Letters to the Editor: Dianne Feinstein isn’t acting like a Democrat. She needs to retire now

Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington on Aug. 5.
(Erin Schaff / Associated Press)

To the editor: In one of Orson Welles’s great films, “The Magnificent Ambersons,” neighbors speculate as to when if ever the impossibly arrogant, mean-spirited George Minafer will ever get his “comeuppance.” Only in middle age, when George is broke and friendless, does this happen. (“Yes, Feinstein is the oldest U.S. senator. But she should be able to retire on her own terms,” column, Dec. 17)

The film’s narrator comments: “George Amberson Minafer had got his comeuppance.... But those who had longed for it were not there to see it.”

Now, Democratic Party politics have given us a different story.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who enthusiastically embraced spying on Americans and more recently snarled dismissively at young climate change activists, followed up these stellar performances by publicly sucking up to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) after the Amy Coney Barrett hearings.


Especially in view of that last performance, Feinstein was pressured into stepping aside from chairing the Judiciary Committee if her party wins control of the Senate. So, at long last, this real-life George Minafer has gotten her comeuppance.

And, in a world that at least sometimes seems right, we get to see it.

William Smithers, Santa Barbara


To the editor: I totally disagree with columnist George Skelton when he writes, “Let Feinstein step down on her own terms.”

She and the other octogenarian senators who have not announced their retirement should also step aside, including Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa. They have been in the Senate too long, and it is time for them to leave Washington. This also should apply to people in the House of Representatives who are in their 80s like Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco).

It’s time for these lawmakers to retire — or are they waiting until they just drop dead, like the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg?

Katherine Tripodes, San Marino