Democrats Try Pushing Dianne Feinstein out the Door as a More Troubling Situation Develops

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

RedState reported in early March on how Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was hospitalized with the shingles virus.

At the time, a statement from her office suggested Feinstein was expected “to make a full recovery” and that she “hoped to return to the Senate later this month.”


“I was diagnosed over the February recess with a case of shingles,” the statement read. “I have been hospitalized and am receiving treatment in San Francisco and expect to make a full recovery. I hope to return to the Senate later this month.”

Well, we’re now into the second week in April and Feinstein has not returned, and no one seems to know when she’ll return to Washington, D.C. – or even if she will.

Because of that, frustrated Democrats including those close to some of the candidates for the seat Feinstein holds are openly voicing their frustrations over how among other things her absence is hindering the Democrats’ Senate judicial confirmation process, and are urging Feinstein to resign:

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) joined a chorus of outside progressive voices in calling for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to resign amid concerns that her medical absence is keeping Senate Democrats from confirming more judges.

Why it matters: The 89-year-old Feinstein has missed 58 Senate votes since she was diagnosed with shingles in February. Her absence has been most acutely felt on the divided Senate Judiciary Committee, where Democrats are unable to advance judicial nominees who do not have Republican support.

Driving the news: “It’s time for Sen. Feinstein to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty,” Khanna said Wednesday, becoming the first Democratic lawmaker to openly call for her to step down.


Feinstein has reportedly been gone for over two months, and though she’s no longer hospitalized, she’s at home in San Francisco and not in the Senate where Democrats need her the most.

And a new report that came out Wednesday on how the shingles have affected Feinstein has no doubt triggered even more panic and alarm in Democrat circles:

But multiple Democrats close to her, as well as top-ranking congressional aides, are growing increasingly concerned that she may never come back to Washington at all.

Three people who have visited with the senator in recent weeks or been briefed on her status say her diagnosis appears to have taken a heavy toll on her. Other confidants, including two who have seen or spoken with the senator, underscored that they are still hopeful she could serve out the nearly two years that remain in her term. But neither of those people, who addressed the sensitive matter on condition of anonymity, indicated they were confident she would be able to do so from Washington.

Anyone who has had the shingles or who has cared for someone who has had it knows they are no joke, and that goes double when it comes to a woman of Feinstein’s age (89) and rumored deteriorating mental and physical health. Back in mid-February, Feinstein sparked concern when she seemingly forgot what she had just voted on, and there have been many other similar instances of such happenings over the course of the last year or so, including when the announcement was made that she would not be seeking another term.


In any event, it’s an uncomfortable situation for Democrats to be in, and while I don’t feel sorry for them, I do feel sorry for Feinstein and her situation, and for her apparently being at the point in her life where she is either unable or unwilling to admit when it might be time to finally step aside – not for her party but for her health.

Flashback: Chuck Schumer Fans the Flames When Asked About ‘Confidence’ in Dianne Feinstein’s Cognitive Abilities



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