"The one constant in Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s political career, from her start as a left-wing rabble rouser and Ralph Nader aide to her announcement on Friday that she was leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent, is her boundless ability to draw attention to herself."- NY Times, 'Sinema Adds Intrigue and Democratic Fury to 2024 Arizona Senate Race"
It takes all kinds to make the political world, but one kind we wish we had more of in the current era is the selfless public servant. The representative who goes all out for her constituents as opposed to herself and her own self-promotion and power. That is emphatically not Kyrsten Sinema, who overnight tossed any existing political equilibrium to the 4 winds. Basically, sending all Dem political plans into the shitcan with her move to be an "independent". Of course this is horse pockey, never mind she scribbled an Op-ed in the Arizona Republic, saying that she "never promised to be a guaranteed vote for the Democratic Party."
Yeah, but see, she still voted with the Dems and President Biden more than 90 percent of the time. That made her a reliable caucus member whose vote could at least be counted on 9 of 10 times. But her need now to officially set herself apart deliberately puts a question mark over every vote and move and effectively neuters much of the potential power the Dems had achieved in winning the Georgia runoff election.
The little bimbo diva also babbled in her op-ed:
“Americans are told that we have only two choices — Democrat or Republican — and that we must subscribe wholesale to policy views the parties hold, views that have been pulled further and further toward the extremes. Most Arizonans believe this is a false choice, and when I ran for the U.S. House and the Senate, I promised Arizonans something different.”
In fact, Sinema's "false choice" narrative is bunkum because she is engaging in false equivalence. The ONLY extreme is on the Right, with the Republicans. The Pew Research center, indeed, has shown that since 1972 the Republicans have become 4 times more polarized than the Democrats who - in Arizona alone- have majorly increased their demographic impact. In Maricopa county alone, 80% went to Biden and 79% for Mark Kelly as Senator. By comparison Sinema has had the lowest rating - at 19 percent- for the past two years, thanks to her constant grandstanding, preening optics and obstruction.
As for promising Arizonans "something different", well, Sinema punked out on getting the most desired legislation passed for that Dem demographic including health care, and higher wages for service sector jobs - which recall- she dismissed by a negative vote and a curtsy. In all of this she only showed the predominance of her ego. So no surprise she's reclaimed the spotlight after the huge Warnock win in Georgia. Desperate to get back into the limelight, she chose to make a self-serving preemptive move. In this case to grab the center stage while also dodging the Dem AZ primary in 2 yrs., realizing she might face an unbeatable opponent in Ruben Gallego. A cowardly, self-gratifying move that may now toss the Senate back to the Reeps in 2024.
Bottom line, no one should buy into Sinema's bloviations about being a proud independent. She's only chosen that label and arc because it's convenient for her manipulations including getting donor money and playing both sides, both parties to indulge her narcissism. Here's the skinny: Sinema has about as much chance getting re-elected to the Senate as a Dem as I have getting elected Pope. Realizing this she took the only out she had which also delivered the biggest political headlines - at least for the time being.
But that doesn't mean she can't make herself the center of attention in the meantime, say the next two years, giving rise to lots of "Sturm and drang." To quote one Arizona political observer, from the Arizona Republic: "the messaging over the next two years will be crucial because now there's a lot of focus on Sinema. Just the way she wants it,"
Of course, because she's a narcissist at heart, out only for her own agenda and advancement at the expense of party and nation.
The downside, even as the Reep House (and Kevin McCarthy) announced a tsunami of bogus investigations on Tuesday - is the Dems' punch back capacity will now be hobbled. Whereas before Sinema's 'shiv' Dems had been prepared to use their new majority to exercise their own oversight via subpoenas aimed at the Reeps, that may well now be severely limited or nonexistent - depending on what Ms. Kyrsten wishes. If she desires no altercations or fighting back with Dem investigations - the Dems will have to take fire from the GOP House and not return it. This is especially bloody awful as Reep vermin like James Comer (KY) have vowed to "make accusations first and get evidence second".
The positive news- if there is any- is that Democrats will still control the Senate next year, but their hold could be less secure and give more sway to another moderate in the caucus, Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.). In other words, Sinema's little self-serving trick has opened the door to yet more possible grandstanding moves which the Dems thought they were finally liberated from,
Sinema, for sure, did not explicitly say she will continue to caucus with Democrats (in an interview with CNN) but as long as she doesn't caucus with Republicans, the GOP side in the chamber would remain at 49 members. Let's hope she at least meets that minimal marker for faithfulness. But I wouldn't bet the farm on it.
No doubt some Reep Senators (and Reep-friendly media) will be tempted to gush over this "Sinematic" move - i.e. as weakening the Ds, bolstering the Rs- but they'd be wise to exercise forbearance. Ultimately, Ms. Kyrsten is a diva and is all about her power, her agenda, her donor $$ and her self-promotion. She knew she'd face a tough primary against Ruben Gallego in a couple yrs. and opted to act in pre-emptive fashion to dodge it, while proclaiming her "mavericky"-ness.
But she is no maverick in the true sense, only another political manipulator, who remains a legend in her own febrile brain.
The grinch who stole the Democrats’ victory
Opinion | Kyrsten Sinema Is Right. This Is Who She’s Always Been. - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
Sinema has seemed to delight in the power an evenly split Senate gave her, which she used to benefit the financial and pharmaceutical industries. Negotiating the Inflation Reduction Act, she single-handedly stopped Democrats from closing the carried interest loophole, a provision that significantly cuts the tax bills of Wall Street investors. And Sinema insisted on narrowing the part of the law meant to bring down prescription drug prices, earning criticism even from Joe Manchin. ....
Had Republicans won the Senate, Sinema could have become an independent who caucused with Republicans, preserving her place in the majority. A red wave might have seemed to vindicate her aggressive centrism,
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