California senator Dianne Feinstein, who is 89, has been too ill to show up to the Senate since February. As a result, the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Feinstein is a member, has been unable to move forward on scores of judicial nominations by President Joe Biden.
And just this past Thursday, the Senate voted 50-49 to overturn a critical Biden administration effort to control truck emissions.
Feinstein, who has been in the hospital with shingles, has missed 75 percent of the Senate votes this session, and has not indicated when (if ever) she plans to return.
In addition, Feinstein’s mental acuity has been in question for many months.
We wish to make two points about elected public officials who clearly are incapable of performing the duties of the office to which they have elected and for which they have taken a solemn oath:
First, elected public officials are not “owed” anything, regardless of how many years they have served in office. When a person runs for office, the obligation is strictly one-way: They are public servants, and if they no longer are capable of serving their constituents, they should place the public interest above their own ego and should leave.
Second, a public office is not like any other job. If any of us call in sick or go on leave, someone else will step in to do our job. But that is not true of a public official, for whom there are no “subs.”
Dianne Feinstein has had a long and laudable career of serving our country — and she should continue to do so by resigning forthwith.