Kyrsten Sinema Is DNC Policy Cancer, And She Doesn’t Care



Written By: Anton Sawyer



Kyrsten Sinema Is DNC Policy Cancer, And She Doesn’t Care




Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema is in the headlines yet again. Her first “accomplishment” of 2022 will set the tone for the year: being censured. This was done by the Arizona Democratic Party after the senator's longstanding opposition to modifying Senate rules to pass voting rights bills culminated in the legislation stalling in Congress.


In layman’s terms, it’s her refusal to go “nuclear” and remove the filibuster to pass the voting rights act that has her in hot water. Sadly, she doesn’t care. This lack of concern, along with her history that clearly shows these tendencies aren’t going to stop anytime soon is the topic of today’s article. Though each of the sub-topics of this piece are worth discussing and writing about (i.e., the filibuster, voting rights, etc.), those will each need their own focus at another time; today is all about Sinema’s follies.


If you are a blue-to-the-core liberal, Sinema has been a lightning rod of controversy. If you are an ardent supporter of the DNC, then get ready for a bumpy ride filled with potholes of inaction.


Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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There is one thing I do need to get out of the way before slogging through this mess.


Since this is yet another article about Kyrsten Sinema, I know some of you are wanting to know when I’m going to do a piece about Democrat Senator from West Virginia Joe Manchin. Sadly, not any time soon. Manchin has always been this way, so when he breaks ranks and votes with the GOP, it isn’t that surprising. Given that during his career, while ex-President Trump was in office, Manchin voted in line with Trump on any given position 50.4% of the time (according to Project FiveThirtyEight), his unwavering support towards conservative causes is expected. You’re going to see that if Sinema continues her current trajectory, then Manchin’s willingness to go along with Republican voters will become her standard as well.


With a major focus on this webzine being politically independent, I do have to say that in almost any other circumstances, I would applaud Sinema for sticking to her guns, and voting her conscience. With that said though, there needs to be a level of give and take for anything to be accomplished if you’re going to be truly bipartisan. Maybe give in on the filibuster and voting rights act but vote against certain parts of the Build Back Better agenda as an example; SOMETHING. But in the case of Sinema, there is no give or middle-ground.


Her inaction when it came to killing the filibuster is something she’s become quite comfortable with. There has been a certain level of non-action that she’s used, to one degree or another, when it comes to distancing herself from the liberal party from the beginning of her career. It must bear note though, some of her most scandalous events have taken place over the last decade. When she was a member of the House of Representatives, she skipped the Democrats’ 2016 convention where the party formally nominated Hillary Clinton as its presidential nominee. A few years later, this trend would be repeated. In 2020, she refused to participate in the Democratic National Convention virtual program which was designed to formally announce the nomination of then-candidate Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris. Since then, Sinema has made it a point to rarely attend the state’s Democratic Party fundraisers.


Knowing that she’s been so opposed to almost everything DNC-related for such a long time, it begs the question as to why is she being officially censured now?


Money.


A group of big-dollar donors who have spent millions electing Kyrsten Sinema and other Democratic senators threatened to sever all funding to her due to her opposition to changing Senate rules to pass the voting rights legislation. In a letter to the Arizona lawmaker, 70 Democratic donors—some of whom gave Sinema’s 2018 campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law—said they would support a primary challenge to Sinema and demanded that she refund their contributions to her 2018 campaign if she didn’t change her position. Sinema nevertheless scoffed at the threat and voted against weakening the filibuster.


It’s important to remember that this isn’t the first time Senator Sinema has been under threat of being censured. In 2019, at an Arizona Democratic Party meeting, the motion to censure was brought up. Luckily for Sinema, it was tabled. So, for her, this whole “censure thing” is one that she’s become accustomed to. This is one of the reasons I found her bland, non-response when it came to her reluctance to allow a path for the voting rights to occur shows that she is someone who either isn’t worried or doesn’t care.


In the response, it was made clear by her people that she supports voting rights but does not support changing the filibuster rules. This was followed by part of the statement made by a Sinema spokesperson to highlight the Senator's dedication to bipartisanship in Congress in an attempt to divert from the issue at hand. "During three terms in the US House, and now in the Senate, Kyrsten has always promised Arizonans she would be an independent voice for the state—not for either political party," the spokesperson said. "She’s delivered for Arizonans and has always been honest about where she stands."


Yes, being censured is something that no politician wants, and is something pretty rare. Only one president (Andrew Jackson) has been censured, and since 1789 the Senate has only censured nine of its members. One would think that with how infrequently it’s used, that it has some serious firepower behind it—that a censure could be a career killer. That thinking is incorrect.


In the grand scheme of things, the censure is a giant nothing-burger.


Censure is formal disapproval that can be adopted by one or both chambers of Congress. Unlike impeachment, censure is not a power provided by the Constitution, said Gregory Magarian, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. The House and Senate have adopted internal rules that allow them to draft and approve a censure resolution, which provides a public record disapproving of an official’s actions. Such a resolution is a rebuke but does not carry any material punishment like removal from office.


It's no wonder that with this being the most serious repercussion being dished out to Sinema—or really any other politician—there is zero concern being shown by her.


I believe that the only reason Kyrsten Sinema was elected was that she allowed those who had fervently supported every piece of legislation that the GOP pushed which eventually led to the overtaking of the base by the worst people of the party in general, to not have to openly support those who they didn’t feel shared their “progressive morality.” In a related thought, I’m also sure that it helped those GOP supporters who helped push anti-LGBTQ+ legislation to feel better by electing Sinema due to her sexual orientation. All while putting up a front, these supporters can rest safely knowing that though they feel they are really bipartisan in their politics, all of the key pieces of terrible lawmaking brought about by the modern GOP continue unabated for all.


Win/Win, I guess?


Outside of Sinema (or Manchin) not being re-elected in 2024, I’m afraid we are going to have to assume that the Republican party is going to have a two-vote advantage over the Democrats in the Senate so long as these two are in office. Nothing that happens in the Senate races during the mid-term elections of 2022 will change this fact. Barring any kind of impeachment or scandal that would force her out of office, Sinema is here to stay. I’m only afraid that her brand of liberalism will begin to infect other mostly red states and allow for the proliferation of a new wolf in sheep’s clothing.


I guess only time, and who takes the overall control of Congress in 2022, will tell.

 

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