Washington was stunned this morning to learn of the premature death of California senator Dianne Feinstein at the mere age of ninety.
Feinstein was elected to the Senate in 1992 and was its longest serving female senator. She was a vocal advocate for gun control and headed the Senate Intelligence Committee for several years, leading a review of the CIA’s interrogation and detention program in the aftermath of 9/11.
But to Cockburn, the most iconic moment of Feinstein’s storied career came in 2019, when she deployed the heft of her decades in Congress to smack down some urchins from the Sunrise Movement who were hectoring her about climate change.
“Some scientists have said that we have twelve years to turn this around,” one oik implored Feinstein.
“Well, it’s not gonna get turned around in ten years,” the senator responded matter-of-factly.
“I’ve been doing this for thirty years. I know what I’m doing. You come in here, and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don’t respond to that. I’ve gotten elected. I just ran. I was elected by almost a million vote plurality, and I know what I’m doing. So maybe people should listen a little bit.”
The scene was parodied in a Saturday Night Live skit that was cruelly cut for time — perhaps because progressives were the target of the joke. Cecily Strong plays the senator as she cusses out kids in a do-over campaign ad.
Feinstein was already set to retire before the next election, with three congresspeople in the running to replace her: fresh-faced seventy-seven-year-old Barbara Lee, boss-of-the-year Katie Porter and grown-up Caillou Adam Schiff. Hilariously, ex-royal Meghan Markle was also said to be lobbying Gavin Newsom to Feinstein’s seat, to the extent that the governor was supposedly screening her calls. A titan of the Senate, replacing Feinstein will be some task for any of them. RIP.