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Colleagues worry Dianne Feinstein is now mentally unfit to serve, citing recent interactions
By HatetheSwamp
April 14, 2022 11:58 am
Category: Health

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Four U.S. senators, including three Democrats, as well as three former Feinstein staffers and the California Democratic member of Congress told The Chronicle in recent interviews that her memory is rapidly deteriorating. They said it appears she can no longer fulfill her job duties without her staff doing much of the work required to represent the nearly 40 million people of California.

They said that the memory lapses do not appear to be constant and that some days she is nearly as sharp as she used to be. During the March confirmation hearing for soon-to-be-Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, Feinstein appeared composed as she read pertinent questions, though she repeated comments to Jackson about the judge’s composure in the face of tough questioning. But some close to her said that on her most difficult days, she does not seem to fully recognize even longtime colleagues.

All of those who expressed concerns about Feinstein’s acuity said that doing so was painful because of their respect for the senator and her groundbreaking career. Each spoke on condition of anonymity, because they said they did not want to jeopardize their relationship with her and their mutual friends and colleagues.

I watched Feinstein as far back as the Amy Coney Barrett hearing and I could see flickers of the early stages of dementia.

It's always sad to see. Bless her heart.

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Comments on "Colleagues worry Dianne Feinstein is now mentally unfit to serve, citing recent interactions":

  1. by Donna on April 14, 2022 2:30 pm
    I read an article about this a couple of months ago. Based on what her colleagues have reportedly been observing, IMO she does appear to be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's.

  2. by Donna on April 14, 2022 8:08 pm
    "Other Democratic lawmakers, such as Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, defended Feinstein's cognitive capabilities to the Chronicle.

    Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, called Feinstein 'a workhorse for the people of California.' She 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.'"

    What's unconscionable is Pelosi's denialism. I think it's high time that Pelosi retires, too. And I've never been impressed with Tim Kaine. He's about as charismatic as Cream of Wheat.

  3. by Curt_Anderson on April 14, 2022 8:25 pm
    Except you, like HtS, are not in a position to make an informed mental health diagnosis from afar. I realize you are no fan of Dianne Feinstein. I don't see her often on TV but when I do she seems thoughtful and alert.

    Probably most people as they age won't have memories as sharp as they did in their youth. 90 year-olds don't do well on Jeopardy. But traits like wisdom and judgment generally improve with age.

    As for Tim Kaine, honesty, integrity and competence are more important characteristics than charisma. He's won a lot of elections to different offices when other Democrats were losing in Virginia so he must be popular enough.

    Nancy Pelosi is 80+. She's still quick with a pithy response. Or a wordless response as when she ripped up Trump's State of the Union address.

  4. by HatetheSwamp on April 15, 2022 4:02 am


    You aren't in a position to make an informed opinion on Nancy's mental health.

    I remember, very early on, with dad, that it became clear that his brain wasn't what it once was and we confronted him, as gently as possible, and told him that he was not able to concentrate well enough to drive safely and that he was placing mom at risk when she was in the car when he was driving.

    No one in the family was a trained medical professional.

    Happily dad backed away from the driving.

    You, of course, would have reasoned: "I'm 'not in a position to make an informed mental health diagnosis' so I'll just keep my mouth shut until dad turns up an Interstate exit ramp, thinking it's an on ramp, and drives mom into an 18 wheeler (probably driven by Joe Biden).

    Common sense, man.

  5. by Donna on April 15, 2022 9:15 am
    Of course I'm in no position to diagnose Sen. Feinstein. But this is not a new issue. I've been hearing reports on this for quite a while, and what I said about her is based on those reports. From the report I posted:

    There are new claims that the oldest sitting member of the US Senate isn't mentally fit for her demanding job.

    One unnamed member of Congress said Sen. Dianne Feinstein's mental acuity raised such concern for them that they considered staging "some kind of intervention" to get the 88-year-old California Democrat to retire, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

    Four US senators, three of them Democrats, told the Chronicle they'd seen Feinstein's memory "rapidly deteriorating" to the point where they worried it interfered with her ability to do her job without significant help from her staff. Three former Feinstein staffers and a Democratic California House member also spoke with the Chronicle on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic, according to the report...

    The lawmaker who considered staging an intervention said they thought about doing so because they had to reintroduce themself to Feinstein multiple times during a single conversation that lasted several hours. Two of the senators who spoke with the Chronicle said Feinstein had trouble recalling their names in front of them, leaving them with a sense that she knew who they are but couldn't remember their names.

    "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," the lawmaker who considered the intervention said. "She was an intellectual and political force not that long ago, and that's why my encounter with her was so jarring. Because there was just no trace of that."

    The lawmaker added: "We've got an 'Emperor's New Clothes' problem here."

    I don't think those reports should be blown off.

  6. by oldedude on April 15, 2022 10:43 pm
    I'm in agreement with Donna here. "Of course I'm in no position to diagnose Sen. Feinstein. But this is not a new issue. I've been hearing reports on this for quite a while, and what I said about her is based on those reports."

    Now, those of us who have dealt with dementia and alzheimers have been through the wringer with many of the things that happen. We've also gone through the steps and layering of the disease, so there are tells.

    The last thing is that most of us see these folks as snapshots. Is that completely accurate? Probably not, AND... there are things that our loved ones did that we see on clips.

    That doesn't mean it's an accurate diagnosis (since you actually have to take the brain apart to do that). But it does "indicate" some things. I don't pay attention to Feinstein. I do pay attention to creepy joe, and THAT is scary.

  7. by HatetheSwamp on April 16, 2022 4:03 am

    I suspect that Curt's bizarre comments about dementia related issues suggest that he's suppressing feelings of guilt about voting for the Doddering Old Fool.

  8. by oldedude on April 17, 2022 9:41 pm
    Actually, I'm suspecting he's withing keys to his own future

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