James Fallows contrasts the behavior of octogenarians US Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and President Joe Biden:
It boils down to this:
—Sometimes what helps an individual hurts a larger cause. Things have come to that point for Senator Dianne Feinstein.
—Sometimes it works the other way, and an individual’s interests are aligned with a cause. I believe that applies to Joe Biden’s announcement that he is running for a second term.
Feinstein staying on, at age 89, increases problems for her party. Biden staying on, at age 80, reduces them. Here’s why.
Roger Federer stepped away, because of injury, at a point when our mental images are still of his grace. We are fortunate that Joan Baez and Paul McCartney are performing into their 80s, that Bonnie Raitt is sweeping the Grammys in her 70s, that Robert Caro is at work on his LBJ saga as he nears age 90.
The key difference between most of the people listed above, and these two senior Democratic leaders, is being in someone else’s way. Joan Baez can keep singing, and that doesn’t hurt Billie Eilish. The next novel by Joyce Carol Oates, in her 80s, will not stop writers in their 20s or 30s from making their mark.
But political figures like Joe Biden and Dianne Feinstein are unavoidably in other people’s way.
Fallows has an upcoming post on the US Supreme Court, where reports about the corruption of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas (R-$$) just keeps getting worse.