Hunter Biden is just the tip of the iceberg: it’s lucrative to be a politician today, even if your father isn’t playing the role of president of the United States. There are innumerable ways in which our elected representatives can grow rich while doing the bidding of some powerful group, all perfectly legal: astronomical advances for books that hardly anyone will read, similarly inflated speaking fees, and much more. What was once known as the public service has become so remunerative that it’s no wonder that politicians are clutching to power as they never have before in American history. Washington is now top-heavy with the Geritol set, and it doesn’t look as if that’s going to change anytime soon. But the talk around the nation’s capital Thursday is that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Beijing) is in the throes of a cognitive decline so severe as to make Old Joe Biden look as sharp as a tack, and that’s no malarkey, Jack.
The San Francisco Chronicle wrote Thursday: “When a California Democrat in Congress recently engaged in an extended conversation with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, they prepared for a rigorous policy discussion like those they’d had with her many times over the last 15 years. Instead, the lawmaker said, they had to reintroduce themselves to Feinstein multiple times during an interaction that lasted several hours.” Dagnabbit, Chron, “they” refers to a group, not to an individual, but nowadays when women can get other women pregnant, grammar is the least of our worries.
The Chronicle is shocked at the decline of “a pioneer to many admiring San Franciscans who have watched her for decades,” but its shock is as misplaced as its pronouns. After all, Dianne Feinstein is 88 years old. What would be surprising would be if she weren’t in cognitive decline. Her mental unfitness is perfectly understandable; what is hard to understand here is her continued presence in the Senate.
Remember Evel Knievel, the daredevil motorcyclist who jumped over thirteen double-decker buses in London in 1975, that is, 47 years ago? Dianne Feinstein is five years older than Evel Knievel. Remember Dennis Hopper, who played a troubled youth in Rebel Without A Cause 67 years ago and then shot to stardom in Easy Rider 53 years ago? Dianne Feinstein is three years older than Dennis Hopper. Remember Roger Maris, who broke Babe Ruth’s home run record with 61 homers in 1961, 61 years ago, and passed away 37 years ago, in 1985? Dianne Feinstein is one year older than Roger Maris.
The astronomer Carl Sagan, who became a pop-culture fixture with his hit series Cosmos and his much-parodied ruminations on stars “billions and billions” of light-years away? Carl Sagan died at age 62 in 1996, 26 years ago. Dianne Feinstein is older than Carl Sagan. Remember the Ford Edsel, which became synonymous for our grandparents with overpriced, overhyped automobiles and an example of how even a wealthy, successful corporation could make a disastrous misstep? Dianne Feinstein was 23 when the Edsel first began to be produced. Maybe she rode in one or even owned one.
In July 1958, the hula hoop craze began. An astonishing twenty-five million hula hoops were sold by November. Maybe young DiFi bought one, to liven up the local sock hops, where they played the latest rock and roll hits. Of course, aside from Elvis, the biggest names in rock and roll were not yet on the scene. Now the great rock and roll dinosaurs of yesterday are beginning to die off, but some of them are still with us. Dianne Feinstein is just one month shy of being nine years older than Bob Dylan. She was four days short of celebrating her ninth birthday when Paul McCartney was born. DiFi is a full decade older than Mick Jagger, who is only 78 at the moment.
Feinstein is, of course, older than all of her colleagues. When Chuck Schumer (D-Sinister), who is 71, was born, DiFi was a year away from graduating from high school. Feinstein was starting first grade when Nancy Pelosi (D-Absolut) was born; Pelosi is 82. Feinstein was in high school when House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler (D-Stomach Staples) was born; Jerry is a spry 74. DiFi is three months older than the other 88-year-old senator, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
So why is Dianne Feinstein still in the Senate? The Chronicle hit on it: “The lawmaker who had the hours-long interaction with Feinstein referenced a classic fable in which people are afraid to speak the truth to a powerful leader: ‘We’ve got an “Emperor’s New Clothes” problem here.’” Yes, we do, and more.