The continued impasse in getting key infrastructure legislation passed has prompted me to focus on two obstructing Democratic senators: Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin. Why are these two ready to toss the chances of sane leadership into the dumpster, giving the Repuke traitors and imps another chance to wreck what's left of our nation?
I more or less get Joe Manchin's resistance to spending up to $3.5 trillion (despite the fact it's over a ten year period, hence nowhere near as destructive as the Reep-Trump tax cuts of 2017) He is in the pay of the coal- fossil fuel lobbyists and also in a state Trump won by 40 points. So I get it. He wants to continue getting his fossil fuel political campaign support and doesn't want to be primaried by a Trumpie. But at least Manchin has specified the terms he wants for a deal, less than half of what the progressives' demand.
By contrast, Arizona senator Kyrsten Sinema comes over as a total narcissist "me, me, me" bimbo and femme fatale grand stander, confirmed by giving no deal demands at all - like Manchin has. Her lack of seriousness is also betrayed by her history and profile, which discloses a diva out for self-promotion. A "Femme fatale" in the sense of ensnaring unwary voters into becoming enamored with her "style" and backing her when they can't know for sure where she stands - given she's manipulated her background that way. NY Times columnist Michelle Goldberg has described her as "above all dedicated to a view of herself as a quirky maverick, and delights in trolling the Democrats who elected her." Which has basically the same connotation.
What do I mean by manipulated her background? Consider, she began working as a spokesperson for the Arizona Green Party, and also compiled strong progressive creds. Then by the time she landed in the House she had mutated into a "Blue Dog" conservo, joining the Blue Dog Coalition. What gives? Well, one couldn't be certain until she revealed her true conservo colors on reaching the Senate. There she voted against Obama's Affordable Care Act and then most recently voted against including a federal minimum wage increase in the coronavirus relief package.
But here's the key: she didn't just vote against it on a neutral emotion basis, she did it with negative, hostile flair. In the words of Michelle Goldberg: "She posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing a ring spelling out a dismissive obscene phrase that begins with “F” and ends with “off.”
When I queried Shayl, my post doc psychology niece on this, she didn't hesitate to deliver a diagnosis: "The woman is clearly suffering from borderline personality disorder (BPD) , probably accentuated by narcissistic personality disorder."
When I asked Shayl to expatiate she went on: "Why would you make a dumb, confrontational gesture - especially that disgusting fake curtsy- and enrage a good segment of your party as well as core voters, unless you were a little off? In fact, a lot off. She's shown she can't manage her emotions effectively, God, it's amazing she can even function but she manages to because she's adopted this actress-kind of identity."
Not really hyperbolic, given what NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd also wrote: "The Arizona senator’s name is pronounced “cinema,” and it is apt because she sweeps through the Senate like a silent film star. “The Greta Garbo of Congress,” as one top Democrat called her."
The capper for Shayl was when Sinema spouted a deliberate, fake history version of the filibuster, i.e.: “The idea of the filibuster was created by those who came before us in the United States Senate to create comity and to encourage senators to find bipartisanship and work together,”
Which is total, unadulterated hog swill. In fact this archaic, obstructionist device is nowhere in the Constitution and indeed was relied upon by the racist traitors of the Confederacy to try to preserve slavery. Indeed, prior to the Civil War, pro-slavery senators like John C. Calhoun, e.g
Actively used the filibuster to protect slavery in the rebel states. The emergence of the filibuster was even more quixotic and described thusly by Michelle Goldberg:
"The filibuster was created by mistake when the Senate, cleaning up its rule book in 1806, failed to include a provision to cut off debate. (A so-called cloture rule allowing two-thirds of senators to end a filibuster was adopted in 1917; the proportion was reduced to three-fifths in 1975.)"
In other words, 'created' by a happenstance fluke, because in the absence of the (future) cloture rule, Senate debaters could still blab on indefinitely and bring passage of bills to a thudding halt. And no one knew this until it was literally too late. But even that was via the historic filibuster (where one might spend up tp 36-40 hours on the floor wearing diapers), which has since been mutated to - wait for it - "intent to filibuster". In this case the would- be bill blocker need only grab his cell and phone in his "intent" and the bill gets stopped in its tracks.
Why doesn't Sinema know any of this? She ought to be primaried out of the Dem party for her ignorance alone, but as Shayl pointed out it is merely another gimmick used by BPD victims to gain attention and manipulate those around them. In this respect, Sinema has done a good job - even having the media eating out of her hands as she blocks and grand stands with critical legislation. One of the most telling analyses of Sinema was offered to Maureen Dowd by a "politico in Sinema's circle":
"People who want to think they can understand her or get to her, let me tell you, you can’t. It doesn’t work that way with her. She doesn’t think in a linear process, like ‘OK, will this impact my re-election?’ She just beats her own drum. When she leaves in the middle of something and says, ‘I got stuff to do,’ it’s because she has plans. Sometimes, she’s just more interested in training for an Ironman. "
When I showed this to Shayl, she just replied: "Yep, just confirms my BPD diagnosis! The woman isn't centered, probably never has been. She's an emotional mess devoted to stoking her own vast ego."
Was this maybe because she grew up in a gas station? Or is she unmoored in her politics because of BPD? Who knows? But if she has BPD it would explain why she's unable to articulate any clear principle though she has the intelligence to do so. The tragedy is that whether bimbo or BPD victim the effect is the same: to obstruct the party of her own president. She can't so articulate because her obstruction is emanating from a deformed emotional need. Hence, it's useless and unproductive to ask - as one member of the progressive caucus has:
"If she’s here to fight for corporate power and lower taxes for the wealthy and get more money for pharma executives, why not be on the level and say it?”
Well, because she can't because the borderline personality disorder is preventing her from offering any lucid, rational explanation. She is simply reacting out of an emotional need as she manipulates those around her using distracting actions and nonsense verbiage (like her filibuster baloney). The takeaway here is that though Sinema is decidedly not a blonde bimbo the alternative may be even worse, given BPDs are notoriously difficult to reason with given their divergent personality and associated narcissist, manipulation dynamics.
One thing for sure is that a reckoning will soon be upon us and Michelle Goldberg is correct when she concludes:
"This gap between the scale of the catastrophe bearing down on us and the blithe refusal of Manchin and Sinema to help is enough to leave one frozen with despair. Democrats have no discernible leverage over Manchin and little over Sinema, though they ought to consider primarying her."
The problem is, of course, we can't primary this BPD-afflicted Senator when we need to: right now. She can bark all she wants about the progressives displaying bad faith and generating "lack of trust" - but to see the real culprit she needs to take a look in the mirror.
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— from Robert Reich's Substack
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My knee-jerk is Histrionic Personality Disorder, but I agree that it's one of the Cluster B or antagonistic personality disorders. People of all four disorders use similar manipulation tactics, though they have different motivations. People with Histrionic PD want attention at any price, while those with Narcissistic PD want a specific kind of attention: adulation. Those with Borderline PD seek to avoid abandonment. Kyrsten Sinema seems like an attention seeker pure and simple, but it could be any. The DSM-V suggested all four might be grouped into one over-arching disorder sometime in the future.
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