Remember when Democrats were so desperate to boot Trump out of office that they raised questions about his mental health? While they may not like what he does or what he says, it’s hard to argue that he’s not sharp for his age, especially given the competition. There are only a few years between him and Biden, but they seem decades apart in age when you compare their physical and mental stamina.
But the issue of age and competence isn’t limited to the presidency, as many are looking at Congress and seeing the same unhealthy people getting elected and reelected. Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) was rumored to be senile back when I was in high school but would continue to serve until after I graduated college when he died at age 100.
Despite all the advances in medicine and health care, some people just need to know when to quit. Here are five of them.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Video clips of Nancy Pelosi struggling to speak clearly have been going around for years. She is 83 years old, and there have been rumors of her pending retirement for a couple years now. Bizarre interviews have repeatedly raised questions about her health. And since she represents San Francisco, it’s appropriate to note her nationwide approval ratings are in the toilet. Pelosi did resign as Democrat leader in the House after Republicans regained control of the House, but stopped short of resigning from Congress.
Sen. John Fetterman
John Fetterman should have dropped out of his race when it was clear that his stroke had severely disabled him. Instead, he hid from the public and banked enough early votes that by the time he appeared on stage with his Republican opponent and polls shifted against him it was too late. Soon after taking office, he checked himself into Walter Reed for depression, which his staff claimed he’d had for years, though it was never made public. Even since his return, it’s been quite clear that his impairments are impeding his ability to serve, but the mainstream media has tried hard to pretend he can still do his job.
Another obvious one. We’ve watched him appear lost on stage, lose his train of thought, fall down, speak gibberish, and otherwise demonstrate he’s not all there mentally. Polls show bipartisan majorities question his fitness for office. Hardly a week goes by without some embarrassing gaffe on his part, and there are also stretches where Biden is missing in action. Since 2020, the number of people who don’t think Biden is fit to serve has jumped 20 points, hardly a vote of confidence. Some Democrats are waiting in the wings in the event Biden decides to abandon his campaign, and there are rumors that Biden will, in fact, be replaced in 2024.
Sen. Mitch McConnell
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was absent for weeks following an injury he sustained from a fall earlier this year, prompting speculation that he would resign. There were even whispers of preparations for a leadership vote. According to reports, he’s fallen multiple times this year, and Republicans in the Kentucky state legislature ensured that the Democrat governor of Kentucky wouldn’t be able to nominate a Democrat as his replacement in the event of a vacancy. In light of McConnell’s recent freeze during a press conference, it’s become clear to everyone that McConnell’s days in the Senate are numbered, as they should be.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Feinstein’s health has deteriorated rapidly over the past year or so. She spent months out of the Senate, reportedly recovering from shingles—though later we learned it was serious neurological complications from shingles—and her public appearances have made it obvious to anyone that she’s extremely frail and basically a puppet of her staffers. Since she’s a Democrat in a solid blue state, and her absence stalled judicial nominations in the Senate, even Democrats have been anxious for Feinstein to pass the torch. Candidates were angling to run for her seat before she even announced her intention not to run for election—an announcement she once forgot she had made. According to recent reports, her staff is telling her how to vote, which means she’s not with it anymore and might as well resign.