New York magazine's pointedly grotesque picture of Dianne Feinstein

Democrats desperately want to see the last of Dianne Feinstein, who's becoming a risk and an embarrassment, and nothing makes that clearer than the photography New York magazine used for an essay about her.

As a native San Franciscan, Dianne Feinstein was a fixture in my life.  My mom griped about her because, in the early 1960s, when they were both parents in the same cooperative nursery school, Feinstein didn't pull her weight.  Then Feinstein got into politics, and I'd see her around the city at this or that event.  (I'm one of the high school band members hidden in the back of this photo.)  In 1978, she gained national prominence when she officially announced that Supervisor Harvey Milk and George Moscone had been assassinated.

Feinstein was a steely, composed, hard-driving Democrat politician.  When I was still a Democrat, aside from the awful bouffant she always sported, I thought she was great.  When I became a conservative, I turned against her politics but reluctantly admired her political longevity, which gave her great power in Congress.

Because I was now conservative, I finally learned about Feinstein's self-serving hypocrisy.  Although she'd written the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and was trying to renew it in 2012, it turned out Feinstein had a concealed carry license.  Back in 1995, after getting the original "assault weapon" ban passed, Feinstein explained that she needed a concealed carry license because her life was at risk:

Less than 20 years ago, I was the target of a terrorist group. It was the New World Liberation Front. They blew up power stations and put a bomb at my home when my husband was dying of cancer and the bomb was set to detonate around 2 o'clock in the morning, but it was a construction explosive that doesn't detonate when it drops below freezing. It doesn't usually freeze in San Francisco, but on this night it dropped below freezing and the bomb didn't detonate.

I was very lucky, but I thought of what might have happened. Later the same group shot out all the windows of my home and I know the sense of helplessness that people feel. I know the urge to arm yourself, because that's what I did. I was trained in firearms. When I walked to the hospital when my husband was sick, I carried a concealed weapon. I made the determination that if somebody was going to try to take me out I was going to take them with me. Now having said all of that, that was period of time ago and I've watched through these 20 years as terrorism has increased both on the far extremist left and the far extremist right in this country.

The message was clear: Feinstein's life matters; ordinary American lives don't.

Feinstein, who, despite her Jewish name, was raised as a Catholic, also distinguished herself during the Amy Coney Barrett hearing by trying to use a backdoor route to impose a religious test on the devoutly Catholic judge.  It was weird to see a sitting American senator state, "The dogma lives loudly within you."  Even Queen Elizabeth I, back in 16th-century England, had the decency to say, "I have no desire to make windows into men's souls."

Democrats were uncomfortable seeing their religious bigotry so blatantly on display and, after that, started making noises about Feinstein's cognitive abilities:

Feinstein, who turns 89 in June, is older than any other sitting member of Congress. Her declining cognitive health has been the subject of recent reporting in both her hometown San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times. It seems clear that Feinstein is mentally compromised, even if she's not all gone. "It's definitely happening," said one person who works in California politics. "And it's definitely not happening all the time."

Reached by phone two days after 19 children were murdered in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in late May, Feinstein spoke in halting tones, sometimes trailing off mid-sentence or offering a non sequitur before suddenly alighting upon the right string of words. She would forget a recently posed question, or the date of a certain piece of legislation, but recall with perfect lucidity events from San Francisco in the 1960s. Nothing she said suggested a deterioration beyond what would be normal for a person her age, but neither did it demonstrate any urgent engagement with the various crises facing the nation.

Those two paragraphs make clear that, even as the essay praises DiFi's past in politics, the Democrat party wants her gone.  It's bad enough to have Joe Biden's dementia and Nancy Pelosi's bizarre affect, complete with escalating eyebrows and manic hand gestures.  DiFi is one decrepit Democrat too many.  And if you doubt me on that point, just get a load of the picture New York magazine used to illustrate its article.  With that headshot, DiFi could get the part of the Wicked Witch of the West in a remake of The Wizard of Oz.

That picture alone is a vicious hit piece, especially when placed next to a picture of her as a 36-year-old beauty.  The message is clear: Retire or expect more humiliation.

Image: New York magazine tweet

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