In yet another glaring example of her ongoing mental deterioration, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein was completely lost during a Senate Appropriations Committee session on Thursday, leaving her staff scrambling to reorient her.
When called on for a simple "aye" or "nay" vote, the 90-year-old launched into a speech supporting the measure. Only after 15 seconds of awkwardness did she heed repeated commands to "just say aye" -- instructions issued by both committee chair Patty Murray and one of Feinstein's staffers.
Back and to her right, you can see one of her aides agonizingly squirm in his seat before finally stepping up to deliver pointed instructions to the oldest member of Congress:
ABC NEWS: It was a "concerning moment" today when Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein had to be verbally instructed — both by a staffer and a fellow senator — how to vote during a committee hearing pic.twitter.com/ovPdJ1miyf— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 27, 2023
Later in the same session, Feinstein voted no on a different proposal, only to be overruled by aides who told her to switch her vote to an "aye."
Trying to offset widespread concern, a Feinstein spokesman said the session "was a little chaotic," with legislators "constantly switching back and forth between statements, votes and debate and the order of bills...The senator was preoccupied, didn’t realize debate had just ended and a vote was called."
In February, she seemed unaware that she'd announced that she would retire in 2024, at the end of her term.
When Feinstein returned to the Senate in May after a two-month battle with shingles, she appeared to be unaware of her own extended absence. When a reporter asked him how her colleagues have received her upon her return, she said, "No, I've been here. I've been voting." She concluded by scolding the reporter for his supposed ignorance.
For the good of her health, her dignity, the Senate, the Democratic Party and our democracy, it’s past time now for Senator Feinstein’s family and caretakers to convene and immediately end this ghastly, degrading spectacle that borders on elder abuse.pic.twitter.com/d0ABJvbVX4— Fernand R. Amandi (@AmandiOnAir) May 18, 2023
For more than a year, Feinstein's mental decline has been chronicled by even the most liberal newspapers. Last year, the Times and San Francisco Chronicle published insider accounts of Feinstein being unable to remember names, meetings and phone conversations. The Times described her as sometimes "walk[ing] around in a state of befuddlement."
Upon her return, Capitol Hill observers noticed that Nancy Pelosi's daughter was escorting Feinstein all around the Capitol. The motive is likely more than charitable: Rep. Adam Schiff, a Pelosi ally, wants Feinstein's seat and desperately wants her to hang on through the 2024 election.
That's because Newsom has already promised that, in the event of an early Feinstein departure, he would appoint a black woman. One of Schiff's declared opponents is Rep. Barbara Lee. If appointed, she'd enter the 2024 race with the power of incumbency.
Feinstein's latest cringeworthy display comes just a day after another member of the ruling DC gerontocracy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, froze up in mid-sentence while addressing reporters at the Capitol:
Of course, the most prominent of failing and confused elder officials is the one with his finger on the nuclear Armageddon button:
How many more of these embarrassing stage events are we going to suffer until someone in a position of power is willing, to tell the truth about Biden's mental decline?pic.twitter.com/4VllEenEvI— TajMarieX 🗽🔥 (@TajMarie17) July 13, 2023