When the music finally stopped and Kyrsten Sinema laid down her baton, the Democratic base was furious.

Sinema announced last week she would leave the U.S. Senate. The Democrats and their media cheerleaders went online and screamed that she’s a scoundrel.

Even now.

Sinema is a turncoat. Sinema is a sellout. Sinema is a “singularly arrogant senator.”

Sinema is such a narcissist she undercut the Democratic Party agenda to become the center of attention.

Sinema’s announcement “was an on-brand moment from a politician whose primary consideration and most important constituent has been herself.”

Except, she wasn’t her most important constituent. That actually goes to Big Pharma or the hedge funds or any deep pockets that will one day make her fabulously wealthy.

As a Sinema staffer put it so excellently last week, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

So, the left still hates Kyrsten Sinema.

And guess what?

They still don’t know why.

One doesn’t expect grace these days from either of the two major U.S. political parties, nor even a modicum of self-awareness.

We’re in a moment of hyperpolarization when both parties are battle hardened and extreme.

Except one party doesn’t know it.

The Democrats.

And here is where Sinema was and remains a constant irritant they cannot shake – not even when she’s leaving.

Kyrsten Sinema got into the U.S. Senate, held up a giant mirror and showed the Democratic Party who they really are.

They are a big part of the problem.

She was there to solve the problem, not to play their petty games of “winner take all.” And she had been straight about that from the beginning.

She was not your garden variety candidate. In fact, those were her first words when she launched her run for Senate in 2017.

“I guess I’m a little bit different than most people in politics.”

In that video she spelled out what her candidacy was about and never deviated from it.

“It’s time to put our country ahead of party, ahead of politics,” she said. “It’s time to stop fighting and look for common ground. It’s time for us to stand up and answer the call. We can change a broken Washington and make it work again.”

It was a persuasive message. It smashed through the 30-year barrier that separated Democrats from a U.S. Senate seat in Arizona. Soon Democrat Mark Kelly would run through the same hole sounding similar centrist themes.

As Sinema understood it, the biggest problem in Washington was not election reform. It was not climate change, nor structural racism, nor an upper class that won’t pay its fair share of taxes.

The biggest problem was the mutual hatred and disgust both major parties have for one another. Our social fabric has been gashed and today there are real doubts it can hold together.

Sinema called this “the underlying disease,” and she devoted her time to solving it.

That energy and resolve led to a single term of enormous achievement that put her at the center of virtually every major policy debate in Washington.

If it would ultimately cost Sinema her membership in the Democratic Party and re-election, well she walks away with more achievements than a great many senators who will play it safe and serve decades longer.

She checks out of the Senate having played key roles in the following:

* The bipartisan infrastructure bill – a $1.2 trillion package to improve America’s roads, bridges, airports, rail lines and water supply. President Joe Biden praised Sinema for her central role, and the White House boasted the new act would create 1.5 million jobs a year over the next 10 years.

* The bipartisan gun bill – the first major breakthrough in gun reform in 28 years. Those Democrats who sat with Sinema at the negotiating table marveled at how many Republicans votes she could deliver.

* The microchip bill – Sinema helped rescue the plan to make America competitive again in the production of microchips, the brains of all modern appliances, machinery and military hardware.

Her biggest accomplishment was her defense of the legislative filibuster, the historic protector of the political minority that demands that both parties work for compromise.

She stopped her fellow Democrats when they tried to use the nuclear option to blow up the legislative filibuster and pass trillions of dollars of spending and fundamental reforms to our election system based on the votes of only their party.

Had the Democrats been successful they would have poisoned even further the mood in this country. Before Sinema joined with West Virginia’s Joe Manchin to stop them, she reminded Democrats what happened the last time they blew things up.

In 2013, she noted, the Democrats led by then-U.S. Sen. Harry Reid chose to get rid of the filibuster for most presidential nominations. Soon Republicans took the Senate majority and retaliated by removing the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. That allowed Republican President Donald Trump to construct a conservative Supreme Court that would ultimately strike down Roe v. Wade.

So you see, both parties have actively engaged in destroying the guardrails in our government.

Within both parties have been figures who are willing to stand against their own party and defend the filibuster. Jeff Flake did it. So did John McCain. And now Kyrsten Sinema was putting country before party.

Donald Trump has been leading the polls now for nearly half a year. The U.S.-Mexico border is on fire and Americans now tell pollsters it’s their number one concern. Joe Biden is underwater by some 35 points on the question of who do Americans trust to fix the border.

A majority of U.S. Hispanics (75%) -- an important Democratic Party constituency -- describe the recent increase in the number of migrants seeking to enter the United States at its border with Mexico as a major problem or a crisis.

If the Democrats lose the White House and the Senate in the fall, they will have a different view of Kyrsten Sinema.

They will be thanking their good fortune that she was there to save one of the most important tools the minority party has to defend its interests.

Phil Boas is an editorial columnist for The Arizona Republic. Email him at phil.boas@arizonarepublic.com.

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Kyrsten Sinema held up a mirror to Democrats and showed them who they are

14 14
12.03.2024

When the music finally stopped and Kyrsten Sinema laid down her baton, the Democratic base was furious.

Sinema announced last week she would leave the U.S. Senate. The Democrats and their media cheerleaders went online and screamed that she’s a scoundrel.

Even now.

Sinema is a turncoat. Sinema is a sellout. Sinema is a “singularly arrogant senator.”

Sinema is such a narcissist she undercut the Democratic Party agenda to become the center of attention.

Sinema’s announcement “was an on-brand moment from a politician whose primary consideration and most important constituent has been herself.”

Except, she wasn’t her most important constituent. That actually goes to Big Pharma or the hedge funds or any deep pockets that will one day make her fabulously wealthy.

As a Sinema staffer put it so excellently last week, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”

So, the left still hates Kyrsten Sinema.

And guess what?

They still don’t know why.

One doesn’t expect grace these days from either of the two major U.S. political parties, nor even a modicum of self-awareness.

We’re in a moment of hyperpolarization when both parties are battle hardened and extreme.

Except one party doesn’t know it.

The Democrats.

And here is where Sinema was and remains a constant irritant they cannot shake – not even when she’s leaving.

Kyrsten Sinema got into the U.S. Senate, held up a giant mirror and showed the Democratic Party who they really are.

They are a big part of the problem.

She........

© Arizona Republic


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