Contrary to what they thought would happen, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s return to Washington, D.C. after a two-month bout with shingles has made things worse for Democrats, not better, exposing the deep divisions within their ranks while their accomplices in the mainstream media pick sides in the ongoing “should she step down?” debate.
When last we left you, we learned that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, purportedly a “close friend” of Feinstein, was said to be using her daughter Nancy Corinne (Pelosi) Prowda – who in recent weeks has been a caregiver to Feinstein – to keep tabs on Feinstein in order to make sure she doesn’t resign before her term is over in 2024.
The reason? PelosiCo. thinks it would be to 2024 Senate contender Adam Schiff’s advantage to not have Feinstein resign ahead of schedule because if she does, Gov. Gavin Newsom would likely fill the seat with Rep. Barbara Lee – another 2024 Democratic Senate candidate, making Schiff’s attempt at replacing Feinstein a lot harder in the process.
In an update of sorts to that story, the New York Times has inserted itself, printing the type of in-depth report on Feinstein’s health problems that you would not have seen come from most major newspapers prior to her shingles announcement back in early March.
In it, they admit what many in the media were unwilling to at the time of her return, that she looks incredibly frail and should not have come back when she did. Further, they took a deeper dive into some of what Feinstein went through during her two month recovery time at home, revealing information about her health that had previously not been disclosed:
Breaking News: Dianne Feinstein suffered previously undisclosed medical complications during her Senate absence, people close to her said. Many described it as “frightening” to see her operating in the Senate in her current state. https://t.co/OqerfkZPeM
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 18, 2023
From the report:
Ms. Feinstein’s frail appearance was a result of several complications after she was hospitalized for shingles in February, some of which she has not publicly disclosed. The shingles spread to her face and neck, causing vision and balance impairments and facial paralysis known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The virus also brought on a previously unreported case of encephalitis, a rare but potentially debilitating complication of shingles, according to two people familiar with the senator’s diagnosis who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe it.
Characterized by swelling of the brain, post-shingles encephalitis can leave patients with lasting memory or language problems, sleep disorders, bouts of confusion, mood disorders, headaches and difficulties walking. Older patients tend to have the most trouble recovering. And even before this latest illness, Ms. Feinstein had already suffered substantial memory issues that had raised questions about her mental capacity.
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.
“Many people close to Ms. Feinstein, a six-term senator, described seeing her operating in the Senate in her current state as ‘frightening,’ a tragic end to a formidable career in politics that they worry is casting a shadow over her legacy and her achievements,” the paper also reported.
Now let me say from the outset that, as uncomfortable as it may be, these are the things we need to know about our elected officials. If they have a medical condition that could severely hamper their ability to think clearly, communicate coherently, and/or responsibly do their jobs, voters should be informed about it.
It’s something I feel the media should have been doing for the entirety of Joe Biden’s presidency, and even before that during his campaign. But they have mostly tapdanced around it because they have been in “Protect the Precious” mode, something which has been all the more obvious when contrasted with the freakouts they had over Trump holding on to a glass of water with two hands one time and the one incident where he walked down a ramp slowly.
The issue I take with this Times piece is in, well, the timing. It comes at an awfully convenient time for the contingent of Democrats and media types – including the Times – who want Feinstein to resign now so someone more “woke” can be installed in her place.
In fact, the sad details of Feinstein’s deteriorating condition were probably leaked to the Times by one of those same Democrats, which the Times ran with because they also want her out the door.
As I said before, even though I’m munching on the popcorn as I watch Democrats tie themselves into knots on this issue, Feinstein’s condition is no laughing matter and it’s my opinion that at some time sooner rather than later she should resign — for her health and well-being, not because she’s being pushed into it.
But the way the revelations about her health have come out and the behind-the-scenes machinations that are going on as we speak regarding her political future are all a bit unseemly to me, partly because I’ve had personal experience dealing with a loved one in a similar condition.
Then again, it’s a reminder to people who share a similar mindset that the Washington, D.C. swamp is absolutely not the place to be if you have even the slightest bit of conscience, which is a big reason why the one trip I made there several years ago will likely be my last.