statement that no one should be working by (what ever age) is a non starter and it’s not for you or anyone to dictate that. Aside from the fact that not all people age the same way, not all jobs are the same either. And some people need to keep working.


Gravitas April 18, 2023 at 6:21 pm

Pelosi willing to wait…some compassion for Feinstein’s return.
“It’s just a matter of when,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reportedly told reporters on Tuesday, adding that she has kept in touch with her fellow longtime San Francisco Democrat. “With all due respect to all of the people who have served, and we owe them respect for when they are sick, for them to get well and to take the time to do it. That should apply to her as well as to all the others.”


Vern April 18, 2023 at 6:35 pm

Warren Buffet is 92 and still working.


sealintheSelkirks April 18, 2023 at 9:31 pm

I totally agree that she NEEDS TO RETIRE NOW.

My Buddhist Priest grandpa was 84 when I took over caring for him in the late 90s when I found he was being ripped off and starved by a state-appointed ‘care giver.’ Won’t go into what I found out before taking that responsibility because it was really bad and nothing came of complaining to the state.

Even with physical evidence of extreme malfeasance and neglect it was brushed under the table. Nobody wanted to be bothered.
I moved him up to Mt. Shasta just a couple miles from us into a tiny apartment in an corporate-owned old person’s home (Echelon? or something like that). Set up Senior Meals on Wheels for breakfast and lunch (that’s all they would do), and since I was the dinner cook at home for 5 I just added in another portion and I/we would bring it to him every night.

And I learned all about what dementia was and how it affects a human brain. I’m only 16 years younger than he was then…and his 1st wife (my genetic grannie) went down with Alzheimer’s at about 65. Worrisome genetics, that side of the family.
He would pop back in to being the Grandpa Jimmy I remember for maybe 10 or 20 minutes at a time every once in a while. The rest of the time he was a smiling gentle little man who didn’t know who the hell I was; that sat in front of the tv and shuffled back and forth to the bathroom or bedroom to sleep. He came back one night when I was giving him a shower and bellowed “This is a hell of a way for a man to live” as I scrubbed on him before disappearing into the fog again. I didn’t know until I took him in for a physical that he had absolute tunnel vision in both eyes from cataracts but he sure did love it when I took him up Everett Memorial Highway to the old Mt. Shasta Ski Bowl parking lot. How much he saw I have no idea but he knew he was way up high in the clouds in a forest and smelled the air with a huge smile on his face…

Would I want him to be driving? Giving Buddhist Rites? Making major decisions that could affect millions of people in California? Oh HELL no.

And so the Senator’s crew will make all the decisions FOR HER. Now she will be just a figurehead for un-elected bureaucrats. That bothers me just as it did with Wbush and his puppeteer Dick Cheney who made all the decisions for him.

And yes there is a correlation there if you think about it deeply enough.
Vern, yours is an amazingly useless comment when you have already read about how her cognitive functions are degrading. She’s going to be like my grandpa pretty damn soon. You point to one person and there are a couple million who are like my grandpa. Get real.
Unlike Pelosi’s bullshit remarks of “when they are sick, for them to get well” because there IS NO GETTING WELL HERE. Only worse. She’s NOT SICK.

And she’s probably thinking of herself being in the same situation. The dyed hair does not cover up the age one is. No, I have not dyed my white ponytail because who would I be kidding?
This is what end of life does, what it’s all about. The body parts just starts shutting down but with modern medical tech they may keep her body alive for much longer than her brain functions. She won’t be Feinstein, just a shell where that person used to live. Eventually, if she’s unlucky, she won’t even know who she was…

We’re more humane to our pets than our human relatives.

Sorry Democrats and the Colleen O’Connors out there, you’re talking about a person who has already lost a whole bunch of herself. It will get worse and she will become a joke, a corpse being led around by her ‘handlers.’ She’s already not competent part of the time as it is if the reports are even halfway accurate. She may or may not even know what’s happening like my grandpa did at times. He hated it when he popped in.

