This morning the Punchbowl crew reported that 30 House Democrats have now retired or said they’re not going to run for re-election this November. Many of them suck and it's great to see them go-- like the latest, Long Island conservative New Dem Kathleen Rice, whose most recent foray into the public was playing role in tanking the Democrats' attempt to lower the cost of prescription drugs. "The Democratic retirement total," they wrote, "is the highest in three decades for the party. And while the DCCC and the Democratic leadership plays down these departures, we can say that, based on what we’re hearing, there is significant angst among the Democratic [congressional] rank-and-file as they face the prospect of losing their majority after just four years in power. 'With polling numbers where they are, and the fear of losing the majority, people are heading for the hills,' one House Democrat told us Tuesday evening.
Retirements may be causing headaches for the careerist-oriented Democratic Party establishment on Capitol Hill, but it's fantastic for America to get rid of garbage politicians like Rice. I can think of dozens more who should retire. But let's look at the 30 Democrats who already announced they are at the end of the current term. The only ones who are any good are Karen Bass (CA), who is running for mayor of L.A., John Yarmuth (KY), who is 74 years old, Alan Lowenthal (CA), who is 80 and Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA), also 80. Many of the others are just garden variety Democrats, neither especially good nor especially bad, just there using up oxygen. But some of the retirees are so bad we should be celebrating their departures, and not just Rice. The worst of the worst: Blue Dogs Jim Cooper (TN) and Stephanie Murphy (FL) as well as New Dems Albio Sires (NJ), Ron Kind (WI), Cheri Bustos (IL), and Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ). Good riddance. Many will wind up on K Street.
On the Senate side, there are only 6 retirements, 5 of them Republicans. The one Democrat is Patrick Leahy (VT) who will be 82 next month. Much older and feebler (and more conservative) than Leahy, Dianne Feinstein (CA) will be 89 in June. She's well advanced into debilitating senility and absolutely refuses to retire.
The first time I had a chance to vote for her was when she ran for president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978. I passed on casting a ballot for her. Harvey Milk told me that she was the worst member on the board, even worse than the conservative screwball who later assassinated him, Dan White (her ally). I didn't vote for her when she ran for mayor in 1979 (I voted for Jello Biafra instead) and 1983. I didn't vote for her in 1990 when she lost the gubernatorial election to execrable racist Pete Wilson. And when she ran for Senate, I didn't vote for her in 1992, 1994, 2000, 2006, 2012 or 2018 (when Kevin de León nearly beat her in a Dem vs Dem general election). That's right, I never voted for her in any primary or general election. She's that horrible and always has been. She's also one of the most corrupt Democrats in the Senate, proving once again that more often that not, the richer someone is, the greedier and more avaricious they tend to be.
Today, the L.A. Times' Melanie Mason reported on her latest-- and most pathetic ever-- polling numbers. According to new polling, only 30% of Californians think she's doing a good job. "The 49% of registered voters giving Feinstein a negative assessment," wrote Mason, "include respondents from core Democratic blocs: those who identify as “strongly liberal,” voters under 40 and Latinos and Asian Americans. In all regions of the state-- including the major population centers of Los Angeles and the Bay Area, where she is from-- a plurality of voters disapprove of her performance... Most striking is Feinstein’s loss of popularity among women voters. Feinstein had typically performed strongly with women ever since her 1992 election, when she and former Sen. Barbara Boxer became the first female senators from California. Now, one-third of women surveyed approve of her performance, while 42% disapprove.
Overall, she scores significantly worse than Kamala Harris and Joe Biden, each of whom is also doing badly with California voters. Feinstein will never run for office again but she really should retire and resign now so California can be represented in the Senate by a sentient being more in tune with the needs and aspirations of the state's current citizens.