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Letters to the Editor: Dianne Feinstein had a terrible week. Maybe readers can cheer her up

Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks during a news conference with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Oct. 22.
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been a fixture of California politics since she became mayor of San Francisco on the day Harvey Milk and George Moscone were assassinated in 1978. And now, her grip on power in the Senate has never been more tenuous.

This week, a report in the New Yorker portraying the 87-year-old Democrat as afflicted by fatigue and frequent memory lapses prompted murmurs — including by an L.A. Times columnist — that the most senior woman in the U.S. Senate should step down. Adding insult to injury, a campus bearing her name was flagged as one of 44 San Francisco public schools that may be rechristened.

Amid all this scrutiny, our letter writers have generally spoken favorably of Feinstein, and during her septimana horribilis, they’re continuing to defend her.

Diane Scholfield of Vista chalks up the discomfort with Feinstein to ageism:

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Times columnist Erika D. Smith is able to recognize racism and sexism from a firsthand perspective. But she is young, and her column proposing that Feinstein step down is a blatant example of ageism.

I am old enough not only to recognize that, but also to have voted for Feinstein in every one of her Senate elections.

I met her in the early 1970s as a high school student interested in politics, when she was on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She was one of the very few women in elected office at the time, and I came away from that meeting knowing she was in it to serve, not to be served.

She has served our state in the Senate with distinction for nearly 30 years. Back off, and let her complete her term.

Vincent Velasquez of Los Angeles points out that Feinstein was reelected in 2018:

Smith’s position on Gov. Gavin Newsom possibly replacing Feinstein with a Black or Latina woman is flawed. A senator from California represents nearly 40 million people, not just the members of a particular ethnic group.

Smith seems to suggest that Feinstein should step down because she is white and old. In 2018, the people of California elected Feinstein to another six-year term, but evidently people like Smith know better than the rest of us, so they call on Feinstein to step down.

I don’t agree with them.

Mark Gabrish Conlan of San Diego believes the left is harming itself:

The bizarre effort in San Francisco to rename schools according to modern-day notions of political correctness shows why America remains a politically conservative country.

The right tells us we have a history we should be proud of, while the left tells us we have a history we should be deeply and permanently ashamed of. The progressives in charge of the San Francisco schools are digging up historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and putting them through guilty-until-proven-innocent show trials.

We should be expunging the names of Confederate figures, but purging people like Lincoln from America’s honor roll is just pain dumb.


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