U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein dies at at age 90

We really shouldn’t be having people dying from “old age” while in office. :confused:

If not age limits, perhaps we should be revisiting term limits, which would also address entrenched political power and corruption.


She was a great person who deserves to be remembered for the whole of her career, whatever one may think of her final few years. She was someone to be admired and emulated.


What I wonder here is does this give Bob Menendez a very temporary reprieve on being forced to resign.

In the period between Feinstein’s death and her successor’s swearing-in, it’s probably best to keep the lowered D caucus population at -1, not let it slip to -2

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Moving back to her legacy in her long prime years, that remains to me her finest moment in a life filled with greatness. To emerge from a terrifying mass shooting to immediately take on a role of leadership that just hours earlier she announced she was ready to give up displays a level of determination and level-headedness that few people could under the circumstances.


What’s the over-under on Newsom announcing the well-planned interim Senator who vows not to run on Monday or Tuesday?


FWIW she didn’t die of “old age” she died of complications from an organic brain disease which can happen to people in their 50’s and 60’s also. It would always be a complicated situation when a person in a position of power and authority develops such an illness. I’m not a fan of the way power and age work in government against the interests of younger people either… but there’s nuance to this that needs to be maintained I think.


Unfortunately term limits are complicated as well. Term limits can throttle back corruption, or push them into overdrive if a person knows they only have a limited time to make bank.

But the term limit question is moot in the face of extreme gerrymandering. If more seats are actually competitive, it would force politicians to respond to their disctrict’s needs and desires, rather than to a few donors who will provide campaign cash to sail into victory in a heavily gerrymandered seat.


The issue is really there is no way to separate her gender or age from her or her legacy either though.

Like her gender and age are part of it and part of the larger discourse no matter what you try to say yourself. Without realizing it sometimes we forget the power of resonance in a room. I’ve definitely noticed this myself sometimes where I don’t realize that what I’m saying rhymes with something else that is maybe not what I want to be giving voice to actually. There is no way to talk about a woman like her without her gender and age being part of it though and so all things kind of have to take her gender and age into account to not be distorting maybe…

some things hit different when you are talking about a woman (or an old person) and that reality will always make talking about powerful and controversial women or advanced age in politicians a little harder.


I agree with your thrust and it’s a nuanced discussion to have for sure. Illnesses that affect the mental faculties of (mostly) the elderly are difficult to objectively track the progress of-- the signs are caught in glimpses of differences by only those that know them best, and everything else is an inference. It’s impossible to deny someone’s agency but that certainly doesn’t mean that their means to truly assert their own agency are intact, only that there’s no definitive judgement that can be made.

Being an elected official adds an ethical wrinkle as well: Their actions should ideally be as representative of their electorate as possible through calculation and thorough consideration of complex issues. You could say that the agency they express in their role is that of the people and untethered from their personal desires (yes, they could be voted out next term, but that’s a broader thing). The mental decline of a senator carries more consequence than the same decline of a private citizen in terms of the weight their decisions carry, so should the option to retire be more of a duty? If term limits are not in place, is there a non-politically weaponizable way to test the mental acuity of public servants and impose a retirement without it turning into a huge shitshow? It’s definitely hairy to pick apart.

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That’s why I put it in quotes. No one dies of “old age”. Something kills them, from heart disease, cancer, pneumonia, or some other infection, it all gets us in the end.

But it is a common colloquial term for the host of illnesses that mostly effect the elderly.

I’d agree.

You’re right, people can be corrupt over one term in the space that other do in 4 or 5 terms. But they also won’t have the same political connections and power someone who has been in office for 2-3+ decades.

And I will say, when you have a good, benevolent leader, having them in power for a long time can be a good thing. But I think even those whose policies we largely agree with get mired down into the politics and they stop being an advocate for average Americans.

I think overall we need more turn over, and the opportunity for younger people to have their voices heard (I say that solidly into middle age). Gerrymandering is one of the biggest threats to Democracy in the US. I’d still rather see people cycle out after 2 terms even if the next person in line won’t be much different.

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Word, especially when assumptions about a lack of ratiocinative capacity get hurled at women far more often than at similar, and similarly situated, men.


Yes. And I’m saying it is a problem that it is so, one that people should consider carefully when throwing the phrase around in the current political climate. Hence my saying something about it. I even try (and yes it takes effort) to keep myself from doing it for Mcconnell even though I truly blame him in part for what has been unleashed on this country from the GOP. So because I think it matters a lot to the discourse, I pointed out the problem with this attitude and phrase when used even in jest, ironically, or whatever else the justification for using it is.


Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet.

I only saw her once in person, at a USC Law School commencement for a cousin, circa 2003. Instead of the usual platitudes, she engaged in a meaty discussion of nuclear proliferation. I disagreed with many of her stances, but she was no lightweight.


Back to Feinstein’s political legacy: @Otherbrother just told me about one very underappreciated accomplishment from her tenure as Mayor of San Francisco.

In the 1980s Feinstein made the then-controversial decision to allocate millions of dollars retrofitting Candlestick Park to bring it up to modern standards for earthquake safety. Critics said it was a waste of taxpayer dollars because “what are the odds a major quake hits when the stadium is packed full of people?”

The retrofit was completed shortly before the 1989 World Series was interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake. No telling how many lives were saved that day because Feinstein helped prepare for the worst.


This is super hopeful. I had been looking for more info since I heard she had died but couldn’t make sense of the search engine results I was getting really. If she managed to support the party and keep from creating a vulnerability that’s also kind of a pretty impressive thing to add to her legacy if people can bring themselves to see it that way.


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Murderer Dan White’s incredibly lenient sentence for the two killings sparked much civil unrest. Naturally, that got the attention of SF cops who decided to visit a certain gay bar where they proceeded to beat peaceful patrons and others outside.


I’m actually in favor of an age limit of 80 for anyone holding a position in one of the three branches of federal govt. Yes, there is the rare individual who is still high functioning past this age, but statistically the vast majority of octogenarians in this country are in decline and nearing their final years by this point. And when we’re talking about the 550 jobs in this country that the other 330 million of us rely on for safety and security, I’m ok with holding them to a higher standard. I might feel differently if we could have faith in case-by-case evaluations, but time and again we’ve seen that once someone reaches a certain level of power, medical professionals can be found–by them or by those who wish to maintain the status quo–who will verify that they are in fine shape even when this is far from the truth (e.g., Trump’s glowing health reports, the hiding of Reagan’s Alzheimer’s).


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