Dianne Feinstein is back at her Senate perch and “ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work.” At least that’s what her colleague Chuck Schumer says. “[I]t’s clear she’s back where she wants to be and ready to deliver.”
Feinstein doesn’t appear to have gotten that memo. After her months-long absence from Congress with shingles, she’s back… ish. “I’m still experiencing some side effects,” Feinstein said in a statement accompanying her return to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, adding that she’ll have “to work a lighter schedule.”
That seems like an understatement. Photos of the senator, who will be 90 years old next month, are quite grotesque, as if Getty Images asked AI to generate “a photo of Sen. Dianne Feinstein starring in ‘The Toxic Avenger.’”
I mean no disrespect to the senator, who can’t do anything about contracting a nasty virus and aging just like everybody else. Her countenance is certainly as sad as it is startling. But since she refuses to appease her fellow Judiciary Committee members with a letter of resignation, and leftist lawmakers are champing at the bit to ram as many norm-shattering judges as possible through Senate confirmation, they’ve got her propped up in a wheelchair “Weekend at Bernie’s”-style. All Democrats need is a body and an “aye,” and the party can go on as usual.
But this is no goofy ’80s film, and the comedy factor runs out when you realize Feinstein isn’t the only Bernie at this soirée. Since before he was even elected in 2022, Sen. John Fetterman has been surrounded by an entourage of heartless staffers and his succubus wife who have been doing their darnedest to make him appear as lively as possible despite severe side effects of a stroke. These handicaps have included obvious mental deficiencies, incoherence, and ultimately clinical depression that took him out of the Senate and into the hospital shortly after he assumed office.
His body and his hoodies are back as of mid-April, but he’s still not “all there.” Here’s Fetterman chairing a subcommittee hearing.
It’s hard to watch. But it’s par for the course for today’s Democrats — and the Washington establishment in general — which are motivated far more by ideological fidelity than by competent and decisive governance. And nobody’s more faithful to the party script than those who are too mentally unfit ever to be unscripted. Here’s a post-hearing Fetterman, sticking with his staffer and apparently reading lines for a casual conversation from a teleprompting iPad.
Unfortunately, the worst offender is also the one with the nuclear codes and a family owned by America’s biggest adversaries. On the rare chance President Joe Biden takes questions from the press, the queries and answers are written down ahead of time with handy mugshots of the reporters who will be asking them so the bumbling commander-in-chief can appear as though he has command of the conversation. When his team takes a break from their regular lid-calling to let him give a speech, he either shouts incomprehensible nonwords, whispers zany nonsense, makes up stories, calls for regime change in Russia, or reads cues off his teleprompter: “End of quote. Repeat the line.”
And even though polling shows a strong majority of voters don’t think Biden is mentally sharp or physically healthy enough to be an effective president — 63 percent and 62 percent, respectively — the 80-year-old is running for the office again. If he’s successful, that will make him 86 by the completion of his second term, assuming his bucket remains unkicked.
But just like “Weekend at Bernie’s,” the real story about Feinstein or Fetterman or Biden isn’t about the corpse so much as about the dudes propping it up; in the Washington version, none of the people orchestrating the ruse are accountable to voters. Like the administrative state, where Congress delegates its rule-making to ideologically motivated career bureaucrats with nothing to lose, similar power-wielding by staffers and spouses is a disaster. Who’s really in charge? You never can tell.
Though Feinstein is about to join the nonagenarian club — and many of her fellow lawmakers are soon behind her — Washington’s mental and physical handicaps aren’t just an age thing. The faltering Fetterman is only a Gen Xer. On the flip side, Trump, who will be 78 by the next election and has faced scrutiny over his age too, just mopped the floor with 31-year-old CNN hotshot Kaitlan Collins during a town hall this week.
The truth is, the incapacitation Democrats have got going on in Washington right now isn’t a mistake. It’s part of the plan. Sure, the whole Feinstein bit didn’t work out quite so well when Republicans shockingly didn’t cave to Democrats’ demands to replace her seat on the Judiciary Committee, and their legal aspirations were thwarted. But otherwise, it’s important to understand: Democrats don’t need good leaders in Congress or the Oval Office, they just need good Democrats — and a good Democrat is any Democrat that’s a vehicle for the left’s extreme agenda.
While establishment Republicans consistently screw over their own party’s voters with petty attacks of “candidate quality” and hubris, Democrats know the best allies are any in power. Even if they’re horrible or incoherent or almost dead, they’ll do just fine for holding majorities, passing legislation, installing judges, and keeping the left’s agenda du jour alive.
Just slap on some glasses and a Walkman and get them in a conga line.