AOC throws her star power behind effort to boot 89-year-old missing senator

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) threw her considerable clout behind efforts to force absentee Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) out the door, calling for the ailing 89-year-old to retire, the most influential Democrat lawmaker to do so yet as pressure to push through President Joe Biden’s extremist judges intensifies.

Feinstein, who has been missing in action for the last two months after she was hospitalized for treatment of a particularly nasty case of shingles, has been praised by both Democrats and Republicans alike for her longtime tenure in the upper chamber of Congress with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hailing her as a “titanic figure.” But her decades of service have been given less reverence from the younger progressives who are impatient with the party’s elders who stubbornly cling to their seats well into their eighties.

Following the lead of her fellow “Squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) who called for DiFi to be put out to pasture, the socialist firebrand took to Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s new social media platform Bluesky on Tuesday where she said that the San Francisco legend “should retire. I think criticisms of that stance as ‘anti-feminist’ are a farce.”

“Her refusal to either retire or show up is causing great harm to the judiciary – precisely where repro rights are getting stripped. That failure means now in this precious window Dems can only pass GOP-approved nominees,” AOC added.

On Friday, Tlaib suggested that Feinstein’s extended absence is a betrayal of the climate cause, in addition to gumming up the works on confirming the far-left judges.

“Because Sen. Feinstein was absent, Republicans are passing legislation through the Senate, undermining the right of our residents to breathe clean air,” the Michigan Democrat tweeted. “And with a far-right judiciary targeting our human rights, we are unable to confirm judges. Sen. Feinstein must step down.”

While Feinstein has been operating at diminished capabilities for quite some time now, she is a reliable warm body who serves as a rubber stamp but her prolonged time away at a time when the Democrats hold a razor-thin Senate majority has rankled some, with rising star Rep. Ro Khanna (R-Calif.) being the first to break ranks in calling for her to hurry up and get out of the way.

“It’s time for @SenFeinstein to resign. We need to put the country ahead of personal loyalty. While she has had a lifetime of public service, it is obvious she can no longer fulfill her duties. Not speaking out undermines our credibility as elected representatives of the people,” the congressman wrote on Twitter last month.

Whether the remarks from Ocasio-Cortez, the ideological thought leader of the modern Democratic Party, embolden more lawmakers to come out to call for Feinstein’s retirement remains to be seen, but the longer that she’s away, the louder the grumbling will become.

In somewhat of a scoop that didn’t get much attention, Politico reported that, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s notes, Feinstein is “hopeful” that she can return to work next week.

Feinstein, a San Franciscan whose political career took off when she replaced then-Mayor George Moscone who was assassinated along with gay icon Harvey Milk in 1978, would go on to serve as the city’s mayor for a decade before later being elected to the Senate in 1992 where she has been for the past three decades. But there’s not much sand remaining in the hourglass and Ocasio-Cortez is clearly happy to give it a good shake.

Chris Donaldson


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