The 89-year-old California senator faces pressure following a three-month absence.
Opinion by Asher Miles, Staff Writer
Peek-a -boo. Diane Feinstein, we don’t see you.
After a three month absence, the recent public appearance of senator Dianne Feinstein has reignited debates surrounding the potential for legislation that would establish an age limit for elected officials.
Despite the recent backlash over her absence causing a delay in the confirmation of Joe Biden’s judicial nominees, the congresswoman confidently responded with, “No, I haven’t been gone. I’ve been working,” after being questioned about her nonattendance.
Her absence from Feb. 27 to May 10 coupled with staffers leaking to press outlets of her cognitive lapses, indicate that senator Feinstein may be facing challenges in fulfilling essential functions of her job.
“I have worked with her for a long time and long enough to know what she was like just a few years ago: always in command, always in charge, on top of the details, basically couldn’t resist a conversation where she was driving some bill or some idea. All of that is gone,” one staff member reported.
It is true. The advanced age of elected officials some- times comes with sharp cogni- tive declines. However, it always allows engendered complacency. This, often at times, results in younger constituents being left on the short end of the stick.
Legislating an age limit will not address the fact that Feinstein has been unable to represent California during her monthslong recovery. However, a more efficacious solution could be an age neutral max on term limits, while also performing periodic cognitive examinations on congressional members.
Without term limits, well-todo corporatists easily leverage and compound their net worths. This is reflected in Feinstein performing some of the most unusual trades in Congress, resulting in the politician hold- ing a $200 million net worth.
Some of her dealings include when, in April 2018, Feinstein’s late husband purchased $250,000 of Facebook stock before she praised the company during Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook testimony. The purchase was not disclosed until May 2018.
Nevertheless, she sold Allogene stock after attending covid briefings, netting $1.5-6 million in January of 2020, violating the Stock Act.
A long career and ability to leverage a position in politics to line pocketbooks can get one far. Allegations have raised concerns about her mental acuity and continue to be echoed by members of both the Democratic Party and her staff.
Yet, all of these reasons should not constitute legislation towards an age limit in congress, that would, ultimately, result in a lack of diversity of age.
Although mature legislators may have a possibility of experiencing cognitive declines, it does not mean that they should lose their jobs. However, if anyone of any age is unable to perform their job for their constituents, it is best that they resign from their position.
Nevertheless, Feinstein epitomizes the root, not the symptom, of the problem.