Eventually he refused food and went peacefully in his sleep curled up on his bed staring at a colorful picture of a butterfly I thumbtacked to the wall the night before (he showed me where he wanted it) that was drawn by my 12 year old stepdaughter who feverishly drew it and handed it to me to take it with dinner that night. She hadn’t drawn a picture for anyone in years as she was a snowboarding tweener by then.

If you didn’t know, the butterfly in Buddhist mythology is a symbol of the soul escaping the body…

My thoughts. May she step through the curtain as gently as he did.



Frank J April 19, 2023 at 5:05 am

What about Barbara Boxer temporarily to get these judges appointed? Or even Gray Davis? No favoritism to one of the probable candidates if and when she steps down.


Frances O'Neill Zimmerman April 19, 2023 at 1:07 pm

A pretty-good idea, even if it is a long shot that ignores Boxer’s present private life and Feinstein’s absolute right to continue in office until her term ends. Political jockeying for advantage, vicious sniping and worrying-aloud has become deafening. Maybe we should be working on age limits for future electoral public service based on this searing experience.

Although highly unlikely, let’s imagine that ex-Senator Barbara Boxer steps in– capable hands, a temporary assignment, a former colleague. At least it would remove our advantage-seeking, foot-in-mouth, promiser-in-chief Governor from short-circuiting an important election by claiming the spotlight and personally appointing somebody.

Highly-qualified candidates are already running for Feinstein’s job, whenever it becomes vacant. California voters are responsible for choosing their United States Senator. That’s most important: let’s make sure that’s what happens.


Carl M Zanolli April 19, 2023 at 7:31 am

She was exhibiting signs of cognitive decline sufficient to render her unable to perform the duties for which she was elected to the Senate long before she got shingles. She should have left then and she must leave now immediately to avoid doing another Ruth Bader Ginsburg that delivered reproductive rights into the hands of Republicans


Gravitas April 19, 2023 at 11:09 am

AH!…A little kindness finally. Senate Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin wants GOP senators to ‘show a little kindness’ toward Dianne Feinstein.


retired botanist April 19, 2023 at 5:55 pm

Ok, I’m gonna go back to Chris’ statement that its not for me to dictate that no one should be working or driving at 89. My point isn’t to denigrate any and all who are, e.g. 89, and their abilities, but rather their role and function in society and culture as senior citizens. Is it ok to call them senior citizens, or is this too, some sort of slur?! My point is that, in any culture, its important that elder citizens assume their more important roles as mentors, not holders, of jobs. I’m not suggesting that they need to walk out on the frozen ice to their deaths, but that they recognize their new (and critically valuable) roles in guiding their replacements. When they won’t relinquish their seats/jobs, there’s a lack of judgement. The rest is, to be hard edged, sentiment. And we all have it- I love elders, my deceased parents, the ill who struggle, bless them, its just not about that. And its so unfortunate that Feinstein’s sentiment story has overriden her career story. I hop she can speak up and beyond her current circumstances, and actively bow out on the laurels she deserves. :-)


Chris April 19, 2023 at 7:36 pm

I understand what you’re saying and I agree but only to a point. Regardless of cultural norms and expectations, not everyone wants to take on the roll of mentor as they reach and get well into “elder citizen”. Elected public service on the level Dian Feinstein is one thing, but it’s not a once size fits all. Betty Reid Soskin was a park ranger up to her mid 90s. Should she have stepped away much sooner to let a younger person take over her position? Maybe but why should she if she didn’t want to?


retired botanist April 20, 2023 at 6:46 am

Fair comment, Chris… not everyone wants to be involved in whoever takes their place. I guess I just look to what I see as the greater good rather than just personal right. And yep, Soskin is a marvel, but imo should pass on the baton. :-)


Chris April 20, 2023 at 7:48 am

Well she did finally retire. She’s still alive and I believe 101 now. I’m guessing she very much WAS a mentor to the younger rangers who worked with her/or her and when she did finally retire it left a void.


Gravitas April 26, 2023 at 9:23 am

Adam Schiff on Feinstein and GOP reactions if she resigns.
“Gives me little confidence that they will do anything but attempt to obstruct a [her]replacement.” No kidding!


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