She won't, though, despite worrying facts about her 3-month absence that have started to come out:
Ms. Feinstein’s frail appearance was a result of several complications after she was hospitalized for shingles in February, some of which she has not publicly disclosed. The shingles spread to her face and neck, causing vision and balance impairments and facial paralysis known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The virus also brought on a previously unreported case of encephalitis, a rare but potentially debilitating complication of shingles that a spokesman confirmed on Thursday after The New York Times first revealed it, saying that the condition had “resolved itself” in March.
The grim tableau of her re-emergence on Capitol Hill laid bare a bleak reality known to virtually everyone who has come into contact with her in recent days: She was far from ready to return to work when she did, and she is now struggling to function in a job that demands long days, near-constant engagement on an array of crucial policy issues and high-stakes decision-making.
People close to her joke privately that perhaps when Ms. Feinstein is dead, she will start to consider resigning. Over the years, she and many Democrats have bristled at the calls for her to relinquish her post, noting that such questions were rarely raised about aging male senators who remained in office through physical and cognitive struggles, even after they were plainly unable to function on their own.
Alexandra Petri doesn't hold back:
Worried about finding a reliable senior community for your loved ones — or even yourself? A place where you can focus on things you love, discover new hobbies, make friends and keep leading a vibrant life in your golden years? Do you long for a beautiful facility where trusted staff will take you from activity to activity yet you can retain your independence — even sporting a little “I” after your name to let everyone know just how independent you are?
Consider ... retiring to the United States Senate.
[I]n the Senate, there is no such thing as too old! Strom Thurmond stayed nearly until he died, at age 100. You, too, can stay that long — or even longer.
No worries, either, about overstaying your welcome. Jane Mayer of the New Yorker wrote that, “Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina, and Robert Byrd, of West Virginia, were widely known by the end of their careers to be non-compos mentis.” Your constituents might mind, but the Senate will gladly accommodate you.
Some fine print: Yes, you are technically representing a state full of people and making policy decisions for the country as a whole. The ramifications of these policy decisions will last for years, maybe generations. If you enter with strong principles and a clear sense of mission, it is still possible that simply by remaining in the Senate you can jeopardize everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
But don’t let these details stand in the way of a wonderful Senate retirement. Be like Strom Thurmond! That’s a sentence everybody loves to hear.
Diane Feinstein spent 40 years as a formidable political force, representing the people of San Francisco and then the entire state of California. Yet she's spent the last 5 years undermining everything she ever worked for by holding on to her seat well past time. She needs to go.